How To Stop Being a Snowplow Parent – Part 1

How To Stop Being a Snowplow Parent – Part 1 May 13, 2024

What we do for our kids even as adults: some scary data

First, let’s look at the natural progression if we snowplow our kids through high school: it doesn’t stop there!

A 2019 New York Times poll surveyed parents with adult children ages 18 to 28. Three-quarters of these parents made appointments like doctor visits or haircuts for their adult children. (Um, guilty! I’m the main contact for the neurologist who treats my college-age son’s epilepsy. And this poll made me realize that I probably shouldn’t be!) Eleven percent said they would contact their child’s employer if their child had an issue.

Earlier this year, Pew Research found that 59% of parents with adult children 18-34 gave financial help to a child in that age range in the last year. Among parents who helped their children financially, 36% said doing so hurt their own personal financial situation at least some. And one of the top areas in which young adults got financial help was cellphone bills and streaming services!

What? Are we really sacrificing our 401(k)s so our adult kids can watch Netflix?

Snowplow parenting can stunt our kids in every area from budgeting and organization to sacrifice and handling conflict. To nip this parenting pitfall before our kids hit adulthood, here are the first three of six helpful steps, based on our research with 3,000 teens for For Parents Only and other books.


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