Pushy “snowplow parents” are afflicting schools, writes Ole Jorgenson, head of a private school, in the San Jose Mercury News.
Gen Xers orchestrate every move of their preschoolers, from perfect play dates and obsessively healthy diets, to instructional flashcards and hypoallergenic socks.
Once school starts, Gen X parents may become upset to discover other students doing more advanced work than their own, demanding a meeting with the principal about why the teacher is “letting their child fall behind.” Of course the parents have done their research, identified the problem, and it’s clearly the school’s fault that their child is “underperforming” — in kindergarten.
“Helicopter parents” hovered. “Snowplow parents” knock “all potential obstacles out of their children’s paths to pack their young résumés with successes,” Jorgenson writes. And that may mean bulldozing the teacher or the principal.
In the mid-1980s, when he was a young teacher, most parents would cooperate with the school in dealing with a child’s problem behavior. There was a home-school partnership. Now 75 percent of parents resist.
Jorgenson is head of Almaden Country School, a respected private school in San Jose that charges $15,710 tuition at the middle-school level. It has a “whole child” philosophy, but also brags about high test scores. I wonder if affluent private-school parents are pushier than affluent public-school parents.