Are You Guilty Of Being A Snowplough Parent?
We have all heard of the terms helicopter parentingand elephant parenting, but there’s a new one in town – snowplough parenting.
A helicopter parent is described as someone who hovers over their child constantly, fixing their mistakes, organsing their days and even cutting up their food for them. Basically a sense of over-parenting.
On the flip side, however, elephant parents tend to not usually worry, they understand that it takes a village to raise a child and have an active role in the community.
But a snowplough is different to these; just read the reports of the college admissions scandal in the US and you'll figure out quite quickly what a snowplough parent is.
Snowplough parenting is an extreme form of parenting; where Mum and/or Dad will make sure their child’s path to success is clear, no matter what extreme measures they may have to take. Like a snowplough moving snow.
It’s a fear of their child failing, of being disappointed, of not getting what they want – and it’s not good for either parent or the child.
Mums and dads can find themselves getting in awkward situations (just look at Full House actress Lori Loughlin and her husband, who paid $500K to get their kids into college) and children can really struggle when they reach adulthood as they tend to have a lack of problem-solving skills.
It's kind of like a term our parents would have used back in the day: coddled.
Most of us parents have nothing but good intentions for our kids. Sometimes good intentions fall a little short though and the repercussions can be felt many years after.
In 2008, editor at Psychology Today, Hara Estroff Marano woke a manifesto titled A Nation of Wimps: The High Cost of Invasive Parenting, where he looked at the results of overprotected children creating a nation of immature adults incapable of dealing with a crisis.
And it's true. How will a child ever learn to navigate their way through life if their parents are forever creating a clear path for them? The job of a parent is to teach their child to be able to make their own way in this world, and that can sometimes mean watching them fail.
As Julie Lythcott-Haims, author of How to Raise an Adult: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success, said: "the point is to prepare the kid for the road, instead of preparing the road for the kid."