Everything You Need To Know About Lawn Mower Parenting

We have Tiger and Helicopter parents and now, we have Lawn Mower parents too!

We have Tiger and Helicopter parents and now, we have Lawn Mower parents too!
You’d be forgiven for not understanding what all these labels mean and it can get confusing. Luckily, here in the FFHQ office we are something of experts when it comes to parenting labels and when we heard about Lawn Mower Parenting, it really piqued our interest.
Here is everything you need to know about Lawn Mower Parenting:
So, let’s begin with what exactly Lawn Mower Parenting is: Lawn Mower Parenting is a label put on parents who exhibit certain behaviours towards or because of their children. It is termed as being “excessively involved in your child’s life” and the “lawn mower” reference comes from parents actively taking away the obstacles their children face daily. Does that sound like you?
The consensus is, that parents will smooth over all their children’s potential problems and therefore, they may not learn how to be self-sufficient or independent.
Some examples of Lawn Mower Parenting include:
  • Bowing to your child’s every whimsical instead of letting them learn to be patient.
  • Taking care of your child by blowing their food to cool it down instead of letting them learn how to do so themselves.
  • Letting your child dictate the family schedule and allowing them to feel the most important person in the family!
  • Refusing to let your child learn themselves and inadvertently interrupting their attempts at doing things.
In fairness, it seems this style of parenting is about the parent wanting to ensure their child is happy, cared for and loved but they may be going a little too far in their efforts.
Lawn Mower Parenting is continuously blasted by teachers and professors in schools and colleges as they see first-hand the silly behaviour.
Teachers want their students to learn how to pack their own bag, clean up after themselves and play with others through a child who is parented this way, may feel it isn’t fair when no one plays the game they like.
Without these basic lessons then, students are not as self-sufficient as other kids who are left to their own devices – within reason.
If you are a Lawn Mower Parent or are at risk of becoming one, take a step back and look at what you are doing.
Taking away challenges or obstacles in your child’s life is sending out mixed messages, one – you think they are incapable of doing these things themselves and therefore, not encouraging independence and self-sufficiency and two – you are showing them that they don’t need to do anything for themselves.
There is a wonderful line between doing too much for your child and not doing enough but it is a line every parent must organise.
Taking away any struggle a child faces is not sustainable as eventually they will have to face problems and deal with them. A parent can’t be with their child every single hour of their life and teaching them how to be confident in their own life skills is the best lesson any parent can give their child.
Emma Hayes is a thirty-something mum of two girls aged 16 and 10, planting her right into the teenage and tween-age years! Follow her on Twitter at @EmmaHayes25.

Emma Hayes

Emma Hayes is a busy mum to two girls aged 17 and 11 and is married to her childhood sweetheart.

Read more by Emma
{{ post.excerpt }}
{{ post.content.formatted }}

What is Family Friendly HQ?

Family Friendly HQ is Ireland’s trusted parenting community, dedicated to mums and dads, and families of all shapes and sizes.

Read more about us