While the college admissions bribery scandal has captured everyone’s attention, you know what it hasn’t done?
Captured the surprise of ANYONE who works with youth in education.
We see and hear examples of overly-concerned parents swooping in to “save” their kids from even the smallest hint of failure all. the. time.
In fact, one of the things I do with students in the classroom is to get their feedback on parenting.
I’ll ask them:
What is it that your parents do that you don’t like?
What is it that you do like?
What is it that you’d do differently if you were a parent?
The responses I get would shock a lot of parents.
(Which is why I like to share their feedback with parents like you in my parenting workshops).
And believe it or not, parents rescuing their kids from failure is a topic that has come up.
Click on the picture below to check out one of the conversations I had in the classroom after asking students these same question.
Failure Isn’t Fatal
You know what stood out to me from the classroom discussion in the clip above?
When the young lady asked: “How are we gonna ever learn to become an adult if they [parents] keep rescuing us?”
And that’s the issue.
(Also referred to as “snowplow” or “lawnmower” parenting).
The truth is, when parents clear away any perceived obstacles from their children’s path to success, it doesn’t save them from failure as an adult.
It sets them up for it.
Leaving them ill-prepared to handle common setbacks and challenges like not being able to take a course they need, getting laid off from a job, or being looked over for a promotion.
Sadly, many parents never grow out of their need to “rescue” their kids—even when their adults.
According to a new survey by Morning Consult for The New York Times, “A significant share of parents, across income levels, say they’re involved in their adult children’s lives.”
- 76% of parents (of adults 18-28) who said they reminded their grown children of deadlines they needed to meet, like schoolwork.
- 74% who even made their grown children’s doctor’s appointments.
(Note: Go here to see full results of the survey)
Which begs the question: What are parents really rescuing their kids from?
The students caught up in the college admissions scandal would have survived not getting into the colleges their parents cheated to get them into.
(Which is exactly the route many of them will have to take now thanks to their parents’ inability to let go).
And my friend’s daughter’s life wasn’t over just because she got a zero on an assignment.
You see where I’m going here…
The bottom line is: Your daughter’s “failures” are NOT fatal!
So no need to clear them from her path.
If you equip her to navigate around them HERSELF, you’ll set her up for success for life!
Have you ever practiced “snowplow” parenting with your daughter? If so, what did you learn from the experience? And would you do things differently now?
Feel free to leave your answer in the comments below.