Not Enough Time to be a Kid

There's a story today in USA Today that highlights how much less independence and free time children today have.  Childhood has largely moved indoors and has become a time of productivity. There are many forces driving this change and fear plays a large role. 

Here's an excerpt -

Childhood specialists say parents' fears — ranging from concern about their child being harmed or abducted to worries about their child's future education or career — seem to be driving much of the change. The cost, some analysts say, is not just rising concern that kids won't look back fondly on their childhoods. Analysts say there are increasing signs that a lack of independence fuels stress, anxiety and depression among young people. Many child-development specialists and others worry that it's just not as much fun to be a kid anymore.

"We've lost the sense of allowing children to be children, to have that period of time in their lives where we don't burden them with a zillion things to do," says Malcolm Goldsmith, professor emeritus of health education at Southern Illinois University.

Play is a vital piece of childhood under challenge by a variety of forces in society," says Dr. Ginsburg who also appears in "Race to Nowhere."

What do you think is driving this and what are the costs?  What are children missing on that you had? Are they gaining anything? Share your thoughts here.