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There’s a new parenting category. You’ve heard of helicopter parents, free-range parents, tiger parents…now there’s “lawnmower parents.” What does a lawnmower parent do? They “mow down all of a child’s challenges, discomforts and struggles.”
The idea has taken hold due to a viral post from an online community for teachers that said, among other things: “In raising children who have experienced minimal struggle, we are not creating a happier generation of kids. We are creating a generation that has no idea what to do when they actually encounter struggle.”
Teacher - Author - Story - Office - Student
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.”
This was actually tame.
Lawnmower - Stories - Result - Post
Here are some of the “lawnmower” stories that came in as a result of the post:
The parent of a high school student who asked a teacher to walk their student to class to assure that the student would not be late.
Parent - Someone - Cafeteria - Child - Lunch
A parent who requested someone from the cafeteria blow on their child’s too-hot 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.
Parent - Willingness - Child - Problem - Notes
To be clear, this is not about a parent’s willingness to help a child succeed. “The problem,” notes Hannah Hudson, Editorial Director for WeAreTeachers.com, “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.”
I’ve noticed that, whether as a result of lawnmower parenting or not, there’s also a growing trend among younger Christ followers in regard to handling adversity. In short, many are spiritual snowflakes.
For example, I recently read of...
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Government, where everything works great, until something has to work.