Parents, I’ve got good news and bad news. The good news is, you’re right – kids today really are brats. On the downside, it’s largely your fault. Experts say modern parenting styles are leaving kids with a whole host of health issues that account for much of our complaints about the current generation.

Here’s where parents have gone wrong, according to psychologists.

Not Enough Free Playtime


According to Dr. Peter Gray, the amount of time kids spend playing freely has declined steadily in the past several decades. Kids today often compete with their parents for freedom.

“We may think we are protecting them,” says Dr. Gray. “In fact we are diminishing their joy, diminishing their sense of self-control, preventing them from discovering and exploring the endeavors they would most love, and increasing the odds that they will suffer from anxiety, depression and other disorders.”

As if the increase in adult control wasn’t damaging enough, it turns out many modern parents do a pretty lousy job once they have taken the reins.

Too Many Parenting Shortcuts


Kids today average 44.5 hours in front of a screen weekly. But it’s not because they’re lazy. No, according to research, it’s largely because parents use screens to pacify their young kids.

Of course, handing little Sarah an iPhone is much easier than taking her for a walk. But, according to occupational therapist Angela Hanscom, that shortcut is quite damaging.

“More and more children are walking around with underdeveloped balance systems,” Angela writes. “In other words, they have decreased body awareness and sense of space.

Teachers are reporting that children are falling out of their seats in school, running into one another, pushing with more force during games of tag, and are generally clumsier than in years past.”

Less Direct Touch

Today, kids spend more time in strollers than ever before. Only 15% of infants remain breastfed by 12 months. Both of these facts have one thing in common; they indicate a general decline in direct parent-child physical contact.

You might be surprised at how important that is. Affectionate touch with a caregiver is absolutely crucial to healthy brain development. Without it, kids lack a coherent sense of self. And what does that lead to? Narcissism.

Want to learn more about the pitfalls of modern parenting? Have a look at the video below.

Of course, parents, you are free to raise your kids however you see best. But do let us know what you think of these points. Do you agree? Disagree?

Psychology Today
Dr. Peter Gray