Helicopter parents, we all know the deal; maybe it’s happened to you or you’ve seen it happen to a good friend. Some parents just love to hover and micromanage everything that goes on in their kids’ life—and trust us, the following Redditors’ tales of overbearing parents will show you what happens when a parent can’t accept that their kids are growing up.
1. Your Help Is Unhelpful
My college roommate was born deaf, his mom never allowed him to learn sign language because she would “always be there to protect him” and “he needs to live a normal life, not a deaf life” (her words, not mine). He was pretty good at lip reading, and could vocalize remarkably well given how profound his hearing loss was. But when he left for school, she went off the deep end.
His mom pulled me aside and very seriously asked me to inform her any time he talked to a girl, she said he has “problems” with girls trying to take advantage of him. She also insisted he say good night to her every night, which meant he had to be on instant messenger (deaf, so he couldn’t call without using a specialized typing phone) with her for at least an hour every night or else she’d call our room phone in a panic looking for him.
2. Teach Him Yourself Then
I worked as an instructor at a karate school and there was one parent no one wanted to deal with. Her son was in our youth class. The school had a little waiting area where parents could watch their kids (mainly used for the children’s class) and she would just sit in that room, staring at her son. One class we were doing very light contact drills (no more than a poke).
She came out on to the floor and started yelling at me for putting her son in danger. I asked her to please leave the floor. I changed the drill to no contact; she ran onto the floor yelling at me for singling her kid out. I stopped the class and told her to speak with the head instructor. She left to talk to him and I look over at the kid and he was crying.
I quickly moved to a fun drill and he started to smile. When the class ended a few other parents came up to me and said that mom is nuts and she kept trying to come to school with the kid. This mom had signed her kid up for karate but did not want him to be in a contact sport.
3. Unhealthy Attachment
A friend of mine wanted to move out from his controlling mom’s house at age 23. He should have known—he couldn’t escape. His mom kept complaining about the places he was looking to rent. Eventually, she decides that it’s better if she buys an apartment and lets him rent it from her, just to make sure that everything is in order. However, she couldn’t quite afford it, so she involves her ex-husband.
My friend said explicitly that he wanted nothing to do with that setup. I don’t know all the details, but that’s how he ended up anyway. She has a key to his place, and yes, she uses it to check on the place every time he’s out of the apartment and she even leaves small presents for him to just let him know that she was there.
4. Mental Gymnastics
A woman had her daughter in my son’s gymnastics class to try it out to see if it was the right fit for her daughter. Well, at one point her daughter was not following instructions and wouldn’t stand in a straight line, so the instructor told her something like, “No, just stand at attention like we talked about in this line and you’ll get your turn–”
Then the girl just bursts into tears and ran off the mat and straight to her mom. The instructor kind of shrugged to the mom and the mom glared absolute DAGGERS at the instructor and said, “Well, you told her ‘NO.'” She made it sound like saying no was them thing as saying he was going to come to the girl’s house and set all her dolls on fire.
5. There’s Only One Loser Here
When I was in middle school, a group of friends and I would regularly go to laser tag on Fridays after school. One time, we gear up and notice a smaller kid, maybe 6 or 7 and his mom come in too. Nothing particularly unusual. However, the mom does not grab a vest or a laser. For those who aren’t familiar with laser tag, those are necessary items to play.
We all scatter in the room once the game starts. It was two levels of mazes dimly light with UV lights and lots of neon paint. Techno music was thumpin’, lasers were firin’, the game played out normally for the first few minutes. Battles generally centered around the two ramps leading to the second floor, as the upper level offers tons of places to snipe and avoid counterattack.
I had secured a base on the top when I looked down and finally saw the little kid. I couldn’t believe my eyes. The mother and child duo were on the opposing team, and she was following her kid through the maze. She was also attempting to block incoming fire. If you succeeded in hitting her kid she would yell, “How dare you tag my son!” each time.
At first, we thought it was odd, but soon it devolved into us hunting and sniping the pair the whole match. Her exclamations were comedy gold. They promptly left afterward and the mom made some passing comment about us being cretins. However, despite all of that, the kid himself thought the whole experience was awesome.
6. Positive Affirmations Only
In scouts, I had a whiner in my group. When he didn’t get his way, he would complain with a high grating voice while rocking back and forth in a fetal position just because we were making popsicle boats instead of coloring like he wanted to do. And no, kid. You can’t have the little dog on my keychain. I don’t care if you cry, it’s my keychain.
No tactic worked with this kid other than ignoring him when he had a meltdown. When his mom came to get him, everything suddenly made so much sense. She would yell at everyone she could see about how her son was an angel who only deserved to be treated like a prince.
7. The Difference Between Helping and Hindering
My old boss and his wife were helicopter parents, not letting their two kids get jobs until they were done university. Problem is that when they finished, they couldn’t find any jobs since they had absolutely no work experience, zero references, and zero research experience (they both had science-related degrees) so no one would hire them.
I had to actually explain to my boss that they would have to suck it up and work retail for a bit just so they could have something on their resume. He didn’t understand how good grades wouldn’t help them in the real world of working. He then went on to calling various labs trying to find jobs for them because he wasn’t convinced. Last time I checked in with him, his kids still did not have jobs.
8. It’s Easier This Way
My roommate in college would not do his laundry, ever. Because his mom came to do it for him every couple of weeks. He had tons of clothes and would just start piling them up in the closet as he wore them. Then his mom would come in and basically monopolize the dorm laundry facilities for three hours doing all his laundry. But that’s not even the craziest part.
One time I come back and all MY laundry was done too, and put away. She folded my underwear…FOLDED. I was kind of creeped out but then hey, clean laundry!
9. Karma’s A Female Dog
When I was 14, my dad took me to France on vacation. We didn’t have a ton of money, but he had gotten a really great deal on the airfare and so we decided to go just the two of us. That is until my dad started dating his lady a few weeks before we left. So, he ended up inviting her. She in turn brought her 14-year-old very cute daughter, Sarah.
I thought I’d hit the jackpot—I was so, so wrong. First off, it was a long flight and we were missing two weeks of school so the two of us kids had a ton of schoolwork. We of course had both independently planned to get it all done on the flights so we wouldn’t have any to do during the trip. Well, to be clear, I planned to do my work, apparently Sarah planned to have her mom do her work.
I kid you not, her mother spent the entire 10-hour flight doing her daughter’s homework. I don’t mean helping, I mean actually sitting there doing the work while Sarah listened to her headphones and messed around. I believe it was at this point that my dad realized he had made a series of serious compounding errors here.
First, getting involved with this woman, second inviting her along on our one and only international vacation ever, and third allowing her to bring her irredeemably spoiled daughter along. Sarah refused to carry her own luggage. She had a lot of it too. We ended up sharing the load between the three of us while she had only her carry-on.
If we stopped to see a sight and Sarah wasn’t interested, she would just wander off and we’d have to go looking for her. Her mom would mostly just follow her around warning her about various dangers. To which Sarah would respond with some vulgarity that her mother would ignore. Basically, there was nothing she wouldn’t complain about, not a thank you to be had.
On our fourth day we decided to eat dinner on a floating restaurant on the Seine. As with most establishments in Paris, this one had a small dog that ran around. Sarah, in her infinite wisdom, decided to feed this dog from the table. She was feeding it basically everything she could, bread, cooked fish in cream sauce, etc.
At one point I say, “Sarah, you shouldn’t feed the dog that stuff, it’s not good for it.” Her mom then yelled at me, telling me to mind my own business. My dad looked at me and I knew he was trying to telepathically apologize for the situation. At this moment though, karma took over. We began hearing this hacking noise from under the table
It was followed by the clear and unmistakable sound of a small dog puking. It puked all over Sarah’s feet. She started screaming and crying, of course. She was wearing sandals; the puke was inside her shoes. We couldn’t help ourselves, my dad and I started laughing so hard we could barely breathe while the mother frantically tried to calm her daughter.
When she couldn’t calm her daughter, the mom switched tactics to screaming at restaurant staff about how they shouldn’t let a sick dog around customers. The restaurant staff kind of stood there in shock. The mom of course couldn’t believe we were laughing and was indignant towards our behavior. She yelled at my dad who responded, “That was the best thing to happen this whole trip.”
My Dad put them on a plane the next morning and sent them home. We spent the next ten days just the two of us traveling down the Loire valley, over to Belgium and Germany. We had a wonderful time and it’s one of my best memories of growing up with my dad.
10. I Do Not Have The Answers You’re Looking For
I have been working at a university residence for a year now and the worst case that I had to deal with was explaining to a parent that we don’t know exactly where her daughter was. We don’t track the coming and goings of the residents because they are all adults and we respect their privacy, but that apparently was not a reasonable answer.
I then had to try and answer questions about what safety protocol we have in place if her daughter fell, and couldn’t reach her phone, and was locked out of her room, and was required to leave the building for a fire alarm. Seriously? Every response that I gave her she added another factor to the story. I should have asked her how often her daughter was struck with immobility.
11. I Can’t Help You
I work for the Help Desk at a university, and I get disgusted with some of the parents that call in. Most of the time they want me to give them Junior’s password so that they can see his homework, grades, classes, etc. We have a separate login type system for parents to handle financial aid-related stuff, but these parents want to have the full password.
Some things that I have heard: “But I am paying for him to be there, so I should have access.” “I am his mother, and I need to know what he’s up to.” “I just want to make sure he is taking the right classes.” Unfortunately, I am not allowed to tell these people to cut the umbilical cord, but I can’t give them the password either. I’ve been yelled at a few times.
12. An Unwanted Arrangement
I once received the following email from a woman I had never met: Hi Steven, your parents sent me a package with your information and pictures and a letter saying they wanted to set us up. As flattered as I am, I am in a committed relationship right now. I am also only 21 years old and I’m not looking to get married or have children anytime soon.
She continued: Your parents made clear that having children was your intention. I’m sorry, but this isn’t something I am interested in. I wish you good luck in your endeavors.
13. Who Has Time For That?
My parents would make random visits to my school, which was only an hour and a half away from home. When I inevitably wouldn’t be there because I had a full schedule of classes, labs, on-campus work-study, extra research, and clubs, they’d wander the campus until they saw any of my friends (small school) and then ambush them with a thousand questions.
They would say they needed to find me because I was in danger. Every administrator at my school just rolled over in the face of their sheer pigheaded stubbornness, too. They knew everything about me. They knew I visited the school’s nurse practitioner for an STD test and they knew my grades and my schedules and all my professors’ email addresses.
I started seeing a therapist for stress and I found out she was emailing them details of our sessions. It was awful.
14. I Have No Authority Here
I once got a phone call from a parent screaming at me asking why her daughter wasn’t allowed to swim in a competition coming up that weekend. She wouldn’t let me get a word in to explain that I was not, in fact, her daughter’s swim coach. I am not a swim coach at all. Her coach had the same name as me and was even the same age.
But he still lived with his parents so mine was the only phone number in the phone book with my name. She went on for about five minutes explaining that she watches all the kids swimming and her daughter was definitely the strongest in her group. Then it hit me: I knew just what to do. I was so annoyed, I simply agreed and told her that her daughter would “definitely be swimming this weekend.”
She congratulated me on making the right decision and hung up. I really wish I could see what happened
15. She’ll Always Be Mommy’s Little Girl
Just a few months ago, while I was working my custodian job at my school’s student union, a worried mom approached. She told me she lost her daughter! She tried calling her and she didn’t answer. I took it very seriously and asked her where she was supposed to be. She said at one of the dorms. The mom is terrified and says her little girl is lost and needs help.
We leave the union building in search of her daughter and we arrive at the dorm. I then begin to notice that it’s full of group leaders and new students. It clicks that her daughter is 18 years old and the mom was overreacting. I just wasted twenty minutes helping a worried mom find her college-aged daughter.
16. Some People Really Need Hobbies
The kids my mom used to nanny had the worst helicopter parents I’ve ever witnessed. They had strict schedules for everything they did, including eating, sleeping, and even using the bathroom. My mom had to collect…samples…from the children to show the parents, she also had to make every meal exactly per the instructions they provided.
They didn’t have any health problems as far as my mother was aware of. By the time my mom left the job the kids were already pretty messed up, I can only imagine how they are now.
17. Twin Trouble
I used to nanny for twin 10-year-old boys who had the most infuriating helicopter parents I have ever dealt with. To begin, when I first started, the mother insisted that she perform the daily tasks with me for an entire two weeks before she let me go on my own. I was 23 at the time and perfectly capable of handling the two on my own.
The boys had every aspect of the day laid out for them; from the moment they wake up until they went to bed. She would send me their schedule daily, which was complete with timestamps showing when each activity should be finished and then would also call me to go over it later that day before I picked them up from school.
She was always at the house when we arrived home to go over the schedule AGAIN with me. But want to know the worst part? She would instruct me how to make their fruit smoothie every single day, including how much fruit to add and how to wash the blender just the way she wanted. The boys were allowed a 10-minute break while they ate their snack from school, then immediately start homework.
The boys had no sort of free time at all, where they could go play outside when it was a nice day, or interact with the neighbors. The mother would email the teachers daily to ask about homework assignments, to make sure the boys wouldn’t miss anything, even though the boys were religious about getting their homework done.
They also lacked a lot of socialization skills, which I would wager was from lack of free time and friends. The most frustrating part was how she also micromanaged me. I couldn’t handle that this woman would have to helicopter ME, even though she had hired me to help her with her children. The mother and father were both very nice people, but they drove me up the wall.
18. Call Me Never
My mom is the definition of a helicopter parent, or at least was. Up until I was the age of 23, she would call and email any friends of mine whose info she had if I didn’t return her call at once. She would constantly convince herself something terrible happened to me and would ask anyone I knew if they had heard from me recently.
One particular time when I was 21, I didn’t pay attention to my phone for about 2 hours. I then looked at it—and my blood ran cold. I found a series of escalating text messages and phone calls threatening to come over if I didn’t call her back immediately, because obviously I was lying in a ditch somewhere. I tried setting up a rule where I would call her once a day.
She agreed, and then about two days later at around 7 pm, it was back to threatening drastic action as I had not yet called her and obviously something terrible happened to me. No matter how much I called her in a week she would still freak out, so eventually, I just stopped calling her so that she would understand that I didn’t want to talk to her if she was going to keep treating me like a 7-year-old.
19. She Does It Out Of Love
A mom would come into my store every week with her daughter and blow a ton of money on her. Her daughter was always so sweet but very shy. Her mom would go on and on telling us about her daughter’s angelic voice and how she was going to be a superstar someday. The very day her daughter turned 16, she came in the store with her and asked for an application.
Then she filled it out for her at my counter while telling me how amazing her daughter is, how she would be a hard worker, etc. All this while her daughter stood awkwardly to the side. Her mom always spent a ton of money and the girl was always nice so I said why not and hired her for the holiday season. I gave her 10 hours a week, never worked her alone, and just gave her stock to do.
Her mom would come in every shift for at least 30 minutes, take her to lunch on break, and would still spend big bucks every week on her. I slowly weened her off of visiting and the girl eventually started to blossom a little. I didn’t keep her on after holiday because I didn’t have the hours, but she was a good kid with a well-meaning but very overprotective mom.
20. Keep Your Enemies Close
The mother of an athlete on my team made up a fake Facebook account to befriend her daughter’s teammate/arch-rival (in the mom’s mind) as a young handsome boy admirer. She, posing as the boy, began sending the girl gifts and chatting with her nightly. For weeks the girl was stoked on her “internet boyfriend.” If that sounds messed up, just wait…
Right before a major competition, the “boy” sent her a gift basket with candies and whatnot. Her parents, thankfully at this time, caught on to her “relationship” and intercepted the package, thinking that she was being groomed for some kind of future relationship with an old man. When they opened the package to examine its contents, they noticed a strange odor.
I couldn’t tell you what it was, but long story short, the mom tried to poison the girl. The account and the package were traced back to the mom.
21. Helicopter Of The Lord
We didn’t have a TV because it was, as our parents said, it was an invention of the devil which he made in order to talk to mankind. Not that they were luddites, my father was actually quite technically adept, but they thought it was an easy way to warn us children away from the “worldly” influence of television.
Now, that worldly influence of course included all kinds of sin like premarital relations—represented by music videos—and witchcraft—represented by fairy tales and magic. You see, the actual tools of Satan were not the television sets, but rather the people who did things such as play rock music or write Harry Potter novels.
22. Stepford Son
These are friends of my parents, or I think it’s just the sister of my dad’s college friend and her husband. Their son’s probably in fourth or fifth grade, and every time we’ve visited their place or they’ve visited ours, it’s scary to see how they micromanage the kid. He has a to-the-minute schedule of how to utilize his playtime.
It’s so weird. Whenever they visit, they bring along a bag with a few sets of toys. I’ve heard them say stuff like, “It’s time to start putting your Legos away. You have five minutes before it’s time to watch your DVD. You have thirty minutes for the DVD. Then you can decide whether you want to play with toy cars or read your book.”
I remember a time where I swung by their place to drop something off, and I stayed for tea. They told their son to show me all of the stuff he’s been building with Legos, so he took me to the playroom. I couldn’t believe my eyes. He showed me these really great-looking houses and skyscrapers; some were from kits and others were all his own creativity. More than that though, he arranged all of these structures to look like an actual living town.
I was impressed, and I listened to him describe how he laid it all out. He just gave random names to different areas, “This is Chicago where all the buildings are. This is California and these are all the shops.” Just as he was describing the last section, “This is New York where everyone lives,” his dad walks into the room and says, “No that’s wrong, they don’t have houses like that in New York. That can be Queens.”
Closely monitored playtime and undermining a child’s creativity…they aren’t mean parents but it’s so weird. Even the way the kid talks makes it sound like he’s reciting lines for a T.V. advert. Whenever they visit, there’s always this, “Our son has something to say! Go ahead, greet everyone and thank them for inviting us into their house.”
23. That’s A Whole Mess
I had a friend in high school who had a pretty disturbing version of helicopter parents. She had the normal “no job, no cell phone, no after school activities, come right home, no car, no driver’s license” thing going on. But get this. Her mom was a psychiatrist and her dad was a doctor. Her dad was her doctor. He diagnosed her with depression and then her mom was her psychiatrist.
Her mom diagnosed her with severe depression and had her (temporarily) committed to an institution. When she got out two weeks later and I asked about it, she broke down crying and said she couldn’t remember anything because they’d kept her so drugged up on her mother’s orders. She ran away to California when she was 17.
24. When Did She Work?
I worked with a woman who had her child in a daycare that featured a streaming webcam of the facility. She watched it all day and was on the phone with the staff every 30 minutes or so complaining or telling them how to do their job. It went on endlessly. If she was on her phone, it was most certainly with the daycare.
25. Guilty Until Proven Innocent
In high school my mom got a call from a friend’s mom saying she should look at my Facebook because something indicated that I was pregnant. My mom ran into my room fuming mad, screaming and demanding all of my passwords. She spent the next several hours dissecting my emails, texts, Facebook wall, and messages.
When I found out the reason for all this, I wanted to scream. Turns out that other parent thought my status that said, “14 months in :)” referring to my relationship anniversary was about a pregnancy. From then on, my mom commanded full access to all of my stuff, reading everything until I moved out to college.
26. Under Pressure
I work at a university and see all manner of helicopter parenting. The worst I ever saw was a family from China who had decided that their daughter was going to do an MBA and a Law degree. They had her schedule down: dropped her off, knew when she’d eat, would have her study at the Library from X to Y hours, then be picked up to eat and study.
Wash. Rinse. Repeat. She started to falter mid-session. I was teaching the class and she was going to probably average a C- or a D+ in the course. It was a required course and she needed it to be fully accepted into her chosen major. Her father came to my office and through his daughter demanded to know why she was doing so poorly.
I explained as best I could, but he was not pleased and left. Suddenly, either mother or father would come to class. This is strictly against policy, so they’d have to wait outside. I would tell them and all I would get was a dismissive wave of the hand. Well, she came to my office when she should have been in another class and basically told me that her parents had been like this all her life.
Her poor command of English was because they had home-schooled her under some crazy loophole, and she had a tough time with English. By the end of the semester, both parents (whom I gather owned a business) were waiting for me. She hadn’t been to class and they explained that she had gone missing. They wanted to know if I knew where she was. I emailed her, but never heard back. Always wondered where she went.
27. Musicians Are Usually Better With Timing
Me and my bandmates had just returned from a competition around 11:30 or 12:00. Now on the itinerary it says the time that’s up on the paper is not exact. This one freshman is putting up his uniform and his clarinet when some lady walks through the door. She then starts screaming about how he is late and if he doesn’t come right now, she’ll make him drop out of band.
The kid looks scared and embarrassed and walks out of the room. It’s nothing but silence. That woman makes me want to follow her around with my sousaphone making random noises whenever she speaks.
28. She’s Cranky When She’s Tired
My college roommate was medically diagnosed with “insomnia” and had helicopter parents who kept talking to the head of housing. I tried everything to make it so I could actually sleep in the room but she kept claiming her medical condition made it so she had to read in bed for 4 hours every single night so her Ambien would “kick in.”
I finally had to have my own parents call in to the head of housing who, once I explained the situation, couldn’t believe my roommate was being so selfish and helped me move. It sucked but once my grades were falling due to a lack of sleep I kind of had to call in the big guns.
29. I Want To Know About The Dog
Once I was on a pub trivia team with a mid-20s guy we had just met that evening at the bar. He was odd right from the start, super awkward. He talked a lot about his life, how he still lived at home, how he just got his dream car which was a Mini Cooper. He stepped away from the table a few times to answer calls from his mom.
At one point I noticed an older woman outside, just on the other side of the window, peering in and watching our group. Turns out it was the guy’s mom, waiting to pick him up. Trivia ended, we went outside to part ways and say goodbye. The guy’s mom pulled up in the dream car Mini Cooper. There was a dog in the front passenger seat. The guy climbed in the back seat and they drove away.
When I was in elementary school, my mom was so worried that I would be abducted when I was walking home that she gave me a walkie-talkie. She made me tune it to some obscure channel, in case a child abductor was listening in on our conversation. She also wanted to know where I was on my walk home, so she would know where I was abducted.
She made me tell her every time I get to a street corner, but she was still worried that a child abductor would listen in and know what street corner I was at, so instead she had me say “checkpoint” when I got to one of the street corners. She had each street corner memorized, so she knew where I was when I said “checkpoint” the first time, the second time, etc.
I was never abducted. Plus, every other kid always asked, “Why do you have a walkie-talkie?” I had to answer so many times, my response was almost scripted. They all thought it was hilarious. I thought it was a nightmare. My mother is still convinced that she didn’t monitor me as much as most other parents would have.
31. Like Mother Like Daughter
The mother of my daughter’s new roommate proceeded to inform my daughter of which dresser and which closet she would get, what color the room would be decorated in, and that my daughter would bring a fridge and a shelf. Caught off guard, we left. Later, daughter got texts from the roommate’s phone inviting her over to see a concert in a park.
My daughter said sure. But she got there and found out the mother had taken her daughter’s cell phone and set all that up. Then she demanded me and my husband stay, even though we kept telling her we had plans. We caved and stayed and the mother’s moods kept changing. She would be happy and flighty one minute and then angry or not speaking the next.
During our time there, she told us of addiction problems and rehab in her family and with her kids. We had already been told she only had one child by her husband, who was her second husband, and her other kids were from her first husband. But then while there, she started talking about having met her husband over 30 years ago. It was insane—and it was going to get so much worse.
My daughter tried to ask the girl if she had an idea how she wanted to arrange the room. But, in the mother’s overbearingness, she just wouldn’t really speak. The only thing she said was, “I am not into that, I do not care how anything is arranged, do whatever you want.” On move in day, they had brought so much stuff for that girl, it would not even fit in the room.
And the mom then proceeded to physically grab my daughter and shove her in to the corner screaming and cussing at her and threatening her. Then the roommate got in to the picture doing the same. They physically shoved my daughter in to the corner. Then the mom tried to shove the brand-new fridge and damaged it, stating it was in her way and her daughter wanted that spot.
The campus authorities came over and removed the mother and had both girls step out of the room. But the roommate ended up being as nasty as the mom. She bee-lined to the social event after assaulting my daughter and put up this fake cry and told everyone that my daughter would not allow her to move in.
32. Ten Minutes Is A Long Time
I work in an orthodontic office and we see a lot of helicopter moms on a daily basis. I guess what parents don’t realize is that most kids are pretty chill about what’s going to happen with braces or getting x-rays but the moms throw such a fit about how their kid has anxiety that it actually gives them anxiety about it.
Once mom leaves the room the kids are completely fine! As soon as she steps back in the room let’s start the waterworks. It makes me think of the saddest display I ever saw. It was with a boy who was 16 or so and home-schooled. They live about ten minutes from the office. After each visit when I scheduled the next appointment, she would always make a point to ask him if he had to pee before they left.
I’m pretty sure he’s old enough to decide if he has to use the bathroom or if he can’t hold it the ten-minute drive home without her asking him. Plus, that has to be embarrassing for a boy his age to be asked that in front of a room of women and people his own age. Now that he’s driving himself it’s been wonderful to see him come out of his shell.
33. Technology Is Our Friend
One of the kids in my elementary school had really tough, authoritarian parents with pointless rules governing every aspect of his life. The worst was that he was never allowed to use a computer, because apparently it would make him lazy and he’d spend his time playing video games instead of studying his math and science.
Every boy in my class picked up English online, mostly by playing RuneScape and such. He never did, and English classes weren’t much help. I don’t know what became of him later, but when he left our school, he was computer illiterate and didn’t speak any English. So many opportunities closed in life, because he was born into a family of weirdos.
34. Super Spooky Skeleton
There is an older mom who shops at the bookstore where I work. She comes in with her son, a sweet boy who may be about 10. He’s not allowed to let go of her hand in the store, he’s not allowed to look at ANYTHING that she doesn’t hold open and read with him, and he’s not allowed to go to the bathroom on his own.
When he does go, she takes him to the women’s restroom and talks to him through the stall door the entire time. Last year, I put a skeleton on the ceiling at the entry to the building. Super spooky Halloween stuff. When she saw it, her reaction made me want to both laugh and cry. She came in, saw the skeleton, and proceeded to COVER HER KID’S EYES as they walked hand-in-hand through the store.
She kept up a running monologue anytime they neared the front: “Don’t look up sweetie. Whatever you do, don’t look up. You don’t want to see what’s up there. It’s SO scary. You’ll get nightmares and you’ll never be okay after that. I just don’t want you to look up. Okay? Don’t look up.” I don’t know the kid’s situation, but her attention seems…excessive.
35. Talk About Vicarious Living
During her undergrad, my roommate’s mother made her Skype her from her dorm room starting at 6 PM until…the next morning. Her mom would literally force her to keep Skype open all night so that she could watch her do her homework, study, and go to sleep at a reasonable hour. The mother of course had chosen the college, and what her daughter would major in.
My friend is about to turn 22 now, and her mom is constantly pushing her to get married. When she and her ex-boyfriend went to visit the parents, her mom called the courthouse to see if it would be open for the two to get married. They were not even engaged, and had no intention of getting married to each other. Ever.
She constantly threatens to cut her daughter’s funds if she doesn’t do everything she asks; I actually heard her threaten to cut her off because she didn’t want to sing karaoke at the restaurant we were in.
36. Never Leave Your Phone On Silent
A few days into the official start of classes, there’s a knock on my door, and the campus security guard is on the other side. At first, I was worried because my roommate enjoyed his recreational aids. But then she asks for my name and I’m thinking, “Oh great, what did I do?” There are people on the floor sticking their heads out of the door and my anxiety is going up.
The security lady then says the most humiliating words I ever had directed to me in public: “Your mother called us because she thought you were kidnapped. You should call her back as soon as you can.” For the rest of the year, my floormates would remind me to call my mother.
37. Bright Enough For Golf
I was giving a campus tour to a prospective freshman student and his parents, the mom continued talking all through the tour about how her son was going to play on our golf team and how he’d been recruited by our coaches. He was going to be taking only six credits, she said. I said, “Oh no, ma’am, a student has to take a full-time course load (at least 12 hours) to play on an athletic team.”
She promptly told me I was wrong, “You’re mistaken. He can’t handle a full 12 credits in one semester,” and adopting the LOUDEST whisper I have ever heard continued, “He’s not really the brightest crayon in the box.” Then winked at me.
38. Mom Should Retire From Motherhood
My cousin has been controlled by my aunt for 90% of her life. She’s dictated everything in her life down to how she dresses, eats, sleeps, and her major in college. She’s required to call home immediately at 6pm sharp, regardless of what she’s doing, just to check-in. If she’s late calling home, even if it’s just a few minutes, she gets a free guilt trip around the world.
Her mom gets her class schedule and sets a study schedule for her, which was basically from one hour after school to when she had to go to bed (also designated by mom). If she had a study group, girls only. No guys are allowed in her life at all. No dating, friendships, nothing. My aunt would often drop in unannounced for a surprise inspection to see if she was doing everything as she was told.
My cousin hates her mom controlling everything yet won’t do anything overtly to question or oppose her. She chose to go to Puerto Rico to finish up her doctorate in Pediatrics. Her mom still flew in at random times to check on her to make sure she didn’t have a boyfriend! (No daughter of mine is getting pregnant at 30 and ruining her career!).
She broke down crying when it was just me and her talking one night. She told me that she hates being treated like a puppet, and her mom is trying her hardest to live vicariously through her. Her mom and dad divorced when she was eight and it basically started from there. My aunt is a pariah in our family now and we only invite my cousin to family reunions.
39. The Way Out Of Your Child’s Heart
I was 19, had moved out for college, and was seeing a man. My mom looked up his number through our phone records (they paid for my phone) and called and threatened him. Later that semester I went home to see a dying relative, and they decided my seeing my partner was immoral, snapped my phone in half, and took my car keys (my car, they did not pay for it).
My boyfriend came to bring me back to school for finals, and they advanced on him with a flashlight and fired shots into the air. All charges were dismissed because they are well respected in their community. They were not invited to our wedding, or our first child’s birth. We are happy and expecting our second child.
40. Who Has The Time?
My whole family hovers, but my father’s by far the worst. During my second week of college my dad came up to see how I was, he came over early wearing dark tattered work clothes and sat in the dorm common room trying to look as suspicious and threatening as possible and timed the response for someone to report him.
I never knew this happened until a week later when I went to talk to security about something and they recognized my last name. When I turned 19 and was a sophomore, my grandparents gave me their old car so I could drive home to visit occasionally. My dad insisted on not only following me on my first three-hour drive to the school, but again when I went back home.
Once I accidentally dialed my dad while in class. When he couldn’t reach me back right away, he called literally every friend and family member he could to find out where I was. After about 10 calls my mom calls me (I’m just getting out of class) and tells me to call my dad back immediately because he’s on the phone filing a report that I’m missing.
My parents also constantly (even today when I have a job) try to get me jobs. Oh, and for my first job interview ever my dad insisted on coming in with me because he thought I’d blow it. My parents, dad especially, couldn’t comprehend why they weren’t allowed to sit in on my private thesis defense in grad school.
41. How To Get Traveler’s Anxiety
This one involved a mother and her 14-year-old daughter at an airport when the daughter was flying alone. I was going through security right behind them, and I could overhear the mom telling her, “Okay, now call me as soon as you get to the gate, and whenever you land. Make sure you go to the right gate…” and on and on.
As they got to the TSA guy who checks your boarding pass and ID, the mom tried to come with her through security, even though she wasn’t traveling. She clearly knew about the rule, but she tried to talk her way into the concourse anyways. She then backed off, and her daughter went through security. As soon as the daughter got through security, she took out her phone and started talking.
I turned around, and her mother was talking to her on the phone (it’s a small airport, so you can clearly see past the security checkpoint from either side).
42. Clothes Are Tricky
My aunt didn’t let her children leave her sight, watch tv, make friends, and didn’t feed them anything but plain rice and chicken for years. And that’s not even the disturbing part: There was a mandatory hour of “cuddle time” with mom every night and they barely knew how to be human beings. The youngest is eight and isn’t allowed to dress herself since her mother did it every day for all three kids.
She homeschooled them too and the only time they leave the house was to go to the doctor or dentist.
43. Bring Your Parents To Work Day
I managed, scheduled, and hired for a fast-food place in a good neighborhood. This kid comes in for an interview in a button-up shirt and tie. I am liking him; I want to know if he has other extra-curriculars so I can make sure neither of us are wasting our time. I hire him on the spot. He comes in on his first day and it looks like Mom dropped him off.
She sits down without ordering and watches him walk to the back to do training. I go back to the front to work and she is still there. I go check the lobby about 30 minutes later. Still there. I get off, a couple hours later I get a call from my coworker asking about the new kid. I figure it was about his timecard or something.
No. Woman is still there, manager wanted to know if the kid is special or something. When I get to work the next day and answer the phone, the woman wants her son’s schedule. I say I can’t give it out, he needs to ask for it or come to the store. She argues with me for a couple of minutes, but I absolutely refuse to give out his schedule.
He comes in about an hour later to get his hours, I had to pencil him in so I have the entire schedule book for the week out. She tried to take it from me. I snatched it and tossed it on the counter and tell that she is not allowed to look at our schedules because she’s not an employee and that it is protected communications.
She huffs while I give the kid his schedule. Don’t see her for a while, great. About two months later she calls the store to tell me to cut his hours because he’s too busy now. I called him into the office while I wrote schedules for the next week and asked HIM if he wanted his hours cut. He had no idea why I would ask to cut his hours.
44. The Big Wide World
My parents joined a cult before I was born, which prohibited watching TV or any sort of interaction with the outside world. My childhood was not too fun. The cult was a very, very obscure offshoot of Christianity. Probably mostly akin to Southern Baptist in practice but much stricter. There was the speaking in tongues and all of that.
A man named Sam Fife started this organization, which goes by the name of “The Move” or “The Move of God.” He believed that the end times were imminent and encouraged his followers to go off into the wilderness and build communes to wait for Jesus’ return in five years. 40+ years later, they’re still going. The Move prohibits anything that has to do with “The World.”
Modern haircuts, TV, pants for women, and even dating were all taboo for me. Young adults are encouraged to “walk out a year in the Lord” with a potential partner in which time they get to know each other. A six-inch rule is enforced meaning the couple must remain six inches from each other at all times until marriage, to prevent lustful demons from entering the couple.
45. Seventeen, Not Seven
I’m 17, and can’t visit a friend’s house unless one of my grandparents (who I live with) has met said friend’s parents. They refuse to let me apply for part-time jobs in a town 20 minutes away. I go to school in that town. I’m not allowed to have anyone ride in the car with me. I can’t get specific styles of haircuts. I have to ask for money to get clothes that fit me properly.
I’m not allowed to drive past 6 pm and I’ve been stalked to a friend’s house (caught them driving by) to see if I was going where I said I was.
46. Some Shady Individuals
My next-door neighbor’s parents had signs around the house by the door and phones that gave specific instructions on what to do or say to a stranger who called or rang the doorbell if the parents weren’t home. One time we were having my birthday party at the local sheriff’s office who had agreed to host us for a tour of the station and to look at the squad cars.
This was clearly printed on the invitations. Same neighbor had to ask his parents’ permission to go to with us, they came over to look around the party and see what kind of characters were there. They also drove their son to the station in their own car even though the station was maybe a half-mile from my house at most.
47. Sounds Exhausting
My parents were pretty intense about parenting. As I got older, they got more and more overbearing. They wouldn’t let me move out to go to university at 18, so I ended up living at home. They wouldn’t let me date, would start arguments and occasionally get physical with me if they discovered I had spoken to a boy.
They also limited my time on the internet, confiscated my phone even after I was an adult and paying for it myself. Last year, I left home and they called the authorities, reporting me missing and wasted a lot of everyone’s time. Then I turned up at my boyfriend’s house four hours away. They constantly hounded me with calls and texts. But what they did next was too messed up for me to forgive.
I went to see them two months later and they locked me into my old bedroom and my boyfriend had to call the authorities so I could leave without them hurting me. I went back in February to collect clothes and some belongings and had to go there with guards basically. Glad I did, because they’d decided to have a huge family gathering.
I saw them once since then in June when they came to see me, I didn’t let them know where I lived and met them for half an hour in the park.
48. Right In The Shredder
I’m a small business owner and was interviewing applicants for a sales position when a guy in his mid-20s came in with an older woman. I had a pretty good idea it was his mother but before I could even ask, she started telling me about her son’s best qualities. I stopped her, told her she would have to wait in her car, and she started yelling that she had every right to be there.
Her son turned bright pink. I again told her she had to wait outside and had one of my employees escort her out. He seemed like a nice enough kid and went to an excellent college but there was no way I was going to hire an adult who showed up to a job interview with his mother and I told him so. It was also pretty clear that he was extremely shy.
I told him I would continue the interview so he could get some experience but he needs to leave his mother home and learn to speak up for himself. Once he started talking, I became more impressed by him and my business was growing pretty well so I told him I would hold on to his resume and consider him if another position opened up. I thought it went well—but I didn’t know what was coming next.
I was in with the next applicant when his mother came storming in, yelling like a lunatic. Her son just stood next to her with a look of defeat as she screamed that she would be suing if her son wasn’t hired. I again had to have an employee walk them out then I threw his resume in the garbage.
49. It’s Natural
Well, my Mormon parents tried many times to barge into my room to catch me having fun with myself but I was way too quick, though, they only caught me once when I was 13 and didn’t know it was bad in the first place. At one point they got so paranoid that they removed the lock from my door and my mom would purposely sit near my room so she could listen in and try to detect suspicious sounds.
The time they did catch me I received a fairly severe beating from my father, was told I would burn in the underworld for eternity, and threatened to be put in foster care if I was ever caught again. So many close calls too.
50. Momma Bear
I knew this girl who was a couple grades younger than me. Her mom was the worst helicopter parent I knew. She’d go on dates with her daughter. She’d never let her daughter leave her sight when she was with a boy. When they were on dates and her daughter went to the restroom, she’d go with her daughter and apparently guard the door to the restroom to make sure the guy didn’t follow her.
She’d pick out the daughter’s clothes every day to make sure her daughter wouldn’t get too much attention from guys. All of these things might describe your typical helicopter parent. When the girl went to high school the mom decided she was old enough to have her freedom. She stopped being a helicopter parent completely.
One day the daughter comes crying to her mom and tells her mom that her boyfriend just dumped her. Mom tries to calm her down and says that it was just a boy, there will be more boys. “But mom, you don’t understand! I lost my virginity to him!” That’s when the Mom went off the deep end. She then proceeds to drive over to boyfriend’s house, and asks the parents to see their son.
She confronts the son and proceeds to direct her anger at the son’s tender area. Son is on floor crying and his parents end up coming in to the room. Mom turns to the boy’s parents and say, “If you press charges on me, I’ll press charges on you.” And that was that.