The PEZ Easter Egg Hunt – Where Kids Learned the Wrong Lessons

PEZ Candy USA tried to hold a fun Easter Egg Hunt Saturday in Connecticut that turned into yet another sad lesson for many children on how not to behave…lessons served to them by their own parents.

There were 3 areas for different age groups with staggered times for each age group. There were 10,000 eggs scattered over the 3 areas and parents were told to not enter the areas, that just their children would be allowed in.

Unfortunately before the scheduled first egg hunt time, impatient and greedy parents, with their children, ran onto the first field, quickly cleaned out those eggs in minutes and then went on to the other remaining areas with the same result.

Parents were shoving children down, grabbing eggs out of their hands and created total chaos. “Vincent Welch, a 4-year-old boy, said someone snatched his eggs. ‘Somebody pushed me over and take my eggs and it’s very rude of them and they broke my bucket,’ he said.”

I have seen this kind of “the rules don’t apply to me and my kids” behavior 30 years before and it is still appalling that yet again there are parents who cannot, or refuse to, acknowledge that their selfish and greedy behavior are the wrong lessons being taught to their children.

In 1986 when my daughter was 3, I took her to a local Easter Egg Hunt. The plastic eggs contained either a piece of candy or a piece of paper with a number on it. The papers were to be used to be redeemed for the many toys and stuffed animals displayed in a tent on the site. My daughter, of course, oohed and aahed over the toys and she was hoping to get at least one egg with a coveted numbered paper.

There was no age limit at this hunt so there were many teen-agers there as well. At the signal, there was an insane dash to gather up as many eggs as possible. I was appalled to see teenagers shoving and pushing much smaller children to the ground.

But what angered me the most is that, in spite of the organizers’ announcement before the egg hunt began that parents were not allowed on the field, I saw numerous parents rush out onto the field, also knocking other children down, in their eagerness to have “their” kids get as many eggs as possible.

One father was wearing a flannel shirt over a T-shirt. He partially unbuttoned most of the buttons on his tucked-in flannel shirt and began scooping up handfuls of eggs and shoving them into his shirt.

My daughter got 3 eggs. She would have had 4 except that a teenager grabbed one right out of her little hand. She came back to me crying so hard because she had been knocked down twice by greedy older kids and then had her last found egg stolen from her.

I dried her eyes and I tried hard to somehow explain that sometimes people can be mean but I was proud of her that she got some eggs and that she didn’t do mean things to the other people there to get her eggs.

But I was eyeing that father in the flannel shirt as him and his boy quickly busted open the over 30 eggs that were primarily grabbed by the father. They whooped it up loudly each time they found one of those numbered papers in their eggs. They came back from the tent with at least 10 toys and stuffed animals while Tara tried to content herself with the 3 pieces of candy that were in her eggs.

I had never witnessed before such rapacious greed, disrespect and bad manners. The lessons learned by so many of those kids, taught to them by their parents, is that it doesn’t matter what you have to do to get as much as you want. That it was okay to knock smaller children down, that their own parents didn’t need to follow rules and therefore neither did they and that it was okay to cheat and steal.

I found one of the organizers and pointed out that flannel-shirt dad and the loot he now had. I told him that perhaps a message should be sent to each of those parents who had rushed out onto the field by revoking any eggs and toys they had obtained. He shrugged his shoulders and said that they could not do that, that they had warned the parents not to enter the field and that was the best that they could do.

I also asked him why there was no age limit set to protect the smaller children from the greedy behavior of the much older kids and again he shrugged his shoulders and he walked away from me.

Each year after that I only took my daughter to Easter Egg Hunts that had set age limits with separate areas for the different age levels. She had a much nicer time, even though there were still a few parents who rushed out onto the field to “help” their kids get more eggs.

One year it was announced that there were going to be volunteers who would follow those few parents who refused to follow the rules of the hunt and entered the field. That they would be politely told to put the eggs down that they had grabbed and that they had to leave the field. If they argued they would then be told to take their kids and please leave since they could not follow the rules of the hunt.

That cut down on the greedy behavior of most of the parents although there were a couple of parents who thought that they and their children were above any rules and those parents were politely but firmly dealt with.

The Pez organization did everything they could to ensure fair, equal treatment for all of the kids of all ages but the greedy behavior that I had witnessed over 30 years ago still prevailed.

And, once again, what should have been such a fun day for the children turned into a lesson for them on how so many people can be mean and disrespectful and selfish…including their own parents.

easter eggs


5 thoughts on “The PEZ Easter Egg Hunt – Where Kids Learned the Wrong Lessons

    1. There’s something seriously wrong with our American society that the same selfishness of parents is still occurring even 30 years apart. I think my post-WWII Baby Boomer generation was raised to believe that we are soooo special and that was passed onto the next generations. I wasn’t raised like that but I knew some people my age who were and look what happens: that selfishness and greediness continues down through the generations. Sigh.


  1. Interesting that you associate this behaviour with some of the baby-boomer generation. I’m a baby-boomer, and I think of us as having had a fairly tough upbringing, with little in the way of praise, encouragement, or affection. But I’m also aware that baby-boomers often tried to compensate their kids for what they (the parents) missed out on, and raised a bunch of self-centred brats!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m a baby boomer too and I think that after the scarcity of jobs, food, etc., during the Great Depression then the scarcity of basic items during WWII made some of our parents become more lenient, much more willing and financially able to load our generation up with toys, etc. I heard that a lot from the parents of many friends and relatives: that they did not want their kids to have to have lived like they did during the Depression and WWII. So while I was raising my daughter during the 1980’s and after, I saw and knew a lot of parents around my age (and baby boomers were from the 40’s through the early 60’s) who over-praised and over-indulged their kids into self-centered brats. I think it went from the opposite extreme of what you mentioned (and my parents were not affectionate either, and did not encourage or praise unless it was for something that would reflect back onto them – sorry Mom and Dad, but that is the truth) to this over-indulged and over-praised generation. In our baby boomer generation this was done by people I knew. And now those spoiled brats have had kids who are much worse than they are (or were). So we went from perhaps not enough praise to way, way too much! Now every kid wants a ribbon for just breathing and showing up for something, not for something that has earned and merited genuine praise. We boomers questioned and defied the rules of society in the 60’s and 70’s, and rightfully so, but perhaps our defiance of societal rules has gone overboard with the next generations.

      Liked by 1 person

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