Salem in the early 1600s was a Puritan community. The Puritans were as strict sect of Protestants who adhered to Old Testament teachings.
There were strict gender roles with men and boys spending their days outside of the home in hunting and work and women and girls staying within their homes taking care of tasks such as cooking, cleaning, and making clothing.
Children were taught not to express any extreme emotion, whether anger or joy.
Children were strictly disciplined to obey and not exert their own will.
Children were prohibited from freely playing and were put to tasks. Games and toys were special privileges, not a daily expectation.
Church attendance was mandatory and children who fell asleep during a service would find themselves awoken with the rap of stick.
There were few books for children other than the Bible and other books that warned against bad behavior and praised obedience and other such virtues.