Author Topic: Snowplow parents  (Read 1652 times)

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Offline Ah.hell

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Re: Snowplow parents
« Reply #15 on: March 19, 2019, 05:19:45 PM »
I don't think corporal punishment has been common in US public schools since the 60s.  My parents signed a waiver for me in the 80s but I do not know anyone that was actually punished with anything more than timeout(I don't think they Called it that.) or a stern talking to.

Back on topic, I think one of the ways affluence plays in, is that rich people seem to think to complain about stuff that poor people just assume is the state of affairs.  I see this all the time with my wife.  She is often complaining about things to various poor clerks and assistant managers that it would never occur to me to mention.  She often gets recompense for perceived injustice though. 
« Last Edit: March 19, 2019, 05:22:42 PM by Ah.hell »

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Re: Snowplow parents
« Reply #16 on: March 19, 2019, 05:24:24 PM »
I wish they had your dads attitude in my school in the 70s and early 80s. The amount of abuse from teachers during that time period was sickening (at least in my "middle class" school). I'm glad parents became outraged about school discipline and put an end to it (probably because they themselves had been abused by their schools). 

It may have gotten out of hand and could pull back a few notches but Ill take it compared to the nightmare I had to endure.  I never had kids and I regret it but if I had I would be in that school every step of the way making sure what happened to my generation does not happen to them.

While other parents defend corporal punishment because they say it happened to them and they turned out fine.

It just has to be illegal, can't rely on each community to figure it out for themselves.

Offline amysrevenge

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Re: Snowplow parents
« Reply #17 on: March 19, 2019, 05:31:17 PM »
We had urban legends of corporal punishment, and everybody knew somebody who knew somebody who'd heard of somebody who'd received "the strap", but I never actually saw any meted out.
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Offline DevoutCatalyst

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Re: Snowplow parents
« Reply #18 on: March 19, 2019, 05:52:36 PM »
I got paddled once, in high school no less. Early 70s. This was in Illinois. I was tame, must of happened quite a bit to unruly students. Stupid system, word of one teacher who was never wrong got you your spanking. Didn't hurt that much.

Offline Captain Video

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Re: Snowplow parents
« Reply #19 on: March 19, 2019, 05:56:59 PM »
When I spoke of discipline I certainly did not mean any sort of physical abuse or corporal punishment. A loss of privileges, perhaps, or a time-out.  Although a little research shows me that corporal punishment in schools was not legally banned in Vermont until 1985, I’m not aware of it being used even before that, and I certainly did not witness it at any point after I entered elementary school in 1982.

If you don’t mind my asking, Captain Video, in what state did you have these experiences?


I have always thought you were older than me or close to the same age, I guess not.

Pennsylvania. Specifically Parkland School district near Allentown but I am sure the other districts paddled as well. Pennsylvania didn't stop corporal punishment until 2005, it is still legal in some states but banned by the school districts. I assume in that case that the teacher would not be criminally liable but could be fired.  I do see a few states that stopped it in the 70s which I was not aware of so it makes sense that some of you did not experience it.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/School_corporal_punishment_in_the_United_States

Personally as far as non physical punishment I still disagree with any teacher or school official performing anything other than sending a kid home. Its too easy to abuse, "Timeout" becomes "locked in a dark closet" Even with the lights on, Schools don't get to Jail children. 
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Offline Captain Video

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Re: Snowplow parents
« Reply #20 on: March 19, 2019, 06:13:06 PM »
actually when I went back to read that wiki again I see there are still 19 states with districts that still allow it including my own, now i'm really pissed off.

Alabama   Idaho   Missouri   Wyoming
Arkansas   Indiana   North Carolina   
Arizona   Kansas   Oklahoma   
Colorado   Kentucky   South Carolina   
Florida   Louisiana   Tennessee   
Georgia   Mississippi   Texas   

If you live in one of these states you would be crazy not to snowplow
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Offline The Latinist

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Re: Snowplow parents
« Reply #21 on: March 19, 2019, 06:22:32 PM »
I’m afraid, Captain, that you are generalizing from personal experiences that are not universal.  Defending one’s children from abuse is decidedly not what is meant by ‘snowplow parenting’, nor is it at all what I was describing.  I understand that you had horrible experiences, and I’m sorry; but that’s just not what we’re talking about.
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Offline daniel1948

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Re: Snowplow parents
« Reply #22 on: March 19, 2019, 07:37:48 PM »
When I was in junior high school (grades 7-9) circa 1960, the phys ed teachers (then called gym teachers) were allowed to swat kids. I was swatted once, not very hard, for turning around early when we were supposed to run to some spot and back, along with several others, who were all similarly punished. Offenses that the teacher regarded as more serious got harder, and/or multiple swats. You were made to bend over and were struck on the butt with your own tennis shoe, which you had to take off for the purpose. Other teachers were not allowed to hit kids, but could refer kids to the gym teachers to be swatted. This was in public school in Los Angeles. When I was in high school, punishment consisted of making you run some assigned number of laps around a course which included a steep hill. There was a time limit. I got one lap once. I don't remember the offense. I was generally a very well-behaved kid.
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Offline Captain Video

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Re: Snowplow parents
« Reply #23 on: March 19, 2019, 07:45:57 PM »
I’m afraid, Captain, that you are generalizing from personal experiences that are not universal.  Defending one’s children from abuse is decidedly not what is meant by ‘snowplow parenting’, nor is it at all what I was describing.  I understand that you had horrible experiences, and I’m sorry; but that’s just not what we’re talking about.

It certainly relates to why parents feel outraged when their children are disciplined, I believe school abuse may be the cause for many of those over protective parents not wanting their kids to go through what they did.

I am effected by my personal experiences, as are millions of previously abused school children. There is no way I would ever trust a school again and I assume many parents accused of snowplowing feel the same way. It mite not even be about abuse, there are many reasons one mite loose trust in the school system.

I'm sure its getting better and to take that a step further judging by your comments on this forum people like you it will continue to make it much better.  There are still plenty of monsters to deal with in a screwed up unbalanced system.

Hell, I would lie, bribe and cheat to get my dog into the best obedience school and hold her hand the whole way.  I'm sure I would do it for my kid if I had one.

I think the question of harming a child by being overprotective would depend on the child, my parents could have been more protective in some areas and less in others.  Parents today know better based on how things were in the past so they will be more protective in different ways than the previous generations.

If there is some science that shows I'm wrong and that overprotecting produces trauma or dysfunction in adults I would be interested in seeing it but so far it looks more like opinion.  My grandfather accused my father of being too easy on me as did his grandfather before him.
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Offline Ah.hell

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Re: Snowplow parents
« Reply #24 on: March 20, 2019, 09:44:44 AM »
I agree with the latinist, I think that you, Captain Video, are over generalizing.  As I mentioned, corporal punishment was most definitely allowed in my elementary school, it was literally never done.  There is a lot of room between never done and the type of abuse you describe as well.  I strongly suspect that your experience was at the end of the spectrum in US schools in the 70s-90s and that "snowplow" parenting is unlikely to be a response to it. 

You do have a point about evidence that snowplowing is a bad thing though.  I suspect it is when done in the extreme, likely produces adults who can't navigate life on their own.  But, as you note, I don't really have evidence of that, we do have evidence that abusing children causes long term harm though.  Granted, that's a false dichotomy. 

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Re: Snowplow parents
« Reply #25 on: March 20, 2019, 11:06:36 AM »

I think there must be/have been a great deal of regional variation in the above - in my region in the early 80s and beyond, it wasn't all that far off from what I see in my kid's school now.

For some reason I was one of the few singled out for corporal punishment. I would often interrupt lessons to correct errors the teachers made and criticize their word usage and not back down if I knew I was right and that drove them up the wall.




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Online CarbShark

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Re: Snowplow parents
« Reply #26 on: March 20, 2019, 11:13:31 AM »
All this fuss about helicopter parents or snowplow parents seems inane to me.

My wife and both daughters work with families, and the larger, far more destructive issue facing more kids today is neglect. Abuse is a more damaging issue too.

 Maybe on the extremes snow plowing and helicoptering are counter productive, but that’s pretty rare. On a spectrum neglect would be far more common and destructive.

Parents active and participating in their children’s success is a net positive for the kids and for society.


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Online Ron Obvious

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Re: Snowplow parents
« Reply #27 on: March 20, 2019, 11:24:32 AM »
Jonathan Haidt, recently interviewed by Sam Harris, had an interesting article in the Guardian recently more or less on this topic:

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/jan/10/by-mollycoddling-our-children-were-fuelling-mental-illness-in-teenagers

Offline daniel1948

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Re: Snowplow parents
« Reply #28 on: March 20, 2019, 11:29:04 AM »
Hell, I would lie, bribe and cheat to get my dog into the best obedience school and hold her hand the whole way.  I'm sure I would do it for my kid if I had one.

It's one thing to do whatever you can to get your kid into the best school. It's quite another to help your child get away with anti-social behavior which makes them unable to function properly in school, or to help them get away with failing to study, so that they get school credits without learning the material. Note also, that the "best" school might be the most difficult school, which they are unable to succeed in because they never studied because you enabled them by intervening when they didn't do their homework. The "best" school for a highly-motivated student might require long hours of hard study, whereas the "best" school for the rest of us might be one that requires a less intense study regime.

A good parent protects their child from abuse while demanding good behavior, and where appropriate good study habits, of their child. A good parent does not enable bad behavior or failure to study. That may be the difference between snowplowing and concerned parenting. And you cannot know, while your child is in the womb, which school will be "best" for them.
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Offline superdave

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Re: Snowplow parents
« Reply #29 on: March 20, 2019, 02:47:44 PM »
Jonathan Haidt, recently interviewed by Sam Harris, had an interesting article in the Guardian recently more or less on this topic:

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/jan/10/by-mollycoddling-our-children-were-fuelling-mental-illness-in-teenagers

I actually just bought his book yesterday because of this new york times article.  i will post my review when i am done with it.
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