I’m going to be real here; you are screwing up your kids. Somehow, some way, you are doing something that isn’t perfect, isn’t recommended, and might let your kids down in some innocuous or blatant way. Only time will tell. But rest assured, there is something you’re doing wrong.
But in case you’re not sure how you’re screwing it up, worry not. There is a new label out there you’re invited to peruse for fit.
Ladies and gentleman, I give you: lawn mower parents.
How do you know if you are one? Well, picture it like someone who is running in front of you while you meander through a field of weeds, levelling the growth so that you have a smooth walk. That’s a lawn mower parent.
If you want to get illustrative, if you’ve ever rushed your kids’s forgotten lunch to school, go to the Lawnmower Parent store and grab yourself a t-shirt – you’re one of us!
Honestly, I get it – people need to do some sort of research in order to justify their existence in their field but for effs sakes, can we stop coming up with these ridiculous terms to box parents into based on behaviours that are not at all independent from the other dozens of things we do or say to or for our kids on any given day?
Yeah yeah yeah, If we do everything for our kids they’ll grow up to be entitled little pissants who don’t know how to do a thing for themselves. We all look at today’s generation and roll our eyes and say ‘back when I was a kid, I had walk to school without shoes in the dead of winter up hill both ways and no one was bringing my lost lunch and if I had a flu I was going anyway because kids gotta be brought up tough and we need to be hit more and that’s why kids these days….’
We are grasping for reasons the generation proceeding ours seem to be worse than our generation was, as if our generation wasn’t similarly scrutinized and judged but our parents'.
Are kids just worse these days? I mean, yes, some of them probably are. Is it possible their parents helicoptered or attached or lawn mowed too much? Possibly. Possibly not. Obviously if children never get to figure stuff out for themselves it will much harder when shit hits the fan and no one is there in the real world to clear the path to a simple solution. Do we need a study to tell us that? Methinks not.
What is the point of this study though? Are parents who are inclined to bring their kids’ missed lunches to school going to suddenly be enlightened and just stop? And, even if they do, does that mean they’re not otherwise screwing up their kid in another way?
Look, I appreciate that these studies try to give us parents productive, useful information that will empower us to make better, healthier decisions for our kids – after all, we want the best for them, don’t we?
If we’re going to start with analogies like lawn mowers, I’m going to ask what kind? Like, what if it’s one of those manual ones? They’re a bitch to push. They might do the job but they are SLOW. Might not be worth the wait. Or what about those fancy ones that have bags that catch all the grass? Would that be considered a full-coverage lawn mower parent? Or the ones that don’t, so you still gotta clean up the grass that’s everywhere in the lawn and will look like shit until SOMEONE rakes it up, and it’s not gonna be me because I just mowed the damn thing! Are those lawn mower parents still giving their kids SOME crap to deal with?
So maybe, let’s as a community of parents, agree to ignore these stupid studies that try to label the entirety of how we parent based on how we handle specific scenarios and just accept that even if you don’t lawn mower or helicopter or attach - I hate to be the bearer of bad news - you’re still probably screwing up your kids. At least according to some study somewhere related to something you do.