How's this for over-the-top? An annual Easter egg hunt for children had to be canceled, due to parents' aggressive behavior. In Colorado Springs, a community event aimed for young children was ruined last year when adults climbed over the kid-friendly rope to make sure their kids got 'enough' eggs. "They couldn't resist getting over the rope to help their kids," Ron Alsop, a former Wall Street Journal reporter and author of The Trophy Kids Grow Up, stated. So, the solution was to cancel the event.Can you imagine that? Parents feel the need to give their kids an 'advantage' on a free Easter egg hunt. Once again, we see a situation where, left alone, children would have been just fine. Seriously, what's the worst that could happen if the adults had stayed on 'their side' of the rope? A few children might have come away empty-handed. Not the end of the world. It could even have become a teachable moment. Perhaps other children might have been coaxed into sharing their eggs with each other. Or families could have stopped on the way home for some ice cream to cheer up an unhappy child.
Sadly, these were quotes from parents involved: "People just want the best for their kids", said one mom. And my favorite: "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."
Here's what parents need to know. Disappointment is part of life; it builds resilience in kids to realize that things don't always go their way. That sometimes others get what we want. The real parenting question is: How do we help them to handle life's experiences? Do we promise them things we cannot guarantee? Do we run over all the others in the way of our children's path? Apparently, there is a large contingent of parents out there who can justify bad behavior by insisting they're just trying to "do the best" for their children.
What will it take for parents to understand that they are doing their children harm when they behave this way? We cannot bubble-wrap our children's lives if we want them to become independent, unselfish and productive members of society.
Does this story alarm you? How would you have acted during/after if your children were at the event?
Boston Irish is really Maureen O'Brien, a parenting coach and author. Besides being a proud Yahoo! Shine Parenting Guru, Maureen enjoys sharing her child-rearing expertise on galtime.com and at www.destinationparenting.com. She is passionate about all things parenting!