While skiing in Fernie this past weekend my Google alerts brought me news of the very latest trend in parenting: snow plowing. Yes, this dreaded manoeuvre from the bunny hill has become a technique that some parents are using to help their children succeed — they simply sweep all obstacles out of their kids’ way like a snow plow.
For example, parents might bribe a coach with cupcakes to ensure their son gets a spot on the baseball team, or poison the competition so their daughter is chosen for head cheerleader. Really, there’s no telling the lengths modern snow plow parents will go to to clear the path of least resistance for their progeny. As one blogger lamented, “Snow plow parenting will ruin the world.”
What strikes me as funny about this parenting label is the name. Have you ever watched a little kid learn how to ski (see photo, above)? It’s painful. The snow plow (or “pizza” as it is now called to get kids excited about doing it) takes a lot of muscle co-ordination and is fairly exhausting for little legs to execute down the mountain. It’s why tiny tots take innumerable breaks mid-run and can only ski for a half day tops, or risk putting their legs into the “French fry” (parallel) position to rest their screaming quads, at which point they get out of control and crash.
Sometimes I am forced to snow plow when my daughter takes me on tree trails through the woods. I do this only to check my speed so I won’t end up wrapped around a giant cedar tree with damage to my internal organs. Let’s call the snow plow an emergency position — it’s not a move I want to transfer onto a groomed run, ever. Or do day after day (I wouldn’t have the energy for it).
As another blogger pointed out, perhaps there’s a little tiger mom, helicopter, free range or snow plow parent in all of us. The trick is knowing which parenting hat to wear, when — and only becoming a “snow plow parent” to keep your kid from crashing into a tree, chair lift tower or other life-threatening obstacle.
What are your thoughts on the latest parenting “trend”?