There are so many different ways that people choose to parent. There are two different styles that have made the news in the past few years that I want to discuss.
Most likely you have heard the term “Helicopter Parent”. This is one style I would like to discuss..
A Helicopter Parent is a parent that hangs around and tries to do most things for their child. When their child is facing any sort of adversity they are they trying to fix it.
I have seen a number of examples of Helicopter parenting in my professional and personal life. I had to give my head a shake when Simon first started school to prevent myself from becoming a Helicopter parent.
When I was working in schools I would see the parents that were coming and talking to teachers or the principal about their child’s grades or unfinished assignment. When on the playground, I still see the parents that are right there and their child is 6 or 7. That is a Helicopter Parent!! The person that is constantly hovering around and fixing things for their child.
What happens with the children of Helicopter Parents?
Children that have helicopter parents are often looking for their parent to clear up any issues they have to deal with. They are not even sure how to deal with situations without their parent there.
These children are often looking for their parent to guide them or do it for them. They often do not feel like they can handle things on their own.
How can you prevent yourself from becoming a Helicopter Parent?
To prevent your child from looking to you to protect and fix things for them it is important to step back and let your child know that they can handle the situation.
Discussing possible solutions and empowering your child to problem solve will set your child up for success and prevent you from being a Helicopter.
The next type of Parenting I want to discuss is “Lawnmower Parenting”.
A Lawnmower parent is a parent that is trying to clear the way for their child to make sure their child does not have to deal with any issues. Adversity is moved out of the way and the child can breeze through without issue.
A good example of a Lawnmower parent is a parent that would pay to have their child be given a back door way into a school or sporting programming. (Trust me it happens more than you think…)
Another example is the parent who drops what they are doing to bring their child an item that forgot home. This child would not have to deal with the natural consequence of forgetting things at home.
What happens with the children of Lawnmower Parents?
These children are also very dependent on their parents. They can expect their parents to drop everything they are doing and focus solely on them.
“What do you mean you will not bring my homework to school?” This was something I actually heard a child saying on the phone to their parent. This particular parent was always bringing things to the school and realized she needed to stop as her child came to expect her mom to “rescue her”.
Often these children then expect that all adults will solve their issues. It become obvious very fast which of our older boys friends had lawnmower parents in university. These students were on their own and afraid to make decisions or completely reckless and unaware of the possible repercussions of their behaviour.
How can you prevent yourself from becoming a Lawnmower Parent?
Just like preventing yourself from being a helicopter parent, you can prevent yourself from being a lawnmower by standing back and allowing your child to try new things. Let them know they can try things and let them feel what happens when things do not go according to plan.
Let your child make a mistake and teach them how to learn from them. Mistakes are great!!
If you have any further questions about this, please send me a private message or post in the Facebook group.