A parent will go to lengths for their children. It is said that a parent’s love is one of the most important ingredients in a child’s life. But a little too much, and it becomes toxic.
Some parents protect their child like it’s an apocalypse out there. A single cough or sneeze and they’ll call the entire medical facility over. They’ll shower a fortune just to get their child in their favorite college or make an appearance at their child’s workplace to consider their “humble offer.” They’ll always be there like “machines chugging ahead, clearing any obstacles in their child’s path to success, so they don’t have to encounter failure, frustration, or lost opportunities.”
I wouldn’t blame them. Any parent would want the very best for their children in life. Still, sometimes the boundaries are blurred, and parents forget that facilitating and supporting their child in their hardships is way different than being the shield to every difficulty of life.
Like its predecessor, helicopter parenting, snowplow parenting is becoming one of the shared parenting styles around the world. Like a helicopter, parents would hover around their children on every step of the journey. Only now, parents believe that it wasn’t enough.
The love for their child often blinds parents to the bitter realities of life. Look at it as a game of baseball. The stadium is your child’s life, and like all other onlookers, you have played your part and must take a seat and cheer them on. Yeah, maybe you’re in the VVIP seats obviously, but you still can’t get down on the field and swing the bat for your child or run the home run. Because if you do who won – you or your child?
Maybe you’re snowplow parenting your child, and before it’s too late, let’s have a look where we’re going wrong.
Did you know in a survey, 11% parents said they would contact their child’s employers if there were an issue; 16% confessed to calling their children living away to wake them up for college; 8% have meddled with professors and school administrators for grading?
Read more on how to stay in touch with your child, who lives far away?
Many parents that practice snowplow parenting may feel offended. After all, what’s so terrible in wanting to protect your child? Why is snowplow parenting bad? Which forces me to ask: how long will you be your child’s shield? What happens once you’re not around?
The effects of snowplow parenting do not surface immediately, but it’s like a tumor growing silently behind overprotection and too much affection. The long-term effects settle in only to make its entrance in the direst and grave situations.
The art of tackling curveballs and making decisions in the spur of the moment is one that requires a lot of experience, critical thinking, and maturity. You cannot always run to your parents for help. Snowplow parents are unable to polish this quality in their children. Such parents should let their children fail and stumble. Be there to hold them but let them find their path themselves.
In the long-run, you cannot always be there to take the hits, so when your child has to step forth, the raw and unshielded experience is rough and challenging, more than usual. The sudden contrast of suddenly facing the cruel world cripples your child’s self-esteem in the first blow. Frustration and anxiety are bound to follow and accompany. Be a firm yet a flexible parent. Learn to say no to your child and let them experience life.
It is one of the most hindering effects of snowplow parenting. The child that had his hands tied will never trust himself whenever he makes a move. The child will always feel under confident and incapable of dealing with life.
The sad truth is that as a result of snowplow parenting, the child cannot empathize and relate to actual problems of life. To them, life has always been on a silver platter, and when life offers them scraps and leftovers, they won’t know what to do but cry about it. Worst of all, such children will never know when opportunities knock at their doors and what hardships can shape them into.
In summary, snowplow parents are like sprinters in a marathon. In the first half, they’ll be winning the race, but they’ll be left behind in the long run. Parenting is not about just bringing up a child. It’s about bringing up a strong, resilient child who can repay and support his parents when the time is right.
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