The Rise of ‘Snowplow Parenthood’

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The rise of ‘snowplow parenting’: expert reveals new ‘obstacle removal’ trend spreading across Australia – and why it’s NOT a good idea

  • An Australian expert has provided insight into ‘snowplow parenting’
  • Sharon Witt said this is when a parent solves problems for their children
  • This can lead to a child’s inability to build resilience and can lead to problems later on

An Australian parenting expert has provided insight into the rise of ‘snowplow parenting’ and the impact it can have on children.

Sharon Witt, of Melbourne, told the Daily Mail Australia that snowplow parenting is when a parent or parents “feel the need to clear the way of possible mistakes or poor choices their child may make, or solve problems for them, rather than of their child or teen the opportunity to work through the solution and build their resilience muscle.”

This can leave a child incapable of solving problems on their own and can lead to personal problems later on.

For the past two decades, Ms. Witt has worked as a high school teacher, author, and broadcaster, sharing her knowledge of parenting, education, and issues affecting youth.

‘Snowplow parenting’ is when parents solve problems or problems for their child or children instead of giving them a chance to work through and find a solution

Parenting expert Sharon Witt (pictured) said this kind of parenting can lead to a child's inability to solve problems on their own

Parenting expert Sharon Witt (pictured) said this kind of parenting can lead to a child’s inability to solve problems on their own

While parents want the best for their children, snowplow parents often tend to “deprive their children of great opportunities to learn about real life.”

“As our young people grow up, they will face a myriad of obstacles and problems that they will have to learn to handle on their own,” said Ms. Witt.

Ms Witt said that often the best way to identify a child who has a snowplow parent is to see if a child is unable to navigate common situations, especially at school.

“For example, if a child or teenager forgets to bring their lunch to school, rather than this being an important lesson for their child to learn, a snowplow parent may be at school with lunch in hand, just when they realize their child is forgetful,’ she said.

“Kids and teens won’t starve if they eat lunch at school one day. This would be a perfect opportunity for a young person to learn ingenuity.”

Ms Witt said that often the best way to identify a child who has a snowplow parent is to see if a child is unable to navigate common situations

Ms Witt said that often the best way to identify a child who has a snowplow parent is to see if a child is unable to navigate common situations

In this example, the child or teen will learn to consider their options and might think to talk to a teacher, go to the school office to call home, or make do with not eating until they get home from school.

‘What a fantastic learning opportunity. They can then write themselves a note on their school bag to remind them to pack their lunch in the future,” said Mrs. Witt.

Learning problem solving and resilience is an important skill to have, especially in adulthood when the person has to make their own decisions.

What Is “Snowplow Parenting” And Is It Good For Kids?

Snowplow Parenting is when parents solve problems or problems for their child or children instead of giving them a chance to work through and find a solution

While parents want the best for their children, this type of parenting can lead to a child failing to solve problems and build resilience

Parenting expert Sharon Witt said the best way to spot a child who has a snowplow parent is often to see if a child is unable to navigate common situations, especially at school.

Learning problem solving and resilience is an important skill to have, especially in adulthood when the person has to make their own decisions

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