Parenting labels, we’ve all heard them.
But have you heard of a lawnmower parent?
Hollywood celebrity and movie stars Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin are definitely lawnmower parents, and as newscasts recently reported, both women operated to the extreme limit. And for both these women and others associated in the scandal, it is to the detriment of their own children.
A lawnmower parent is one that works diligently to “mow down” life’s challenges. They eliminate all challenges, heartaches, discomforts and struggles from their child’s growing up life experiences.
Lawnmower parents are known for going to outrageous extremes to protect and help their kids.
Extreme behavior, indeed.
Most of us strive to raise children who are able to face challenges and make wise decisions. Children who enjoy and appreciate life because they have first hand knowledge about the good and the bad. Something we taught them.
As parents, we strive to teach our kids to be kind. To have a balanced sense of self confidence and self worth. To be accepting.
No decent parent wants to see their child fail, but unfortunately, life dictates disappointments and failures happen. Tears will be shed, and learning to cope with those failures, big and small, is part of the process of becoming a productive and sensible adult.
Lawnmower parents rob their children of a full life. They strip a child of the ability to cope with day-to-day issues, to problem solve, and make valuable decisions. To be independent.
Parents, such as Loughlin and Huffman, create young adults ill-equipped for life. They have taught their children that they are incapable, incompetent and unable to do for themselves.
Most parents quickly learn that the most important responsibility is to provide a solid and encouraging environment for growth. A pathway for youths to learn right from wrong, gain knowledge, and seek opportunities to achieve. A loving relationship that requires deep commitment and many choices.
After parenting responsibilities ebb, our young adult children either sink or swim, or often times, tread water until they determine the right path to follow. And most generally after a while, they do.
In a normal household, all along the way, support not only comes from the parents, but also grandparents, friends and family –– we encourage, we pray, we guide and plant seeds. All the while knowing mistakes or errors in judgment were made, but never at any time did any of us whip out the checkbook to purchase our child’s rite of passage into life. That was an option never considered.
The decision of Loughlin and Huffman to cheat the system, has not only placed ridicule upon their own children but it has proven the process to be greatly flawed.
It is also likely another college applicant was cut in the process and denied the rite of passage into the college of their choice, cast aside to make room. This young adult was ready to embrace the future with all its challenges, joys and sorrows.
A young man or woman who was probably worthy of the honor because their parents had prepared them for the next step.