by Jessica W.
Every parent wants the best for their child. Children whose parents are highly involved in their lives by providing developmentally appropriate structure have better academic, emotional and social outcomes. They also have more positive peer relationships and fewer behavior problems at school (Schiffrin et al., 2013). However, if the parent does not foster a child’s development appropriately, they may struggle with anxiety and depression, an example of this would be a lawnmower parent. There are many parents in today’s society that are considered a ‘lawnmower’ parent. These parents can be considered ones who walk in front of their child clearing everything that comes in the way making a smooth clear pathway. The goal of this lawnmower parent is to free their child of any anxiety or harm. However, these parents are cheating their children of mastering their own lawns and clearing any obstacles that may come in the way, therefore creating a negative developmental structure for the child.
This phenomenon of the lawnmower parent is well-intentioned, but inappropriate. Commonly lawnmower parents are strict and full of anxiety the moment their child is born and possibly even before the birth of the child. These parents have an excessive anxiety of their child’s safety and don’t trust others surrounding their child. Lawnmower parents may avoid babysitters, teachers, coaches and even physicians…some of these parents may actually argue and disagree with their child’s pediatrician to assure that they’re getting the proper diagnosis. From an article by Bryan Greeson (2015) he states that these parents even push their limits once the child is in college by contacting professors about their children’s grades and even doing the work for the child. If my parents were to contact professors arguing the grades I received I would be so embarrassed; however, sometimes these children are unaware of their parents actions.
Unsurprisingly, there’s going to come a point in these children’s lives when they won’t have their parents to lean on. If these children of the lawnmower parents decide to have children of their own, they will have difficulty teaching independence, confidence and work ethic. Also these future parents will lack the ability to discipline their child or children since they haven’t learned these assets themselves. Therefore, by having or being a lawnmower parent you are actually creating a negative environment for your child. These children will not be able to grow and develop as well as those children who had non-lawnmower parents. By providing a positive development as parents, youth are more likely to succeed.
I can’t personally relate to being raised by a lawnmower parent, growing up my parents were laid back and supportive but also had rules that I had to follow or there were consequences, pretty much your average parents. However, growing up I had a friend whose mom can be considered a lawnmower parent. Growing up with this friend I remember her mom used to tell her that she wasn’t allowed to go to any of her friends houses to play, she insisted that her friends must come to their house instead. Also this mother would always be coming to school dropping off her daughter lunch and checking in on how she was doing as well as always having parent teacher meetings. As far as college and university goes I’m sure this mother is butting her nose in contacting the daughters professors questioning the marks in which the daughter received.
Obviously, I don’t believe that there are any benefits of lawnmower parents. I think that parents should be there to guide and support their child and teach them how to deal with real life situations. The affects of being that over active parent leads to the child acting out and misbehaving, nonetheless it also leads to mental health problems. Therefore don’t be an overbearing parent, create a positive developmental environment for your child and guide it to success.
Schiffrin, H.H., Liss, M., Miles-McLean, H. et al. J Child Fam Stud (2014) 23: 548. doi:10.1007/s10826-013-9716-3
Greeson, B. (2015). Move over helicopter parents, meet the lawnmower parents. Gaston Gazette. Retrieved 3 November 2016, from http://www.gastongazette.com/article/20151130/NEWS/151139937
Locke, J. Y., Campbell, M. A., & Kavanagh, D. (2012). Can a parent do too much for their child? An examination by parenting professionals of the concept of over parenting. Australian Journal of Guidance and Counselling, 22(02), 249-265.
Desai, A. & Desai, A. (2016). Here Come The Lawnmower Parents, A Breed That Is More Aggressive Than Helicopter Parents. The Inquisitr News. Retrieved 3 November 2016, from http://www.inquisitr.com/1535202/here-come-the-lawnmower-parents-a-breed-that-is-more-aggressive-than-helicopter-parents/