Why you shouldn’t be a snowplow parent


Photo pixabay.com

Natalie Becker, R3 Op-Ed Editor

Dear Parents,

The national unfolding of the college bribery scandal a few weeks ago was basically a free tutorial on how not to parent your child. While I doubt you’re paying thousands of dollars to alter your child’s test scores or making a fake athletic profile for your child on the crew team, there are more subtle, yet dangerous, ways of parenting that are doing just as much harm.

According to psychologytoday.com, snowplow parents “plow” the road for their child, removing every possible obstacle that could get in their way and cause failure or stress. From continuing to email your child’s teachers about a due date for a project to filling out their college applications, whatever it may be, stop doing it.

Your child’s best interest is always the first thing in mind, as I’m sure all parents have the same goal: setting their child up for success. However, snowplow parenting accomplishes just the opposite. Instead, it sets your child up for failure.

There’s a difference between nurturing your children into successful people and doing everything for them so that success comes easily.”

To your surprise, failure is good for kids. Failing at something not only helps a child learn from their mistakes, but more importantly, failure reinforces the idea that success isn’t handed to you on a silver platter. It takes perseverance and self-acceptance to get through any obstacle. What parents forget is once their kid gets out into the real world, life can come at them with anything, and they’re either going to sink or swim.

Don’t stuff your kid’s baby in a backpack to bring into the main office to help them avoid a zero for the day in health class. I guarantee they will never forget that baby again after getting a zero. Don’t fill out your kid’s college applications. Did Lori Loughlin’s daughters get themselves into college or did Loughlin? Sound familiar? Don’t call the coach if your kid doesn’t make the team. When your child is 25, are you going to call the employer when they don’t get the job? I hope not.

Instead, kids should grow up learning from their mistakes because making mistakes is inevitable. There’s a difference between nurturing your children into successful people and doing everything for them so that success comes easily.

There is a silver lining in this college scandal.Its message: giving your kids the easy route to get through life has consequences. And maybe it’s you who is doing more harm than good for your child.


Students who are perfectly capable of overcoming life’s obstacles on our own