Have you ever heard of helicopter parents? The name says it all, really. Helicopter parents hover over their children’s shoulders in an effort to anticipate their every need.
Well, there is a new branch of parenting related to helicopter parents called lawnmower parenting.
What are lawnmower parents? And how can you learn to recognize this parenting style?
Here’s a quick beginners guide to lawnmower parenting and its side effects.
What Is A Lawnmower Parent?
Lawnmower parenting is a style of parenting that emphasizes protection and safeguarding. Parents who use this parenting style will go to any lengths to keep their children safe, and to make their children’s lives easier.
And this is where the lawnmower of lawnmower parent comes into play.
Like a lawnmower, these parents are ready to mow down any obstacle that is in their children’s way.
This parenting style is deeply motivated by a desire to see your child safe, secure, and free from harm.
And it seems obvious, doesn’t it? Who would ever want to see their child struggling or in pain?
But while this parenting style is motivated by positive intentions, it can have some negative consequences.
That’s because the children of lawnmower parents are less prepared than their peers to take on the challenges of the world. Because their parents took care of so many of the difficulties in their lives, they lack the problem-solving skills of other children who were given more autonomy.
3 Common Side Effects Of Lawnmower Parenting
Even though the initial intentions of lawnmower parents are good, there are some unintentional consequences of this parenting style:
1. Underdeveloped emotional skills
When parents try to keep their children from encountering obstacles, they’re keeping them from learning how to deal with discomfort.
As a result, children are unable to develop the skills they need to navigate difficult and challenging emotions.
2. Impaired problem solving
When life gives you lemons, you’ve somehow got to find a way to turn them into lemonade, right?
But children with lawnmower parents aren’t given the opportunity to build these types of problem-solving skills.
This may not seem like a big deal during childhood, but if this continues into adulthood, it can limit an individual’s ability to take on daily life tasks.
3. Undeveloped self-esteem
This is a particularly counterintuitive side effect of lawnmower parenting – and an unintentional one at that.
But children with parents who constantly work to circumnavigate the stresses and dangers in their lives learn to be fearful of themselves.
Their parent’s perception of the world seeps into their subconscious. They learn that the world is large and dangerous and overwhelming.
Is lawnmower parenting wrong?
There’s nothing explicitly wrong with any form of parenting. The key to being a good parent is self-awareness.
Be aware of your needs. Be aware of your child’s needs. And do your best to facilitate open lines of communication.
If you’re looking for some guidance in the parenting arena, Jon and Missy Butcher, Authors of Mindvalley’s Lifebook Program, have a unique perspective on parenting. They point out some of the downfalls in the industrial age education model and urge parents to take an active role in their children’s lives.
At the end of the day, we have to learn how to encourage our kids to become emotionally healthy individuals able to conquer any challenge they encounter in life.
Have you encountered this type of parenting before? Share your experience with us!