You hear so much talk today about parents becoming “lawnmower parents.” These parents mow down any and all obstacles even before a child knows there is an obstacle. This parent picks teachers, picks playmates, referees disagreements in children, goes out of town with a child if a party invite does not come.
Instead of lawn mowing—be fertilizer. But you say “Fertilizer is stinky! Freshly mown grass is a wonderful scent.” But lawn mowing doesn’t help growth.
Help your child become stronger by being a support during tough times. Don’t solve every problem-listen. Sometimes the solution is within the child.
Every situation isn’t pleasant. At the start of school, many children go through emotional discomfort. As a parent, your job is not to yank the child out of preschool, but rather, help make your child strong by being strong. Put on a smile, talk to the teachers during the day, and make after-school conversation pleasant.
Children want control – it makes them comfortable. But children should only have a bit of control and decision making. To avoid problems, parents give in and give up, especially about food, clothing, and bedtime. Food and bedtime are your calls. Clothing is a place to compromise. Help your child make good decisions by discussing decisions that need to be made. Don’t opt for easy—no one grows from that.
Give your child chores. Little chores give a child a feeling of being capable and successful.
Let your child give up—sometimes. Just because you want a dancer or a soccer player, does not mean that is a good fit for your child. Give your child a lot of experiences for short durations. Children will find their niche.
In short, fertilizer may not be pretty but it helps flowers grow and thrive. Be fertilizer and not a lawnmower.