I agree. But I part company with the majority of wishy-washy parents who use that phrase as an excuse to either ignore or spoil their children (or both).
The majority of people in this country seem to think that children should be engaged in perpetual play, preferably of the politically correct kind. Nonsense. The majority of history has the role of children helping with the daily work of the family from the time they can stand and walk. Children worked on the farm in rural areas and worked in the family business in urban areas. They bonded quite closely with the rest of the family, learned valuable life skills, and generally loved their parents and extended family fiercely. This is quite a contrast with the current crop of spoiled darlings that gets away from their families as fast as possible.
In order to correct the horrors of early industrialization and child sweat-shop labor we passed laws to prevent the exploitation of minors and to enable them to stay in school long enough to get a decent education. We swung the pendulum too far, as usual. Most of the kiddies now don’t have any reasonable chores to do around the house, and, even if they do (and they actually do them), they are usually solo without participation of the rest of the family. Most parents are content to let their little darlings sit in front of a TV or a computer soaking up porn (either of the mind or the body). Then later the kids are mall rats with nothing to keep them out of trouble. The parents would be better served by not sitting down after dinner to watch their own boob-tube, but rather to do meal cleanup and household chores as a family unit and then help/supervise with all the kiddies homework – every night. And to develop a hobby which would involve the whole family in something involving constructive activities, preferably with a learning curve involving useful skills that can be passed on to the kidlets.
The idea that life is constant play and that we have to be entertained every waking moment of the day does not produce rational, balanced, loving adults. It produces totally selfish, weak individuals who look for someone else to do the providing. It produces people who cannot successfully relate to others, resulting in failed marriages and damaged children. It results in people who cannot make and hold to the commitment required to be a successful and loving partner and parent. In short, look around at the products of this type of poor parenting. What you see is what you will get if you raise your children this way. Not a pretty picture, is it?