What Is A Bulldozer Parenting?

June 9, 2022

Victoria Turner Turco, founder, and president of Turner Educational Advising defines a bulldozer parent as somebody who goes above and above to make their child's life easy. Despite the fact that parents nearly usually have the greatest intentions when attempting to help their children thrive, their methods can frequently cross ethical or even legal lines, as in the case of Operation Varsity Blues (the college admissions scandal of 2019).

According to Julie Lythcott-Haims, author of How to Raise an Adult and former dean of freshmen at Stanford University, this tendency probably originated in the 1980s, when a heightened concern for stranger danger prompted parents to organize and control their children's activities more tightly.

Instead of letting their children play outside with their neighbors' children, parents got more interested in their children's social life.

"It's like a snowball rolling downhill," says Turner Turco, who wrote for LINK for Counselors Magazine in 2019 on preparing students for life after college. Once parents began planning their children's play, it wasn't long before they began to participate in their children's play.

Soon, parents were deciding which instruments and sports their children should play, as well as their hobbies, extracurricular activities, and, of course, homework.

Lythcott-Haims told The New York Times that she observed Stanford students relying on their parents to arrange "play dates" with other college students. "The objective is to prepare the child for the road, not the road for the child," she explains.

Spotting A Bulldozer Parent

  • Identifying a bulldozer Parental bulldozer parenting will vary according to the child. Usually, it starts off tiny and apparently insignificant, but normalizing the behavior will set them up for a severe failure in the future.
  • Common explanations include that it is quicker or simpler. Parents sometimes make the reason that it is quicker or simpler for them to do something themselves rather than teaching their child the appropriate method. This may be true, especially for parents of small children, but if these modest behaviors are performed often enough, they can lead to more severe kinds of bulldozer parenting.
  • Overly active in school. Typical bulldozer parent activities include performing most or all of a child's project or assignment, intervening when their child receives a poor grade, and maintaining frequent contact with their child's instructor.
  • Overly active in college. While it is reasonable to check on your college-aged child, especially if they demonstrate concerning behavioral trends, helicopter parents may go too far. Texting their child to remind them to wake up for class, making doctor's appointments or oil changes, and writing professors or school authorities on their child's behalf are examples of the overly engaged conduct of bulldozer parents.

Results Of Bulldozer Parenting

  • Even the most well-intentioned parents may find temporary reprieve from stress and frustration in bulldozer parenting, making it an understandable temptation, even with the help of technology. However, recurrent and persistent bulldozer parenting techniques have severe impacts on child development and foster the notion that children are incapable of completing things independently.
  • Bulldozer parenting stunts skill development. Bulldozer parents prevent their children from gaining important abilities such as stress management, coping with failure, and decision-making by shielding them from difficult situations.
  • Parenting through force teaches your child that they are unable. They realize they cannot make life decisions without your guidance. Your youngster may eventually lack the ability to make their own life decisions and control their emotions as a result of this routine's repetition.
  • Your youngster becomes accustomed to getting their way. Since their achievement comes easily and without many obstacles, the child of a bulldozer parent will lack coping abilities. Consequently, they will likely suffer socially and academically when things do not go their way.
Annie Archibald has a PhD in Family Studies from York and has taught in universities for decades. Along with her professional career, she also is a mother of five and now a grandmother to two loving boys.

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