Meet the ‘lawnmower parent,’ the new helicopter parents of 2018

Are you sick of parent labels?

I am.

Helicopter, free-range, tiger, elephant parents — the parenting world teems with labels.

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One thing about the latest label:

You don’t want to be a lawnmower parent. But you probably are.

Lawnmower parenting has made a swift rise in public consciousness thanks to a viral post by a Weareteachers.com member, an online community for teachers.

An anonymous member of the organization wrote in the essay that lawnmower parents mow down all of children’s challenges, discomforts and struggles.

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 poster’s unspoken response: WHAT ON THIS ACTUAL EARTH.

The Facebook post has been shared more than 12,000 times — by parents and teachers alike — because everyone has a lawnmower parent moment to share, Hannah Hudson, WeAreTeachers.com Editorial Director told All the Moms.

“I think everybody has been a lawnmower parent at one time,” Hudson said. “Even teachers because they’re parents, too. It’s a natural tendency to want to help kids.”

Hudson shared lawnmower parent stories that came from the essay and post:

  • 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.

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