“Specialness” of Easter Ruined by Retailers and Indulgent Parents
By: Beth McHugh 2009
We’ve just passed through another Easter period and the usual tales of Easter excess have reached my ears once again. Whether or not Easter is celebrated as a religious event in your family, it is still a special time of year for the very least reason that it provides a break in the working and school year. It is a time for family get-togethers or just general unwinding, on a secular if not religious level.
Yet the retailers persist in placing Easter eggs out on display almost as soon as Christmas has departed. Certainly after Valentine’s Day has come and gone the blitz really begins. Even hot cross buns – the special staple of Easter – are available weeks before that actual Easter holiday period.
What effect does this have on our children and even ourselves? Well, I know it stresses out mothers, who find they have to deflect countless requests for eggs in the shops from about February onwards. This “spreading out” of Easter over a period of months takes away the specialness that this time has for children, whether they are educated in the Christian faith or simply enjoy a visit from the Easter bunny. It dilutes the excitement and makes it all ho-hum. This makes for bored and ultimately spoiled children who need more and more to stimulate their already overstimulated senses.
But it gets worse! A friend’s 18 year old son was given a dirt bike for his Easter present plus a $350 helmet to go with it. I asked was he too big for Easter eggs, only to be told that he got a pile of them too! This surely is a recipe for disaster for this young man, who is being indulged by his parents, has no part-time job, and does no chores around the house while his parents struggle to pay the mortgage now that one partner has been retrenched.
This behavior by parents is on the increase as we are breeding a generation of not only spoiled over-aged children, but “children” who are so blasé about life and what it has to offer, that depression caused by an increasing sense of meaningless is becoming a serious problem.
Having Easter eggs on display months before Easter, and Christmas decorations
in shops in September may seem like merely overkill and a greedy grab
at more sales by retailers, but it is yet another negative channel that
affects the emotional wellbeing of our children, the adults of the future.
It is up to present-day parents to say “no” to both retailers
and their children and not encourage these practices. Of course, we
have to be disciplined as parents and not succumb to buying early hot-cross
buns ourselves! Instead we need to look at the bigger picture and whether
a treat of a chocolate rabbit in February is worth it in the long haul
of our children’s emotional wellbeing.