Strange parenting choices were a largely private matter before the dawn of the Internet. Now sites like YouTube put them on full display for the world to pass judgment.
The latest case in point is a viral video of a toddler playing with a dead squirrel while her parents film and watch.
As the girl caresses and tosses the dead animal around, her parents alternatively laugh, watch and invite the family's pet dog, which killed the squirrel, to join them on the family's front lawn.
Blogs and online commenters have spent the past week questioning the parents' decision and asking whether it is wrong to allow a child to play with a dead squirrel. Are the parents encouraging morbid behaviour, some wonder, or encouraging a child's sense of innocence?
In many ways, the debate may be irrelevant. Experts say children have little understanding of death and that newborns to children age three have difficulty comprehending the topic. Children between ages three and six typically don't understand that death is permanent and may believe that it can be somehow reversed.
When a family member or close relative of a child under age six dies, the child can seem unaffected by the situation, although they may have bad dreams, questions about death and a negative reaction if their care is disrupted.
Considering the fact toddlers have difficulty understanding death when a family member dies, it's conceivable that the girl playing with the dead squirrel doesn't comprehend what death means, and that she won't even recall the event when she grows up.
What have you told your kids about death?