Easter egg hunt canceled due to aggressive parents

The Associated Press is reporting that a Colorado town has canceled its annual Easter egg hunt due to the behavior of aggressive parents who swarmed into the tiny park last year, determined that their kids get an egg.

From The AP:

“That hunt was over in seconds, to the consternation of egg-less tots and their own parents. Too many parents had jumped a rope set up to allow only children into Bancroft Park in a historic area of Colorado Springs.”

“Organizers say the event has outgrown its original intent of being a neighborhood event.”

“Parenting observers cite the cancellation as a prime example of so-called “helicopter parents” — those who hover over their children and are involved in every aspect of their children’s lives — sports, school, and increasingly work — to ensure that they don’t fail, even at an Easter egg hunt.”

” ‘They couldn’t resist getting over the rope to help their kids,’ said Ron Alsop, a former Wall Street Journal reporter and author of ‘The Trophy Kids Grow Up,’ which examines the ‘millennial children’ generation.

” ‘That’s the perfect metaphor for millennial children. They (parents) can’t stay out of their children’s lives. They don’t give their children enough chances to learn from hard knocks, mistakes.’”

“Alsop and others say the parenting phenomenon began in earnest when Baby Boomers who decorated their cars with “Baby on Board” signs in the 1980s began having children. It has prompted at least two New York companies to establish ‘take your parent to work day’ for new recruits as parents remain involved even after their children become adults.”

“Last April’s egg hunt, sponsored by the Old Colorado City Association, attracted hundreds of parents and children and experienced a few technical difficulties, said Mazie Baalman, owner of Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory and sponsor of the event.”

“There was no place to hide the plastic eggs, which were filled with donated candy or coupons redeemable at nearby businesses. So thousands of eggs were placed in plain view on the grass. A bullhorn to start the event malfunctioned, so Baalman, master of ceremonies, used a public address system that was hard to hear.”

“So everybody thinks you said ‘Go,’ and everybody goes, and it’s over in seconds,” Baalman said. “If one parent gets in there, other parents say, ‘If one can get in we all can get in,’ and everybody goes.”

“Jennifer Rexford used to live near the park and now lives in Galveston, Texas. She said she used to participate in public Easter egg hunts with her three boys, ages 3, 8, and 14. She doesn’t anymore because of “pushy parents” she experienced at hunts in Florida and Texas.”

” ‘It just seems to be the mindset. People just want the best for their kids,’ Rexford said.”

“Lenny Watkins, who lives a block away from Bancroft Park, took his friend’s then 4-year-old son to the hunt in 2009.”

” ‘I just remember having a wonderful time, him with his Easter basket” Watson said, adding that he can understand why a parent would step in.”

” ‘You have all these eggs just lying around, and parents helping out. You better believe I’m going to help my kid get one of those eggs. I promised my kid an Easter egg hunt and I’d want to give him an even edge.’ ”

“Alsop said that dynamic is at play with parents who hover over their children, even into adulthood.”

” ‘I don’t see any sign of it abating,’ he said. ‘It seems everything is more and more and more competitive, fast paced, and I think parents are going to see they need to do more to help their kids get an edge.’ “

Our church was always great about dividing the hunts by age so the little kids had a chance to get some. I don’t really remember parents getting too involved.

Have you witnessed this at Easter egg hunts in the past? Is this a new phenomenon (parents helping kids get eggs) or has it always happened?

43 comments Add your comment

charlene

March 27th, 2012
12:22 pm

If parents want their kids to get an egg so darn bad, why can’t they just have one in their pockets and while Jr. is off a foot or so away, place it in the grass. “Look buddy! Right here!” They’ll have their egg then.

In reality it’s just craziness. We do a hunt at home to avoid this type of irrationality.

jarvis

March 27th, 2012
12:53 pm

Weak children deserve no eggs.

Voice of Reason

March 27th, 2012
1:09 pm

Objects in mirror are losing.

Aquagirl

March 27th, 2012
1:22 pm

Coupons in Easter eggs? Wow, there’s a thrill for the kids.

Dunwoody Ed

March 27th, 2012
1:27 pm

We expirienced this same thing at North Park in Alpharetta on Sunday. Parents filled their kids’ baskets with lirtally dozens of eggs. Some kids didnt even get any eggs. I was a little tken aback to be honest. It was a sad and obnoxious spectacle. I was actually ashamed to be there, up in the exurbs with all those overfed pigs. I’m sure most of the worst offenders camre to the event straight from church.

Miss Priss!

March 27th, 2012
1:35 pm

Oh, God. Easter. Another religious holiday that’s turned real tacky.

LONG

March 27th, 2012
2:03 pm

So, sad! I took my 4 year old to a similar egg hunt and was just as disgusted, the parents would even send the older kids in just to get as much candy as possible. After that we had our own egg hunt before church on easter morning.

FCM

March 27th, 2012
2:04 pm

Maybe the parents should have chilled with a placenta? Sorry had to say that.

Seriously, there is a teaching momnet in Billy get much and Johnny getting few….but the parent has to know the lesson to teach it. If the parents are fussing, they obviously need to go back to class.

Barnaby Jones

March 27th, 2012
2:41 pm

Agreed…a bunny placenta hunt would be more fun and at the same time, educational.

El Sombrero

March 27th, 2012
2:43 pm

Forget the eggs…just turn the kids and some rabbits loose and see what happens.

K's Mom

March 27th, 2012
3:14 pm

I love how in competitive sports, every child has to get a trophy so that no one’s feelings get hurt, but parents will knock a kid in the head to make sure their kid gets the most eggs. Another example of really messed up parents and priorities….

JATL

March 27th, 2012
3:16 pm

@Barnaby Jones -you made me laugh out loud! Thanks!

This is just pathetic. Parents need to stand back and send the kids into the hunt area. Some kids will get 3 eggs. Some will get 20. It’s childhood and the ones who get only 3 will come back gunning for more next year! The only age group who should have parents with them are the under 3 crowd who sometimes don’t yet grasp what they’re supposed to do. Three and over -should be on their own!

JOD

March 27th, 2012
3:19 pm

Too bad that the fringe spoils yet another simple pleasure. We hide eggs for DD at my parents’ house – their fescue is much more fun than our bermuda. I thought about the city hunt this weekend, but if this kind of nonsense is what we can expect, no thanks.

@FCM – The previous blog for the day was gross! People really ran with it…I couldn’t finish the page…

K's Mom

March 27th, 2012
3:38 pm

@JOD and JATL…exactly! Well said.

FCM

March 27th, 2012
3:42 pm

@ JOD I know….I just had to same something…..that this would be the afternoon blog after that morning one I found quite amusing.

jarvis

March 27th, 2012
3:42 pm

As far as Little Leauge goes, the trophies are not avoiding the hurt feelings. The coaches make sure the kids how worthless they are.

Anyone that has been to a ball field in the last decade should know that the kids aren’t always being told how great they are. The get their azzes bumped plenty.

motherjanegoose

March 27th, 2012
3:59 pm

I read this in the AJC, while waiting at the Dentist today, and thought of mentioning it! TWG you are fifty steps ahead of me HAHA!

When our son was 6, we went to an egg hunt in Duluth, GA. My husband told him to run fast to the BACK OF THE PARK and bypass all the other children picking up eggs, then work his way back to us. He got oodles of eggs and I laughed that he actually followed his Dad’s strategy. He won the contest and some parents were complaining about it, WHILE he was sharing his eggs with little kids around him that had just a few. There was NO way we wanted nor needed all the eggs. It was just fun watching him as he actually listened to his Dad and his eyes were so big when he got to the back of the field GOLDMINE!

I had an annual Easter Egg Hunt and Cookout every year in my back yard for my Kindergarten student in TX. All family members were invited. That was when we had those silver L’eggs Eggs. I hid a $1 in one and it was always the prize egg. That was 25 years ago. Good memories!

Mmm mmm good!

March 27th, 2012
4:09 pm

An Easter egg hunt is only fun if the eggs are still ‘in utero.’

bigdawg88

March 27th, 2012
4:14 pm

My kids went to one of those (just throw’em on the grass and let ‘em fight for it!) Easter Egg hunts at a church a couple of years ago, and they never want to go back. The kids were elbowing and stealing eggs from them, and they didn’t enjoy it at all.
Just recently had one at work and the kids were all polite and nice, and they picked up quite a few eggs, and had a great time. There needs to be better organization (and maybe some limits on the # of kids) at some of these things.

A

March 27th, 2012
4:58 pm

Not surprised about the egg hunt debacle in Alpharetta. Talk about your hotbed of entitlement. Ironically, most of the people who live around North Park aren’t hurting financially yet they feel they can run over everyone so their privileged kids get everything. Glad mine has outgrown this shameless scene.

JATL

March 27th, 2012
4:59 pm

@MJG -I miss those L’eggs Eggs! We always had a few with either money or extra special prizes in them at our hunts. It was quite exciting to find that egg!

motherjanegoose

March 27th, 2012
5:00 pm

Generally, those who organize the church Easter Egg hunts are volunteers and that being said, there is no manual for HOW TO SCHEDULE A SUCCESSFUL EASTER EGG HUNT…that I am aware of.
To me, this is another indication of how manners are on the downswing. Some don’t see it but I do and it is sad.

Macho Mom

March 27th, 2012
5:13 pm

LET ME TELL YOUR SOMETHING BROTHER! IF THOS EPOENCIL NECK GEEKS WANT MY BRADEN’S EGGS THEY BETTER THINK AGAIN BROTHER!

WHATCHA GONNA DO WHEN BRADENS MOM AND HER PYTHONS RUN WILD ON YOU!

Sun

March 27th, 2012
7:07 pm

In my observation, most of the helicopter parents are asian. You are welcome to report this comment as racial, but notice it: it’s true.

Miss Priss!

March 27th, 2012
8:55 pm

And they’re horrible drivers, too! God bless them.

catlady

March 27th, 2012
9:28 pm

I don’t think it is all helicoptering. I think there is way too much thinking that “MY child is the most important in the world. He DESERVES to be the best. Besides, EVERYONE else does it.” It goes along with the lack of empathy that drives people to park their car in the fire lane–that THEIR convenience is paramount, that if you get something, it means you are superior to others.

Scott

March 28th, 2012
12:07 am

We took out 2 year old to this very event last year when this happened. It was over in 3 seconds. Then it was obvious what it was all about when I saw parents with plastic java filled with eggs, sitting on the curb cracking them all open and throwing everything but the candy on the ground. It was greed. It had nothing to do with overzealous parents at all. Just rodents scrounging for freebies. I told my wife after the event that we will not do free events anymore and only go to events that have an admission fee to keep this crap away.

motherjanegoose

March 28th, 2012
6:44 am

@catlady …my husband cannot stand those curb parkers! I agree that many folks out there are only thinking of their own needs and this will make our world a sad place as that attitude is passed on from parents to children.

motherjanegoose

March 28th, 2012
6:48 am

@ Scott….BINGO! Often, the FREE events attract those who have no clue how to behave as those with social skills would RUN in the other direction. I am not a snob. I have realized that the behavior in the First Class section of the airplane is not the same as sitting next to someone who got their ticket for $129 r/t. I do not pay for first class but, when I am upgraded, it is typically a pleasant experience.

[...] Easter egg hunt canceled due to aggressive parents | Momania: A … [...]

☺☻Have A Smile!

March 28th, 2012
8:59 am

It’s the same as other things in life, too.

For example, I learned a hard lesson that my environment is (typically) dictated by how much it costs to live there, within reason.

Cheap apartment complex = section 8 renters, police being called, alcoholic & disruptive neighbors, douchebags everywhere

More costly apartment complex/hotel = cleaner, educated people, and I can actually sleep at night without a pimp driving his car into my 1/4 panel of my car.

This is generalization & there are always exceptions but life teaches HARD lessons.

The same with free events: There were ALWAYS the lower class there ready to take advantage and behave like savages.

☺☻Have A Smile!

March 28th, 2012
9:01 am

I don’t have a kid yet but when I do I’ll make sure to avoid situations like this.

Lord knows, Easter egg hunts were always good memories for me & I won’t let any morons ruin it.

It’s a sad world!

motherjanegoose

March 28th, 2012
9:09 am

@ smile…I learned, years ago, that it is not prudent to be stingy about where you stay in a hotel. Saving $25 a night may not be worth your safety or well being. I know someone who stayed at the Days Inn in NYC and told me it was very loud. Well, NYC is loud but the chain they chose is not one I would have stayed at, even if the room was FREE!

Figment

March 28th, 2012
9:20 am

My son’s daycare is doing an Easter egg hunt for the kids, we are supposed to provide 15 eggs and they get to bring them home. I’ll do one inside our house too like my parents did for my brother and I when we were growing up. Always fun to search the house for hidden eggs filled with candy or money.

shaggy

March 28th, 2012
9:45 am

I say that the parents of these little darlings should just outfit them with spiked dog collars and wrist bands to maximize the damage inflicted when ripping eggs from other little darlings. Heck the parents can join in the slaughter too.
It would make these adults feel better about making sure little Jimmy has every chance to succeed, and they will have some stories to tell after the get off of their helicopter, after landing in their north Atlanta subdivision.

ceac

March 28th, 2012
10:26 am

Just another example of the generations we have raised that believed they are “owed” something and will do whatever to get it. The standards of achieving through performance, fair play and respect for others has dramatically deteriorated in our country. “Helicopter parents” is just a nice way of categorizing meddling, intrusive, obnoxious, bratty parents who are raising children who will be even worse than they are.

Augusta

March 28th, 2012
11:24 am

No thank you. Any event like this, we stay far, far away from.

We do a hunt in our hood, with the neighbors and families. We have a big Easter to do at our house on Easter Sunday and I may have upwards of 50 people at my house. We hide eggs all over my yard, and 5 other neighbors yards, one on each side of us, and 3 across the street, so there’s a total a 6 yards the kids hunt in. Each kid has an egg with their name on it, and that egg usually has money. If a child finds someone else’s egg, they MUST leave it where they found it and tell NO ONE!

One year we did a scavenger hunt, and the kids had a blast. We usually have 20-25 kids.

Ashevillain

March 28th, 2012
12:01 pm

It all sounds very Christian to me.

Jessica

March 28th, 2012
9:10 pm

Poor planning and bad parenting aside, this is why these ginormous open-to-all egg hunts are a bad idea. There are just too many kids, and the families involved are mostly strangers to each other so civility goes out the window.

We usually plan a small egg hunt in someone’s backyard with relatives or friends. MUCH more fun!

We also designate eggs of a specific color (usually blue) for the toddlers and ‘hide’ those in the most obvious spots. The big kids are told to leave the blue eggs for the little kids, and they usually comply — they don’t want the disgrace of showing up at the end with ‘baby’ eggs in their basket!

roberto23

March 29th, 2012
3:18 am

[...] Easter egg hunt canceled due to aggressive parentsThe Associated Press is reporting that a Colorado town has canceled its annual Easter egg hunt due to the behavior of aggressive parents who swarmed into the tiny park last year, determined that their kids get an egg. “That hunt was over in seconds, to the consternation of egg-less tots and their [...]

KMomof2

March 29th, 2012
10:02 am

What is sad about this cancellation is: parents will just explain away the matter. “They canceled it because they felt it was too much trouble…” Not because of bad behavior on the part of the parents. Sure, life isn’t fair for most – but do you really want an all-out fight for some eggs? The values are really screwed when parents feel their son/daughter will be slighted, so they need to intervene. Guess what: back-in-the day, there was a game called “Musical Chairs.” No one plays that anymore, because someone’s feelings might get hurt. Too bad, I was waiting for a lawsuit to follow over egg distribution bias on behalf of parks and recreation.

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