Having a kid is a really big deal. It changes so much about your life and everything seems to flip upside down. Every parent reacts differently to these changes, some better than others. Sometimes moms and dads become way too protective over their offspring, which results in what we know as "helicopter parenting."
This online user decided to ask people about the worst examples of overbearing parents that can't seem to let go of their little babies and let them live their own lives, even when they're full-grown adults. Some of the stories people shared are truly shocking and hard to believe, and they might make you appreciate your parents a whole lot more. However, if you happen to relate to any of these stories, please feel free to share your own experiences in the comments!
#1Ugh this one kid I knew from elementary-high school.
The mom didn't have a job and somehow managed to be at his school EVERY SINGLE DAY, watching over him.
In elementary she was a volunteer Teacher's Aid every year which meant she would help out in whatever class he was in. By middle school, she was the head of the PTA and although not necessary she was at the campus almost every day. She would just wander around and eventually, the school stopped caring and she could do whatever she wants. She would randomly pop into one of his classes and just observe or come up to him to hangout with him at lunch.
The kid was 24/7 stressed the hell out, his whole body always clenched up. His mom put IMMENSE pressure on him to do well in school both academically and behavior wise.
He had an extremely hard time making friends and eventually he was bullied to the point of randomly getting beat up. Made it to the first year of high school before he had to transfer to another school.
It's her fault, all she wanted was for him to be smart and polite to teachers and he never got to learn how to just be a guy and make friends.
Image credits: Dionysus19
We spoke to Dr. Rosina McAlpine, a parenting expert and creator of the Win Win Parenting Program. She shared her thoughts on the term "helicopter parenting" and what effects overbearing parents have on kids: "Having labels like 'helicopter parenting,' 'bulldozer parenting' or even 'free-range parenting' isn't a helpful place to start the conversation for two reasons:
1. Based on the thousands of parents I have worked with, parents love their children and are well-intentioned, so calling them derogatory names or labeling them as one kind of parent or another isn't helpful to them or their children.
2. We need to understand that parents are thrown in at the deep end when it comes to parenting - no manual comes with the child - and there is so much pressure on parents to be 'good parents' even though they may have had no training in child development or parenting and not have the skills they need to raise happy, healthy, well-adjusted children."
#2A mom came with her kid to whine about a (deserved) poor grade.
The "kid" was a junior in college. Mom was not happy when I informed her I couldn't and wouldn't talk to parents. And by "not happy" I mean "lost her s**t and was escorted out by campus security".
The student was mortified of course, even came by to apologize and I was basically like "let's both just pretend that never happened, m'kay, here's what you should work on for the next exam".
Image credits: InannasPocket
#3Dude came in to talk about his son's test scores.
The son was in my second year university course, and the dad was a prof in the subject I was teaching who thought I was hard on his son. We reviewed the midterm together, in the end I gave the kid back one mark so he went from like a 73 to a 74%...
Seriously cannot imagine what it was like for that kid going up.
Image credits: billbapapa
"A better approach that is helpful to parents and children is to look at the Win Win Parenting approach, which is based on parenting with empathy and education rather than discipline, rewards and punishment. The key is to establish a strong relationship with the child and to teach them all the life skills they need to thrive in the world. So when we look at the pros and cons of helicopter parenting from this perspective, we can see that having a helicopter parent around to ensure our children are safe in the world - that they don't run on the road as a toddler and don't go down the wrong road - as a teacher, then it's a great approach."
#4As an RA, I was checking students into their dorm rooms. One mother came with her son, who looked to be about 25, and she would not let him get a single word in. She went on about it being his first year in college and that she was finally approving of him moving away from home and actually going to college (a big yikes we kept an eye on later). When he was assigned to a traditional room with a roommate, she flipped her s**t, saying how she wanted him in an apartment so she could stay with him whenever she wanted (can’t do that anyway) and she would withdraw him from school if she didn’t get her way. Thankfully, I was already dead inside from dealing with other residents so I checked her son in, and immediately gave him the number of my boss in case his mother gave any more problems while he was moving in.
I later heard from another RA that she tried to prevent the roommate from entering their shared room, even though her son was desperately trying to get her to leave. The RA and student security had to escort her out of the building where she sat until her son was done moving in.
The son was actually a really cool dude once his mother was out of his hair, and a really involved student, happy to be on his own and living the college life, even if he was a bit older. His mom still managed to call our duty phones asking about him, but Bc of federal laws we just hung up.
Image credits: hoodoofus
My sons befriended the "new" kid in middle school. Home schooled through elemantary school years, but parents wanted him to interact with kids. Hes a good kid. Smart, but guarded and sheepish but he got along great with my sons. They want to have a sleepover. He gets dropped off and his mother hands me a list. Had to be 4 pages of his routine, dos and dont's and everything (Adam is not to have anything to drink after the hour of 8pm. He needs to brush his teeth with the tootbrush we sent him with. He needs to be asleep by blah blah blah).
I have three kids. I can keep a 12 year old kid alive for 20 hours without a list. She would text me non stop. I felt bad for the kid. I let him know "listen if you bend a few of these rules, I'll never tell your mom if you won't" and he had this huge smile. I'm not sure what kind of people helicopter parents think they're creating, but it can't be a fun one that's for sure.
Image credits: anon
"On the other hand, when helicopter parenting stops children from learning key life skills because the parent is jumping in and doing everything for the child - then we can say that it would have a negative impact from childhood through to adulthood.
The aim of parenting is that parents do themselves out of the job of parenting and are left with strong, healthy relationships with their children - a lifelong bond! Parents need to support their children to gain the knowledge and understanding and develop the skills of how to thrive in the world without their parents, as parents are not always going to be there to 'tell them what to do'."
#6The mom of a former coworker of mine. He was 27 or 28 and his mom didn't approve the woman he was dating, so he kept dating her in secret. He looked really in love with her (gf not so much but seemed happy)
Eventually his mom started calling me and a couple of other coworkers to check if her son was still dating that woman, so we lied to cover him
After a year or so of this secret relationship the girlfriend got pregnant, my coworker proposed and they started planning a small wedding. When the mom knew she went ballistic and forced him out of the engagement. He literally broke up with the future mother of his child because his mom said so
All of this happened 10 years ago, I still talk with the gf because I was friends with her, she is living with another guy, her daughter is 9 years old and never knew her biological dad
I have no idea (or interest of knowing) what happened with my former coworker, if he is still living with his mom or what happened
Image credits: Hastur082
#7A little girl who lived down the road from me and that I used to babysit. Her mom was so obsessive she basically pushed the father out of the picture without actually separating or divorcing. I quit babysitting when she was about 5 cause I couldn't take it anymore, my sister took over though and they were neighbours so I kept up to date.
She didn't learn how to speak until she was 4. Not due to any learning disability but her mom emphasized not encouraging her to talk and that "she would learn when she's ready". She only taught her basic sign language to ask for food or drink. Ended up falling and hurting herself pretty badly (internal injuries) and couldn't communicate it to her parents cause she didn't know how to talk. It was only her dad's quick thinking and taking her to the hospital that saved her life. Learned how to talk pretty quickly after that.
When it came time for her to go to school (literally down the road from their house, maybe 6 houses down) her mom couldn't handle the separation and would show up to the school every day. This pissed off the school and while she made it through kindergarten it was a few months into first grade when the school requested that she limit her visits to once a week and to only use that time to actually assist in volunteering like the other parents.
So she reacted like a reasonable adult and immediately pulled her daughter out of school and began homeschooling her.
Kid is probably around 18-19 now? Last saw her (with her mom of course) a couple years ago at a wedding and she seemed alright but who knows how well adjusted she actually is.
Image credits: anon
She also shared how she thinks growing up with helicopter parents shapes someone once they become a parent. Are they likely to repeat the same behavior, or go in the opposite direction and take a more low-key approach to their own children?: "It can go either way, do the same or go the complete opposite - and I have seen both - but again, more importantly, we need to help parents forget about the labels and instead look at the impact it has on children. I encourage parents to ask themselves and write down what their vision for parenthood is and their vision for their child."
#8I used to work at a place in the university during college, we had a few parents come in and ask for jobs for their college aged children in person, without the students knowledge. If they came in with the student in tow that would be even worse. We also had parents who would call on the phone doing the same thing. Naturally a lot of the students were from out of state so I don't know if they drove up just to ask for the job or whatever, but that is even more scary. It was very awkward and this was quite a while ago for me so its not like its a recent thing.
Image credits: SaraAB87
#9My aunt never let my cousins have any kind of sugar or candy. She told then that it was poison and tasted nasty. One time while our grandma was babysitting them (they were 6) she let them have 1 capri sun each. They loved it, saying "grammy, sugar actually tastes GOOD" and threw up shorty after because their stomachs could not handle it.
My cousins are alcoholics now.
Image credits: dingusfunk
"I don't think any parent would say: 'I want my child to rely on me for life and not be able to make their own decisions and life choices!' No way, right? Parents will generally say something like: 'I want my child to grow up and be happy, fulfilled, kind, make a positive contribution in the world, have friends, be resilient, tenacious, be cooperative and go for their goals.,' etc.
My next question is: How will you help your child be able to do all that? To develop those skills and to understand how the world works, etc., and that's where the life skill education comes in."
#10My neighbor loses her s**t and is in panic mode when a car is coming down the street. Her "baby" is like 5 and is aware that she cannot just run into the street. It's not like they go fast either, we live in a cul-de-sac.
Image credits: getyourcheftogether
#11I watch a neighbor kid. He's 15. The poor kid has no social/life skills. I do not blame him as his guardian (step mother) is crazy controlling. Up until this school year, she walked him to the bus stop (literally two houses down) then proceeded to wait until he boarded the bus. Once, she grounded him for talking to a stranger at McDonalds. As stated, the kid is 15. She refuses to let him do normal teenager things. The furthest he can walk alone is one house down, through an alley (to my house).
Image credits: EnvyEarthworm
Dr. Rosina McAlpine also has some advice for adult children of helicopter parents who are now raising their own kids and trying their hardest not to instill the same kind of anxiety in their kids that was instilled in them at a young age: "Focus on the skills you're trying to foster. How can we foster resilience, confidence, and emotional regulation? Supporting resilience - once parents have the skills, they can support their children to develop the skills.
Encourage your children to ask for help. Accept and share their feelings. Talk to people who have overcome the same challenge. Take action to overcome the challenge or difficulty. Focus on the good things in life - not just the challenges. Discuss examples where your child has overcome obstacles in the past. Accept life has ups and downs. Positive self-talk rather than negative self-talk. Focus on solutions, not problems. Teach a growth mindset rather than a fixed mindset."
#12A friend's parents are hypercontrolling. He was on a date and sister called the parents because she was filling out the FAFSA, but was stuck. Instead of saying "call your brother" Mom drove 2 1/2 hours to their college town, tracked him down on his date, and then brought him (but not the date) to the sister's apartment to do it for her. Mom also came to the town when the sister said she saw his motorcycle parked in front of someone's house after dark. It was not his motorcycle. It was just another shiny red motorcycle. The helicopter parent seemed to have influenced a helicopter sister.
Image credits: gore_schach
#13This is my sister's experience but she taught Kindergarten for awhile and she had a kid who's mother wouldn't let her play outside if it was below 70 degrees and told the school she was allergic to dairy but then admitted she lied about that because she "couldn't trust that the school wouldn't serve her spoiled milk" so she thought it would be easier to just say she was allergic. Also the kid was coincidentally sick and had to stay home from school on every single field trip.
Image credits: anon
The parenting expert also shared why she thinks some parents have the instinct to overprotect. Is it a projection of their own anxieties, or does it come from a true place of love in wanting to keep the children safe?: "It is both. Parents have a natural instinct to protect their children and to 'parent' them. But little by little as a child is ready, parents need to help them find their own way in the world, and that can be hard for parents who hear so much 'scary news' when it comes to toddlers drowning in backyard pools, children being bullied online and offline, to teenagers taking drugs and drinking alcohol. That is why teaching life skills is so important so children are ready for whatever the world throws at them!"
#14I'm in college, living off campus with my 20 year old roomate. She has to be in contact with her mom every single day. If she doesn't answer within a few hours, her mom gets extremely anxious about where she is and what she's doing. Her mom has called me more than once to see where she is. Usually, I'm within 40 feet of my roomate and she's just doing homework or watching cable. It's ridiculous that she's being monitored like a hawk when she's an adult.
Edit: a word.
Image credits: sculptedmind
#15While working at new student orientation in college, I was told a story from a previous year. The parents who attended orientation were housed separately from the students. One mom wanted to stay with her daughter, and took the bed of another student. The mom told the student she can find somewhere else to sleep. The student, not knowing what to do, ended up sleeping in a chair in the common area of the dorm.
Image credits: TrulyGoofy
#16In college, a girl's mom stayed in her room with her the first week of our freshman year. Went to classes with her, ate with her and attended our dorm meeting, introducing herself as "Crystal's Mommy".
She finally went home, and Crystal had obviously never learned to do anything on her own. Her roommate dated a guy in my floor and would tell us about her daily, multiple calls home. She didn't know how to do laundry so mommy paid roommate to do it for her.
By mid term, Crystal was failing all her classes and had basically just given up going to class as it was "too hard". Again mommy shows up, stays two weeks, talks to her professors then pulled her out of school.
I'm curious what she's doing now, hopefully she broke out on her own and gained some Independence.
Image credits: FrankieFillibuster
#17Working summer orientation for my old community college and we have new students register for classes towards the end of the session. Counselors are there to help with class selection.
This one mom was literally hovering over her son telling him which classes to choose, and completely ignoring the counselor's advice, when she had him stand up. She proceeded to sit down and she herself started registering her son for his classes.
I tried to intervene, letting her know that we ask that the student register themselves, and that he'll be doing online registration for the rest of his college career. I was told to f**k off.
Later I pulled him aside and told him to change his password and swap into a class more appropriate for his placement exams.
It was this incident that triggered us to design a parent orientation to keep them away from their kids.
Welcome to adulthood lil bro!
Image credits: SilverFHorn
#18My best friend's mom. They live 10 minutes away from me, and my friend is REALLY bad with directions.
He drove to my house, and got lost, so it took him like 45 minutes. After like 30 minutes his mom calls me and is sobbing because he hadn't checked in with her. He's 26.
Image credits: drunktacos
#19My son told me about this one
5th grade overnight trip to nature center. Kids mom went (was only parent, that wasn't a teacher, to go), had a complete meltdown when she was told that her kid would be sleeping in cabin with other kids and not her...she was told this before trip as well. Four teachers per cabin, basically overnight school. He said she basically spent the entire night outside watching the cabin, really creeped everyone out, man the rants she went on facebook...at least her friends and family called her out on her nonsense, imagine quite a few people got blocked that day.
Image credits: Drifter74
#20This is a true story of a guy my dad went to university with back in the day who married into a helicopter parent situation.
This guy, we will call him Dave, met a girl (Cindy) at Uni and they began dating and eventually engaged. However, during the dating process, Cindy's mother insisted on spending time with both of them when they were together. She even joined her daughter on their first date without either of them warning Dave until he came to pick her up. Cindy's mother was very much in their business, showing up to their dates and sitting at tables nearby and watching them.
Somehow, they manage to push through this, fall in love and get engaged. While they are planning out their honeymoon, Cindy's mother finds the name of the resort they are staying in, contacts the hotel and reserved the room right next door to them for herself. Also, buys tickets on the same flight as them to and from their destination.
During the honeymoon she would follow them everywhere they went. Constantly yelling at Dave for drinking on the beach, eating too much food, or even snoring too loud at night (that's how Dave discovered she was listening to them through the shared wall).
Honeymoon ends and they go home to their house for the first time, but Cindy doesn't move in at the demand of her mother. The mother constantly ran screens on them spending more time together and basically forced Cindy to continue to live at home with her.
Needless to say, Dave and Cindy got a divorce within a year of the wedding. Last Dave had heard, Cindy still hasn't remarried.
#21Oh my God this one gives me some damn flashbacks.
So in elementary school, specifically 5th grade, I had this kid sat next to me, special needs but we didn’t have a special ed class because small charter school so he was in my class. This kid was an extremely high functioning autistic, like he was crazy smart analytically but he struggled with social interaction. This kids mom completely ruined how smart he was by babying him constantly, she screeched at the school demanding that because he was special needs that she be allowed to be in the classroom with him and that he not be made to do the same work as everyone else. It got so horrible that when we went on a school trip to a nature camp for three days, the mom took him to the doctor before the trip and had him diagnosed with some b******t issue that the doctor probably gave just to get her out of the hospital, and had a feeding tube installed in his stomach just so she would have a reason to come and visit him every night. I seriously felt bad for this kid, he had so much potential to be a great member of society but his mom completely ruined it by treating him like a baby all the time.
#22Wait until you here about an ex girlfriend of mine:
We met in elementary school and reconnected later in our 20’s. She was very shy, and timid, but sweet and intelligent. I thought I would give it a go. She was 24 and still lived with her parents—no big deal to me. I didn’t move out on my own until a few months before we began dating. Little did I know that it wasn’t really her choice to live there—her mother was incredibly controlling and was the worst helicopter parent I’ve ever come across.
Her mom would repeatedly say to us “it’s nice you guys are dating, but I think you’re both too young to be doing it.” Mind you, we were both 24. She also mentioned (on several occasions) “I didn’t begin dating until I was in my 30’s. I don’t think anyone should date until they’re 30-35.” Things like that. My girlfriend was really annoyed by her comments and constantly got into this weird teenage-like arguments with her. One time her mom said “oh, that’s just your young hormones kicking in.” That was weird. Anyway.
My girlfriend had to text her mom before she left anywhere and when she arrived. Her mom used to google map the time and Distance between places. If she forgot to text her, she received an insane amount or phone calls or texts. Her mom made her get paper checks so her mom could “keep track” of her money, and would not allow her to get direct deposit. She was also way over precautious about things.
One time we went for a walk around dusk. She lived in a small town (population 2000-2,500) and lived on the side of town that was well lit and hardly any sort of vehicle traffic. Her mother sent her dozens of texts within minutes of us leaving begging her to come home because “you’re both not wearing reflective clothing,” and “this is a bad idea because it’s getting dark,” and “I’m trying to protect you! Walking in the dark is incredibly dangerous.” This and that.
As a side note, her mom also used to make little hits at me for my job at the time. She said “I don’t think it’s a good career path.” I worked at a bank as a relationship manager—managing bank accounts and opening investment accounts for higher net worth individuals—and was looking to get my MBA. I was actively studying for the GRE exam.
#23Omg so when I was young(16-18) I went to a tutor after school to learn science (it was actually an after school class - very common in my country for children to go for these classes for all subjects. And yes, I'm from an Asia country - but brown Asian though)
So anyway, there was this dude in class who had a CRAZY mother. She brought him/took him from the class everyday and stayed outside for the entire duration (2hours or more) of the class. Everyday. Without fail.
She also flipped out this one time because he spoke to, SPOKE TO a girl!
#24I used to work lock-up security for the college I'm going to. One day I went in, it was move-in day for the students, and I could tell the other officers had an eventful day. Turns out one student's parents called the police and filed a missing person report because they couldn't get a hold of him. They dropped him off at his dorm to get settled around 10 am and at 5 pm they filed the report. Had police and security scouring campus for the guy. The whole time this was going on he was at orientation and the meet and greet.
#25I work at potato chip factory, with other grown a*s adults . The other day I saw a mother arguing with hr so they would give her son, a grown a*s adult, a job. The kid had the type of face someone makes when he wants to die more than anything else in the world. It was funny
#26My moms crazy neighbor, kids could not leave the circle they lived on (including 18 yo senior), went to party once, for f'ing band, like innocent s**t, she sat outside the house the entire time and made him come home at 9 because she couldn't cope. Felt bad for him, everytime I would be over there, he would be outside riding his unicycle in a big circle, the circle they lived on.
#27Buddy of mine is 20, and has to ask for his parents permission to do ANYTHING, a couple of friends and I were planning to go to the beach and we asked if he could drive and pick up one of the guys because he was closest. He showed up with his mom, who picked up the friend and showed up to the beach with us... Beers had to stay in the cooler and the cooler had to stay in my car 1/10 beach experience.
#28I was renting a room from my brother back in the day, we were constantly busy, but not too busy to do the normal chores. A co-workers son (CWS) wanted to earn some money to buy a bmx bike, so we hired him to mow the lawn. He would use his current bike, to bike across town and come mow our half-acre lawn, which a large portion was on a steep hill. We were always around when he was there, but it's not like we sat there and watched him.
The neighbor had two sons. The oldest (NS), being about 3 or 4 years older than CWS. NS saw CWS mowing our lawn, and decided that he wanted to ask to get paid by his parents, for doing their lawn. His mother, after almost the entire summer of him asking, finally relented and allowed him to cut their lawn. Their lawn, was at the bottom of our hill, and entirely flat, and almost entirely visible from their back deck. This didn't matter to her though, she decided that she'd walk beside him, one step behind him, while he cut the grass... just in case.
I'm not entirely sure the proper ages, but I'd say that CWS was approximately 10 or 11, and the NS was 13 or 14, at the time.
#29I’m 18. My parents would periodically whine about how I should “be social”, but I didn’t have any connections with people I’d met in real life, so I downloaded Bumble BFF to look for people in my area with similar interests. I found one other woman who I connected with and we made plans to meet irl. As soon as I told my parents I was meeting “someone from the Internet”, they flipped out, shouted at me, and almost didn’t let me go. They eventually let me - under the condition that they would turn on tracking from my iPhone and if they texted me I had to text back immediately. They gave me this big long condescending conversation about how to avoid being roofied, what to do if I was assaulted, etc. (spoiler alert: the woman was exactly who she said she was and I was not sold into human trafficking).
For this reason I can’t tell them that I have a long distance boyfriend I met on a discord server. I have full confidence that he’s who he says he is and lots of evidence too. He lives across the country (I’m on the west coast and he’s on the east coast) and we plan to meet for the first time this January. I plan to tell my parents I’m going to meet a friend from college. I know if they knew I was going to meet someone from the internet, especially a mutual romantic interest, they would absolutely never let me go. It makes me really torn up that I can’t be honest with them and one of my worst fears is that they’ll find out.
#30My dad’s friends from law school. They waited until their 40s to have a child because they were busy running their very successful law firm and once they realized they were getting a little old they really struggled to conceive. They finally had one viable pregnancy that resulted in their only child, Theo. Theo is super bright like his parents but they hovered over him his whole life. One time they held a dinner party and they had their caterer make an entirely separate buffet for Theo because the other buffet (that they chose and paid for) wasn’t healthy enough for him. They ended up retiring and closing their firm the same summer he graduated from high school and bought a house next to his college campus. They had a really big falling out when Theo wasn’t coming “home” enough and the last I heard he ended up transferring colleges without telling them.
#31I was at a Big Gigantic concert in Dallas (Big gigantic is the band name not the actual size of the concert). This group is a funky/EDM band and needless to say there is plenty of drug use and drinking at there shows, not to mention most people are dressed a little differently.
I was hanging near the rear walking around the crowd with my girlfriend with this rather tall chick in pigtails comes up to us. She was asking questions about our experience, if this was our first show and what other music we liked. She looked like an overgrown school girl but I had no issue talking with her but I couldn't help but notice this older man was standing behind her, hands behind his back and just kind of rocking back and forth trying not to look awkward.
Come to find out this guy was her dad and he didnt want his daughter going out to a show without him being there for her. I felt a little odd with this man just kind of hanging out right next to us so my girlfriend and I said goodbye and walked away.
We later walk around the same spot and the girl is there dancing and her father is leaning on a rail with his arms crossed looking bored as hell. We sat and watched a little and everytime a guy would inch a little closer the farther would kind of stare him down a little and they would all kind of back off slowly. It was actually a little amusing.
Needless to say, i get you need to protect your kids but this girl just wanted to meet some new friends at a show and share music intrest and the father seemed to be hindering that. Let your girl go to the show man and pick her up afterwards!
#32Guy I went to grad school with wouldn't give anyone a ride in his car without calling and asking his mom for permission...he was 22. And his roommates said the day he moved in, his mom came with him and dictated how to do everything, down to how to put stuff on hangers. Guy then proceeded to live on cereal and Chipotle because his mom had always cooked for him, never actually teaching him anything about preparing food.
He was one of the most anxious, stressed-out people I've ever met.
#33My mother taught at a private school and told me that a parent flew a literal helicopter over the school at recess to keep an eye on her daughter who was being bullied.
#34Omg do I know someone!!!! My SIL they have a 8 month old now and she’s just straight psycho! She won’t let anyone hold the baby, my fiancé is her godparent and he has never been allowed to hold her. Her husband (fiancé’s brother) dropped a the babies shoe at the church when they baptized her and SIL FREAKED when he tried to put the shoe on her yelling at him it needs to be put in the sterilizer now. She also freaked out on her husband when the baby touched the couch at the church. When they put the baby on the floor to play she’s only allowed to play on a designated blanket that is washed everyday and no one can touch the side she’s on. They have only taken her out twice in a social event her baptism and when her husband won a award at work. They have this sterilizer that is UV and everything that fits goes in it. She won’t drive with the baby in the car as she doesn’t trust herself putting her in a car seat and only her husband can do it. Once this baby starts crawling and walking she’s going to have a mental breakdown that she can’t control anything and everything this baby does. As this child grows I worry she won’t ever let this baby out of the house who knows if she’s ever actually touched grass. I’m worried to see what this baby will get to do as she grows up and if mom will actually put her in school (or if she’ll homeschool) and actually allow her to have friends...
#35I had a friend in 10th grade whose father was a teacher at another school. His father would come EVERY DAY to our school with his son (my friend) and he would talk to my friend's teachers and ask about how his son is doing. Just a bit of background information, my friend was a sweet kid at first but sadly his behavior started changing when he got into the wrong crowd; he would skip classes, get into trouble, and this directly affected his grades. That is why his dad came to school every day but still, coming to your son's school every day and talking to all of his teachers is a bit much. Anyway, this story has a sad ending because two years later, my friend went swimming in a lake with a few of his friends and his feet got caught in something and he drowned. I heard about it five years ago and it shocked me. The first thing I thought about is his dad and how he took the news.
#36My ex's mom would call me or message me if she couldn't get a hold of her son. We are adults; I was 30 and he was 28.
She would also schedule his doctor's appointments and go with him, even into the examination room.
We did not date long.
#37My mom was awful. She pulled a bunch of controlling manipulative s**t all the way to college. My dad worked over seas most of the year. I never got to leave the house except with family, there was school and only school, no TV, non academic books, games, or friends. I was sent to private schools and she set up weekly meetings with my teachers, every waking moment was based around school.
Highschool was a living hell. I was quizzed in the morning at breakfast, tutoring and prep classes after school. I was doing ACT and SAT prep as a freshman. The only reason I was allowed to get a car and drive was to get myself to these after school sessions because my mother was to busy doing the same thing to my 8 year old sister. She kept a meticulous log of the cars milage to make sure I wasn't going anywhere but those sessions.
Her "hard work" seemed to be validated when I was accepted into several top tier private colleges. We lived on the East Coast and in order to escape her I choose a school on the West Coast. I got a full ride academic scholarship and a campus job so my parents didn't control my finances in anyway. I took summer courses not to go home. My mom would still try to do surprise "visits" to "check" (control me) but because she didn't know where I lived in the college town or my schedule I could control the meet ups.
I finally made friends and got involved in activities out side school. I still worked hard in college and went to grad school, but I also learned to relax. I got tattoos which she flipped out about. My sister had a mental break down her senior year when I was just starting grad school. She tried to kill herself because she just couldn't take the pressure and the constant lack of control over her own life. During her hospital stay her therapist chewed out my mother, who to this day believes she did nothing wrong. After months of therapy my sister ended up leaving the state and works on a farm in the Midwest. She has not talked to our mother for the past 5 years.
Not long after my sister left my fathers job brought him back to the States permanently and he ended up divorcing my mother. With out kids to control she started making his life hell too. I call her on Christmas, her birthday, and my birthday. She still believes she isn't at fault for any of this.
It's my opinion that many of these helicopter parents have a neurosis that makes them control freaks bordering on Munchausen's by proxy. They crave validation of themselves through their children and end up hurting the kids more. I'm glad I'm at where I'm at today but the means by which I got here are and were never justified.
#38I reset passwords at a minor University. I get about 4 or 5 calls per semester from a parent (nearly always women) to reset their child's password. I'm not allowed to give a password to anybody but the person to whom it is assigned. This is something I never bend the rules on because I don't like dealing with 'Johnny's Mommy'. It irritates the s**t out of me. I always ask to have the individual put on the phone. If they aren't there, then I tell the parent that the child must call back. I had one of them get snotty with me and say, "Hey, I'm paying for all of this." I said, "That's nice. Feel free to come on down and talk to my boss. I will never get fired for following my bosses orders to the letter." She hung up on me. I've seen these 'children in adult bodies' on campus. They look lost. It's pretty sad.
#39A friend brought her newborn to my house party...my cat walked up to the baby carrier and sniffed the baby and she flipped out, packed up and went home....
I mean, I would have been happy to lock the cat in the bedroom if she'd asked?
#40Breastfeeding her son. I don't know if she still does it, but said son was 12 years old at the time. Yes, twelve.
#41Regulars where I work - Mom is obsessed with her son, who is in his early 20's. he chose a school on the other side of the country - she moved and bought a house near campus so that they could still live together. (husband is always overseas for work)
she would call and ask us to do specific things for her son - remind him to take his keys and charger, call and make appointments for him, arrange rides...etc.
last update I heard he chose a grad school in another country! Mom did not follow him (thank god he finally has some freedom)
#42Went to youth group with two kids who had the worst helicopter mom. These kids had no muscle mass and were the least athletic kids ever because their parents wouldn't let them play sports. Their mom came to every youth meeting we had (usually just for the youth and the youth leaders). The older kid begged his mom to go on a mission trip with us, only to another part of the state, not even out of country. After we all kind of vouched for him and said he'd be taken care, she let him go.
Happy story in the end, he ended up completely coming out of his shell because of that trip. He got super independent and his mom let up seeing that he could take care of himself.
#43One of my neighbor's kids was a good basketball player, but she just didn't have the height for the position she played at a DI school. Coaches recruiting her told her that she could play DI if she switched positions, but her mother (who was a coach) would tell these coaches that her daughter wouldn't change positions, and to basically take it or leave it. Well, pretty much everyone chose to not extend scholarship offers at the DI level because of it.
She ended up getting a really good scholarship to a DII school that had the academic program she wanted (they even had a 6 year program that combined undergrad and the post-undergraduate school she would've had to go to, so the process would've basically been seamless to become a licensed professional in her field). However, her mother was so controlling over her recruiting that she told her daughter she couldn't go there because the coach didn't send her a bunch of cards and whatnot (basically things schools send to recruits to try to convince them to commit--it's mostly flattery), so she wouldn't allow her kid to commit there.
Instead, she made her kid commit to this tiny DIII school in the middle of nowhere (literally nowhere, extremely small and rural) that didn't even have the academic program her kid wanted. Her reasoning was that her kid would get a good Christian education (but how good is *any* education if it doesn't even have what you want to study?). Eventually, the kid, with help from her father, quit playing basketball and transferred to a large state school because she hated the small Christian school so much, and she could finally study what she wanted to study.
Her mom was so controlling that she ended up giving up on the sport she loved. This all would've been avoided if she had just gone to the DII school, but no, her mom took way too much control and ended up ruining her kid's college athletic career.
EDIT: I must add that the daughter has since graduated and moved away, but based on the last conversation we had, she seems to be doing well. I think she was looking at grad schools, but I don’t think she’s started yet.
#44Tried to befriend this guys who was 18. Introduced him to one of my wife's single friends. His mom went to dinner with us and drilled us with questions. We went to a movie after, luckily his mom didn't go, but ended up missing the first showing and had to watch a later showing. He mom was furious that her baby boy was out so late partying with us. He wasn't aloud to go out with us again. He's 26 now. Saw him a couple weeks ago at the store and his mom was walking a few feet behind him. He has 2 older sisters that moved away a soon as they turned 18. One moved to Mexico and the other moved to Japan. We live in Kentucky. I now know why they moved.
-Had to be in bed by 8pm all the way through middle school. Lights off, internet router shut off.
-Never allowed us to open a bank account by ourselves until we were adults. All money had to be given to her. She wouldnt give us back our own money if she didn’t approve of what we wanted to buy.
-Constantly calling the school if she suspected our grades were falling. Didn’t ask us. Punished by removing games/books from our rooms.
-No cell phones unless we are old enough to buy one and our own plan ourselves.
-Not allowed to go out without direct adult supervision until we were 16. Not allowed out after dark.
-If we went on the computer we had to all write down the website, username, and password of whatever we went on. (Email, Runescape, Neopets, etc) she would go on our accounts herself to try and check that we weren’t talking to strangers.
-Not allowed to date until we hit 18. Wonders why none of her children go on dates now. (Doesn’t know about my sister’s boyfriend, thankfully.)
-Once we hit 18 we’re given the option to move out that day or start paying rent. $500 a month. ($700 now for me) We have to pay for our own toiletries, clothes, transportation (she’ll drive us places but charge us money.) and we’re not allowed to eat anything in the pantry/refrigerator if we didn’t buy it. (With the exception of dinner, which she’ll still make for us.) She says its to encourage us to move out...and then broke down in tears when I asked for advice finding an apartment because why would any of us leave her. She then raised the rent for totally unrelated reasons ?
She’s not a good person.
#46Was eating at the local all you can eat cheap pizza buffet during college with friends. Overhear a conversation between a son and his mother where she was upset he wanted to go to said college because it was promoting drug use. By having Tylenol available to buy in the student store.
#47Had a very socially awkward dude come up to me at a pool, interrupt me mid-sentence during a conversation with my friends, and introduce himself. What made it really awkward was that he immediately said he was socially awkward, then proceeded to talk about how his helicopter mom wouldn’t let him do anything and this is his first time away from her since he’s grown up, what the effects on his life have been, etc. Didn’t get a chance to see it first hand obviously, but this kid had no social skills at all and is going to have a really hard life. Couldn’t read cues that he interrupted a conversation and that we didn’t really want to talk to him. I felt bad so I continued the conversation longer than I would have liked even after my friends walked away.
#48Probably not the worst, just the nearest to me.
My mom expects a call letting her know if i leave the house, where i'm going, etc. She flips out if i dont answer 2 calls in a row. Im not allowed to hang out with anybody, even family, without her approval.
1. I am 29.
2. I am married with kids.
3. I live an hour away from her in my own house with my own truck.
She also told me i am not allowed to have any more kids, as i developed preeclampsia with my youngest and it scared her.
I follow exactly zero of these rules, but she persists.
#49I was 11-13 at the time. I had a friend on the swim team that was also around that age. His parents were the most controlling people I had ever seen. His mother looked like the head of a catholic girls school that punishes students for singing.
We all used to play Nintendo DS games during meets. He just watched over our shoulders because if he touched a gaming console he would be punished. His parents always made him wear the same clothes every day. Tan khakis, white shirt, dark blue sweater vest. I once got him a T-shirt for his birthday. He gave it back saying that he wasnt allowed to wear it.
He was homeschooled. Pretty sure his family spoke ecclesiastical Latin at home. F****n weird.
Image credits: PhreedomPhighter
#50My mother. Wouldn't stop hovering over me until I broke out of it at the end of high school.
- Always checked my grades for me instead of me doing it myself, etc.
- Always e-mailed teachers in high school about grades and whatnot,
- Wouldn't let me make mistakes and learn on my own,
- Always tried to force me into studying and learning even when I was genuinely tired or uninterested,
- Forced me into mathematics classes giving me no time to relax and take time off,
- Always was like "I have to check your homework" in grades 6-8,
- Treats me like a child even though I'm 19 (tried to take away my computer but I was able to non-violently keep her from doing so)
- Refuses to change in ANY respect. I am almost certain that not a single one of her co-workers actually likes her.
- Always micromanages my weight. To lose weight you have to actually *want* to do it *for yourself.* If someone micromanages you, you lose that drive and can't achieve your goal.
As a result a lot of the skills that most people would have developed are also ones that I don't possess, namely the drive to get assignments done on time and the drive to prepare myself for life in "the real world". The reason I got all B's and C's with only a few A's was because I barely survived. I never felt like I was doing it for myself, but it always seemed like I was doing it for her. I never had that motivation.
Nowadays, I always feel uneasy around her and cannot really say many positive things about her.
**I can't even believe I came out of her. Ridiculous.**
On the other hand, my dad is your ideal dad who lets you learn on your own when you're supposed to learn on your own. He helped me through this and eve he admits mom has problems. But *why did I have to go through this?!*
#51I used to work in a school. We had two separate parents of unrelated special needs children who would drop their kids off in class and then stand in the hallways watching through the window for literally the full school day, every day, for the entire school year.
Before anyone asks, the principal was a spineless pantywaist who sucked, which is why this was allowed to go on. The next year the school got a new principal and I'm told she put her foot down, but by then I didn't work there anymore.
#52A kid at my community college had a mom that would sit in the parking lot and wait between classes. I knew because once he offered for me to ride with his mom to the other side of campus (it wasn’t that big of a place). Poor kid, just thought it was normal and nice.
Edit: I think it would have made more sense if you saw it. I’m pretty sure he went to the car after each class, ate lunch there, everything. She came with him to the spring fling event, picked all his classes for him, idk, maybe it was just a supportive mom, but it seemed kinda excessive to me.
#53My mum kept coming around a break time and lunch time at school. She wanted to make sure I wasn’t doing drugs. It was really embarrassing.
#54I work at an admissions front counter for a university so I get helicopter parents all the time over the phone, but I had a mom that had me laughing over the phone because of how ridiculous she was. Let's call her Susan for reference.
At first, she was normal asking about general admissions processes and what are the requirements. However, where she messed up was when she admitted she did the application for him because "he is a boy and you know how boys can be so I just did it for him." Then she started to fly off the walls. She asked if the campus was open because she wanted to visit her son EVERY SINGLE DAY since they live 15 minutes away from the main campus. Susan tried making herself not sound bat s**t crazy by sliding in her bringing him baked goods and home cooked meals, but I know she just wants to pester her child. There was another talk about how she wanted to get access to his student account to see his grades. I told her that she was not going to be allowed to get that access because her child will be considered an adult and the student has to give HER permission by saying a FERPA form. She wanted to know how and where to get those documents ASAP.
As far as social life, Susan asked if there were parties on campus. It's a college, of course there are going to be parties. The worst part is that she asked if they are supervised....by PARENTS!!!! This is where I couldn't help but laugh because why did she think that this was a high school setting. Susan then followed up with "Well how will I know where he is going or if he gets in trouble?" and I said, very casually, "Ma'am if your student decides to do something illegal (smoke weed/drink underaged) and gets caught by campus police and gets arrested, you'll be getting that phone call."
And she had nothing else to say. :)
#55I once knew a woman who was a germaphobe. I don't mean that she was just a really clean person. She was, but I'm guessing she could've had some kind of OCD/anxiety disorder. She had 2 year old that loved to play outside but she wouldn't let him touch the ground directly. She would literally put the poor kid in a kind of hamster ball type fortress and then put him on the ground. He was crawling around like a gerbil without ever touching anything. I don't know where they are now but I hope that kid is okay.
#56A woman known as the "Dragon Lady" to our high school marching band.
Standard WASP family with a pastor dad and a mom who ruled the roost. Dragon Lady was band president during both of hers sons' time there. The sons were very good kids (I had the biggest crush on the younger one my freshman year, lol), but naturally they tried to break free of their strictness.
Despite being in the 2010s for high school, the boys didn't get a phone to call home with until they were both seniors (just flip phones for calling, BUT NO TEXTING!). Dragon Lady was there anytime school or practice was happening, anyway. They couldn't date any girls unless mom approved, so of course they dated behind the parents' backs. When they got found out, parents made them break up and ripped the boy a new b******e. Never got to go to proms, homecoming, any sort of afterschool event that wasn't church-sanctioned.
When they graduated, both were shipped off to a tiny, private, Christian college somewhere up in Ohio.
For the record, the one I crushed on ghosted everyone he knew, then reappeared with a family-approved, god-fearing wife at the age of 20.
#57I had a Mandarin tutor while I was studying in China and her friend’s friend had an extreme helicopter parent that just wouldn’t leave her alone well into her 30’s.
She became a doctor, graduated at the top of her class, always cooked and cleaned well at home, and never moved out at the request (or demand) of her mother. The worst part is, no guy was ever good enough for this mother’s daughter.
Apparently throughout her 20’s, the mother would constantly driver suitors away on purpose either by threatening him, bribing him, or just plain acting like a crazy could-be- MIL. She went through the baby craze period and could not find a guy that would stay with her and she blamed all of this on her mother, rightfully so.
The mother continued to defend herself and forced the daughter to live with her and support her while driving guys away. Eventually she committed suicide because she couldn’t handle it anymore. I think filial piety and respect and all that is very important but she clearly took it very seriously.
#58Sorry for the grammar and length.
In about the middle of eight grade, I had a friend who we will call Ashley. She was a really great person, and one of my closest friend. She mentioned to me how overbearing her parents were on multiple occasions. She said stuff about how they were blatantly homophobic towards her (She's bi), how they closely monitored her phone, and how she felt unloved by them. I was empathetic towards her, but when I went to her birthday party at that time, her parents seemed pretty nice. At the time I really just thought she was exaggerating. Because of the party, Ashley had started a group chat. Everyone who had attended the party was in it, and it was active for about a month. We were all having fun in it. We made a few gay jokes, but the chat was really wholesome and clean. It ended abruptly. Ashley sent a text from her phone. She said something along the lines of, "this is Ashley's mom, everyone in this chat is saying sexual slurs and I'm shutting it down. You won't be able to talk to Ashley, as I've taken her phone. Do not talk to her again." Of course, I was shocked. I'm still shocked. We hadn't said anything crude. All we joked about was who we were attracted to. At school the following day I made sure she was all right. I asked her why she hadn't contacted child services, and she said that she didn't want to lose her sister. We haven't talked since Summer's start. I really hope she's doing alright.
I'll post the whole text in a comment.
#59I taught swimming lessons for the park district over the summer back in high school. I had a parent that insisted on being in the water with her 6-7 year old son (and the rest of the class) for every lesson. Her justification was that this was his first session in the "big pool."
The kiddie pool topped out 2'8" deep and the shallow end of the "big pool" we were in (and where this class was taking place) was 3 feet deep, with a swim instructor (me, also a certified lifeguard) and three lifeguards watching over 4 classes. It was ridiculous.
I spoke with my manager about it initially to figure out how to navigate such a strange situation. He said to allow it this time because there wasn't a policy in place that addressed it and the session had already been paid for. I believe that ahead of the next session a policy was put in place and she was told that they needed to go to a private facility if they wanted lessons that included a parent in the water with the child.
The kicker: the kid was a natural swimmer. Didn't panic in the water and took instruction really well. I'm pretty sure he received one of the higher grades I gave that class. Not that the grading system was particularly rigorous, but he was more than ready to advance one or two levels to more advanced swimming.
#60His mom homeschooled him forced him to be a vegan. Didn’t let him play sports with kids from the same town. Wasn’t allowed to eat candy or chocolate. (he went to my middle school for one year and acted completely brainwashed) he only drank water that was boiled, put into a steam then turned back into water.
#61We have a neighborhood newspaper, and a real estate agent with kids always writes an editorial on the first page. Her youngest kid is going off to college this fall, and this article was about what to do in the "empty nest" phase.
THIS WOMAN'S ADVICE was:
"This might be a new and quiet chapter of your life. **One college-parent activity that's growing in popularity is buying a condo near the campus.** For some parents this offers the chance to visit their fledglings while having a stable and familiar place to stay"
how about parents not do that? If my parents had followed me across state lines to college... just no.
#62My cousin was 15 the first time he did dishes.
#63This dude is 19/20, he still lives at home so his mom takes this as she can still be as helicopter-y as she wants. Before I hung out at his house (without his mother's knowledge) he had never had someone over; his mom insists on meeting the parents of everyone he hangs out with; she gets wildly upset if she doesn't get a reply from him by even 5 minutes (even if his phone is dead; and he has 0 social skills bc of her.
#64ooo! This girl I went to high school with! We rode at the same barn (her mom was co-owner).
She and her sister were the typical "horse girls", and emotionally stunted because their mother treated them like they were five or six years younger than they really were. Like I'm talking sparkly-glittery little girl clothes in middle school, character backpacks in high school, etc.
The older sister went to community college AND THE MOM ENROLLED WITH HER. Attended all the same classes, same professors, etc.
When the older one went onto vet school MOM MOVED 1000 MILES to be with her. She wasn't allowed to live in the dorms, because mommy rented an apartment for them!
#65I’m a high school teacher and had a nightmare student (freshman) whose mom was ALSO a teacher at my school in a different department. She had been up my a*s all year about his grades/learning disability/etc. I found out she had been badmouthing me to other students of mine, who of course turned around and told me everything. She was emailing me almost daily about work he hadn’t turned in and why I wouldn’t accept it.
I later found out she had gotten the job so she could be at school with him every day.
#66My friend right now. She's 19 years old and we graduated high school last year. She turned down a full ride scholarship because her parents wanted her to stay at home. She is only allowed to watch rated g and a couple of pg 13 media and she has never had a sleepover and is not allowed to have one. When she is able to go out, she can only go to our former high school, the community college we go to, the movie theater, or a very close friends house. She is only allowed out for four hours at a time. To top all of this, she is very insecure and has a couple of body issues, she kind of reminds me of myself in seventh grade when I was so insecure I hated everyone who dressed girly or did girly things so I only wore a hoodie and jeans, which is what she wears and she kind of has the same superior attitude. I do not think she is super girly but I also genuinely do not know her type of style or anything like that because she has never explored, she wears the same thing everyday.
I am planning on kidnapping her and taking her out for a girl's night or something because I know her mom is too afraid to drive long distances and my friend is becoming very depressed and suicidal. Any suggestions on how I can help her? It would be greatly appreciated.
#67I love my mom to death, but because of this incident I will literally never listen to her relationship advice again.
So I've been dating this girl in high school for almost two years. We were practically in love, we loved hanging around talking holding hands, kissing all of that lovey dovey stuff. About a year into the relationship we are both sixteen and wanting to do some more "adult" stuff. Obviously we aren't stupid so she goes on the pill and I grab condoms and we start planning on how we can do the do with each other.
So my parents refused to leave us home alone "for safety reasons" so doing it at my house wasn't an option. And her house had annoying nosey siblings so that wouldn't work. So we decided to use a nice spot in the woods nearby our house. It worked out great and I went for many "jogs" out of my neighborhood to go meet her there.
Skip time a few months later, my mother bursts into my room holding my phone asking what the hell I'm doing. She throws a huge fit saying she is "corrupting me" and "she is the reason you're grades are falling" (keep in mind this is senior year and I have a bad case if senioritis). I tell her I'm sorry and she basically forbids me from see her outside of school.
Of course I don't listen to her and I refuse to stop dating her cuz my mother doesn't like her. So we continue as best we can but the entire time my mother basically starts gaslighting me claiming my gf was the reason I was failing at all of this stuff. "Do you really love her? Can you REALLY see yourself spending the rest of your life with her?" I was 16 and we've only been dating a year and a half at that point! I can't answer those questions! I never saw it cuz she was my mother, she'd never try to lead me wrong. But the gaslighting on top of some already forming speed bumps in the relationship lead me to break up with her.
But that was when I learned my mom was definitely a helicopter parent as I explained this to one of my friends who replied with, "why the f**k was your mom going through your phone?"
#68Used to work for the police department at my college. On top of parents calling asking for their child’s schedule or coming on campus to try to locate their child to make sure if they were ok. Some parents just took the cake.
Once we had a parent calling for a welfare check on their kid cuz they hadn’t heard from her in 14 hours, the police have to respond, go to the dorm, she’s fine she just slept in a lot.
One dad would drive on campus and attempt to get into the dorms. Residential students had a special card with a code specifically for them to not only enter their dorms but also the building itself. If he convinced a student to open a door for him and let him in he’d call the police furiously claiming it was too easy for him to get into the dorms and we needed to tighten security. Never mind that he couldn’t actually enter anyone’s dorm rooms just cuz he got into the public building area.