Snowplow Parents: Parents Do Everything for Their Kids

Ryan W., Opinion Writer

Question: When should parents let their kids learn and fail on their own? 

Synopsis: Some parents (also known as snowplow parents) worry too much on giving their kids a trouble-free life. This can go to the point where they would do anything to ensure their kids have an easy and successful school career. They argue with teachers over bad grades and they might even do projects for their kids when the kids forget. This is bad because kids need to fail in order to learn. If you forget a project and get an F, you won’t forget a project again. But if your mom brings in a project you didn’t write when you forgot, then you are vulnerable to the same mistake to the future when your mom or dad is out of the picture. 

School can sometimes be a daunting task for kids. The stress of not getting into college and a good job is terrible. So, some parents do whatever they can to prevent their kids from going through the stress. This can range from doing an assignment their kids forgot to do, to paying coaches or exam proctor to put in an unearned good word to colleges. The recent college admissions scandal is making me think, when has the line been crossed? It’s kind of annoying to see people who are better than you academically without even trying. 

There are many problems with not doing your work that I can’t name here, but some of the main problems are that you do not learn. If you doze off during the lesson and cheat on the test you pass but you don’t learn math, with that logic if you have your mom do your essays for you while you doze off, then you are not learning how to take control of your responsibilities. Even if you end up falling an essay, you do not reflect and prepare to do better you yell at your mom that she needs to do better. This is really bad because then the kid does not know what to do when they get a job and their mom is not there to help them. If you cheat on a test you are only cheating on yourself.  

Doing something hard is rewarding, and a lot of people have the urge to show it off. Personally, I don’t mind if someone brags if they deserve it. But when someone who brags about one of their achievements that they didn’t earn but someone else did, that’s when I have an issue. If you do something challenging then you know how hard it can be, so you usually hesitate from bragging because you know it was challenging for you. But for those who don’t know how challenging the work is, they don’t hesitate to brag. I can guarantee that all snowplow kids do this, but I can tell you that a lot of them do.  

A counter-argument to the would be “as a kid, I had to endure living without much money. I want to make sure my kid can get a good and stable life and never have to endure this.” I understand it can be soul crushing to go through this, but they might have to if they don’t learn to get up and work past failure. Like Mrs. Macabee said “they are going to go into a work setting someday, so if you protected your kid from any frustration, when working they are not going to be ready when they face challenges in the office.” Work can be hard, but avoiding it is only makes the work harder.