Helicopter vs Lawnmower Parents

Helicopter vs Lawnmower Parents

Navigating Parenting Styles: Striking a Balance Between Support and Independence

Helicopter vs Lawnmower Parents

Helicopter vs Lawnmower Parents – Parents who hover over their children (helicopter parents) and those who actively remove obstacles (lawnmower parents) both show excessive involvement and overprotectiveness, but they do it in slightly different ways.


Helicopter Parents:

Helicopter parents are known for hovering over their children, closely monitoring, and involving themselves in almost every aspect of their lives.

So helicopter parents exhibit several specific characteristics that define their parenting style. Here are more details on the key traits associated with helicopter parenting:

Overprotectiveness – Helicopter vs Lawnmower Parents:

Helicopter parents tend to be excessively protective of their children, attempting to shield them from any potential harm or failure.

Constant Monitoring:

They closely monitor their child’s activities, both online and offline, often checking in frequently to ensure the child is safe and making appropriate choices.

Involvement in School:

Helicopter parents are highly involved in their child’s education. This involvement may include attending parent – teacher meetings, closely monitoring grades, and sometimes even intervening in academic matters.

Micro-Management – Helicopter vs Lawnmower Parents:

They may micro – manage various aspects of their child’s life, aiming to ensure everything is done perfectly, from homework assignments to extracurricular activities.

Decision-Making Control:

Helicopter parents often make decisions for their children rather than letting them make choices independently. This can extend to decisions about friendships, activities, and even future career paths.

Limited Independence:

Due to their overinvolvement, helicopter parents may inadvertently limit their child’s independence. The child may struggle with decision – making and problem – solving when faced with challenges.

Fear of Failure:

Helicopter parents typically have a strong aversion to their child experiencing failure. They may go to great lengths to prevent failures or setbacks, even if it means taking over tasks the child should be handling themselves.

High Expectations – Helicopter vs Lawnmower Parents:

While having high expectations for a child’s success is not inherently negative, helicopter parents may set unrealistically high standards and put significant pressure on their children to meet these expectations.

Anxiety and Worry:

Helicopter parents often experience high levels of anxiety and worry about their child’s well – being. This anxiety can drive their need to be overly involved in every aspect of their child’s life.

It’s important to note that helicopter parenting stems from a genuine concern for the child’s well – being, but the excessive involvement can have unintended consequences on the child’s development. Striking a balance between providing support and allowing children room to learn and grow independently is crucial for their overall well – being and success.

Helicopter vs Lawnmower Parents


They tend to be overly involved in their child’s activities, school work, and social life.

Helicopter parents exhibit a high level of involvement in their kids’ lives, often to an excessive and overbearing extent. Specific aspects of involvement commonly associated with helicopter parenting include the following:

Academic Involvement – Helicopter vs Lawnmower Parents:

Helicopter parents are deeply involved in their child’s academic life. This may include constant monitoring of homework, projects, and grades, as well as frequent communication with teachers to ensure their child is meeting academic expectations.

Extracurricular Activities:

Helicopter parents may be heavily involved in their child’s extracurricular pursuits, from selecting activities to attending every practice or event. They might even go to the extent of trying to influence their child’s choice of activities based on perceived benefits for college applications or future success.

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Social Life Monitoring:

Helicopter parents often closely monitor their child’s social interactions. This could involve knowing the details of their friendships, arranging playdates, and even intervening in social conflicts.

Career and Future Planning – Helicopter vs Lawnmower Parents:

Helicopter parents may play a significant role in shaping their child’s career aspirations and future plans. They might push their children towards certain professions or academic paths, sometimes without considering the child’s own interests and preferences.


Instead of allowing their children to navigate challenges and solve problems independently, helicopter parents may step in to resolve issues for them. This can hinder the development of critical problem – solving and decision – making skills.

Communication with Teachers:

Helicopter parents may be in frequent contact with their child’s teachers, not only to stay informed about academic progress but also to advocate for their child in various situations.

College and Applications:

In the context of higher education, helicopter parents might take an active role in the college application process. This involvement can range from selecting potential colleges to writing application essays on behalf of their child.

Daily Activities – Helicopter vs Lawnmower Parents:

Helicopter parents may involve themselves in the minutiae of their child’s daily life, such as planning and overseeing schedules, organizing playdates, and managing the child’s day – to – day routine.

While parental involvement is generally beneficial, helicopter parenting becomes problematic when it hinders a child’s ability to develop autonomy, resilience, and a sense of personal responsibility. It’s essential for parents to find a balance between being supportive and allowing their children the space to learn and grow on their own.


Helicopter parents often have good intentions, aiming to protect their children from potential harm or failure.

Helicopter parents have genuine intentions rooted in a desire to ensure the well – being and success of their children. While their actions may stem from love and concern, sometimes the manifestation of these intentions can lead to unintended consequences. Here are some common intentions behind helicopter parenting:

Protection – Helicopter vs Lawnmower Parents:

Helicopter parents often want to shield their children from harm, both physical and emotional. This protective instinct stems from a deep love for their children and a natural desire to keep them safe.

Success and Achievement:

Helicopter parents may have high expectations for their children’s success and achievement. They want their children to excel academically, socially, and in extracurricular activities, believing that this will lead to a successful future.

Avoidance of Failure:

The fear of their children experiencing failure is a significant motivator for helicopter parents. They may go to great lengths to prevent their children from facing setbacks, seeing failure as something to be avoided at all costs.

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Providing Opportunities:

Helicopter parents often believe that by actively participating in and managing their kids lives, they can provide them with the best opportunities for growth, learning, and future success.

Nurturing Talents – Helicopter vs Lawnmower Parents:

Some helicopter parents believe that by closely guiding their kids activities and interests, they can identify and nurture specific talents or skills, potentially leading to exceptional achievements.

Social Acceptance:

Helicopter parents might be concerned about their child’s social standing and acceptance. They may intervene in social situations to ensure their child has positive interactions and is well – liked by peers.

Parental Responsibility:

Helicopter parents may feel a strong sense of responsibility for their kids outcomes. This responsibility, while natural, can sometimes translate into an overwhelming need to control every aspect of their kids lives.

It’s important to recognize that helicopter parents typically have good intentions and genuinely want what is best for their children. However, the challenge lies in finding a balance between being involved and allowing children the space to learn, make mistakes, and develop independence. A healthy parenting approach involves fostering a supportive environment that encourages growth and resilience while respecting the child’s autonomy.

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However, this parents can lead to a lack of independence in children. They may struggle with decision – making and problem – solving on their own.

While helicopter parents may have good intentions, their over – involved parenting style can have several drawbacks and negative consequences for their children. Some of the key drawbacks include:

Father and baby

Lack of Independence – Helicopter vs Lawnmower Parents:

Helicopter parents can hinder the development of independence in children. When parents are overly involved in decision – making and problem – solving, children may struggle to develop essential life skills and autonomy.

Reduced Resilience:

Constantly protecting children from failure can limit their ability to cope with setbacks and challenges. Helicopter parents often shield their children from the natural consequences of their actions, which can impede the development of resilience.

Low Self-Esteem:

Children raised by helicopter parents may develop low self – esteem because they may feel incapable of handling challenges on their own. Over time, they may doubt their abilities and rely heavily on external validation.

Anxiety and Stress – Helicopter vs Lawnmower Parents:

The high level of control and pressure imposed by helicopter parents can contribute to anxiety and stress in children. The constant scrutiny and fear of disappointing their parents can create a tense and high – pressure environment.

Strained Parent-Child Relationships:

Helicopter parents can strain the parent – child relationship. Children may feel suffocated or controlled, leading to resentment and a strained emotional connection between parent and child.

Decision-Making Difficulties:

Children raised by helicopter parents may struggle with decision – making. Since they are accustomed to having their parents make choices for them, they may lack confidence in their ability to make sound decisions independently.

Risk of Burnout:

The intense focus on academic and extracurricular success can lead to burnout in children. The pressure to meet high expectations, coupled with a lack of downtime and relaxation, can negatively impact a child’s well – being.

Read also – Helicopter Parents – Balance Between Support and Independence

Unrealistic Expectations – Helicopter vs Lawnmower Parents:

Helicopter parents may have unrealistic expectations for their children, expecting them to excel in every aspect of life. This can create a constant sense of pressure and may lead to feelings of inadequacy if the child cannot meet these expectations.

Social Skills Challenges:

Over-involvement by parents in social aspects of a child’s life can impede the development of social skills. Children may struggle to navigate social interactions and conflicts on their own.

Difficulty Adapting to Adulthood – Helicopter vs Lawnmower Parents:

Helicopter parents can make the transition to adulthood challenging for children. They may face difficulties in managing responsibilities, making decisions, and coping with the realities of independence.

Recognizing and addressing these drawbacks is crucial for parents who may be inclined toward helicopter parenting. Striking a balance between support and allowing children to experience the natural challenges of life is important for fostering healthy development and resilience.

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Lawnmower Parents (or Snowplow Parents):


Lawnmower parents do more than just watch over their kids; they actually try to make sure their path is super easy, kind of like a lawnmower cutting through grass. They’re also called snowplow parents because they work hard to clear any obstacles from their kids’ lives. Let’s look at some things that show what lawnmower parenting is all about:


Similar to helicopter parents, lawnmower parents are overprotective of their children. They seek to shield their children from any form of discomfort, failure, or adversity.

Obstacle Removal – Helicopter vs Lawnmower Parents:

Lawnmower parents actively intervene to remove obstacles and challenges that their children might encounter. This can include academic challenges, social conflicts, or any situation perceived as potentially difficult.


Like helicopter parents, lawnmower parents engage in micro – management of their kids lives. They may closely monitor and control various aspects, such as school work, extracurricular activities, and social interactions.


Advocacy in School:

Lawnmower parents often advocate for their children in school, intervening with teachers and administrators to ensure their child’s success. This may involve requesting special treatment or accommodations to make the educational experience easier for their child.

High Expectations – Helicopter vs Lawnmower Parents:

Lawnmower parents typically have high expectations for their kids achievements. They may push for academic excellence and success in extracurricular activities, sometimes setting unrealistically high standards.

Decision-Making Control:

Similar to helicopter parents, lawnmower parents may make decisions on behalf of their children, especially when it comes to their education, career choices, and other significant life decisions.

Fear of Failure:

Lawnmower parents share a fear of their children experiencing failure. They often go to great lengths to prevent their children from facing setbacks, believing that failure is unacceptable.

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Excessive Involvement in College Planning:

Lawnmower parents may be highly involved in the college application process. This involvement can range from selecting colleges for their children to intervening in the application process, such as writing essays or contacting admissions officers.

Limited Consequences – Helicopter vs Lawnmower Parents:

Lawnmower parents may shield their children from facing the consequences of their actions. This can prevent children from learning valuable lessons and taking responsibility for their behavior.

Focus on External Success:

Lawnmower parents often prioritize external markers of success, such as grades, achievements, and prestigious institutions, sometimes at the expense of their kids personal growth and well – being.

While lawnmower parents may believe they are acting in their kids best interests, this parenting style can have negative effects on a child’s development, hindering their ability to navigate challenges, make decisions, and develop resilience. Balancing support with allowing children to face and overcome obstacles is crucial for fostering healthy growth and independence.


They intervene to prevent their children from facing any difficulties or setbacks, believing they are helping their child succeed.

Lawnmower parents are known for their proactive and sometimes excessive intervention in their kids lives, aiming to clear any obstacles that might impede their success. Here are specific ways in which intervention manifests in the parenting style of lawnmower parents:

Academic Intervention:

Lawnmower parents often intervene in their kids academic lives. This may include ensuring that their child is placed in advanced classes, hiring tutors to assist with homework, or even completing assignments or projects on behalf of the child.

Social Intervention – Helicopter vs Lawnmower Parents:

In social situations, lawnmower parents might actively intervene to ensure their child has positive experiences. So this could involve intervening in conflicts with peers, orchestrating playdates. Also even intervening with teachers to address social dynamics in the classroom.

Extracurricular Activities:

Lawnmower parents may actively manage and intervene in their child’s extracurricular activities. So this could involve selecting activities they believe will enhance their child’s resume. Also intervening to secure leadership roles or special recognition.

Conflict Resolution:

Lawnmower parents may step in to resolve conflicts or challenges that their children face, whether it’s with peers, teachers, or other authority figures. So they may advocate on behalf of their child to ensure a favorable resolution.

College Application Process – Helicopter vs Lawnmower Parents:

Lawnmower parents are highly involved in the college application process. Also this can include researching and selecting colleges for their children, writing application essays, and even contacting admissions offices to secure favorable decisions.

Decision-Making Intervention:

Lawnmower parents often make decisions for their children, especially regarding their education and future plans. So this can extend to career choices, academic paths, and other significant life decisions.

Financial Intervention:

In some cases, lawnmower parents may intervene financially to provide their children with every possible advantage. Also this could involve hiring private coaches, tutors, or investing in resources and opportunities to enhance their child’s success.


Lawnmower parents engage in extensive micro – management, overseeing various aspects of their child’s life to ensure a smooth and successful journey. So this can include managing schedules, organizing activities, and overseeing daily routines.

Even though lawnmower parents think they’re doing what’s best for their kids, this way of getting involved can have some big downsides. So it might stop kids from learning how to be independent, tough, and good at solving problems. Also it’s super important for parents to find a balance between helping their kids and letting them handle challenges to make sure they grow up healthy and strong.

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Helicopter vs Lawnmower Parents


This kind of parenting can make it tough for kids to deal with tough times and become strong. So they might end up feeling like they deserve special treatment and find it hard to handle challenges on their own.

Lawnmower parenting, even though it comes from good intentions, can have a lot of downsides for both parents and kids. Let’s look at some of the not – so – good things that can happen with lawnmower parents:

Limited Independence – Helicopter vs Lawnmower Parents:

Lawnmower parents’ excessive intervention can hinder the development of independence in their children. When parents constantly remove obstacles, children may struggle to learn how to navigate challenges on their own.

Lack of Resilience:

When parents who are like lawnmowers always make things easy for their kids, it can stop the kids from becoming resilient. Also handling and getting through tough situations is super important for building the emotional strength needed to deal with hard times.

Poor Problem-Solving Skills – Helicopter vs Lawnmower Parents:

Children of lawnmower parents may lack essential problem – solving skills because their parents often step in to solve problems for them. So this can affect their ability to make decisions and handle conflicts as they grow older.

Entitlement Issues:

Lawnmower parenting can make kids feel like they deserve special treatment. They might think that problems will always be fixed for them, which can make it tough for them when they face situations where things don’t go so smoothly.

Anxiety and Stress:

The constant pressure to succeed, coupled with the lack of experience in dealing with challenges, can contribute to anxiety and stress in children. So they may feel overwhelmed by the expectations set by their parents.

Underdeveloped Coping Mechanisms:

Lawnmower parents, by always protecting their kids from tough stuff, might make it so their kids don’t learn good ways to handle stress and disappointment. So kids really need chances to figure out how to manage these feelings on their own.

Strained Parent-Child Relationship – Helicopter vs Lawnmower Parents:

When parents act like lawnmowers, the connection with their kids can get tense. Also the kids might feel like they’re being smothered or told what to do all the time, and this can lead to them feeling upset and make it hard for them to talk openly with their parents.

Unrealistic Expectations:

Lawnmower parents often set high expectations for their children, which may not align with the child’s own interests, abilities, or aspirations. So this can create stress and a sense of inadequacy.

Difficulty Transitioning to Adulthood – Helicopter vs Lawnmower Parents:

Kids whose parents are like lawnmowers might find it hard to become adults. Since they haven’t dealt with many tough situations, it can be tricky for them to handle the complex responsibilities that come with being a grown – up.

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Social Skill Deficits:

Lawnmower parenting can make it hard for kids to learn how to socialize. They might have trouble figuring out how to interact with others on their own because their parents usually handle these parts of their lives.

Also parents should find a balance between helping their kids and letting them deal with challenges. Supporting independence, toughness, and problem – solving skills helps kids do well and be happy as they grow up.

Conclusion – Helicopter vs Lawnmower Parents

In conclusion, both helicopter parents and lawnmower parents mean parents care a lot but in different ways. Helicopter parents are always keeping a close eye and being overprotective, while lawnmower parents actively remove problems for their kids to have an easy time. But, these ways of parenting can cause some issues for a child’s growth.

Helicopter parents might make their kids struggle with being on their own, have a harder time dealing with tough situations, and even damage their relationship. So lawnmower parents might make their kids not good at doing things by themselves, make them feel like they deserve everything, and struggle to solve problems.

A good way for parents is to give support, advice, and create a caring environment but also let their kids learn, make mistakes, and become independent. So teaching kids to be tough, solve problems, and handle challenges helps them get ready for being grown – ups. Also the important thing is to find a balance that builds a strong and loving relationship, helping kids become capable and independent.

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