Are you a snowplow parent?

Flicker, Kerin, Kruger & Bissada LLP

There is a new kind of parenting trend that has made waves; it’s called snowplow parenting, and it’s something that you and your spouse may be accused of if you can’t let your child handle any kind of obstacles on their own.

A snowplow parent is one who removes all obstacles from their child’s path. The parent does this out of love, hoping to prevent their child from suffering through discomfort. The parent intervenes, which, at the time, may be of benefit by resolving problems without the child going through a conflict. Later on, though, the child may struggle with knowing how to cope with conflict or obstacles, so this parenting style can truly hinder their development.

Is snowplow parenting common after divorce?

It can be, because parents may feel guilty about what they’ve put their child through. They may do everything they can to reduce conflict for their child, from helping them by finishing off their homework to doing their chores.

Avoiding conflict and trying to avoid having your child face obstacles isn’t the best method to help them in life, though. Children with this kind of parent often struggle with dealing with frustration and have been shown to have poor problem-solving skills. They may have increased anxiety and a lack of self-efficacy.

If you believe that your or your ex-spouse have become snowplow parents, you still have time to change. Give your child or children a chance to deal with conflicts on their own. Show them how to respond, so they can have better coping skills in the future.

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