A canceled Easter egg hunt in Colorado Springs, Colo., that made national news this week is endemic of the sort of parenting that is gravely damaging to the afflicted offspring.
And the real trouble is, far too many children these days are thus afflicted.
We’re talking about helicopter parenting, which, when taken to extremes, is crippling our kids’ ability to cope with the inevitable pitfalls of life – in short, to chin up, regroup and try again or move on.
The story we’re referring to, published in the Northwest Herald on Tuesday, had to do with the cancellation of a hunt in Old Colorado City this year because parents at last April’s hunt ran amok. The hunt “was over in seconds, to the consternation of eggless tots and the rules-abiding parents,” the AP article read.
What happened? We bet you can guess.
“Too many parents determined to see their children get an egg jumped a rope marking the boundaries of the children-only hunt at Bancroft Park.”
This is but one example of parents who are unwilling to allow their children to compete if competition means the child might be disappointed. It’s pathetic, and as stated earlier, it does the affected children no favors.
What better place to learn that not everyone wins at every opportunity than in the relatively safe environs of an Easter egg hunt, or, for that matter, a Little League baseball or T-ball game? Too many of the latter these days are scoreless affairs, lest the children be “traumatized” by losing a game.
What happens later, when these children are young adults facing the real world of competing against other job applicants, or competing with colleagues for a promotion? Well, if the hyper-zealous helicopter parents among us have their way, they’ll swoop in again.
Whatever happened to helping a child’s independence and self-esteem grow with each passing year toward adulthood? It’s past time for the parenting pendulum to swing.