Last week, I brought up the harmful parenting technique known as “lawnmower parenting.” To review, lawnmower parents mow down every obstacle (whether it be a situation or a person) that faces their child so that the child doesn’t have to face the prospect of pain or disappointment. The obvious problem is that with no obstacles, there is no overcoming; and with no overcoming there is no growth or maturity. The harm to the child may not be obvious right away, but once outside the home it can manifest itself in predictable ways.
For instance, after a first failing grade on a college exam, instead of realizing that he must buckle down and study, he blames the professor and leaves disparaging comments on professor-ranking websites, or he calls home to momma to see if she can do something, or worst of all, he shuts down and despairs. Or when for the first time the month is longer than the available funds, instead of planning to budget better next month, he blames the system and complains that everyone else also thinks things are too expensive, or he simply texts daddy to send more money.
These may not sound like drastic consequences, but they are only the first manifestations of what are sure to be bloody encounters with the hard walls of reality. Lawnmowers don’t work on walls.