On a lighter note, I came across this article and thought we should read it to see if there are things we are doing that we need to stop. I am sure we are all doing at least one of them; however, if you are doing most, it might be time to have a rethink about whether you are doing too much and need to give your child opportunities to develop independence and resilience.
8 SIGNS YOU ARE DEFINITELY A LAWNMOWER PARENT
Although the term lawnmower parenting - describing mums and dads who will do just about anything to ensure their kids do not have to deal with any type of struggle - is not new, a teacher's viral essay on the subject has brought the parenting style into the spotlight. According to the anonymous teacher: "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 will not experience them in the first place." Know a parent or two like this? Possibly yourself? Read through for the signs that you are most definitely giving off those lawnmower parent vibes.
1. You bring forgotten belongings to school.
As soon as your child texts that they left something behind, you are on your way - whether you were in the middle of something else, will be late to work if you stop by the school, or even if you have already told them no, all they need to do is ask a bit harder before you cave.
2. You pick up their room for them, do their laundry and clean up their dinner plates.
You are getting ready in the morning and you rush over when your child says, "Can you put my shoes on for me, I'm tired?" Classic lawnmower parenting is ensuring your child never has to struggle, even at home. If you are doing all of your kids' chores for them, picking things up that they drop, or giving in when they ask you to get their coat from the closet, you are enabling them to the max - and they might even be manipulating you because they know they can.
3. You blame their teachers for their bad grades.
At a parent-teacher conference, you are much more likely to blame their teachers for not teaching your child correctly or thoroughly, rather than turning to your child and evaluating whether they are doing everything they can to succeed in school.
4. You push for them to be in classes or activities above their level.
Raise your hand if you are calling the school to ask they be put in an Honors class rather than regular because it will "boost their confidence," or you are assuring their karate instructor that yes, they actually do deserve their next belt despite not meeting the requirements for it. Although you are not "mowing down" potential struggles and adversities for your kids in these cases, for the sake of boosting their self-esteem and confidence, you could actually be setting them up for failures in situations they are ill-equipped for.
5. You handle any type of situation that might make them uncomfortable by talking for them.
Maybe you think your child is too shy to order what they want in a restaurant, so you say, "He will have the grilled cheese." Or perhaps you are one to call their soccer coach to ask them why they are not playing much or what they need to do to be a first-string player on the team. In both cases, you are the one handling their business for them, when they could be learning how to tackle these scenarios themselves - especially if they are teens getting ready to go off to University in a few years.
6. You break up fights between friends and siblings before they are resolved.
It can be tough - even annoying - to watch your kids fight with their siblings or friends, so as a lawnmower parent, you typically tend to intervene. Rather than letting the fight rage on and get worse before it gets better, you find a way to remove the catalyst and redirect the kids to something else.
7. You spend hours Googling Maths equations and Science facts to "help" with homework.
Whether it is your child's nightly homework or a big project that is due, you rush to help them even when you have no idea what they are actually doing. Instead of telling your child to check their textbooks, do some research, and refer to their class notes, you would rather help them out - aka mostly do it for them - to make sure their work is "perfect."
8. Your child crumbles in the face of failure.
At any point your child feels overwhelmed, anxious, or like they have failed or will fail at something, they lose it. Because you are handling so many aspects of their life for them, coddling them when they need something, and resolving issues for them, they have no idea how to do any of that themselves when you are not around. This results in tears, fears, and probably tantrums if they are little.