We’ve all heard of the helicopter parent, but have you heard of the snowplow parent?
They’re very similar. Their goal, while admirable in its love!, is to make sure their child does not fail and does not get hurt. To get that done, helicopter parents hover and snowplow parents *plow.* (Imagine it as a child who’s about to fall on the playground: the helicopter parent hovers in time to catch the child before they fall, while the snowplow parent makes sure there is absolutely nothing on the playground that the child could fall from.)
A great adage I read about snowplow parents years ago was: They prepare the road for their child, not their child for the road.
Why is doing your most to make sure your child does not fail or ever get hurt a bad thing?
Because if your child never fails on their own, they will never learn how to *succeed* on their own.
If your child never experiences pain, they will never learn how to cope with pain.
A young child bounces back quickly (they cry a lot, but they also bounce back!). It’s much harder as a child gets older to bounce back when they haven’t developed any coping skills. We want to send a newly-fresh 18-year-old out into the world feeling capable in their skills, independent, and ready to meet whatever road they end up on.
Plus, it’s exhausting hovering and plowing for 18+ years. Give yourself a break!
You are doing the best for yourself and your child if you step back and allow them to fail, to fall. Then you can calmly join them with empathy. I always like to share a story with the child of how I fall and what I feels like when I get back up.
If you’re interested in learning *how* to let your child fail with the help of natural consequences while developing their independence and coping skills, book a consultation today.
Photo by Sangga Rima Roman Selia