Our brains are wired to get better at doing whatever we do regularly. Pathways form that make that task faster and more efficient each time, and tasks we avoid get harder to do as those pathways close up. One of the most important things we have to do, as a species, is to think for ourselves. It's a strikingly creative act, thinking is. Luckily we're also wired to be creative and original, but we lose it if we don't use it. And when parents sit their kids down in front of hours of TV shows and games, they lose their ability to invent new ways to play. Parents organize playgroups and activities instead of kids knocking door to door and designing their own worlds with small groups of neighbours without any adult input.
Boredom is necessary to inspire kids to develop their own ideas about games and rules and entertainment. Far too often children's boredom makes parents anxious, so they alleviate it before the kids can come up with their own brilliant ideas.
Some of the games we played had rules that changed by the minute, which was frustrating, but it allowed for decision-making and collaboration and assertiveness-training. If the rules are rigid and enforced by an adult, then the thinking goes out the window.
Many years of being passively entertained makes it that much harder for teachers to inspire creative thought or initiative-taking. But it makes it much easier to get kids to fill in the blanks and colour within the lines.
We have a huge capacity for imagination through songs, poetry, theatre groups. It's through our creations that we can effect change. But those won't happen if people get used to being told what to do - and if they get to liking it. It will be a hard struggle to convince them that there's something more for them later on if they do a bit more work now.
It's always the way.