I'm not sure where I most recently heard it, but was reminded of the expression "cult of the child" in regards to several tendencies, mostly parents catering to children, and mothers treating children as shields. What it brought to mind was something else I most painfully noticed a long time ago - especially in Spielberg movies in the 80's - the worship of childlike innocence as a cure to ills. Being "open to new experiences" (where have we heard that before?), etc.. Even now you can see its poisonous offspring in many modern children's shows, especially the Disney ones, with hapless and ignorant parents.
The "wisdom of the child" or virtue of childishness.
E.T., Goonies, Harry and the Hendersons. Amazing Stories included an episode with Mark Hamill that made out hoarding and not letting go of childishness (as opposed to the C.S. Lewis version) as a good thing. The Land Before Time, Hook, A.I., and so forth. Also, Ron Howard and movies like Cocoon. The list goes on.
Nevertheless, the theme, that parents, set in their old ways, need to be brought up to speed or saved by their children, who, open to new experiences, save the day, is omnipresent. And that the best way to live life is as a child. There is a longing to return to, to partake in, youth.
In retrospect, when you realize that Lucas and Spielberg were discussing how young Marion was when she was seduced by Indiana Jones, and how young was young enough to be transgressive without being too transgressive, it gets even more disturbing.
And it's been sold to us by some of the biggest names out there.