Tools are meant to make certain tasks easier. Whether it is a hammer for driving in a nail or tweezers for getting out a splinter, tools are designed to make us more effective. There are mechanisms in all areas of life that are designed to make life easier. Washing machines make cleaning clothes more effortless, silverware cause eating to be a bit cleaner, and helicopters cause transportation times to be shrunk significantly. Tools make tasks easier, but used incorrectly they can cause a lot of damage. The same can be said of parenting.
We’ve all probably heard of the team “helicopter parenting”. The idea of hovering around your kids to ensure their safety and best is applaudable. However, that hovering may cause greater harm than good over the long haul. Helicopter parents hover and remove potential threats before they get to their child or they remove the child before they hit potential struggles. Both are not as it should be. Even with all the understanding of how challenges produce growth, it seems a new type of parenting has emerged doing kids an even greater disservice. This new parenting style is called lawnmower parenting.
Lawnmower parenting can actually be destructive to a child’s formation. In an effort to save kids from suffering, cut down any seeming difficulty. In the name of “what is best for my kid”, parents plow through any conflict for the child leaving the child an easy, struggle-free environment. But Matt Haviland outlines why this style of parenting is detrimental to children in his article “3 Signs You’re a Lawnmower Parent“. While I hope I am not a lawnmower parent, I know I can get caught up in paving an easy path for my kids.
How about you? If you’re a parent do you see any ways in which you try to knock down challenges for your kids? As someone who was once a child, can you look back and see how difficulty was the soil in which character grew for you? I’d love to hear about a tough experience you had that matured you or a time when, as a parent, you didn’t remove an obstacle from your kid’s life and it proved a great opportunity for growth in them and discussion for you both.
As always be with the Lord’s people on the Lord’s day!
Until Next Time…