36-year-old Angela Lobo (name changed) is an economics professor at a Navi Mumbai based Jr College. She interacts with 16-18 year olds daily and had a very startling story to share.
“It’s sad to see 16-year-olds nowadays feel upset with the smallest things so easily. They feel disheartened and discouraged and don’t know how to deal with their problems. That I guess has a lot to do with over caring parents to some extent. Even now, when their kids forget something, the parents come running in their pajamas with the forgotten item,” Angela said.
Helicopter parents are offshooting to a new breed altogether, the lawnmower parents. This breed is said to be dangerous and more intense than their hovering counterparts.
If helicopter parents drift over their children always, then lawnmower parents mow down any problem or obstacle that comes in their kid’s way so that they don’t have to suffer. Lawnmower parenting is showing its presence in parents the world over and if psychologists and other experts are to be believed, then this kind of parenting can be detrimental to a child’s future in more ways than one.
As parents, we want the best for our kids. We hate to see them suffer and get hurt, and feel that it’s our responsibility to protect them from this big, bad world. Yes, we have to look out for our kids, but solving their problems for them always will only make it harder for them in the future. Experienced teachers and educators are noticing this problem everyday and they are warning parents to pause and think about the following.
If we solve all our kids’ problems, what will they do when they actually face a problem that they have to solve it alone?
Solving their difficulties means giving kids an indication that they are not capable of fighting their battles alone.
Getting hurt, facing rejection and having a problem is all part of growing up and kids must go through them
Over interfering may lead to more depressed teens and sad adults
Independent problem solving is an important aspect of building character, and parents need to know when to step back
So there we have it. As responsible parents we must teach our kids to face their fears, not run away or outsource them. This is a great gift we can give our kids and they will thank us for it in the future, just like we thank ours.