As a historian who is interested in themes of family and childhood, Milanich engaged with author Sarah Maza's ideas on a child's development into autonomy, and how that process depends on a child's ability to develop their own voice and effectively grow up. In her response, Milanich acknowledged how many aspects of a culture are reflected in its children, as well as the tendency of many historians to underestimate the value of examining social and cultural histories through the lens of childhood. 

"Precisely because it is so often figured as apolitical, ahistorical, and universal, childhood can lead us into the very heart of power relations," she wrote.