When parents take control of their children’s lives, their children never learn personal accountability. If a parent cuts down all obstacles before a child (thus, lawnmower), that child is missing a lot of important lessons and experiences. Parents shouldn’t need to wake their children up or remind them to study for tests in high school. Sure, in elementary, and even for some middle school students need parents to set rules and guidelines to help them establish good ethics and a sense of responsibility. But, in high school?
I see this behavior all the time. Parents set the alarms, drive the kids to school, get them to extracurricular activities on time, and help with homework. Why would a kid ever worry about taking responsibility for things when they know their Lawnmower Mom will make sure everything is handled. It’s no wonder why some parents bribe their children’s way to college admissions – they start doing this in elementary school and continue through college.
According to a New York Times poll, many parents never stop doing things for their kids.
76% remind their college students about deadlines
74% make doctor’s appointments for their adult kids
15% call or text their college students to wake up for tests or classes
11% call their adult child’s employer to discuss issues at work
22% help their kids study for college exams
16% write part or all of their employment or internship applications
14% helped set up internships and jobs
12% gave their adult children more than $500 per month for rent and living expenses
11% helped their kids write college essays
So if you think you’re helping your child by taking all of the responsibility upon yourself, think again. You’re not. You’re actually setting your child up for failure when you actually stop doing the work for them. My girls used the Merit Planner to get organized and took it upon themselves to reach their goals.