A popular Easter egg hunt in Colorado has been cancelled this year. Organizers said the original intent of the event was to be a neighborhood event, allowing the children some fun and creating a sense of community. Last year, however, technical difficulties meant that there was no place to hide the eggs so they were placed in plain view on a stretch of grass for the children to run to. A lot of parents then skipped the rope barring them from the children’s area and snatched up the eggs to make sure their own child got one. Apparently it’s more important that their child get an egg than have fun competing for one. The hunt was over before the children with empty baskets got properly into the field.
The ‘lucky’ children then got handed an egg by their parents.
“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.”
This isn’t the first time events have been ruined by pushy helicopter parents and their effect is being seen beyond childhood through college and even into the job market. At least two New York companies now have ‘take your parent to work day’ for new recruits, presumably to address concerns of families and parents before they happen. Colleges have long since given up the fight against encouraging independence for their students to grow intellectually and socially and almost all now have parent orientations.
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.”