The latest thing going viral on parenting sites and hitting TV talk shows is an essay written by a middle school teacher about the dangers of “lawnmower parenting.” The example the teacher used to point at the larger issue was a father who had dropped off a water bottle for his daughter because she kept texting him for it. The term may be new, but the parenting style isn’t. We’ve heard it before – helicopter, bulldozer, and even snowplow.
No matter the name, it describes parents who hover over their children, jumping in to rescue them at the first sign of trouble – mowing down all obstacles in an effort to protect them from any potential inconvenience, problem, or discomfort. No matter what you call it – it isn’t good.
And the professionals sounding the warning bells are not just middle school teachers, pediatricians, and psychologists, but college professors and even employers! It’s because parents have been “lawnmowering” for years and their children, now young adults, are incapable of mowing down their own “grown-up” challenges.
What are the warning signs you’re a lawnmower parent?
- Do you prevent them from exploring their surroundings, especially the playground, for fear they might get hurt?
- Do you continually trail after them applying handsanitizer?
- Do you “come to the rescue” when their friends won’t share a toy or you see a fight in the making?
- Do you go overboard helping with homework or actually do the assignment yourself?
- Do you complain to the coach when your child doesn’t get the position they…
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