The Loss of Spirit of Childhood

by Kathy Jones on Feb 13 2012 9:03 PM

 The Loss of Spirit of Childhood
Results of a new global report have indicated that the spirit of childhood - a chance for children and adults alike to enjoy simple, carefree moments - is at risk.
The report released by the OREO brand and Ipsos Public Affairs reveals that the vast majority of parents surveyed believe today's kids are growing up quicker than previous generations. n fact, seven out of 10 parents worldwide say their children should have more time to 'just be kids.'

The idea that the spirit of childhood is on the decline is true not only for kids, but also adults.

Parents everywhere yearn for the type of lighthearted enjoyment they had when they were kids. In fact, a majority of parents worldwide say they don't have fun on a daily basis and 54 percent say they rarely experience the feelings of delight they did when they were children.

The "Global Spirit of Childhood Report," conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs on behalf of OREO, measured the spirit of childhood around the world in an effort to understand if people, both young and old, take the time to experience the simple joys of being a kid.

"As we regularly talk with consumers worldwide, we consistently hear about the importance of experiencing the carefree feelings of childhood at any age," said Sheeba Philip, Global Brand Director for OREO.

"We believe this sentiment is more important now than ever before, so we conducted this research to learn more about the spirit of childhood worldwide," she stated.

While the report suggests the spirit of childhood may be at risk, parents' desire to have fun with their children isn't weakening. Three out of five parents (63 percent) say spending time having fun with their kids is more important to them than it was to their own parents when they were growing up.

Carefree fun has become such a rare treat for parents and their children that it's worth its weight in gold - literally.

More than half of parents surveyed in countries like Mexico, Peru and India say they would trade part of their salary in exchange for more time with their kids.

And, four out of five parents surveyed across all 20 countries even say having fun as a family is "more important than anything else."

Despite this overwhelming desire, 59 percent of adults are not spending moments of carefree fun on a daily basis.

In a fast-motion 4G world, technology and social media have an increasingly dramatic impact on the dynamics of family life. While 67 percent of parents globally agree that technology helps their family stay connected, it may come at a cost.

When they're spending time as a family, nearly half of parents say that their families are distracted by technology.

Just less than one-quarter of parents globally say they communicate more with their children through technology than in-person.