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Are Kids Getting Less Playtime?

Hovering parents who don’t let their kids go play outside without adult interference aren’t doing their children any favors, according to researchers.

“Into the 1950s, children were free to play a good part of their childhood,” researcher Peter Gray, Boston College psychology professor said. “If you stayed in your house around your mom, she’d say ‘go out and play.’ The natural place for a kid was outside.”

“Today, it’s quite the opposite,” Gray added. “Parents are not allowing kids the freedom to play. And even if they do, there are no other kids out there to play with, or the mother may have such restrictions on the child such as ‘you can’t go out of the yard’ that the kids don’t want to stay out there.”

And at what cost? According to USA Today, children who aren’t given the opportunity to play freely, “are more likely to experience anxiety, depression, feelings of helplessness and narcissism, all of which coincides with a decrease in play and more monitoring and managing of children’s activities by parents.”

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