[QUOTE=annettemarie]Lots of things have been in practice for century--spanking, burning children with coals so they stay away from the fireplace, denying education to girls.
I would hardly compare the two. Kids nowadays don't have to do anything, especially in America. Doing house or farm chores can keep them better connected to the roots of human existence and the earth. Tending to the garden and the animals and washing and cooking are wonderful things for kids to do and they usually enjoy it!
Or... I guess she could sit them in front of the TV all day.
Though I do think the older children raising the younger ones is a bit odd. But I'm sure she does do some raising of her children they do live in the same house. Older children having SOME responsibility with the younger is not that bad of a thing.