We’ve heard of helicopter parents and we have heard of free-range parents but now it’s time to make way for another breed of parents: the snowplowing ones. That’s right: these are the kind of parents who are willing and ready to bulldoze their way to ensure that their child will always have what they need, regardless of what age they are.
They are also the kind of parents who will stop at nothing to ensure their children’s success. With that said, here are ten signs that suggest you might be a snowplowing parent. Some people act this way without even realizing it. Here’s what you need to know.
10 You Pay Off Your Child’s Expenses
If you have a full-grown child who is either in college or is beyond their college years and you find yourself paying off things like their credit cards and their everyday expenses, you may, in fact, be a snowplowing parent.
You may also be the kind of parent that doesn’t allow their child to grow up and ultimately take responsibility for their own lives. Helping them out with monetary gifts here and there is fine, but you shouldn’t be paying for their groceries and utilities each month at this point in their lives. Every adult should pay their bills on their own.
9 You Schedule Their Appointments
If you have an adult child that still needs you to make all of their doctor and dentist appointments for them, then you don’t have an adult child. You have a child, period. And let us let you in on a little secret here: there are pediatricians out there who refuse to see children who are older than the age of 18, so they might be out of luck here.
If you have to also schedule their oil change and tire rotations, then perhaps your adult child isn’t mature enough to own a vehicle of their own yet. Let them make the call!
8 You Complete Paperwork For Them
Now this is a tedious task that parents have done for their kids for plenty of years. But if your kids have already moved out and you are still completing paperwork for them, yes, you guessed it: you are a snowplowing parent.
At some point in their lives your child should be able to fill out the name, address, and insurance information on their own. Don’t make this a lifelong habit of yours. Instead, pass down the responsibility to your kids. If they are old enough to make their own decisions, then they should be old enough to know what accountability means, right?
7 You Do Their Job For Them
Believe it or not, about ten percent of parents call their adult children’s bosses. If something isn’t going their child’s way at work or if they come home upset, then a snowplowing parents will get on the phone and let her feelings be known. Just think of Marie Barone from Everybody Loves Raymond.
She used to always threaten to call other people’s parents and even visited her son’s supervisor at his work place, too. By the way, how do those snow boots feel? Because we are sure that you use them to stomp on anything that gets in the way of your child’s comfort zone.
6 You Make Teachers Change Their Grades
While there is no doubt that there are a lot of parents who do what they need to in order to fight for their child’s rights, there are some that definitely overstep their boundaries. Yes, as a parent you are your child’s number one advocate.
But should you be demanding that a teacher change your child’s grade just because you think that they could do better or in some cases, don’t deserve the grade they’ve gotten? The answer is a simple no. You do your job as a parent at home and let the teacher do their job and teach in the classroom.
5 Your Kids Don't Do Chores
It doesn’t matter what age your children are, but if you find yourself often picking up after them, cleaning their rooms and doing their laundry, then you are one tired parent who needs a break! No parent should step in and do their child’s chores, especially if its their responsibility.
Children should be taught at a very early age to pick up after themselves and help around the house. The last thing you want to do is raise a lazy child who doesn’t know where the trash bin in the house is. That, or not know how to do the laundry on their first day of college.
4 You ‘Serve’ Them
While there’s no doubt that a good parent wants to make sure that their child grows up in a loving home where they feel both secured and warm, you don’t want to be that kind of parent who does every little thing for them.
Yes, small kids need assistance when it comes to meals. But at some point they should learn how to help set up the table and help clean the table after a family meal, too. If you find yourself often “serving” your kids, it’s time they find where the dishes are in your kitchen cabinets themselves, right?
3 You Confront Their Bullies And Foes
While wanting to protect your child is very important and a part of your job as a parent, you don’t want to have your children miss out on all of the important life lessons they will face. After all, there might be a time that you won’t be able to snowplow all of their problems for them.
Instead of facing or confronting their bullies and their foes, provide them with the right skills and tools to deal with such adversity in their lives. Let them know that there will be struggles and that there will be challenges but those are challenges they need to face.
2 You Force Obstacles Out Of The Way
While there’s no doubt that every parent wants the best for their child, if you find that you are constantly forcing obstacles out of their way, then you are indeed a snowplowing parent. Of course, it breaks every mother’s heart to see their child cry or struggle in some way in their lives.
But you need to remind yourself that the only way that your child will ever learn or grow is if they deal with their obstacles on their own. You can’t do everything for them, unless you plan on being a forever ‘child’ parent. And is that really fair to you?
1 You Constantly Wipe Their Tears Away For Them
Yes, there is such a good thing as “tough love.” While showing compassion, sympathy, love, and understanding is all part of the parenting package, you don’t want to find yourself constantly wiping away your child’s tears for them. In fact, you should use it as an opportunity to teach your child right from wrong and how they can better deal with a situation that causes them emotional pain or frustration.
Watching your child cry might hurt, but watching your child not be able to assess their own problems hurts them even more. Love is love, even when its something comes in the tougher form.