Tove Jansson’s Moomin books focus very closely on childhood and home environment. This means that even if it is not intentional, she conveys some view points and commentary about parenting and either suitable or harmful environment for growing up.
And one huge issue she handled differently than just about all other writers of her time period: discipline. Moomintroll or his friends are never physically punished or even threatened with spanking. Actually, Tove Jansson was very upset with the first Japanese animated version partially because Moominpappa uses physical punishment on Moomintroll in that. Her lack of spanking or other forms of physical punishment in her books is rare as many children’s books of the time did include physical punishment or mentioned it happening. Physical discipline was made illegal in Finland only in 1984, while Tove Jansson wrote her Moomin books between 1945-1970.
Other forms of discipline are also very moderate in Moomin books. Moominmamma and Moominpappa are very allowing and gentle parents. Even if one of the children in their care ends up doing something dangerous or causes harm, they usually take it with a stride and instead worry about children’s safety more than morality of their actions. Mymble’s daughter is the guardian of her wild and ill-behaved little sister Little My (because their mother just simply gave up with My) and there is a scene where Mymble’s daughter does discipline her sister; she yells at My and threatens to give her some unspecified physical punishment. But she openly admits to be just yelling because it makes her feel like she is doing as her mother asked and not because she actually thinks it will work. And she has no intention to actually do anything and My seems to know this. In the end, Little My does whatever she wants and her sister is aware of this.
Strict rules and punishments for children are portrayed few times. Moominpappa grew up in a strict orphanage and was so traumatized that he ran away at young age. The guardian of the place was a very strict Hemulen who did not let children play freely or express themselves. Another example is The Invisible Child, Ninny, who’s aunt was verbally abusive by using irony to address her behavior. This ended up making the child quiet, timid and invisible. Ninny only turns visible when she enters loving and tolerant Moomin family. She ends up becoming a bit ill-behaved but like Too-Ticky says, the most important thing is that the child is laughing and visible.
It is impossible to say how intentional it is, but Tove Jansson’s books portray children who have grown up in understanding environments with as much freedom as possible as the best adjusted and happiest characters. Moomin books are also tolerant of disrespectful or wild behavior in young children like Sniff or Little My. Moominmamma’s kindness and tolerance is constantly shown to be the ideal parenting and children around her respond positively.