We do rather like to label parents don’t we! Well I have discovered a new term that applies to me, I am ‘lawnmower parenting’. This means that I mow down the obstacles in my children’s paths and this is also known as over parenting. Lawnmower parenting has taken on a even greather significance than the helipcopter parent with some concerned that this is actually hindering independance and not letting our children (and especially adult children) grow up. Are you guilty of lawnmower parenting?
My lawnmower parenting crimes include:
- Helping my kids get to where they want in sport by taking them to different clubs and practises and pushing them forward for trails and such like.
- Decorating my university freshers room with fairy lights, motivational quotes and pretty scatter cushions.
- Plus of course stocking up her fridge.
- Paying for tutors to help my children get the best possible grades that they can.
- Applying for jobs on her behalf when she was on holiday so that she could earn money before heading to university.
- Reading her University essays and helping her improve them.
However I don’t see any of these as bad things, quite frankly childhood has been extended and I am heavily invested in my teenagers lives. I will do what I can to support and help them. This is not taking away independance, but rather it is a slow release into adulthood.
I am paying for my daughters education so of course I want to ensure that she is managing it and has the support she needs.
My daughter has made the 1st hockey team at University and that is no mean feat. She has already noticed that she is the only state school girl to have made the team. Everyone else comes from a much more priviledged background. It is due to us investing in her that she has made the team. I certainly don’t expect her to get a job when she is training five or six times a week on the hockey pitch. Instead I expect her to acknowledge that her dad and I are financially and emotionally supporting her to give her the best opportunities and experiences.
I don’t think my approach to parenting is any different than most, it is just that society has changed and our parenting now reflects this. Long gone are the days of leaving home at sixteen and running your own homes from then. Instead we now parent for longer and take a greater role in our childrens lives. Technology has aided this as when I left for University if I wanted to speak to my parents or ask them how to do something it would inevitably involve standing in a phone box with a pocketful of 10p’s. Now my teen can Facetime time from the comfort of her ensuite room and ask me how to cook bolognaise!
Parenting is something that I have given my all too, it is one of my greatest achievements and I will do it to the best of my ability! Teenagers still need parenting and it seems that I am not the only one who thinks this as these mothers agree with me and we were recently featured in this newspaper story.
So yes I have applied for jobs on Chloe’s behalf when she was on holiday, and yes I have also made phone calls for her about car insurance and so on. Yet at the same time I am giving her the support and skills that she needs so that she is a sucess. There is plenty of time for independance and it will come, but at 18 it doesn’t need to be a race to be the most independant.