You may be all too familiar with the term Helicopter Parents, used to describe parents who constantly hover over their children to avoid issues. But the newest terminology these past few years is for a new type of parenting style that’s of course, quite similar: Lawnmower Parents.
What Do Lawnmower Parents Do?
For the most part, lawnmower parenting revolves around parents who control any and all scenarios so their children are not faced with any struggle, adversity, or failure. This is a tall order to accomplish, but many parents are afraid of their children struggling in life overall, that this feels like a simple step in avoiding confrontation whatsoever. The premise of the lawnmower is that instead of a child facing a challenge or issue, the parent simply “mows” down the problem before it even becomes an issue. It may seem innocent enough of a behavior to most parents, wanting to help their children through life without as many struggles as they may have had growing up. But this type of growing up is not ideal for anyone of any age, and it can only create more problems down the road.
We all know how difficult it is to deal with stressful situations or events, and struggle through with a resolution or what feels like a resolution. It can be messy, dirty, and take a toll on you emotionally. But it also has to happen throughout any one individual life, too. For many parents today, they may feel like they had a rough childhood or did in fact have a lot of struggles growing up, and felt more changed than necessary because of it. When they become parents, they then feel the need to eliminate those feelings and growth since they don’t want their children to have to go through it either.
But the truly hard part about parenting is about letting go. This will be the biggest struggle of any parent’s job as their child grows up, as we all want to protect those we love. Even non-parents can empathize and relate to wanting to shield loved ones from having to deal with pain and making tough decisions. But that is life, in a nutshell. And if every parent is successfully handling every stressful situation for their child, then their child is going to grow up not knowing how to handle anything. If even a small issue arises, this generation won’t know what to do, and may simply shut down. No decisions will be made, and it will be an even bigger dilemma to this current generation since they haven’t experienced anything close to it yet.
As parents, it’s vital to continually remind yourself that you need to let your child experience these situations as they come up, no matter how stressful they can be for them. The best way you can help them is to guide or discuss the situations with them, instead of “mowing” it down before they realized what happened. This will be the best teaching lesson you can give them!