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Lawnmower parenting. This was news to me.

Discussion in 'Personal' started by grumpydogwoman, Sep 23, 2018.

  1. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    I'd heard of helicopter parenting. Your kids go to every activity under the sun and you're the unpaid Uber that gets them there.

    My SiL told me the new one yesterday. It's (of bloody course!!!) imported from the US.

    Lawnmower. As in : you remove every obstacle in their way, every pesky blade of grass.

    • The teacher author shared a story of being called to the office, expecting to retrieve a student's forgotten meal money or inhaler. Instead, a sheepish parent in a suit was dropping off an expensive water bottle after repeated texts from a child. Water fountains exist all over the school.
    • The parent of a high-school student who asked a teacher to walk a student to class to assure that the student would not be late.
    • An emailed story about a parent who requested someone from the cafeteria blow on their child's too-hot lunch to cool it down.
    • A parent who called to schedule a make-up test when the student was clearly old enough to request a time.

    I just know that those of you still in teaching must have anecdotes of your own. Do I need to spell out how utterly bleeping crass and stupid I think this is?

    Go on, someone. Defend it! :D
    yodaami2 and agathamorse like this.
  2. Marshall

    Marshall Star commenter

    I have not heard this used before but I can readily identify with it! EG: My child needs to wear ear defenders in music lessons because it's too loud (child not SEN); my child had a late night last night due to a party so I am letting them sleep in and will bring them for the afternoon sessions. Two of many types of excuses given. I feel I need to teach the parents not the children.
    agathamorse and nomad like this.
  3. mothorchid

    mothorchid Star commenter

    I can't defend it - it's indefensible.
    But I did have a mother who rang to tell (not to ask) me to tie her son's tie for him every day because it was too difficult for him. This was in year eight at secondary school and the primary school had had ties in their uniform. I turned down the request. I even tried to be polite and suggested she make an elasticated pre-knotted tie.
    He learned within a week.
    agathamorse, strawbs and FrankWolley like this.
  4. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Great (!) examples. Thank you.

    I'm with you @Marshall

    Teach the flamin' parents! I am trying to talk some sense into my own daughter (aged 30) re her kids (10 and 7) but my words don't seem to make much impression.

    She told me the other day she's strict. Strict?? Strict!!! Although she hesitated to say it as it made her feel bad about herself! She's certainly stricter than her sister-in-law. Which is to say about 3% strict and 97% NOT strict. The SiL is a resounding 0% strict.

    agathamorse and Marshall like this.
  5. Skeoch

    Skeoch Star commenter

    My advice to parents has always been "healthy neglect." Never do anything for your children which they can't do themselves, and often don't do things for them that they can nearly do for themselves. It works.
  6. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Her Maj's friend just had a baby. Now 10 months.

    The friend's friend chided her. The baby was crawling for a toy and then cried a bit for it. The friend thought the mother was "cruel". What you should apparently do is GO AND GET IT FOR THEM! Not wait for them to crawl a bit further and get it. No. Not strengthen their muscles and their resolve by getting off their baby backside and doing something. No!

    A lawnmower mother places every conceivable toy within reach of her baby. To be kind.
    agathamorse likes this.
  7. colpee

    colpee Star commenter

    Is that the parents who are always talking for their children while the child stands mute?

    It doesn’t stop at school either. When my sister was staying with us, I overhead her ordering a taxi - “what are you doing Sis?” asks me
    “Just getting a taxi for x to go to town“ - x was 26 and at home 400 miles away:eek::eek:
    “she’s never liked to talk on the phone”
    “no need if she’s got a secretary!” was my slightly rude reply.
  8. Jude Fawley

    Jude Fawley Star commenter

    Anyone like to try depth-charge parents like the ones my siblings and I had?

    Taking saved paper-round money from your post office savings account to spend on drink,
    Spending the child benefit on drink and gambling,
    Destroying your future job prospects by turning up drunk at your place of work,
    Failing to provide the very basics to be able to attend school,
    Ripping pages out of your school exercise books to use for listing horses to bet on,
    Leaving you starving because all the money provided by state benefits is spent on drink and gambling,
    Forcing you to go to neighbours to tell lies in order to get money off them to be spent on drink,
    yodaami2, LunaBlue123, InkyP and 4 others like this.
  9. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

  10. Marshall

    Marshall Star commenter

    Arghhh - this is causing so many problems - now and mainly in the future. What to do - I don't know.
  11. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    The mind boggles...

    lanokia likes this.
  12. Marshall

    Marshall Star commenter

    Jude Fawley - I had parents with problems - not as severe as yours but similar. I grew up OK.
  13. Jude Fawley

    Jude Fawley Star commenter

    Oh yeah!
    Drunkenly peeing on you in the shared bed so you get in trouble at school for wetting yourself.
  14. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter


    (My grandkids are YR6 and YR3).

    Daughter of mine: I'm worried they're going to bump into other kids on their scooters and get shouted at by a parent.
    Me: So tell them they can't go to school on their scooters.
    Daughter: But they want to!
    Me: But you're worried about them going too fast and hurting someone and they're not obeying your instructions! So the scooters stay at home.
    Daughter: But their cousins are allowed to. They'll think I'm mean.
    Me: o_O

    She wasn't brought up like that! What did I ever do/not do to let her think that "it's what they want" was ever a good reason for anything???
    agathamorse and Alice K like this.
  15. Jude Fawley

    Jude Fawley Star commenter

    Stealing coal from outside the signal box and then when the police called round telling them it was you.
  16. CWadd

    CWadd Star commenter

    I prefer fork lift truck parenting - you dump them at school. and let them deal with it. Forgot water? Go to the fountain. Forgot PE kit? Do the detention and you never forget it again. Cant do homework? Get up some gumption and ask.
  17. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    @Jude Fawley

    [This comment/section has been removed for breaching our Community Guidelines/Terms and conditions]

    But I suppose it's possible your parents may have had a difficult time of it themselves when they were tiddlers. Not excusing. Attempting a partial explanation.

    I'm talking about parents who, like my daughter, you'd suppose have the ability to think this through to its logical conclusion. Helpless adults.
  18. Jude Fawley

    Jude Fawley Star commenter

    My parents didn't have a good time of it as kids. They were like two cars heading towards a total wreck.

    My mother at fourteen finds her mother taken away to a psychiatric hospital where after close on forty years she dies.

    Meanwhile her father is in prison and her siblings are all put in a children's home and she was sent to work in a laundry in Fleetwood.

    I don't have any children.
  19. foxtail3

    foxtail3 Star commenter

    At crawling age, Inused to deliberately move toys further away, so they had to crawl to get them. And put them higher up to encourage them to stand up too.
  20. emilystrange

    emilystrange Star commenter

    @colpee has your niece never heard of apps where you can order a taxi without speaking to a soul? i'm willing to bet a shilling that your sister pays for it too...
    agathamorse likes this.

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