By now, we’ve all read about the helicopter parents who ruined Old Colorado City’s Easter egg hunt, but was it really overzealous parents or just poor planning?
A few years ago, I took my daughters, then four and one, to a local Easter egg hunt held at a large public park. There were hundreds and hundreds of kids, and it seemed like a ratio of four adults per kid—most adults holding various cameras, camcorders or phones up to record their tots having fun searching for eggs.
Five minutes after the bullhorn announced the start of the hunt, the tens of thousands of mini chocolate eggs were gone, my kids having scored exactly three cheap chocolate eggs each. They were thrilled with their meagre haul. I was incensed.
I wasn’t mad because my kids didn’t get enough chocolate, I was mad because many small children didn’t get even a single egg (my four-year-old helped the smaller kids around her find eggs, once she had three of her own). There were eight-, nine-, and ten-year-old kids with baskets overflowing with the eggs – an embarrassment of waxy, foil-covered chocolates.
And there were those kids’ parents, praising them for having bowled over tiny tots in their race to collect, what? Six dollars worth of stale chocolate?
What were these parents thinking? Why did none of the parents around me use this as an excellent opportunity to teach their children about sharing, empathy, and just plain personal restraint?
Ever since then, I’ve organized my own egg hunt, for my daughter and her friends, at a small park. Each parent contributes a few filled eggs or five dollars, and I set up a few minutes before the barrage of minivans drive up. We stay and play in the park afterwards and the kids have always been quick to ensure themselves that everyone has their fair share.
Want to plan your own Easter egg hunt? Check out these great YMC tips on hosting a great egg hunt.