The rise of ‘snow plough parenting’ | #parenting


The rise of ‘snow plough parenting’: Expert reveals the new ‘obstacle removal’ trend taking hold across Australia – and why it’s NOT a good idea

  • An Australian expert has shared an insight into ‘snow plough parenting’ 
  • Sharon Witt said this is when a parent solves problems for their children  
  • This can lead to a child’s inability to build resilience and may lead to issues later 


An Australian parenting expert has shared insight into the rise of ‘snow plough parenting’ and the impact it can have on children.

Sharon Witt, from Melbourne, told Daily Mail Australia snow plough parenting is when a parent or parents ‘feel the need to clear the way of any possible mistakes or poor choices their child may make, or solve issues for them, rather than allowing their child or teenager the opportunity to work through the solution and build their resilience muscle’.

This can lead to a child’s inability to solve problems themselves and might lead to personal issues later down the track.

Over the past two decades Ms Witt has worked as a secondary school teacher, author and presenter, sharing her knowledge on parenting, education and issues impacting young people.

‘Snow plough parenting’ is when parents solve issues or problems for their child or children rather than giving them the opportunity to work through and find a solution

Parenting expert Sharon Witt (pictured) said this type of parenting can lead to a child's inability to solve problems themselves

Parenting expert Sharon Witt (pictured) said this type of parenting can lead to a child’s inability to solve problems themselves

While parents want what’s best for their children, snow plough parents often have a tendency to ‘rob their children of wonderful opportunities to learn about real life’.

‘As our young people grow up, they are going to be faced with a multitude of obstacles and issues that they will need to learn to tackle themselves,’ Ms Witt said.

Ms Witt said often the best way to spot a child who has as snow plough parent is to see whether a child has an inability to navigate common situations, especially at school.

‘For example, if a child or teenager forgets to bring their lunch to school, rather than allowing this to be an important lesson for their child to learn, a snow plough parent may be up at the school with lunch in hand, the minute they realise their child’s forgetfulness,’ she said.

‘Children and teens will not starve if they miss lunch on one day at school. This would be a perfect opportunity for a young person to learn resourcefulness.’    

Ms Witt said often the best way to spot a child who has as snow plough parent is to see whether a child has an inability to navigate common situations

Ms Witt said often the best way to spot a child who has as snow plough parent is to see whether a child has an inability to navigate common situations

In this example, the child or teenager will learn to consider their options and may think to speak to a teacher, go to the school office to call home or make do with not eating until coming home from school.

‘What a fabulous learning opportunity. They might then write themselves a note on their school bag to remind them in future to pack their lunch,’ Ms Witt said.

Learning problem solving and resilience is an important skill to have, particularly in adulthood when the person needs to make their own decisions.

What is ‘snow plough parenting’ and is it good for children?  

Snow plough parenting is when parents solve issues or problems for their child or children rather than giving them the opportunity to work through and find a solution

While parents want what’s best for their kids, this type of parenting can lead to a child’s inability to solve problems and doesn’t build resilience  

Parenting expert Sharon Witt said often the best way to spot a child who has as snow plough parent is to see whether a child has an inability to navigate common situations, especially at school

Learning problem solving and resilience is an important skill to have, particularly in adulthood when the person needs to make their own decisions



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