A new study shows young adults still rely heavily on their parents. “Prepare the child for the road, not the road for the child,” it’s a hard pill for many parents to swallow, especially these days which is apparent in a recent study conducted by Morning Consult.
As parents, we start out doing everything for our children because, well, they’re helpless little potatoes in the beginning and rely on us for survival. But, soon, they rely on us less and less, and while we’re supposed to ease up on the reins a little, “snow plowing” (the act of clearing away obstacles for your children, like a snow plow) is becoming more commonplace, and it’s harming our kids.
According to the study conducted for the New York Times, which focused on parents of children aged 18-28, parents admitted:
76% reminded their adult children of deadlines they need to meet, including for schoolwork
74% made appointments for them, including doctor’s appointments
42% offered them advice on relationships and romantic life
22% helped them study for a college test
16% helped write all or part of a job or internship application
15% called or texted to make sure they did not sleep through a class or test
14% told them which career to pursue
14% helped them get jobs or internships through professional network
12% gave more than $500 per month for rent or daily expenses
11% helped write an essay or school assignment
11 % would contact a child's employer if he or she had an issue at work
8 % contacted a professor or administrator to discuss child's performance or grades at college
4% wrote all or part of an essay or other school assignment
While some level of hand-holding is typical, parents are now going above and beyond what previous generations did. We’re reportedly spending a lot more cash, supervising, and entertaining our children more with activities, lessons, and tutors more than ever before.
Several parenting experts have voiced that “helicopter parenting” and “snow plowing” can have their advantages, such as a greater feeling of closeness, security, and better ability to navigate college and search for jobs, but children of helicopter parents have also been shown to be more likely to have anxiety and/or depression, and are less independent.
If we want to build our children up for successful, research has shown that we should: model independent behavior, get them interested in hobbies and careers that have a promising future, give them chores, encourage them to travel and explore, and let them fail.