Are Lawnmower parents the new Helicopter parents?

Everything I post about does not come from a place of shame. I love parents and I love doing everything I can to support them.

But I see what’s happening to children in society and in all honesty, I am not a fan!

I’m sure you’ve met the typical Helicopter parent at least once.

For those of you who don’t know what a Helicopter parent is quiet yet, it’s definition is a parent who is a little too overprotective on their child.

Imagine a great big helicopter whizzing above you at all times, watching your every move.

This kind of protection leads to children becoming soft adults and unprepared for the world when it shows it’s negative side.


So what is a Lawnmower parent?

Oho, there’s a new kid in town! 

Lawnmower parents are creating entitled children rather than children who are thick-skinned and prepared for life’s challenges.

It comes from a good place, I really know it does. 

Growing up is never easy. I bet you can think of something you went through as a child that you’d never want your little one to experience.

We so so often let our own fears invade us and we become committed to wrapping our children in a world where the will never know negativity.

Lawnmower parents snip and mow ALL obstacles out of their child’s way so they don’t need to go through any kind of upset whatsoever.

Even if you don’t have children, you’ll be able to sympathise with this. No parent wants to see their child struggle in any way.


We are all doing our best to raise good people

I thought I would point out that I am not here to point the finger at you and tell you that you are doing the wrong thing.

Everything we do for children comes from a place of love!

My job is to observe children and help you produce the best possible people you can and not to judge your role as a parent.

So, if my words do offend you, believe me, that’s not my intention!

We all have our own parenting styles and I am not trying to tell you there is one right way.

My aim is to share with you what I know so that our society is producing the happiest and strongest children possible.


Delayed gratification

Children who become bratty and whiny are most often the ones who get everything they want as soon as they want it.

Lawnmower parents give their children everything immediately without a moments pause. This is often to navigate away from whines and grumpy faces!

Perhaps these parents came from a poor background and they want to give their child everything they didn’t have.

Again it comes from a place of monumental love.

But the thing is, children don’t know how to wait.

Everything in society is so instant.

Just like my words right now. Short. Sweet. Easy to take in.


Everything is at the touch of a button. Internet, food, smartphones you name it!

There is such a negative impact on children having their needs met instantly.

Feeling bored? Here’s a game on my smartphone.

Pizza for dinner? Let’s order to our door. 

You want a toy? Scream and you’ll get it.

Children cannot have everything their way.

They become entitled adults who don’t know how to work for their goals.


A few ideas you can try to improve delay gratification skills

  • Whether it’s your phone/ cake/ internet have your child wait before getting. 

As a Nanny, I am constantly aware of this.

Have your child see something for a while before they get it. Especially the first time you try this, your child won’t be running and skipping with joy around the house but it is just tough love.

Nothing in adult life comes in the blink of an eye so why would you tell your child that it does?

  • You do not need to instantly put an end to sulkiness

Children need to be taught how to deal with all emotions, good and bad. Yes, there are certain times children really do just a cuddle, and I am more than happy to snuggle! You’ll know the difference though. Genuine stroppy sulky behaviours are not on and should not be rewarded with positivity.

This is not cruel. Life is not all mushy 100% of the time. Personally, when the time comes, I would much rather my own children to experience all emotions good and bad in the comfort of our own home and learn how to regulate them in a safe place. Rather than un-necessarily shielding them from bad emotions.

This does not mean that we must go out of our way to make our children sad. You know there will be times when you don’t have their favourite snack in or times they cannot play on your phone. This, of course, cause upset yet teaches your child that being grumpy doesn’t get them what they want.

  • Make treat time in the distance

I used to Nanny for a family where we’d do Friday treats after school, depending on good behaviour. Once they B to know I wasn’t soft, they didn’t bother asking for the sweet stuff right there and then because they knew it was out of the question.

Treats are treats! Children are so often told that if they stop screaming in the shop they’ll get some candy. So to avoid half an hour of embarrassment for the parent now the kid gets hushed for the time being.

My question is, what do you think is gonna happen next time at the shop? And the next?


Mother nature

If a Mama birdie is trying to teach her little one how to fly, she is prepared that her chick may fall ( e.g will not do it perfectly). And this is okay because it makes her little one stronger and wiser. Each time she tries to fly she’ll know better the next time.

Mama bird is born knowing that her chick needs to be prepared for adult life when she is a full grown bird. She knows she will not be around forever and her chick does need the practice and independence in order to fly.

She does all she can to help, lots of birdie cuddles and snuggles and of course strong boundaries.

Yet if she was a lawnmower parent, she would hold her chick’s wings and flap them for her. She’d tell everyone “Look, my baby is flying”!

Little chick would have no knowledge of how to fly, but wouldn’t think twice about it because her mama told her that she’s mastered this skill.

When Mama takes over so much, her chick will learn so little because she was never expected to do anything independently.


How to increase your child’s independence

With the best of intentions, we are actually making our children appear much weaker in the workplace. This can be anything from School life, college even through to adult job life.

Childhood is meant to prepare the way into adulthood and to be taught basic life skills. It does not last forever!

There are so many thing’s that are done for children that leave them helpless as adults! Here are a few ideas to help your child become more independent.

  • Learn how to make a meal
  • Make a doctors appointment
  • Doing school projects entirely by themselves
  • Have them talk to teachers about issues
  • They get themselves ready for the day
  • Don’t rescue! Have your child learn to perfect skills over time.
  • Teach them how to build a chair
  • Time to make breakfast by themselves
  • Anything new they want they could either do chores or get a part-time job.
  • Teach them responsibility. It’s their job to look after their things!


Just before I leave you, I’ve shared some lovely parenting tips!

  1. You are doing a wonderful job!
  2. It’s okay not to be perfect- Release that inner critic!
  3. Always give you lots of love and self-care
  4. Never stop cuddling your  little ones
  5. You are enough
  6. Do less, well.
  7. Allow your children to fail and grow
  8. Don’t bribe
  9. Talk at your child’s level

As always lovely parents, I do hope you enjoyed my post! Please pop a comment and like below if you did!

In the meantime, check out a few more of my posts!

Why I am not going to be my child’s friend

Baby name idea’s

My Blogging strategy that brings traffic!

Nanny M x cropped-nanny-maryanne-logo_instagram5


24 Comments Add yours

  1. jaya says:

    Very true, and very well said!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awh that’s so kind, thank you!
      Nanny M x

      Liked by 1 person

  2. dolphinwrite says:

    Here’s a thought. Life is not perfect. Most parents do the best with what they understand, but also try to do better. I’ve thought about this to some degree. If I had had everything I wanted while growing up, would I have been better prepared or happier? Would I have gone out and learned, determined to better my circumstances? The thing is, everything is a lesson. Everything that happens is an opportunity to learn. Everything in each day has the seeds of growth, even when times are difficult (How would people learn without difficulties?). In looking at some of the things I wished had been different, I now ask what did I learn from that and have I used the information to better myself. I also am seeing many of the good times. I wonder if all too many of us are being taught to only see the negative sides and overthink our feelings. Certainly, there are pasts that need discussions and even therapy, and some incidences in life are truly trying, but for most of us, how much happier would we be moving forward and remembering the good times as well? Thoughts?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hello Ryan, thank you for commenting!
      Firstly, you’re absolutely right! Life is not perfect and I’m yet to come across a parent that doesn’t go to the ends of the earth for their little one.

      Thinking of materials, having everything you want in childhood does not make you happier.

      Emotionally, having a balanced exposure to bad and good does mean children will be able to fall into adulthood easier. They’ll spend less time figuring out what they should have learned earlier.

      The thing is many of us do go through very hard childhoods that make us strong, like me.

      However law mowing parenting is complete shelter from anything negative which leads to children having an unclear, unrealistic and fuzzy view on life. It teaches children that life is perfect.

      There is always time to learn, grow and change but if we can make a greater impact on little lives through the knowledge we now know, so let’s keep sharing it!

      Thank you so much for commenting and I wish you a lovely day!

      Nanny M x


      1. dolphinwrite says:

        What you are sharing is often generational. Behaviors passing down from generation to generation, even when kids grow up trying to be the opposite or better. If possible, to realize growing up was not perfect, even with problems, but get on with your life. Of course, like you said, some have gone through some very trying times. I know one lady that is completely “lost” in a past for something she can’t let go or reconcile with. It’s sad. She really wants to live a happy life but can’t seem to shake if off or come to grips.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Aww dear, I’m sorry to hear about this lady! It sounds like she really wants to live a lively life and here’s hoping she can eventually get there! Thanks for sharing your thoughts!
        Nanny M x

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Me, Them and the Others says:

    Children definitely need to learn how to deal with life challenges for themselves.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I haven’t heard the term lawnmower parent but it’s such a fantastic term to describe this style of parenting! I can always remember when I was teaching a child who we were supporting for his behaviour. He didn’t have a good week and there’s were agreed consequences for at home. Alas this wasn’t followed and instead he went to the local toy shop and bought a £100 Toy. As you say, funnily enough he didn’t see the point of behaving when there was no follow through at home.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! I can’t take all the credit, I originally heard it years ago from a blogger/ teacher who witnessed a parent drive like crazy to get to their kid’s school, only to give her a filter plastic water bottle when they school had fountains all over!

      Oh wow, this must have been so frustrating for you! £100 toy oh my that’s insane! In that case, you could have tried every technique on earth with him but if he knew a reward was heading his way back home then why would agree for you!

      I can’t agree with you more. It’s like me and my Nanny families, if we aren’t all on the same page its rather a waste of time despite all the efforts. Have a lovely day!

      Nanny M x

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Donna says:

    Great post. I’ve been known to hover around my child, particularly when she was younger and would try to climb the big slide designed for kids twice her age. Now she’s a little older I try to give her more space.

    Now she’s old enough to understand more I try to help her with feelings of disappointment or boredom rather than ‘solve’ them for her

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! Hay, each to their own. I’m sure you were just keeping an eye on her safety rather than being too nosey!
      That’s awesome that you do! Awesome mama, you are wonderful! Thank you for commenting 😀
      Nanny M x


  6. My Anxious Life says:

    Really interesting, I’d never heard the term before – but have definitely witnessed the practice in action!! My son’s are young but fairly independent and just don’t understand the children who’s mothers are hovering around them at the park, or the kids that just hide behind their mothers legs because they now believe stranger danger includes other 3 year olds at soft play…. 🙈

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! That’s great to hear how independent your sons are!
      Yes, I couldn’t agree more, children need to break away as well! Thank you for commenting and I wish you a lovely day!
      Nanny M x


  7. That’s a new one to me ! Oh to be a parent in the 80s/90s ,I reckon they had the right balance to a certain degree 😉 time sure changes the way we view everything including childhood, eh ?! Thanks for sharing x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know right?! I’d love to! Less technology too would be a win for me 😀 thanks so much for commenting! I’m glad you enjoyed it!
      Nanny M x


  8. beingrubitah says:

    Great post Maryanne! I have often noticed that when you start negotiating for one thing with your child, you end up negotiating each time they make an unnecessary demand. It can get really stressful then.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello! Thank you so much for commenting! That is so true and so easy to do! We think ah it’ll just be this once, but little terrors will remember and boom we’re snowballing!
      They’ll kick up a fuss for sure when you say but they’ll respect you so much more in the future. Have an awesome day!

      Nanny M x

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Jenni says:

    I’d never heard of the term Lawnmower parent before, but it sounds like a quite accurate description. I have to confess, I’m guilty of handing out the occasional bribe, but overall I think we’re doing okay. I’m a firm believer in delayed gratification, and in letting kids fail in order to help them grow.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Just read it! Absolutely spot on! Every parent should read this and if they do maybe our world would become a better place!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much!! Super glad you agree!
      Nanny M xx


  11. What a post! Nanny M I can’t love you any more!

    I think I am possibly a hover mower, like a flymo….

    I am really against the spoiling of children, I’d much rather give them my time than my money.

    But I do like to protect them, although I’m trying to teach my 11 year old to be more independent. I let him walk to the local supermarket yesterday at his own request because he saw we’d run out of kitchen paper! He loved it and I felt really proud of him.

    Great post 🥰


    1. Oh wow this comment made me feel so lovely thank you so much! Haha, hover mower that made me laugh!
      Aww, see, this is amazing!
      A little bit of trust goes a long way and if this is broken we bring it back again.

      That’s awesome to hear how independent your boy has been! This is a big step and it sounds like you all are doing such a beautiful job! Thank you for your lovely words 😘
      Nanny M xx

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Anita Faulkner - Brazen Mummy Writes says:

    Thanks for explaining this so well. I agree we shouldn’t wrap little ones up in cotton wool. I’m often a bit of a helicopter at the mo if we’re out and about, as my little one has only just started to walk and is still pretty wobbly and doesn’t have much concept of danger. We’ve been talking about when we’re meant to interfere less though, and we’re not quite sure. I guess our instincts will lead the way..? Fabulous post. XX

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you soo much lovely lady! That so true and I totally understand where you are coming from. I would totally be the same! It’s such a heart in your mouth moment when they are all jelly wobbiling about. Totally just to what you are comforatble with. Especialy since he is still little! Sending love,
      Nanny M xx

      Liked by 1 person

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