At worst, “lawnmower parents” train their children to fear failure. We explain what lies behind the pedagogical method.
How should I raise my children? All parents probably ask this question. There is probably no easy answer to that. A pediatrician believes that parents should not be so perfectionistic – it is more important that they engage with their child instead of “turning it off” with technical devices. But perfectionism is easier said than done. Because there are also some educational methods that experts clearly advise against. One of them is the “submarine parent” who jeopardizes their children’s success by going underground.
Even helicopter parents like to be smiled at. They constantly hover over their children and are overprotective, which, according to an American study, makes children of helicopter parents more successful later on. However, it becomes difficult when the parents get out of the helicopter, start the lawnmower and use it to cut down any blade of grass, no matter how small, that grows in front of their children. Then we talk about lawnmower parents. But what is so worrying about them?
Lawn Mower Parents Deny Their ‘Kids Chance to Overcome Obstacles’
As a rule, lawnmower parents mean it only to their children. But that’s the problem, psychologist Jenny Grant told Rankin NBC News. “These parents think they are helping their children, but [sie] deprive the children of the opportunity to overcome obstacles,’ explains the education expert. An example of this is a parent who runs after their child the violin they left at home. In fact, the child would learn an important message from his forgotten instrument: that big and small accidents and failures are part of life.
But if that opportunity is denied, children never learn to deal with life’s obstacles or failures in a healthy way, explains Rankin NBC News. “Children who make the best of everything and do not have the opportunity to learn to accept failure will later have difficulty coping with the chaotic nature of life.” Such children are also less able to show gratitude – but this is an important factor in relation to being happy.
Lawn mower parents are a big topic for teachers
The Institute for Integrative Learning Therapy and Continuing Education also provides other examples of lawnmower parents. Lawnmower parents are a big topic, especially for teachers, because they often find a lawnmower dad writing an essay for his child or a lawnmower mom helping with a chemistry experiment.
An extreme example of this type of lawnmower training can be found in the case of “Desperate Housewife” actress Felicity Huffman, about whom, among other things, South German newspaper reported. She teamed up with other parents to cheat their children out of a place at prestigious US universities for huge sums of money and was indicted for it in 2019. Also extreme are these “boomer” grandparents who cross borders – mothers reveal how toxic it is .
In a post at Sat.1 breakfast television says teacher and father Arne Ulbricht about experiences with lawnmower parents. Older students would also receive emails in which parents negotiated grades for their children. “Lawnmower parents prevent their children from being independent,” says the teacher and author (here we write about 13 great teachers who really work hard for their students). “Secretly, parents just think they are doing something good for their child. But they don’t,’ says Ulbricht.
helicopter mom? Christine Lambrecht pays 261 euros for her son’s Sylt flight on the government plane – she has to listen to comments on Twitter.
Lawnmower parents must learn to reinterpret success
In addition to the psychologist Rankin expresses himself in NBC News-Articles from other experts on lawnmower parents. The desire to help is natural, so parents should also be kind to themselves, says family therapist Saba Harouni Lurie. It is important to reinterpret success. Success then no longer means good grades, perfect homework or not a single missed violin lesson, but that children develop independence and resilience.
“Then we can focus our energy on helping them achieve it. At the same time, we give them the opportunity to have their own experiences and resist projecting our lives onto them, says Lurie. NBC News. She recommends that people who find themselves behaving like lawnmower parents make a list. This should indicate what success looks like to you personally. The definition can then be gradually revised.
It is important to be patient and not give up immediately. “It will be difficult at first: your child will not like the change and will push you to go back to your old ways, so be strong. Good parenting will be easier,” says Lurie bei NBC News and recommends that anyone who wants to be a less lawnmower parent read Carol Dweck’s book Mindset to help raise children to be more independent and resilient.
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