Expert: Snowplow parents are a detriment to children which continues into adulthood

The goal of parenting is to raise a good person who will become a contributing member of society.

Different parenting approaches have a multitude of names such as helicopter, tiger, free range and even snowplow.

On Good Day, Dr. Madeline Levine, a bestselling author and psychologist, spoke with Mike Jerrick and Alex Holley about what a snowplow parent is and how their actions can be detrimental in the lives of their children.

Dr. Levine’s new book “Ready or Not: Preparing our kids to Thrive in an Uncertain and Rapidly Changing World” helps families hit the reset button for healthier, happier lives.

A snowplow parent is even more problematic than a helicopter parent, which Dr. Levine addresses in her book.

“A snowplow parent takes care of everything,” Dr. Levine explained on Good Day. “Kids are not learning a basic skill set they need to move through the world.”

An explanation for the increasing number of snowplow parents raising unprepared children can be attributed to the fact that we live in “an incredibly uncertain time”.

Dr. Levine explained that typically when people are nervous or fearful of the future, they turn to the past to inform themselves of how to address those uncertainties.

Kids need to learn new skillsets that will help them cope with the future and adulthood, which include “tolerating failure,” “being curious” and “lifelong learning.”

In effort to do so, she recommends shifting how you talk to your children in order to make them more independent. Most importantly, she emphasizes the importance of listening to your children and actually hearing them when they speak to you.

Also, mistakes should serve as a learning opportunity rather than just a pathway to punishment. 

5 tips for raising independent kids

— Set a good example
— Ask questions
— Instill optimism
— Give age-appropriate control
— Assess risks

“Every day is a bunch of challenges,” Dr. Levine told Good Day, but she explained that when you raise kids you need to demonstrate that problem-solving and the ability to redirect when things don’t go as planned.

Ultimately, Dr. Levine’s book hopes to help parents learn how to adapt, innovate, and move forward as we commit to raising our children and upcoming generations.

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