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Home What are the consequences of helicopter and lawnmower parenting? Learning healthy ways to parent.

What are the consequences of helicopter and lawnmower parenting? Learning healthy ways to parent.


Parents have the natural authority and responsibility over their children. Parents are also growing in their abilities to wield such authority and perform their responsibilities to the best of their ability. 

While parents teach children to respect this authority through discipline and obedience, parents also strive to serve their children and meet their needs for love, care, and warm affection. This is a balance that parents have to find over their years of parenting, and as their children grow into independent and healthy adults. 

Parenting styles 

Over the years, there has been an observed hike in parenting styles that are characterized by over-involvement in children’s lives. You may be familiar with the phrases “helicopter parenting” and “lawnmower parenting” to describe parenting styles that start from parents’ desire to give their children the best of everything that it comes to the point of the parents doing all they can to eliminate possibilities of failure for their children. 

The parenting style that we implement is usually a combination of our own experience of our parents’ parenting style, our generation, the culture we grew up in, and traditions we hold. In the case of “helicopter parenting” and “lawnmower parenting”, research has pointed out the tendency to become anxious plays a big part in becoming over-involved as parents.

What is helicopter parenting? 

Just like a helicopter that hovers over an area, helicopter parents keep a very close eye on their children’s every move. These parents tend to worry too much about their children that they watch over them to make sure that they can offer help immediately when it is needed. Parents who do this often have a hard time seeing the negative effects of this style on themselves and their children. 

Why do helicopter parents hover over their kids? They view themselves as their children’s rescuer, their shadow, the director of their actions, that children get no time alone. They often fear the consequences of their children being unhappy or not being successful. Also, parents who are over involved often overcompensate for their parents’  lack of involvement when they were children.

In effect, children of helicopter parents are taught to rely only on their parents for their every need, and they may not have the chance to develop their own skills. They are also more prone to feelings of helplessness, anxiety and loneliness. ‘

What is lawnmower parenting? 

There is another type of over-involved parenting where parents do not want their children to experience pain, struggles, difficulties or failure, so the parents directly perform tasks and activities for the child. 

Lawnmower parents perceive challenges, discomfort and obstacles to children’s lives as negative and harmful, so they must make sure that “the path is clear” for their children's success. 

It is common for lawnmower parents to do these things: 

  • Do their children’s homework
  • Intervene in school activities where the child showed less than a desirable performance
  • Bail their children out from possibly challenging school activities 
  • Request for special accommodations for their children so that an activity will be all smooth 

What happens to children in over-involved parenting? 

Parents have to recognize whether they show signs of being a helicopter or lawnmower parent so that they can encourage social, emotional, and mental development and wellbeing. One of the ways to do this is helping their children make choices that are appropriate to their age. 

  • Children do not have the chance to develop their abilities in confidence, resilience and social connections. 
  • They cannot practice their communication skills, dealing with authority, and negotiating. 
  • They are deprived of the chance to develop skills to cope with struggles, disappointments and failures. 
  • They fail to develop internal motivation because all things used to be directed by their parents. They might view discomfort and things not going their way as personal failures. 

Parenting is a big opportunity, a challenge and an amazingly fulfilling role. Parents who strike the balance between teaching and training and care and concern develop their children to be happy, mature and responsible. 

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What are the consequences of helicopter and lawnmower parenting? Learning healthy ways to parent.
Brandon Resasco