Lawnmower Parents Are the New Helicopter Parents & We Are Not Here for It
Lawnmower parents go to whatever lengths necessary to prevent their child from having to face adversity, struggle, or failure.
Instead of preparing children for challenges, they mow obstacles down so kids won’t experience them in the first place.
I think that most lawnmower parents come from a good place. Maybe they experienced a lot of shame around failure as a child. Or maybe they felt abandoned by their parents in their moments of struggle, or dealt with more obstacles than most. Any of us—even non-parents—can empathize with the motivations of a person not wanting to see their child struggle.
But in raising children who have experienced minimal struggle, we are not creating a happier generation of kids. We are creating a generation that has no what idea what to do when they actually encounter struggle. A generation who panics or shuts down at the mere idea of failure. A generation for whom failure is far too painful, leaving them with coping mechanisms like addiction, blame, and internalization. The list goes on.
If we eliminate all struggle in children’s younger years, they will not arrive at adulthood magically equipped to deal with failure.
Indeed, childhood is when they learn these skills.
A child who has never had to deal with conflict on their own will not approach the first test they bomb in college and say, “Yikes. I really need to study harder. I’ll reach out to the graduate assistant and see if they know of study groups I can join or other materials I can read to do better on the next one.” Instead, they will very likely respond in one or more of the following ways:
- Blame the professor
- Call home and beg their parents to intervene
- Have a mental breakdown or make themselves miserable
- Write nasty reviews online about the professor and their class
- Begin planning for the inevitable destruction of their college career/future
- Assume they failed because they’re stupid
- Collapse in on themselves and give up completely and stop trying
Scary, right? I see similar versions of these same behaviors as a middle school teacher all the time.
Source: WeAreTeachers | Lawnmower Parents Are the New Helicopter Parents & We Are Not Here for It, https://www.weareteachers.com/lawnmower-parents | Copyright © 2018
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