Snowplow Parenting: What It Means & How It Affects Your Kids In The Long Run

This article originally appeared in

Parenting styles, it seems, are always evolving and adjusting to the times in which they develop—and perhaps as a reaction to the previous iterations of parenting styles. Lately, too, they've been dubbed some choice names (helicopter parenting comes to mind). Snowplow is right up there: A parenting style we've seen bubble up in the last handful of years.

Here, we explain what it is, what it looks like, and what it means for your kids. 

What is snowplow parenting?

Basically, it's when parents push out obstacles in their kid's way toward a clear future—a la a snowplow. "Parents' feeling like it's their job to make sure their kids do not experience any obstacles and therefore do not experience any unhappiness or negative emotion," says licensed psychologist Nicole Beurkens, Ph.D., CNS. "It's tangible about parents removing any negative experience, but what we're really dealing with is parents having a hard time seeing their kid experience uncomfortable or unpleasant feelings." 


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