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Lawnmower parenting. This was news to me.

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

  1. Orkrider2

    Orkrider2 Star commenter

    This, this and 100% this. I had kids before a lot of my friends, and when social media was really not much of a thing, so to a large extent I escaped a lot of the comparison stuff. But as we got older and more started having kids, it became really apparent how much I felt judged, and how much I judged other people. I think it all comes from the need to feel like your actions are justified. No one wants to feel like a bad parent, so it's easier to just indulge in criticism than introspection.

    I suspect all parents are guilty of that to an extent when it comes to our parenting. But doesn't mean we're not all trying our level best with the skills, knowledge and life experiences we're bringing to the table.
    Jamvic likes this.
  2. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    Only one house in our road still has a newspaper delivered, and I've noticed that the paper boy is chauffeured by his dad. Bloody car arriving and turning round wakes me up most mornings.

    I mean if the lad has some sort of disability or impairment then fine, but seriously - don't they walk or cycle any more?
    nizebaby and grumpydogwoman like this.
  3. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter


    How far do I go when it is my firm belief as a grandmother that my daughter, despite her utter sincerity about doing the best she can for her kids and my conviction that she is as well-intentioned as it is possible to be, is doing the WRONG thing?

    How far does a teacher go? Or a bystander? Or the (nanny)state?

    Nothing she does causes immediate harm. She doesn't beat them, she doesn't give them ciggies, she isn't a k-fiddler.

    But what if I think that she is doing irreparable harm by not curbing their general appetites and teaching them deferred gratification?

    I'm her mother. I can just talk to her about it. But should this sort of thing be part of the annual address to new parents? Given by the HT? What wider duties do we have?
  4. Jolly_Roger15

    Jolly_Roger15 Star commenter

    True, @grumpydogwoman. Society's expectation of teachers' responsibility has spread like an oil stain on concrete. Loco parentis should not extend to parenting; for children, or their parents.
    Dragonlady30 likes this.
  5. Orkrider2

    Orkrider2 Star commenter

    I don't know. I feel the same way about two fellow parents that I know well. They are good parents in that they try their best according to what they believe is right, but I don't agree with them at all.
    But who is to say that I'm right and they're wrong. Maybe their kids will grow up to be well balanced, capable, independent children and mine grow up to be resentful of the fact that I never coddled them and didn't feel that I loved them the way other parents loved their children? I don't know. It's so hard to know whether you're doing the right thing.

    And I say this as a mum who has given their daughter the 2nd day off since the beginning of this term. She has asthma, and was really wheezy and struggling to breathe last night, even with inhalers, so we've been to the docs to get some antibiotics to clear her chest up before it gets worse, and last week she was being sick, so I know I'm perfectly justified - if not obligated - to keep her off. But I still worry about what people will say about her having time off school. She always struggles in September and seems to pick up every bug going when she goes back to school. :(
  6. catmother

    catmother Star commenter

    I've noticed this on several occasions in my small town and area of the bigger town where I work,either on my way to work (morning papers) or on my way back ( evening/free paper).

    I've also noticed that colleagues (even males) seem to know about (and therefore be involved in) so much more of their (older teenagers/young adults) love life that I would have felt comfortable with my parents knowing about at that age.
  7. Jamvic

    Jamvic Star commenter

    But if you do intervene and don’t let your daughter develop and hone her own parenting skills independently by making mistakes occasionally aren’t you doing exactly the same ‘lawnmower’ thing that you are outlining. I think @Orkrider2 makes a good point below.

  8. Jamvic

    Jamvic Star commenter

    And Larkin an even better one. :D

    EmanuelShadrack likes this.
  9. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    I know @Jamvic I know!

    I never actually meant to have kids. The first one snuck up on me and the second one was an attempt to do better than with the first one! Oh, dear.

    I sound like a right interfering old bat. I'm not. I only answer questions from daughter #1 if they begin with, "But Muuum, what do you really think?" Even then I am diplomatic! I don't really tell her what I think. I tell her what I think I can get away with and what may just persuade her without eliciting the knee-jerk so-you're-saying-I'm-stupid reaction!

    And @Orkrider2 I know not who these loons are who'd want you to send the poor little dot to school when she's been up all night but they're MEAN.
    Jamvic likes this.
  10. ABCCBA123321

    ABCCBA123321 Occasional commenter

    Oh go for the day off Orkrider. They've got their entire adult life to learn the "joy" of dragging yourself in when you feel like absolute garbage dosed up on paracetamol to get you to hometime... stuff learning that particular lesson when you're only small. I'm dead cautious with chest related stuff now though after one of mine ended up in hospital for a week with really nasty pneumonia (in the middle of a flipping heatwave) though and both of mine were premature so I'm doubly-wary with lung stuff.
  11. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    S/he OK now? I'm assuming so. But poor poppet. And poor you. What a bloomin' WORRY. @ABCCBA123321
  12. Jamvic

    Jamvic Star commenter

    You don’t sound like an interfering old bat at all! You sound like a caring mother and grandmother who only wants the best for her family. You are just wanting to nurture your grandkids and guide your daughter. All sounds pretty normal to me.

    This is the key problem with the very sensible and pragmatic advice not to mollycoddle or over parent our children. It all sounds great in theory, or if we are talking about somebody else’s kids! But, our desire, as parents to ‘steer them right’, protect them from actions/mistakes we perceive as potentially harmful (correctly or not) or help them avoid hurts we have have experienced ourselves, is well and truly ruled by emotion.

    True pragmatism rarely comes into it as a natural reaction when we consider our kids to be in need of something that we can provide for them. In fact the hard bit of being a parent is forcing yourself to sometimes ignore your protective instincts and emotions and listen to your intellect so as not to become a helicopter/lawnmower/stupid parent.
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2018
  13. Jamvic

    Jamvic Star commenter

    :D Love it!
    nizebaby likes this.
  14. nizebaby

    nizebaby Star commenter

    This thread seems to have come a long way since its amusing beginnings about silly parents making rods for their own (and their children's teachers') backs.
  15. ABCCBA123321

    ABCCBA123321 Occasional commenter

    Oh she bounced back fine from it - but it was pretty terrifying at the time. Think every student medic in the entire med school popped up for a quick listen at an obliging case of pneumonia at that time in the year!

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