You may know them better as helicopter parents, snowplow parents or lawnmower parents, but their parenting style is all the same. Every parent wants their child to succeed and have the best life, but most of them understand that it’s up to the child to work hard for the things they want. However, snowplow parents believe in clearing a path for their kids throughout their life, which means that they never deal with obstacles and challenges. And, of course this all comes from a place of love. After all, no parent wants to see their child struggle and fail. But failure and struggles are a huge part of life and character development. Sometimes, this need to deprive your children of these hard but beneficial life lessons comes from a place of selfishness and status obsession. And although the parent may not see it this way, hyper intensive parenting is not a great way for kids to get ahead in the world. It teaches them to be manipulative and entitled. So, if you want to know more about the pitfalls of snowplow parenting, and why you should steer clear of it, this is the article for you. Read on to know more!
1. Snowplow Parenting Is Expensive
If there’s one thing all parents know, it’s that children are expensive, even when they don’t expect you to buy their way in. But the cost of the intensive parenting style can add up tremendously over the years. Parents who want to pave the way for their kids have no problem paying expensive bribes in order to get them into the right schools and colleges, ensure they are in elite extra curricular activities, and this can slowly seep into paying off people in order to get your kids out of trouble and breaking the law. So, you can see how this kind of parenting can be very expensive. Snowplow parents also end up paying for tutors, private SAT prep, private coaches and instructors. And although the thought behind it is to help your child as much as you possibly can, this comes at a great cost, literally! And it may not even be what your child truly needs in order to excel.
2. Snowplow Parenting Is Time Consuming
Let’s be honest, keeping track of your child’s every move and planning out their schedule for years on end is never easy. The real cost of snowplow parenting extends past your bank account. Giving your child every opportunity means that you invest a lot of time ensuring that they can access and use these opportunities. Not to mention that they don’t have any time for themselves. They spend their free time helping their kids with their assignments, doing their homework and shuttling them back and forth from games, ballet practice and piano lessons. Over scheduling the kids only ensures that the parents are booked and busy as well. And with no time to themselves for their relationship with anyone but their kids, the other areas of their lives suffer.
3. Snowplow Parenting Is Ineffective
When parents do their best to clear away obstacles, it ensures that the kids are spared from making mistakes and learning from them. But this isn’t the mercy that snowplow parents think it is. After all, kids need to learn how to overcome obstacles and challenges by themselves. This is how they grow and become resilient. Denying your kids this process means they learn to depend heavily on you and forgo their independence. They are entirely unprepared for the real world and can’t stand things not going their way. Moreover, they become entitled and start to think that the world owes them everything. This mentality can be detrimental for them in the long run.
4. Snowplow Parenting Is Selfish
No matter how much you try to convince yourself that you are doing this for the sake of your kids, helicopter parents are not doing this because they love their kids. It’s usually because they chase status and hate the thought of their kids failing at anything. Parents who truly love their kids don’t expect them to be perfect. They give them ample room to make mistakes and trust in their ability to learn from them. The truth about snowplow parents is that love is just the coverup for their true competitive nature. And this only makes their kids more anxious and afraid of judgment.
Unfortunately, snowplow parents don’t really change their mindset easily. But if you see yourself slipping into these patterns of behavior, it’s time to stop and reassess your priorities. At the end of the day, the wellbeing of your kids must come first. And that includes giving them the space to fail and find a way to succeed by themselves.