‘Lawn­mower par­ents’ cut into child’s path

Well-mean­ing adults can’t remove all hurdles

USA TODAY Weekend Extra - - LIFE - Sonja Haller

The Duchess of Sus­sex has seen quite a bit of at­ten­tion in Aus­tralia dur­ing her tour of the coun­try with Prince Harry, es­pe­cially af­ter the an­nounce­ment that the cou­ple is ex­pect­ing a baby next year. But Duchess Meghan has proven to be up for the chal­lenge with her sen­si­ble and sen­sa­tional fash­ion. Here are some of her looks that have been a hit down un­der. Sun shine Meghan pulled out this striped sun­dress by de­signer Martin Grant for a visit to a lo­cal beach. Ca­sual coat At an In­vic­tus Games event, Meghan chose a more in­for­mal look with Mother skinny jeans and a white Al­tuzarra blazer.

Green with envy Are you sick of par­ent la­bels?

I am.

He­li­copter, free-range, tiger, ele­phant par­ents – the par­ent­ing world teems with la­bels.

One thing about the lat­est la­bel: You don’t want to be a lawn­mower par­ent. But you prob­a­bly are.

Lawn­mower par­ent­ing has made a swift rise in pub­lic con­scious­ness thanks to a vi­ral post by a Weareteach­ers.com mem­ber, an on­line com­mu­nity for teach­ers.

An anony­mous mem­ber of the or­ga­ni­za­tion wrote in the es­say that lawn­mower par­ents mow down all of chil­dren’s chal­lenges, dis­com­forts and strug­gles.

The teacher au­thor shared a story of be­ing called to the of­fice, ex­pect­ing to re­trieve a stu­dent’s for­got­ten meal money or in­haler. In­stead, a sheep­ish par­ent in a suit was drop­ping off an ex­pen­sive wa­ter bot­tle af­ter re­peated texts from a child. Wa­ter foun­tains ex­ist all over the school. The poster’s un­spo­ken re­sponse: WHAT ON THIS AC­TUAL EARTH.

The Face­book post has been shared more than 12,000 times – by par­ents and teach­ers alike – be­cause ev­ery­one has a lawn­mower par­ent mo­ment to share, Han­nah Hud­son, Weareteach­ers.com ed­i­to­rial di­rec­tor told All the Moms.

“I think ev­ery­body has been a lawn­mower par­ent at one time,” Hud­son said. “Even teach­ers be­cause they’re par­ents, too. It’s a nat­u­ral ten­dency to want to help kids.”

Hud­son shared lawn­mower par­ent sto­ries that came from the es­say:

❚ The par­ent of a high-school stu­dent who asked a teacher to walk a stu­dent to class to as­sure that the stu­dent would not be late.

❚ An emailed story about a par­ent who re­quested some­one from the cafe­te­ria blow on their child’s lunch to cool it down.

❚ A par­ent who called to sched­ule a make-up test when the stu­dent was clearly old enough to re­quest a time.

Block­ing the path to adult­hood

The prob­lem is not a par­ent’s will­ing­ness to help a child suc­ceed, that’s ad­mirable and un­der­stand­able. The prob­lem comes from a par­ent’s re­peated ef­forts to elim­i­nate any and all strug­gle so that chil­dren are ill-equipped when they grow up and life in­evitably goes side­ways, Hud­son said.

The es­say closes by ref­er­enc­ing the 2016 post by as­sis­tant Duquesne Univer­sity col­lege pro­fes­sor Karen Fancher who says that lawn­mower par­ent­ing of Re­spect­ful

For a more somber event, the Duchess wore an Emilia Wick­stead dress and Philip Treacy fas­ci­na­tor to lay a wreath at a memo­rial for fallen sol­diers. Blue belle The Duchess wore sev­eral Aus­tralian de­sign­ers, in­clud­ing this navy dress from Dion Lee. younger chil­dren leads to col­lege stu­dents who can’t make de­ci­sions.

Fancher writes that as adults or just on the precipice of adult­hood, th­ese stu­dents have com­mu­ni­ca­tion dif­fi­cul­ties, lack a sense of per­sonal mo­ti­va­tion and be­lieve they’re not good enough to ac­com­plish things on their own be­cause lawn­mower par­ents have cleared and charted paths and re­moved ob­sta­cles.

Help or lawn­mower hin­drance?

But how do you tell the dif­fer­ence be­tween le­git­i­mate help­ing or even a nec­es­sary par­ent res­cue ver­sus lawn­mower par­ent­ing?

It’s tricky, Hud­son said.

When your child has worked for Dou­ble duchess Duchess Meghan had this two-tone dress from Roxsan­dra for sev­eral oc­ca­sions, in­clud­ing a visit with the coun­try’s prime min­is­ter. weeks on a re­port and even set it out where they wouldn’t for­get it, but it’s for­got­ten on the kitchen counter, do you rush it to school? That’s a par­ent’s call.

At least when it comes to rush­ing things down to the school, Hud­son likes a sug­ges­tion she heard since the post ran in Au­gust. If there were no smart­phones, would the child feel his or her re­quest was enough of an emer­gency to use the school of­fice phone to call the par­ent about? Then it might be a le­git­i­mate res­cue sce­nario.

“We don’t want to see our chil­dren fail. We want to set them up for suc­cess,” she said, adding that might mean par­ents con­sider their child’s fu­ture. “Some­times we have to think about what that (suc­cess) means.”

Meghan donned an an­kle-length, short sleeves dress by Bran­don Maxwell with a pleated skirt for a re­cep­tion in Sydney.


Lawn­mower par­ents “go to what­ever lengths nec­es­sary to pre­vent their child from hav­ing to face ad­ver­sity, strug­gle, or fail­ure,” a teacher wrote.


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