For your consideration:

Societal Norms, Moral Judgements, and Irrational Parenting

“We don’t bind our children’s feet, but there are other ways in which we interfere with our children’s development. Children are by nature designed to develop physically, socially, emotionally, and intellectually largely through self-directed play and exploration with other children. Throughout most of human history, except for times and places of slavery or intensive child labor, children spent large portions of their time playing and exploring with other children away from adults. This was their major source of joy and their natural way of learning how to function as independent, responsible, competent human beings. As recently as thirty or forty years ago it was still standard practice for parents to shoo children out of the house, where they would find other children and play to their hearts’ content. Over the last few decades, however, in the United States and many other nations, social norms have gradually developed that prevent such play. As I have argued elsewhere (e.g. here and here), there are good reasons to believe that these norms of restricting children’s freedom are a major cause of the record levels of depression, anxiety, various other psychological disorders, and suicide among young people today. I’m not sure that depriving children of play is less cruel than binding their feet.”

~Jen GS