Brain Doctor Says Decreased Bonding With Mothers In Particular Is To Blame For Children's 'Mental Mess' — ‘Moms Are Tired’

He claimed mothers are too burnt out from balancing work with childcare responsibilities.

smiling mother holding little boy while sitting on bed - Yuri A | Shutterstock

A brain doctor and specialist admitted that there's one reason why too many children these days are experiencing overwhelming developmental changes, both emotionally and psychologically. 

In a TikTok video, Dr. Daniel Amen, founder and CEO of Amen Clinics and a specialist on brain disorders, claimed that mothers are the reason why this is happening, and it is due to the level of exhaustion they're currently facing.


He says decreased bonding with mothers, in particular, is to blame for children's 'mental mess.'

"People are gonna hate me for this. It's decreased bonding with parents," Amen declared. "If you look at the statistics, mothers in particular are spending a third of the time each day on average than they do with kids in the 1950s."

Amen insinuated that because mothers are working now more than ever, compared to before, when they were mostly staying at home and taking care of household and childcare responsibilities, their children are suffering because of it. He's noticed there's been a steady decrease in the amount of one-on-one time with mothers, in particular, and their children.


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Despite Amen's insistence that mothers aren't spending much time with their children anymore, there has been a steady rise of women leaving the workforce to become stay-at-home mothers. In Motherly's 2023 State of Motherhood report, 25% of moms are holding down their forts now, compared to 15% in 2022. Eighteen percent of moms changed jobs or left the workforce in the past year. Of those, 28% said they did so to be home with young kids, but 15% are staying home due to a lack of childcare.

The crushing expense of childcare has led many mothers to choose between staying home and working; 52% of those say they would need more affordable childcare to return to work. 


"Now, fathers are doing better. But there's not one society on Earth where fathers are the primary caretakers for children. It's hardwired in humans, and as mothers have gotten more and more tired because here in California, 90% of mothers also work outside of the house," Amen continued.

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Mothers who are working on top of being caregivers are feeling intense levels of burnout.

According to data provided to CNBC Make It from UrbanSitter’s recent survey of nearly 500 parents, 53% of parents say that mom is the primary caregiver in their home, and juggling both childcare and work responsibilities ends up taking quite a toll.


In an analysis from healthcare start-up Maven, women are 28% more likely to experience burnout than fathers, which means in the U.S., there are 2.35 million additional cases of burnout due to the unequal demands of home and work that are placed on working mothers. In many instances, burnout occurs because there isn't enough support, especially for mothers.

baby lying on flat pillow placed on sofa, young exhausted mother sitting near, looking away BAZA Production | Shutterstock

Mothers are required to balance a mountain of responsibilities while still maintaining their professional commitments, household duties, and childcare. It's not the 1950s anymore, and with inflation and the cost of living steadily rising, many women can't afford to quit and become stay-at-home mothers, especially those who are parenting alone. 


If there were better support systems provided by our government and legislation that would include affordable childcare and other options to alleviate the pressures that working mothers and stay-at-home mothers face, there would be such an improvement in burnout and improve the dynamics between mothers and their children.

"The bond between parents and children is being strained and that lack of connectedness is increasing the mental mess we're in," Amen argued. However, just as mothers are being encouraged to devote more time to bonding with their children, fathers should also be encouraged and supported to actively participate in caregiving and bonding activities as well. 

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Nia Tipton is a Chicago-based entertainment, news, and lifestyle writer whose work delves into modern-day issues and experiences.