Imagine what a bulldozer is in terms outside of parenting, it is a piece of heavy machinery with a large thick metal plate in front used in the construction industry to push stuff away. Now imagine that the parent is the one operating the heavy machinery while the child is walking behind the parent not knowing what is happening except whatever in front is getting pushed away. That, in essence, is what a bulldozer parent does for their child.
A bulldozer parent (aka snowplow parent or lawnmower parent) is a type of parent that will try to remove any and all obstacles in their child’s way. The parents often have the purest intention to make sure their child doesn’t have to go through the struggles that they went through, it definitely will have an effect on the child’s long-term development.
Characteristics of Bulldozer Parenting
There are many characteristics that define a bulldozer parenting style such as not letting their child experience any hardships or difficulties in life. The parents are willing to go through huge go extreme lengths to give their child the best chances possible and that often results in a negative impact for their child when they grow up.
The parent never gives a chance for the child to be able to think through and solve the problem that they are experiencing. The parents are essentially “mowing down” everything in their child’s path.
You might not think you will ever become a bulldozer or snowplow parent but think really carefully about what activities you do with your kids. Do you ever move everything away on the floor while your baby is walking? A safe trip is fine. Your baby has to learn how to get up after a fall.
How To Avoid Being A Bulldozer Parent
There are so many things you can do to not be a bulldozer/snowplow parent. Here is a list of the things I think as a dad, you should avoid doing.
- Be a dad and play with your baby, let your baby not be successful (or fail) at doing what they set out to do. Your baby will learn very quickly to not do that very thing that made them fail.
- Keep your baby’s play area safe from dangerous and sharp objects, that way they won’t hurt themselves.
- Stop the urge to step in when your baby is having a difficult situation. You learned how to resolve that situation by doing, they will do the same.
- Your baby will find you if they don’t know how to do something, but as a parent, you will guide or point them in the direction they should be looking at. Then let them attempt to solve it themselves.
- Let your children try, if not they will feel like they don’t have the confidence to be able to solve a similar problem if it ever occurs in their life again.
- Remember dad, take a chill pill if your child doesn’t understand they will come and ask you. If your child is struggling they will seek help, your child is more resourceful than you think.
These are only a few of the things that I know what to do to avoid being a bulldozer/snowplow parents. I’m sure there are a lot more things that you should avoid and I encourage you to go and find those out.
Positives Of Bulldozer Parenting
On the flip side bulldozer/snowplow parenting does have its positives, let’s take a look at a few of these below.
- You, as a dad, have the capability of taking care of someone wholeheartedly. You are willing to take great length to be able to give your children the best that you can possibly give them.
- You have shown that you have the capability to do intensive and detailed Research into what is the best that you can give for your child. From the best schools to the best neighbourhood or to the best meals that give them best nutritional value.
- If you and your wife have picked up on this bulldozer or snowplow parenting, then you and your wife’s family dynamic is very strong because both of you are working towards a common goal, which is to provide the best of the best to your children.
Now that I have listed some of the positives of bulldozer or snowplow parenting, what kind of similarities can you see from all the points that I have listed? All of these points are all related or targeted to both you and your wife only, there is no mention of how it can benefit your children. Your children is growing up and they will also be joining society soon, and if they are not ready they will feel very much out of place compared to all the other children who have gone through a different path where they had the chance to learn how to cope when they were young.