Innocence of kids disappears too quickly, say parents

WHEN did you stop believing in Santa Claus? How about your children?

A new study from an international clothing brand suggests that most parents feel their children are losing the innocence of childhood far earlier than they did.

Children's clothing giant Pumpkin Patch quizzed 3500 parents with children under the age of 10 from Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom and the United States.

More than half - or 58% - felt their children were leaving the world of fantasy, and a belief in Santa Claus earlier than the generation before.

According to a statement from Pumpkin Patch, three-quarters of Australian parents felt peer pressure and school stress was happening earlier than it did for them.

Nearly half felt while technology opened new worlds for children that could not be imagined by their ancestors, it was at the expense of social skills and creative thinking.

The survey was conducted on behalf of the clothing retailer by research group Ipsos.

Pumpkin Patch chief Di Humphries said the work gave an insight into "what was keeping parents aware at night and what was filling them with joy".

"We believe, the same as the parents surveyed, that childhood is precious and over too soon, so we want to celebrate how great it is to be 100% a child for as long as possible."

The survey was released to promote a day of activities in all Pumpkin Patch stores on October 24.