Lawnmower Parents, You’re Mowing Down Your Kid’s Future

And then I failed my first test in Honors Algebra II. Turns out just because I’d done well as an 8th grader in Algebra I, I maybe didn’t need to take HONORS Algebra II as a freshman. Ooops. How did I handle this adversity? Well, I cried a lot. And then I studied. And studied, and studied some more. My dad, halleLUjah, was a math teacher (at a different school) and he worked with me when I had struggles. Did he tell me the answers? Nope. Did he get mad and call the teacher and cajole her into raising my grade? Negative. Did he pull strings to get me transferred into a non-honors class? Not a chance. He taught me how to study for math, something I’d never had to do before. And then, he left it up to me to apply my new knowledge.

I got an A- for the quarter, and A’s the rest of the year. I had to study for every single test and I labored over every single homework assignment. But I managed. Thank goodness my mom and dad were not lawnmower parents!

Luckily, I had a few more failures in high school, not necessarily academically, that my parents let me handle and learn from. As an adult, when hard times came, and they did, as they will for your child, I managed. I still manage. My parents equipped me to be resourceful, to problem-solve, and to be resilient in the face of adversity. If we do not do the same for our children, it is we who fail—we fail them.

Moms and Dads, let’s let the teacher who wrote this article give us as parents a lasting lesson: We’ve got to let our kids face life’s inevitable road blocks. And not only that, we’ve got to let them ask for what they need (from teachers or others in their lives) and encourage them to speak up or miss out. Otherwise we risk being the parents of a temper-tantrum throwing young adult, and that…is something  none of us wants on our parenting resumé!

Do you know any lawnmower parents? What sorts of things do they do to handle problems for their kids?


Jenny Rapson
Jenny Rapson
Jenny is a follower of Christ, a wife and mom of three from Ohio and a freelance writer and editor.

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