Trauma Counselor's Teen Son Explains The Major Problem With 'Lawnmower Parenting'

He did not hold back.

teenage son using a lawnmower Lapina / Shutterstock

Most of us probably grew up with overbearing parents — those rescuer parents who always saved us from "uncomfortable" circumstances.

And we were often taught that their overbearing nature and coddling ways were just them showing love. But, is there such a thing as being too overbearing? And how does this kind of parenting affect our children's trust in themselves?

Trauma counselor Courtney Navarro turns to an unexpected source to explain why "lawnmower parenting" is harmful.


The Problem With "Lawnmower" Parents, Explained By A Trauma Counselor's Teen Son

Believe it or not, counselors aren't perfect parents and sometimes they may make a tragic mistake or two when it comes to parenting.

Navarro herself is no different and admits to having been a "lawnmower parent" — a parent "who will 'mow down' any obstacle their child might experience."

She asked her fourteen-year-old son to explain to her followers why this parenting style "is so bad."



Her son opened up about his experience and said, "You take away the learning experience from your child."


For example, he points out, if your child is riding a bike and scraps his knee how will they react? Will they sit on the floor and cry? Or, will they learn to get up and comfprt themselves?

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If you're a rescuer parent, then your child will likely sit on the floor and cry, says Navarro's son, because you've conditioned them to expect help when they feel discomfort.

They won't know what to do with themselves. They won't know how to pick themselves up and that's dangerous.



Navarro herself admits that she was a rescuer parent because she didn't want her child to experience pain and discomfort.


However, the more she rescued her son the more it taught him that he wasn't capable enough. He wasn't capable or strong enough to deal with uncomfortable emotions or situations.

Now, this doesn't mean you should ignore your child when they're going through tough times. "You need to work on believing that they're capable enough to handle things on their own," says Navarro.

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As a parent, you'll guide and keep your child away from danger. However, their emotional reactions are theirs to process.

"Children have to learn to deal with their emotions and let it come full circle," says Navarro. They need to know they're powerful enough to handle what life throws at them.


But if you're always saving your child from their discomfort, you're taking away an important lesson. "Allow your child to make their own decisions, and let them experience failure and mistakes," says Navarro.



Experiencing discomfort, sadness, anger, or disappointment isn't entirely negative. Our children need to feel these emotions to understand what lies beneath the surface.

You see, negative emotions help us learn to process and overcome difficult situations. And the better they get at handling discomfort, the more self-confident they'll be as adults. 


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Marielisa Reyes is a writer with a bachelor's degree in psychology who covers self-help, relationships, career, and family topics.