Kids suffer with 'bulldozer' parenting, psychology professor says

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It's the dark side of parenting. In the recent college admissions scandal, the famous, rich and powerful were accused of paying bribes to help their kids get into top schools.

"The parents weren't confident enough in their children to succeed to get into good colleges," said Dr. Judith Bryant, a psychology professor at the University of South Florida. 

It brings to the surface an extreme example of what is known as bulldozer parenting. 

"The bulldozer metaphor I think refers to pushing obstacles out of the way, minimizing those obstacles to clear a path for a child's success," Bryant said.

From grade school to college, parents prepare kids for life -- sometimes going too far.  

"Examples of bulldozing that I've seen at the university would be parents that are contacting faculty by email or in person to create opportunities for their children," Bryant explained.

It can reflect poorly in the eyes of teachers or even potential employers when parents interfere. 

"If I have a parent negotiating those opportunities on the adolescent's behalf, I'm wondering how is that child limited," Bryant said.

She said it's best for parents to teach their kids to take initiative and trust that their kids will carve their own path to success. 

"Young adults have a lot of capabilities with the guidance and advice of adults around them," she said.