Amid the college admissions scandals going on with high profile celebrities lately comes a poll that shows kids being hindered by their parents to become adults.

The poll, published by The New York Times and Morning Consult shows how parents are taking over their maturing childrens' lives.

The term "Snowplow parenting", also known as bulldozing or lawn-mowing, is surfacing to explain what parents are doing: removing obstacles that kids use to become responsible, independent adults.  The problem of this behavior is when this parenting crosses the line of ethics and law, as is the case of Felicity Hoffman and Lori Laughlin attempting to get their kids into specific colleges by unlawful and dishonest means.

The term and behavior seems to be applied to affluent parents, who have the money and means to remove obstacles but, is practiced by parents across the financial spectrum.  Think of a 'snowplow' parent as a much more obsessive version of the 'helicopter' parent.

These parents want to ensure their children's success by removing not only external obstacles, such as an SAT test, but also assist the child in their own internal obstacles that come from these obstacles such as frustration, disappointment or failure.

Julie Lythcott-Haims, the former dean of freshmen at Stanford and the author of “How to Raise an Adult: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success" is quoted in the New York Times article as saying the 'Snowplow' parent has it backwards in that, "The point is to prepare the kid for the road, instead of preparing the road for the kid.”

The poll, using parents across the nation with children ages 18-24, revealed the following results:

  1. Three-quarters of parents have made appointments (doctors appointment, haircut appointment, etc) for their adult children (18 - 24).
  2. Three-quarters of parents have reminded their adult children of school deadlines.
  3. 11% said they would contact their child's employer if their child had an issue.

To see more poll results and the full article, visit The New York Times article.


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