Parents Are Cracking Eggs On Toddlers' Heads For Views – And It's As Mean As It Sounds

Another day, another social media trend that really needs to get in the bin.
Tamer ALKIS via Getty Images

Today in news I never thought I’d have to type: some parents are taking part in a viral Egg Crack challenge on social media, where they smash eggs off their kids’ heads and film it for fun – and it’s left me a little bit speechless.

Parents have filmed themselves making cakes or egg-based meals with their children. So far so normal. But then, without warning, they will crack the egg off their child’s head – which at best, is a shock to their poor unsuspecting child and, at worst, appears to really hurt them.

In some of the videos, they become visibly upset. One little girl bursts into tears while her mum laughs at the camera, another little boy shouts “ouch” in surprise.

Some children take it in good spirits and laugh it off. Others look shocked and carry on as normal. Younger children in particular seem to take it particularly hard – which makes a lot of sense if you consider the person they trust and love most in the world just hit a firm object off their skull without warning.

The trend has really taken off on TikTok with videos racking up hundreds of thousands of views – and a quick scroll through the comments on these clips suggests some people find it hilarious to watch.

But there are far more people who find it less than amusing. Paediatrician Dr Tanya Altmann took to TikTok to ask: “Why would you want to do that to your child? I don’t think it’s really nice or appropriate.”

What’s more, she added that kids will “role model” similar behaviour and try to hit their friends in the head with other things when they’re at school or childcare.

“I love eggs, [they’re a] super healthy breakfast for all ages. I love getting kids in the kitchen,” Dr Altmann said. “But I mean, come on, is there nothing better to do now? Please be nice [and] role model good behaviour to your kids.”

Parenting influencer Sarah Adams (@mom.uncharted), who is known for exploring the state of parental public oversharing and child safety on social media, also couldn’t wrap her head around it.

“What are we doing? Why are we doing this?” she asked in a video post on the topic.

“When I see these videos, I think like: are we that bored as parents and desperate for content ... that we are now, in 2023, cracking eggs on our children’s heads in the hopes that they have an entertaining reaction that we can post publicly online to entertain strangers?”

Other parents were equally as confused and appalled by the trend.

“How are our littles supposed to trust us as parents if this is the crap they experience at such a young stage?” one person responded to Adams’ post.

“It’s immature and stupid. Parents need to do better,” added another.

Sarah Ockwell-Smith, a parenting expert who specialises in the psychology and science of parenting, said the trend is “not funny” and likened it to previous social media ‘challenges’ which saw parents throwing slices of ham and cheese at their children’s faces for clicks. (Yes, that was a thing too.)

“Making children cry for adult entertainment is not funny,” she wrote in an impassioned Instagram post. “Scaring children for adult entertainment is not funny. Shocking children for adult entertainment is not funny. Embarrassing children for adult entertainment is not funny.”

She continued: “Children are people. Children have rights. Children have feelings. Children are worthy of respect. Children are not toys to entertain us.”

Why do people do this?

Ockwell-Smith suggested it stems from childism, which is defined as “a prejudice against children on the ground of a belief that they are property and can (or even should) be controlled, enslaved, or removed to serve adult needs”.

“It all stems from the fact that as children we were treated as ‘less than’ adults,” said the parenting expert.

“We grew up to believe that adults mattered more than children. We may not realise it yet, but we ALL had our human rights infringed again and again and again as children, even by those who loved us most and cared for us most – because they in turn experienced the same as children.”

She called for parents everywhere to do better: “We have to change things. We can be the generation to break the cycle.”