When my children were growing up, we all had responsibilities. Each child could make his or her own bed. I didn't go along behind them to straighten the bedding. It was their bed and it was their decision to either make it the best they could or not. It wasn't something to set them up for judgment. In their eyes their finished bed making was beautiful.
Because they participated in household chores, they were pretty busy little people. They did have play time and friends over sometimes. But they had each other so they always had someone to play a game with or talk to or trade chores with.
How did those children grow into parents who think someone should be entertaining their children at all times? I see my grandchildren and children of their generation as missing out on using their imaginations. They either have an electronic game or a computer in front of them or they expect someone to be providing amusement for them. Being on their own is "boring", and heaven knows, parents don't want their children unhappy. So someone needs to be paying attention to them every waking minute.
I am in a strange position these days. I am at an age that I remember how it was when I was a child, left to my own devices to imagine and play act and dance and sing and dress and undress the various cats in the house and be outside with nature and watch ants and learn how to take care of plants and pretend as much as my mind could experience. When adults were talking we were not to interrupt unless the house was on fire. Children "were seen and not heard". I didn't feel rejected or stifled; on the contrary, I was able to look within and invent my own games and use my imagination. Then I became a mother and I was absolutely nuts about my kids. I thought they were the cutest, smartest, most enjoyable kids ever born. They were busy, and in some ways productive, and always learning how to interact socially with other children. How to think of other people, not just themselves. Then my little darlings grew up and they and their friends who have children seem to think the same way about children. Someone has to be playing with the little ones, on hand to listen to every little thing they have to say, and allow them to interrupt adults over and over thus reinforcing that the children are automatically at the top of the priority pile in life.
Some things have changed so drastically from when I was a child to today's training of children that it looks like another planet. There are good things about each of the three generations worth of parenting. Maybe in the next generations the best teachings and thoughts on parenting can be combined. Because right now it is a very scary future when I think about the little people today (who can only think of themselves) growing to adulthood to take a place in society.