The Family Room The Family Room Blog Home

'Snow plow' parenting: Helping kids?

Move over, Tiger Moms -- a new parenting trend prevents children from failing.

By Charyn Pfeuffer - MSN Living Editor Feb 19, 2013 8:12PM

First there were Tiger Moms. You may recall the extreme style of parenting made (in)famous by Amy Chua's best-selling book,  Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother.

Then hovering 'helicopter parents came on the scene -- the overly-involved, control freak style of child rearing.  

Now, an all-out mommy war is brewing as a brand new moniker of parenting style comes under attack, "snow plow" parenting.

Photo: Snow plow parenting / Digital Vision/Getty ImagesMore from MSN Living: How dogs make our lives better

According to an article on ABC7 San Francisco’s website, "the 'snow plow' parent pushes life’s obstacles out of his or her children's way."

Instead of parenting from a place of healthy involvement, these parents try to eliminate potential roadblocks and pave a straight line to their kid's success.

More from MSN Living: 15 amazing, inspiring baby nurseries

In the ABC7 story, one mom talks about how she used her "snow plow" powers when her son was going out for a basketball team.

"I brought lemon cupcakes to a baseball practice once and realized the coach doesn’t like lemon. So I went home and baked vanilla cupcakes and brought them to his house that evening for his family to share," she was quoted.

In San Mateo, Calif., Aragon High School athletic director Steve Sells tells ABC7 it's apparent in sports, "A lot more money is spent on club activity outside of school," he was quoted. "And a lot more in the way of private lessons."

Kids are pushed to succeed in one sport, and as a result, Sells sees over-use injuries at a young age.

"They're teaching their children a terrible lesson," Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck, Ph.D., told ABC7. "If you're not good at something immediately, get out. It's humiliating to be a novice."

In the grand scheme of growing up, what happens if your kid doesn’t get to experience the thrill of winning and suffer a few hard knocks along the way?

Do you think "snow plow" parenting helps or hurts children?

Bing: Tips for raising children with tough love

Subscribe to The Family Room

More from Family Room:
Teen mom denied right to breast feed
Toddler death raises concern over car seat rules
Violent video games and child aggression

Love content like this? Friend us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and find us on Pinterest.

Readers: Calling all mom bloggers – we’re looking for fresh voices on MSN Living. Email us your samples and contact info!

Photo: Snow plow parenting / Digital Vision/Getty Images

Feb 26, 2013 8:34PM
Hurts.....children aren't allowed to fail.  So when real life hit's them on the head and mommy and daddy aren't there, they collapse.  You have to learn to fail sometimes to learn how  to succeed. They go hand in hand.
Feb 26, 2013 7:53PM
What happens when they encounter " the real world?" They falsify their resumes and credentials, they embezzle money from jobs and organizations, they commit suicide when things get tough and/or murder their spouses are children when they are no longer desired... the list goes on.   They can't be told no, can't be denied anything, can't manage adversity.  Pitiful.
Feb 22, 2013 9:32PM
i only have i rule i drill into thier heads do good things good things will happen do bad things bad things will happen.

don't know enough about the snowplow technique to comment

Feb 22, 2013 5:16PM
Whwn will these parents learn? Protecting kids like this will only make matters worse. Life can be tough sometimes. Insulating children from failure makes them soft. What do these parents think will happen when their kids grow up and realize no one succeeds at everything they try? There's an old saying " The only way to never fail is to never try".
Feb 22, 2013 2:53PM
Americans as a society have grown into lazy, spoiled, and self-entitled individuals.

Club sports have grown cut-throat with behind the scenes maneuvering.

Children can no longer be kids and learn from their mistakes.
Feb 21, 2013 12:36AM
That kid in the photo looks like a real wimp anyway.. When was the last time you saw a kid walking down the street with a baseball glove or a bat and ball.  Now they all got those stupid phones and stay home and watch TV.  This country is turning into a bunch of weenies..  bring back the draft and toughen them up a bit.  It worked for us back in 68.
Feb 20, 2013 10:49PM

Every child has to learn for themselves as we did as kids, you cant force a kid to be good at something they dont like, that just dont work. And I am thankful for my Bumps in life, it makes you who you are. Without obstacles when growing up you will not know what to do when real ones face you later in life !


mommy and daddy cant always be there but should be when needed ..

Feb 20, 2013 10:34PM

Welcome to Obamaville.  There will be no arguing and everybody will receive a ribbon at the end of the event.

Please help us to maintain a healthy and vibrant community by reporting any illegal or inappropriate behavior. If you believe a message violates theCode of Conductplease use this form to notify the moderators. They will investigate your report and take appropriate action. If necessary, they report all illegal activity to the proper authorities.
100 character limit
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?

News, stories, tips and laughs for moms & dads

buzzing now on msn living
follow us
follow us follow us on facebook follow us on pinterest follow us on twitter
family videos