Some parents need to chill the heck out. These obsessed helicopter moms and dads took "over-protective" way over the line.
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, as 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. They (Don’t) Grow Up So Fast
I knew a mother who kept her five-year-old daughter in diapers. And not for any understandable reason, no. Her motives were ridiculous. It was because when they went out of the house, she didn't want her using public restrooms. Because the girl sitting in her own excrement was much better for her health, apparently.
3. Ruining It For Everyone Else
My dad coached my hockey team when I was 10-12. He was a great coach and was friends with my friends’ dads and also got them to coach. So here we are in this rinky-dink town and we're running the table on team after team because my coaches actually cared about the kids. We have organized practices. We have skills we try to develop.
Every day we got better. Every game, whether it was a win or a loss we learned something. The last year my dad coached, we had this kid on the team. His name was Chad, and he didn't want to be there. He was very overweight (at 12) and he probably had asthma. He lacked any sense of competitive instincts and he was a complete introvert.
The entire season my dad focused on trying to get him to open up. He tried to get him better and tried to get him to love to play sports. By the end of the season, it was starting to work but...you can't coach asthma away just by being positive about it. And there was another problem. Chad's mom was at all of the games that year and every tournament.
A real winner that woman was. Never cheered for anyone but her son, and her son was the absolute...best. For out-of-town tournaments, we used to have the Zamboni come on between periods.
During that time, we'd be in the dressing room. Chad's mom would come in with a burger for her son....to eat between periods 1 and 2. Between 2 and 3....it'd be fries and gravy. Just like all the sports stars eat. She also kept track of his minutes.
She brought a notepad to every game with a stopwatch and timed how long Chad's shifts were. How often he was passed the puck. How many power play or penalty opportunities he got. You know, the full stats package that you'd expect to get as a professional athlete.
Near the end of the season and throughout playoffs, she would accost my dad, a volunteer coach who had two jobs and three sons to take care of, and ream him out in the hallway. She would do this within earshot of the dressing room. She'd complain about Chad's time on the ice and show the stat sheets she had accumulated. This we all heard.
Chad couldn't have shrunk any lower into his seat. We tried to pump him up but she embarrassed him...every game. EVERY single game she did this. Until at the end of the season, when disaster struck. She finally got her way and got my dad "fired" from his volunteer job. My dad...a former high school and university level coach...fired from his volunteer job...because her son wasn't treated "equally".
I wonder sometimes how that story is spun around Chad's family. I wonder if my dad is cast as the supervillain like some Disney sports movie. I wonder if Chad is always the hero and I wonder whatever happened to him. If all that fighting and pushing by his mom ever ended or did it just continue...for life? I'll never know because he quit hockey and never came back.
Meanwhile, the rest of the team who had the best-coached hockey in their young lives lost three amazing coaches because of one nutcase woman. Participation trophies are NEVER something a kid demands. They have everything to do with the crazy moms and dads who are living vicariously through their poor kids.
Then these jerks have the nerve to say, "Well when we grew up we didn't get participation trophies just for showing up..." Well of course you didn’t, you idiots. You're the morons that invented them.
4. 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. Her solution was infuriating.
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. She now 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.
5. 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.
6. 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. This backfired on him so hard. 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.
7. 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.
8. 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.
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. At this point, my dad realized he'd made several huge mistakes.
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. He had the perfect response. "That was the best thing to happen this whole trip". My dad then actually put them on a plane the next morning and sent them home.
We spent the next 10 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. 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. Oh, it gets so much creepier.
Her dad was her doctor, and 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.
11. 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. Her reply was unbelievable.
She says, "Well, you told her 'NO'!" She made it sound like saying no was the same thing as saying he was going to come to the girl's house and set all her dolls on fire.
12. 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. It was a horrible error.
Her mom would come in every shift for at least 30 minutes, take her to lunch on break, but 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.
13. 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 seven-year-old.
14. Not Without My Mother
I had a friend in high school whose mom was terrible. Every time there was a party—and, mind you, most of my friends were Mormon so they were supervised, appropriate parties—she would come just to make sure her daughter wasn't getting into trouble.
She wouldn't let her watch PG-13 movies, even at 17, had a strict curfew, and became a constant and judgmental fixture at every social event. One time she called me a sleaze because she saw me kiss a boy at a school dance. She wasn't chaperoning, by the way, she was just there to watch her daughter.
The best story though was one time my friends and I went to my house to watch a scary movie. Sheltered friend comes. Helicopter mom shows up. My dear mother distracted her in the kitchen so my friend could have a little peace and just be a teenager.
My mom later said she had no idea what to talk to her about, so they talked about cats for two hours. My mom is a saint.
15. Give Me The Plans Or Else!
I worked at a science museum that had a hands-on area for kids. The aim of the game was for the child to solve a problem by themselves. Like "can you get x to do y". They make something, test it, and figure out how to make it better.
One day, a woman comes in practically dragging her five-year-old son. She sits him down beside me and starts poking me on the shoulder as I'm talking to another family. "Tell my son what to do," she says, standing over him.
I tell the family to hold on a sec, as I explain the challenge to the newcomer. The whole point is to work autonomously, so it was alright, and I was used to working with a few rude/pushy parents, so I wasn't surprised. I tell the kid the prompt, tell him he had a wide range of materials...But no.
The woman wants me to tell him every step of the process. "Tell him the answer! Tell him the answer!" she says repeatedly, grabbing his hands to make him fold paper, or reaching for my own. I start getting mad. "Ma'am, the goal here is to learn the scientific method. Make a hypothesis, test it, make conclusions and try again". That's when she explodes.
"But you already KNOW the answer," she says, "Tell my son! Or I'm calling your manager!" I don't even have a manager. In the meantime, the poor kid is looking so embarrassed. Every time he tries to start something for himself, his mom reaches for his hands and tells him to wait for me to tell him what to do.
The woman was so afraid of him failing when the whole point was to learn from one's mistakes. I'm so worried about how he'll deal with mistakes growing up, with her around.
16. 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.
17. My Precious
The kid I know with a helicopter mom is about nine years old, so like 3rd grade. I’ve known him since before he started school. His mom is an acquaintance of mine and the kid himself has had classes with one of my kids who is the same age. She has forced herself into every activity and classroom that he's ever been in. She starts off volunteering in the classroom normally.
Most teachers ask for a few hours one or two days a week, just to help in our school. But little by little she shows up more often whether the teacher asked her to or not. Some teachers have told her to stop, but others just let it happen. She basically spends every day all day with him and never gives him any space. She hovers over everything he does and if it's not perfect she "fixes" it.
I’m pretty sure she's done his homework herself several times. Sometimes the teachers will send home an art project as homework, like a pumpkin to decorate in the fall or whatever, and his always looks like an adult did it alone. She never lets him face any uncomfortable situations or adversity. She got actually mad when one day she said to the 1st-grade teacher, "He woke up in a sad mood today".
The teacher answered, "I'll keep an eye on him, but I think he'll be okay". This was infuriating to her, to the point where she vented to me about it. I had to ask her "But was he okay though?"... Yeah. He was. What was she expecting, you ask? She wanted the teacher to make a big fuss over him and give him special attention. She felt that the teacher didn't care because she didn't fall all over herself to coddle him.
18. Time To Cut The Cord
My sister is a freshman in college, and her roommate's mother is absolutely psychotic. They're both on the cross country team and very good students. My sister said the roommate never drinks or goes out, but her mom tracks her through phone GPS and will text her constantly asking why she's at such and such a place anyway.
My sister said one time they were at Wal-Mart getting groceries, and her mom called her to ask why she was at Wal-Mart at 9 pm. Another time, they drove to my other sister's (she lives in the same town) apartment to pick something up and the girl's mom called and starts yelling and asking why she's been sitting in a parking lot for 20 minutes.
My sister said she'll constantly have to send pictures of them at the library to her to prove they're actually studying. I just don't get that kind of smothering of your kid. I mean, if you want to check up on what they're doing, then fine, especially if you're paying the bills. But dang, the poor girl can't even have a normal college experience and is constantly worried about upsetting her mom.
It just all seems so unhealthy to me. I mean, I had friends' parents who did that in high school, but once they're adults in college, you really have to cut the cord.
19. Not A Good Enough Reason For An Amber Alert
I worked at a small community library. A kid lived in the building across the parking lot from the library. He would leave his building, walk the ~150 feet to the front door of the library, come to the desk and use the courtesy phone to call and report to his mom that he got to the library safely. Yes, really. She couldn’t handle it. One day, though, all hell broke loose.
I remember the day that he didn't do this, she came flying into the library like five minutes later FREAKING OUT that her son had been kidnapped and we needed to find him.
20. 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. What I saw chilled me more than a bit.
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. It just wasn't very kid-like, even though it was amazing.
He also 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".
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".
21. 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, it was just a wrong number.
She wouldn't listen. 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.
22. For The Motherland
Military recruiting—the helicopter parents who would try to have us recruit their kid without their consent were staggering. Parents would call to make appointments for testing and were furious when we said we had to speak to the kid.
If the kid is a minor, the parents have to sign a waiver, and at that point, we can no longer give any information to the parent, so some parents would call and pose as their child in order to get test results, book appointments, and so on.
Some parents even tried to attend the testing with their child and were furious when we said no. Then, invariably, when little Johnny got turned down for being a jerk pump with no initiative, we'd get an earful from Mommy about how their child is the most special human being on the earth.
Those were the fun times when I could say, "Have you stopped to consider that Johnny isn't getting a job because he has no initiative or desire to be here based on a parent pushing him into a career he doesn't want, rather than him being allowed to make his own choices?" Usually didn't go over well, and then I'd hang up.
23. Lies, Lies, And More Lies
I had a friend during college whose mom was overly concerned with her whereabouts constantly. I'd say it was borderline mistreatment points, and she possibly wasn't entirely mentally well. She'd randomly come and pick my friend up while we were out, and would monitor the water/gas/electricity in their house whenever she went away to try and see whether my friend had stayed out or had people over.
Her mom saw how relaxed my mom was about my life, and definitely took an immediate disliking to BOTH of us pretty early on. We once got tickets to a city music festival—you know, the ones where loads of bars and music venues across one city hold performances during the daytime.
There was only one act that I reeeeeally wanted to see, and it was at the end of the night. So I spent most of the day trawling around town, drinking and seeing the acts that my friend wanted to see. I was having a good time, but was also sort of counting down the hours until I got to see the band I'd really bought my ticket for.
We were planning on meeting some of our other friends there and managed to organize it all…before my phone really annoyingly died the act before, in another venue across town. My friend's mom (obviously) knew which acts we were planning on seeing and where they were.
Bear in mind that we were adults, and that this was during the day in what was pretty much our home city. About half an hour before we were about to leave to see the band I'd essentially waited ALL DAY for, my friend's mom called her to say that she'd checked online and saw that the final venue was overcrowded.
She said that they were turning people away at the door, so she was coming to pick us up and take us home right away. I didn't question this and was meant to be staying with her family so wasn't about to turn my ride home away. I was kind of disappointed that I'd paid a fair bit of money (to me anyway) to see one of my favorite bands for the first time, and didn't even get the chance.
But I'd had a good day regardless, so I wasn't totally bummed out. Anyway, we got back to her family's house. I grabbed my phone charger and managed to restart my phone and bring it back to life. The text messages I saw infuriated me.
There were a few messages from the friends we had intended to meet at the last venue, and they flashed up all at once. Apparently, the venue was hardly full at all and we'd missed out on a really good gig.
It was super weird, but I chose not to bring it up to this woman even though I was angry about not only missing out on a good gig for no reason, but also wasting all that money. It's one thing to be a helicopter parent and control everything your kids do, but doing the same thing to your adult kids' friends is just certified crazy. I do not enjoy that woman.
24. 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.
25. Overqualified For The Job
I used to teach middle school. The teacher next to me had given a 6th-grade girl a C on a paper because it didn't meet the proper criteria. The mom was livid and came into the school furious about the grade.
After the teacher and the mom went back and forth about the grade, the mother blurts: "I HAVE A COLLEGE DEGREE AND I TOOK WRITING COURSES FOR FOUR YEARS, AND I WROTE THIS PAPER. ARE YOU TELLING ME I CAN'T GET AN 'A' ON A 6TH-GRADE ASSIGNMENT?"
The teacher stuck to her story, but never answered the question.
26. Take It Easy
My mom is a helicopter mom. When my mom and brother came to visit me in the city I lived in at the time of this story, we went to a building that is a tourist attraction. She's already been there so she stayed down in some coffee shop while me and my brother went in to go to the top. There was a really big line and while we were waiting he was telling me about all the times she'd go crazy because I wouldn’t reply to her text for one day or so.
We were joking that considering how long the whole tour of the building was taking, she'd probably already be talking to the authorities. We had no idea what was actually happening.
When we got out, there she was, talking to an officer. Because you know, someone probably kidnapped two adults in a crowded building packed with security and tourists.
27. Fire Alarm Versus Fog Machine
I was in the school musical. It was my first lead role and I was singing a duet with the cutest boy in school. True, I was playing his mom, but THIS WAS MY MOMENT! Then the fire alarm went off. The stage manager signaled to us that it was just the fog machine and to keep going. So we did.
The audience, confused and uninformed, began to shuffle out the doors because that’s what you do when you hear a fire alarm. But the show must go on! All of a sudden, my mother runs up to me on the stage, rips me away from Cutest Boy and screams into my face microphone, "What are you doing?!! There's a fire! Get these kids out of here! WHO IS IN CHARGE HERE?!!"
Obviously I was shunned for weeks and 12 years later, my drama teacher still tells that story to his students.
28. A Little Slice Of Life
A 13-year-old kid down the street has the most ridiculous family. His mom, dad, and grandma were always with him. ALWAYS. He had NEVER been away from them. Even when they have a nanny to watch him, one of them was there. The kid was never on his own for anything. But then it got extremely creepy.
We had them to a party in the park and when the 13-year-old asked for a hot dog the mom FREAKED out. Not because it was a hot dog, as some parents have dietary restrictions, but because I served them whole! She took the hot dog from his hand and cut it for him into little baby bites, like I would do for my one-year-old at the time.
She then handed it back to him like she saved his life. Let me get this straight: He was a normal teen with no mental impediments. The dad also took him to the bathroom with a gallon of sanitizer and baby wipes and make "sure" the boy washed his hands.
These people hold regular jobs—one is a lawyer, one is an admin at our local hospital, and the grandma used to be an executive with the state attorney. They seem to have taken it to the next level helicoptering weirdness.
29. The Only Thing To Fear Is Fear Itself
I worked with a woman whose four-year-old LOVED airplanes. There was a big air show coming to the area, and I asked her if she was taking her son to the air show, as he would probably love it. She said she was worried they were too dangerous, and a plane could crash into the crowd. So they didn't go. Great parenting. Rob your child of an incredible experience because you have an irrational fear.
30. Silica Dreams
My best friend and his brother shared the same room throughout childhood and puberty. They were well-behaved teenagers but their mom was always concerned about dangerous substances and stuff so while they were sleeping she would smell their shirts and pants. If she detected a small trace of smoke or alcohol odor, she would go insane.
So one day the mother is checking the older son's sneakers and she finds a tiny packet. Oh lord! She beat this poor guy using a broom while my best friend woke up because of all the noise and screaming. At the end she yelled at him that none of her children would become addicts. And then she threw the packet in front of the two puzzled teens.
It was a silica gel packet he forgot to throw away before using his new sneakers for the first time. Their mom didn't understand English, and so had assumed the worst. Awkward!
31. One And One Only
I knew a kid way back in the day, and his parents overly supervised everything he did. If he wanted to "play outside", well it has to be in the little "park" that's 50 feet from their front door. And when he did go over, the dad would just be staring out the windows. Any bad language? That's a paddlin'. Sarcasm? You better believe that's a paddlin'.
I remember one time someone had bought some Swedish Fish and was sharing them with everyone. Their response stunned me. The mom comes flying out and says, "You can only have ONE fish....." and then watched him eat a single fish to make sure he wouldn't eat any other.
Now the kid is so deep in the closet he's wrapping Christmas Presents and so stressed he could turn coal into diamonds.
32. Slow Your Roll
I am in private elementary education, so helicopter parents are right up my alley. I had a student one year who was the middle child of three and the mother was the textbook definition of a helicopter. But it was more than that, she also had a bad case of "wanting to be your 10-year-old's best friend instead of their parent". Here is a short list of things she did.
She would come attend school events (like plays, etc), and try to sit next to her child on the floor. She would deliver her child lunch every single day. Not send in a packed lunch, mind you. She would deliver something. Like fast food. And she always had enough for herself as well, so she basically tried to come eat lunch with her daughter every day.
One day I confronted the student about this and made up a bogus rule that her mom had to bring me lunch as well. It had unintended consequences. Sure enough the next day I got a sub from Subway. She would also let the girl stay home for any and all reasons that she wanted. The girl was literally absent 25 days the year before I had her.
I tried my best to crush that bad habit and got her down to 14 days absent when I had her). Some of the notes and doctors’ excuses the mom sent in were really ridiculous. When she was at the school for her younger child, for example when she came by for kindergarten parties or whatever, she would sneak out and walk the halls and peek through the classroom windows of her other two kids to "check on them".
I would joke with our principal that this woman might secretly be an employee of our security company trying to find flaws in our security procedures. We had to come up with all sorts of new rules and procedures for all the parents to follow just to stop this one woman.
The girl was not a very good student, and I am pretty sure more than half of the homework handed into me was completed by the mother. My final interaction with her was bonkers.
I invited her and her husband in for a conference because I gave the girl a 0 for missing an assignment with an unexcused absence. I basically forced the mother to admit that she took the girl shopping that day instead of bringing her to school. The dad was completely unaware this was happening and went off on her right in front of me.
It didn't solve the problem permanently, as she continued to helicopter the following year before leaving the school, but it toned it down while I had her at least. The sad thing is you encounter parents like this all the time. They don't realize the long-term harm they are causing their children or the bad habits they are helping them to develop.
33. See No Evil, Do No Evil
I was moving in freshmen to the dorms, because if you agreed to move the newbies you got to move in three days early and beat the rush. This man approaches me and asks, "Is this a co-ed dorm"? "Yes..." "I asked for my daughter to be in the all-female dorm". "Oh, I understand sir, that's actually right across the breezeway. Usually, it's in Building X, but X is being renovated so they moved it here. That entire wing is only female".
"But she could walk over here and it would be co-ed" "...Well yes sir, she could walk anywhere she wants to". ".................I'll tell her she's not allowed to walk this way". I never found out who is daughter was, but I'm sure she followed those rules.
34. Great Minds Think For Themselves
One lady we had over at our house was shocked that my (at the time) nine-year-old younger brother could dress himself and brush his teeth. She claimed that he was “so mature” and that her daughter, also age nine, couldn’t do anything like that. My mom immediately realized it was helicopter parenting and had a long talk with her.
I hope that little girl has learned how to dress herself and do lots of other basics now...
35. Joined At The Hip
I went to boarding school for high school, and when I was a senior, there was a freshman whose mother would drive three hours every weekend to be with her. On said weekends her mother wouldn't take her out. Instead, she would hang out with her friends with her, to the point where I think the mother thought she was friends with her daughter's friends.
Field trips? She would go. Band tours? She would make sure she was at every place they performed.
The mother would try and assign extra homework for her to do on top of her school work, which went on until a Dean found out and yelled at the mom. I went to alumni this year and I stayed at an old staff member's house. This house happened to be where the class that graduated that year was having a gathering. Lo and behold, the girl was there...and so was her mother.
36. Calling You Out
I was a trustee for my college fraternity. The final week of pledging has the recruits live in the fraternity house. We have them turn over their phones for the week. This turned out to be a huge mistake. On day two of the week, campus officers come knocking on the door looking for one of the recruits. Turns out that his mother would call him every morning to wake him for class.
37. 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.
38. 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.
39. Just Let It Go
My mother is ridiculous. She sets up fake Facebook accounts with other peoples' names (like her financial advisor) in order to see if she can view my own FB page. I'm 38. When I was married a handful of years ago, she would reprimand me if I went places—the grocery store, dinner with MY friends—without my husband. My mom is VERY independent.
This is a family rumor that she denies: She somehow got through on the phone to my college's president and told him "My daughter was a good Christian girl until she went to YOUR school".
I went to a Christian college, and I have no doubt that this "rumor" actually happened. She's definitely the type. When I was in high school, I was barely allowed to walk the four-six blocks to school. But there was a catch.
No one was ever allowed to use the telephone in the school office except in an emergency. Except me. Everyone in town knows my mom AND her reputation, and they bow to her whims because they pick their battles. So I was required to call my mom every morning when I arrived at school after those six blocks—I had special permission to use the phone.
One morning I forgot. She called the principal, who called over the intercom in my classroom and asked whether I was in class, because my mom was on the phone wondering if I had made it the six blocks to school.
Throughout my 18 years living with my parents, I spent ONE night alone at home. I was never allowed to be alone, just truly never. Even as a teenager, on the rare occasion that both of my parents were not home overnight, I had to have a babysitter. My mom's former best friend, who made me sleep on her neighbor's pool deck and then took photos of me in the morning as I woke up, bleary-eyed in my sleeping bag.
And this woman also had an exaggerated love of clowns. Thanks mom.
40. Thanks But No Thanks
My sister was friends with this girl in middle school whose mom would put her tampons in for her because she was worried she wouldn't do it right. Tampons, not pads, not that pads would have been normal either. My sister was at a sleepover and before they went to bed the girl told her mom she needed her tampon changed. The whole thing was just really bizarre all around.
41. 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.
42. Mommy’s Little Girl
Back in the 90s, this popular girl in grade five or so would get dropped off by her mom to school and picked up. Ok, that's normal. But several times a week her mom would drive by really slow at recess and park on a gravel road about 200m away from the playground and just sit there and watch. I'm guessing her mom didn't have a job or something, but it was super creepy.
This girl would also get constant phone calls from her mom at the office because this was before cell phones. It happened several times a week and I have no clue what her deal is.
43. I’m An Adult Now
I was going to move into a dorm with a friend, but her mother contacted the administration and insisted that she live in the same residence as the dorm minder to make sure she was doing her homework and staying away from parties. We were 20, and where we live, the drinking age is 18. So essentially, absolutely none of this woman’s business OR the dorm minder’s.
Her mother would also show up after seminars to walk her home (10 minutes away), and would contact professors to negotiate extensions and protest bad grades. There was something I didn’t know, though. I found out afterward that this girl had a pretty serious history of mental illness, so there were legitimate reasons to be concerned for her safety.
Still, I couldn't help but think a lot of her problems resulted from being told over and over again that she couldn't be trusted to stand on her own two feet.
44. Don’t Worry, Mommy’s Here
My brother was injured in a training accident in the Israeli army. It wasn't life-threatening but it was a pretty messy injury that needed immediate care. For some reason, the base commander tried to hide the injury and refused to send my brother to the hospital. Instead, he sent him to the camp medic, who took one look at my brother and said "Here, have some morphine and I'm going to call for help".
My brother asked him to call my mom. My mom, a colonel at the time, commandeered a helicopter along with a squad of men. She then flew up into Lebanon where my brother was based, landed in the middle of his base, ordered her way into the medical tent while setting the men outside as guards, loaded my brother into the chopper, and evacuated him out.
To be fair, she's a great mom who usually lets us fail on our own, but you asked for helicopter parenting examples, it doesn't get more helicopter parent than actually commandeering a helicopter to go take care of your son!
45. Can I Speak To A Manager?
On more than one occasion I've told some helicopter moms that they're going to need to wait in the lobby while I interview their child for the job. If your kid is 18, they're legally an adult and therefore you have no right whatsoever to be present in that interview.
30% of moms would try to intimidate me as if I were their child or husband, but would back down when they saw I didn't care. 60% threw temper tantrums that cost their child the job. 10% tried to have me fired.
46. 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. His plan was utterly disturbing.
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.
47. All Seeing, All Knowing
My girlfriend's mother is awful. My girlfriend is 22 in a few months, but this woman keeps track of my girlfriend’s bank account and credit card purchases. She also keeps track of her cell phone call logs and asks her why she's having long phone calls with this phone number, which is obviously mine. I guess it doesn't help that my girlfriend and I have been secretly dating for about a year and a half.
48. Somebody’s Always Watching
As a kid, my sister had a friend and went over to her house quite a bit to hang out with her. The friend lived in a very nice, quiet neighborhood. After a day of hanging with her friend at her house, my sister came home and told me that her friend’s parents had placed cameras in her room.
The camera was also equipped with a microphone to not only hear what was going on in her room, but also to speak to the child. My sister told stories after coming home about the mom calling into the room to sometimes tell them to stop doing an activity or to be a little more quiet.
THIS WOMAN WAS WATCHING THEIR EVERY MOVE AND LISTENING TO THEIR EVERY CONVERSATION! I feel bad for the girl, honestly. To me, that’s a huge invasion of privacy, as well as it is extremely creepy in general. If it were me, I’d throw every camera installed in the room straight out the window, or at the mom. Whichever.
49. Family Comes First
I have a friend whose parents make them drive an hour back to their house from her university four times a week to “keep an eye on her”. That’s not even the worst of it. This girl is busy. She’s working three jobs—because her parents won’t help her with tuition, not can’t—is the president of a club, and is taking the hardest class of her major this quarter. They don’t care at all.
50. Going The Distance
My mother got me kicked out of the Army after learning I was going into a role where I might see combat. The lengths she went to were jaw-dropping. She contacted two Senators, worked her way through the chain of command until she got to my CO and apparently ticked off my CO to the point where I received "special attention" afterward.
I spent three months in the reception battalion (which is the first stop before boot camp ) in a Line of Sight vest—it was pink with reflective tape and generally reserved for flight risks and suicidal people. After a 15-minute visit with one of the psychologists, I was deemed to have Major Depressive Disorder and received an Entry Level Separation discharge.
On the last day, my CO went through my paperwork and ripped it up so I couldn't re-enter the force. I come from a family who has served continuously for five generations until me. I was 18 at the time.
51. Helicoptering Everywhere
Our next-door neighbors were the epitome of helicopter parents. One day they even came over to tell my parents that my brother and I needed to go to bed at 7 pm just like their kids, because otherwise their kids could see our bedroom lights turned on and it made them jealous. My parents politely declined, thank god, but wow! Wild!
52. Can’t Let Go And Can’t Relax
Mine. My mother is horrible. I was 20 years old and still not allowed out of the house without my mom, and I had to hold hands crossing the street. I never had a job, never learned to cook, all because I was, in her words, going to live with her forever. I got a boyfriend, even though I'd never been allowed to visit anyone's house. Ever.
She asked to see his social security number and birth certificate to prove he was the age he said he was. I told her I wanted to move out and she freaked. She called the authorities and told them I was mentally unstable, told them I wasn't ready for the outside world, told them any lie that she could. Unfortunately, they believed her and it took me a full year to actually escape.
I even had relatives parked outside at night to make sure I didn't leave. I'm now 23 and slowly adjusting to the world but it's hard. I can cook but driving is hard. I have no social skills. I don't know how to talk to people. And she still asks me to come home every day via text.
53. The Apple Doesn’t Fall Far
My cousin wasn't allowed to watch the show Arthur on PBS. I don't even remember why but let's be real, there's no way there's a logical reason for that. But it didn’t stop there. She couldn't watch most of the Disney Channel because the kids are kind of snotty to their parents at times. Ok, I can agree with that analysis but usually they learn a lesson about it right?
I watched it and wasn’t a jerk to my parents, and neither are most kids on balance. She couldn't listen to any secular music until she was about 15 or 16, and even then they were very restrictive about it. When she was an infant, her mom objected to baby pictures that showed the baby's butt (or chest, if it's a female baby) in case some creep somehow got his hands on it.
She had a celebrity crush on Josh Hutcherson when she was like 11 or 12 but apparently, at some point, he said something that indicated he was bi and that was the end of that. And just for good measure whenever I visited, she would parent ME too. I remember she forced me to take medicine when I was feeling a little under the weather.
She also forced me to do chores I didn't normally do at home, and then told me I needed to be better at dishwashing if I wanted to make a good wife someday. No, really. She followed all that up with telling me I worked too hard to get an education and, again, that wasn’t going to make me a good wife to someone. Good times, am I right?
54. Two Parents, Two Problems
A guy I know is 23. He has two moms and he was adopted. I'm not sure which mom is worse. One of them runs all his social media accounts. We would get messages from him that just sounded weird. When asked, he would have no idea what he said. He has a cell phone that can only call his parents and 9-1-1. He’s not allowed to drive.
Any time he goes somewhere new, his mom tags along for a few hours to "check things out". He's only allowed to eat at certain restaurants, and he has to check in with his moms constantly. He doesn't see any issue with this...I almost think it's a form of mistreatment, honestly. He is not an independent thinker, and he relies on everyone else to make decisions for him. Smart kid, though.
55. Entitlement Breeds Entitlement
This man-child was fired from our work, and his mom called to complain to the operations manager about it being unfair. She even complained to the Vice President of North America's large company about the manager being unfair. The man-child was hired because he lived next door to the VP North America of this fairly large international company.
He did whatever he wanted at work because everyone was afraid of firing him. My boss sacrificed a small contract to get rid of the guy—the man child had mucked it up, and there was no room with some of the other local projects, so he was sent back to the regional offices. The man-child decided to not show up to work for a week so he could play a new release of Call of Duty instead.
The Operations Manager told him he better have an excuse, and the man-child’s response made us all burst out laughing. He provided a note from his mom. Well, the man-child was fired. The mom decided to ream out the Operations Manager, accusing him of unfairly targeting her son, and then of course she started in on her neighbor, the Vice President, at the company Christmas party.
56. Don’t Step A Foot Out Of Line
I'm 18. My parents make me have an app that tracks the location and speed in vehicles and such. I'm also in college about three hours away from home. One night at around 8 pm I decided I was going to go get some pictures at the lake literally across the street from campus. It was less than a two-minute walk. I think it’s no big deal, obviously.
The second my foot hits the other side of the street, I get a text from my mom asking me what I'm doing. Stuff like this happens all the time. Cool! So not weird at all to know that you were watching my location at that exact moment like a hawk! Things like this are the reason I have really bad anxiety. So now I just spoof my location 24/7 because it's really unnecessary to ask me where I'm going or what I'm doing every time I leave my room.
57. Hurting More Than Helping
A few years ago we were hiring for an entry-level help desk position. A nice kid came in with his mom. I very politely offered her something to drink and a place she could sit away from the interview space. She was NOT invited to the interview itself. This lady started to get very aggressive about being in the room, and the poor kid was getting embarrassed.
My final answer was that he was no longer being considered for the position, and she lost it. Our receptionist called the authorities and they were there within a minute. She calmed down a little when the officers arrived, almost as if she had been through this before. They nicely escorted her off the property, and luckily we never heard from her again.
58. 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.
59. Make It Make Sense
I work in a college, and we get helicopter parents constantly. I think my favorite example was a mother who called every day, telling us how to do our jobs and listing off rolodexes of complaints about things, including how we don't treat the students like adults and saying that we coddle them. Ok, lady.
In the same breath, she was asking me to divulge information regarding her son’s health care and information with the college. She also refused to let him speak to me himself because he was only a kid and she would handle it. Hmmmm.
60. Get A Hold Of Yourself
I was a soccer referee as a tween and teenager. At first, I only worked the U-6 and U-8 games. Yes, they used refs for those brackets in my association, though they didn't use lines-people for those games. Anyway, one blustery November day, I was working a U-8 game. The wind was so loud I couldn't hear well, and neither the patter of rain nor the murmur of the crowd helped.
One of the kids behind me tripped and fell. He cried, but in a whimpery sobbing way that didn't travel in that wind. None of the players saw, none of the coaches saw, and I didn't see. I paid a high price for the mistake. This kid's dad was furious and ran out on the field screaming.
I heard him as he got within a couple yards, and turned in time for him to shove me to the ground. He was then standing over me screaming. I was 12. I complained to the league referee coordinator, but nothing ever came of it that I know of. If he had actually been playing, he'd get a 15-yard flag and then wouldn't be allowed back the next week.
61. 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.
62. Who Will Think Of The Children?
Now, I was a non-traditional, older student when I went to college. I was 24 in freshman year, not super old, but old enough. I wanted to do the whole thing so I got stuck in a dorm, and unfortunately forced into a triple. Okay, that’s okay, I'm trying out college and I guess this is part of it. Besides, I'll move to an apartment the following year.
Nope. A mom of one of the other students called the admissions office to complain about me being in the dorm, saying that I'd buy her kid drinks even though I didn't drink at the time. I ended up getting to move out into an on-campus apartment, all because of her. The best part was, I was going to work when they were moving in and she was all proud of the fact that she had me thrown out of the dorm.
The kid, meanwhile, was embarrassed. I was like "Oh, thanks, I'm sorry but I have to go to work". You know, like a responsible ADULT. She looked a little sheepish at that point.
63. Come Clean
One day, my dad walked into my room. I was watching a movie and eating pizza rolls. He was visibly upset, and then started yelling at me that I should “give him the contraband” and “come clean” because he could smell that I was smoking. I was not smoking. I had never smoked. The truth was so much worse.
The neighbor’s house, on the other hand, was on fire.
64. Not Very Thankful Right Now
One time in high school band, we were supposed to travel up north to play in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Naturally, we were going to stay a few nights in a hotel, and there were going to be four people per room. My mom then had the bright idea to come with me and STAY in the same room with me and two other 17-year-old boys.
Thankfully my dad talked her out of it, but she still insisted that I text her every day of the trip.
65. 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.
66. Some Un-Motherly Advice
My ex-boyfriend’s mother was so controlling of her own son that she eventually wanted to control ME. It got so wild, so fast. She actually once told me to quit my part-time job because I am "a woman and it's dangerous out there". She also tried to stop me from pursuing music and go to graduate school with her son.
During dinner one time, she sat me down and told me to choose between work or family and then waited for my answer. I was 23, he was 25, and we dated for seven months. Can’t say she wasn’t a factor in the breakup.
67. 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.
68. My Mom Said I Could Do It
Tales from the classroom: First off, that time a parent argued with me when their child cheated. Their reasoning? It was all fine because I didn't specifically say that copying homework was cheating. Second, but related: That time the parent clearly wrote the entire essay for her child. Parents, let your kids fail and learn. There is no other way.
69. Fail Harder
My own mother is a total helicopter mom, and on top of that, she's a narcissist. Some highlights: We lived in a microscopic, small town of something like 500 people. There was a gas station right across the street from our house. However, I was not allowed to cross the street on my own until I was 14 because I might get hit by one of the three cars that drove past per day.
I wasn't allowed to ride a bike—at all, no exceptions—until I was 12. And then I had training wheels forever and couldn't leave the driveway. Just had to dink about in the driveway with training wheels at 12 years old. I wish that was the worst of it. But no. Anything I wanted to try, I was allowed to do ONCE and then when I inevitably failed it was "I told you that you were going to get _____".
Rollerskating. Once. Of course I fell. She KNEW I wasn't coordinated enough for that. Swim lessons. One. She KNEW I wasn't strong enough for that. Track. One practice. She KNEW I wasn't tall enough for that. And so on and so forth. On the rare occasions that I was allowed to leave the house, she went with me or would turn up where I was.
Somehow when I was 16 she let me get a job at a burger joint....and sat there my. entire. shift. She chaperoned every single school trip. Happy ending: I turned out pretty okay in the end. I'm a reasonably functional adult who's not afraid of everything. The only thing that hung on is sadly, the belief that I'll fail at everything. Can't get rid of it.
70. The Sunday Scaries
My ex's helicopter mother once freaked out and left increasingly tearful messages on the answerphone every few minutes for over two hours. Why you ask? Because he wasn't at home to take her weekly Sunday call and therefore Something Must Be Wrong. He was 36 at the time.
If he had always been in for that call I'd have given her a little bit of leeway, but he was not always at home at that time, and had never promised that he would be.
71. Driving Me Crazy
My parents, especially my mom, are really bad about control issues. I was back home for winter break from university during sophomore year and hanging out at my friend's house, who lived one or two streets away. At 10 pm, my parents called and asked me to come home. Ok, fine, I didn't have a curfew, so I thought I was okay, but whatever.
I guess I'll go, even if I wanted to hang with my friends longer. Still, I knew my parents wouldn't let me go out the rest of the break, so this was my one shot and I might ruin my future chances if I argued. Also, they refused to sleep until I came home, and I wanted them to rest for their own health. But then they freaked out because it was apparently too dark and unsafe outside.
Therefore, I could not be trusted to walk the few feet to my car and drive the one-minute home. Note that my friend and I both live in relatively wealthier, safer neighborhoods, and the streets were well lit. Anyway, my parents called my friends' parents and asked them to FOLLOW me the one minute it took me to drive home. I had a darn parade on a one-minute drive.
Meanwhile, I had to inconvenience everybody in the process. Thankfully I'm attending university in a different state and can just ignore them, but going home always sucks. If the price of living wasn't so high, my parents would have definitely moved to that state where I study by now.
72. All’s Well That Ends Well?
My best friend in college had to deal with a helicopter mom, but it had awful consequences for him. We stayed in an apartment and that was how I got to know him and became friends. Until his undergrad degree, he has never strayed away from his mom's vision. Some of the things that occurred, and the behavior exhibited by him shocked me.
Like, he cannot fold clothes, not even make an attempt. Fun fact: He does not know that he wears his socks inside out at times. He does not know his clothes and shoe size. His mom apparently picks clothes for him, which includes, yes you guessed it, underwear too. I saw him receive boxes from his mom during graduation which had clothes to wear for job interviews.
His mom selected his car, color, and make, and then he went and bought it. The same goes for his phone and/or other electronics he has. He cannot cook even if his life depended on it. We actually banned him from cooking anything on stove after he triggered the fire alarm three times in the apartment after attempting to cook dinner.
We all wondered how he can survive once he starts working and living alone. Yep, his mom figured that out too. She found a girl for him to marry. His wife is a stay-at-home spouse doing cooking, cleaning, laundry, etc. The thing is, the guy is genuinely nice and does not have an ego. His wife is also pretty cool too. He is working in a big company earning lots of money and has two kids now.
All in all, he is quite successful and him and his wife are very much happily married. But I’m not sure he knows what he’s missing.
73. It’s In The Air
I just saw a mother walk into a classroom with a handheld Radiation Meter. She revealed herself to be a true nutbar. She proceeds to tell the teacher that little Billy needs to sit in the back corner of the classroom because of the toxic school WIFI radiation. Joke's on her when I tell her that visible light is also technically "toxic radiation".
Maybe she'll go back to whatever cave she crawled out of—this time with her lights turned out.
I was not allowed to use the money cheat on Sims growing up because that's not how the "real world" works. I got so frustrated that I used the cheat code once and couldn't explain where all the money I had came from. My parents were so offended that they grounded me and snapped the Sims CD rom in front of my face. Wild times.
75. Chewing Gum Woes
My parents had this ridiculous rule where they wouldn't let me spend any money unless I told them about what I'll buy first. I once bought a pack of gum without asking them and let me tell you: it wasn't pretty. Because of a single pack of gum, my mom and dad shouted at me for a solid hour, then took away my phone for a week.
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.
77. Binocular Mother
I wasn't allowed to hang out with girls when I was younger. One day I was at the school park with some of my friends and there were a couple girls there. My mom called me to ask who I was hanging out with. I only mentioned my guy friends. Big mistake. Apparently, my mom was spying on me with binoculars. She drove to the park, made a big scene, and made me go home.
78. 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. That's when it all clicks.
He daughter is 18 years old and the mom was overreacting. I just wasted 20 minutes helping a helicopter mom find her college-aged daughter.
79. 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.
80. 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!
81. 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.
82. Cheaters Never Prosper
My wife, being a teacher, had to deal with helicopter parents on a regular basis. Usually, she would have that parent do menial tasks so they would not bother the class. But with one parent she had to take drastic measures.
This parent became so overbearing—doing things like demanding to see lesson plans or making my wife take class time to re-explain subjects—that she had to take matters into her own hands.
One day while the parent was in the classroom, she deliberately left an upcoming quiz out for the parent to see. This parent took the quiz and slipped her kid the answers. Knowing the kid was not a good student, my wife got the parent to fess up to taking the test and passing the answers.
This went to the principal, and he banned her from the class. The parent made multiple complaints, even going to a district meeting. The school board held up the ban.
83. Just Checking In
I once had a mother call me to find out why her son didn't get the job. He's 40. And an attorney.
84. 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.
85. 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.
86. Define “Home”
Once when I was home on leave during my Afghanistan deployment, I decided against my better judgment to stay at my helicopter parents' house instead of a hotel. Well, I'm never doing that again.
First night back, I was out late getting hanging with some old friends from high school. At 9 pm on the dot, my dad started blowing up my phone telling me to get home. At least I got him good. I just told him that "home" was Fort Huachuca, Arizona and that I was on vacation.
87. 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.
88. 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.
89. 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.
90. Not Giving Up Gracefully
I work in HR at a large telecommunications company. We usually sit in the conference room and can see and hear the interview candidates while they are waiting in the lobby. This poor guy was probably 19 or 20 and his mother wanted to go into the interview with him. We actually had to ask her to wait outside the lobby, because even after being asked to sit down she said it was her "right" to be in there.
The guy didn't end up getting the job, and she later called and asked where she could send an appeal letter...wish I had saved that letter, it was intense.
91. He Shoots, They Scream
You haven't seen anything until you've seen helicopter hockey parents. They don't only hover over their own kids, they encourage horrible sportsmanship. A few years ago when my goalie brother was playing Squirt AA (so about age 9 to 10), the opposing team equipped themselves with the age-old and shady strategy of “run the goalie”.
The coaches were in on this, the parents cheered bloodthirstily whenever these little jerks rammed into my brother, and they kept this up more than they attempted to score. My brother had had enough. The poor kid snapped and walloped the next boy who skidded into his crease (the net area), which was totally justifiable by that point.
This redneck-looking woman and her husband immediately got up, started screeching about their POOR PRECIOUS JOEY and GET THAT GOALIE OUT OF THERE, REF! Eventually, their whole cheering system was on their feet and yelling out obscene stuff about taking my brother out. To 10-year-olds. They all got escorted out by security. You cannot make this stuff up.
92. The Girl In The Bubble
I was not allowed to walk to school by myself even though it was literally one block away from my house because my mom said I would get attacked. I was in Junior High. I was never allowed to be unattended and was not allowed to go to friends’ houses because my parents did not trust other parents. This extended all the way through high school.
Then I started "acting out" and they sent me to a lock-down mental health treatment facility. My childhood was painfully lonely, to say the least.
93. A Steep Cost
This is a sad story, but it shows the absolute ridiculousness of over-parenting. When I was 12, about a decade ago, a good friend of mine lived across the street from a family with two young boys. They were always extremely overprotective. Like, the mother stood outside while her kids played (they were 10 and nine years old) and as long as I could remember they weren't even allowed to cross the street alone.
Finally, the oldest was allowed to walk across the street to play with a friend. It ended in utter tragedy. The first day he walked out into the street, he was struck by an oncoming car and perished immediately. The parents had always held their hands while they crossed the street and never taught them the rules to cross, like looking both ways.
It's terrible some of these parents don't teach their kids but try to do everything for them.
94. Helicopter Hilda Always Gets Her Way
I drive a school bus. At one stop, last week, one of the kids was late but I could see him exiting his house some 200 meters away. His mom was carefully closing his coat, fastening his backpack, and then I watched his slow saunter to the bus across the playground. I was holding up traffic so I released the stop signal, closed the door, and crept forward three car lengths to resume the flow of traffic.
Then I opened my door and told him to hurry. By the time I completed my stops, some 12 minutes later, I parked at the school. I couldn’t believe my eyes. At the parking lot, I saw his mom waiting. The temperature that morning was freezing, yet the mom's ski coat was wide open. She was just wearing a low-cut t-shirt with more cleavage than coverage showing.
He pupils were dilated like she had perhaps stopped at the ophthalmologists' on the way. She was cursing, screaming, and slamming the side of my bus. How dare I rush her son and threaten to drive off? I wrote up an incident report. The school, my manager, and my Union Steward sided with the mom. I asked them to add three minutes to that stop on my route sheet.
So far they have not. But helicopter Hilda gets her way now.
95. 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.
96. 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.
97. How About You Quarterback-Off, Dad
Probably an acquaintance of mine. I have posted about it on Reddit before a couple of times, but he is pretty bad, so I'll share it again. This guy knows that his son is going to be a great NFL quarterback. The kid turned 10 recently and is a decent player, but his father has him work with different trainers and spend hours each day practicing.
He takes vitamins, has a special diet, and isn't allowed to play other sports because his dad wants him to focus completely on football and doesn't want to risk an injury playing another sport that would sideline him for football. He can't have sleepovers or do any normal kid things. I know for a fact that the kid has told his father that he doesn't want to play anymore, but the dad doesn't care.
He says that as a parent, he has to do what is best for his kid. My sons play sports too and they don't always want to go to practice, so I understand making them stick with something they signed up for. My kids know that they have to finish out a season, but I am perfectly fine if they don't want to sign up the next season.
I just don't understand why someone would continue to sign their kid up for something they clearly do not want to do. It's a situation that I can't see ending well.
98. I’m Not Touching That One
I worked in a school for kids with behavioral issues. These kids were typically aggressive, and some would elope from the building. Parents usually signed a release saying that we could touch their kids for restraint purposes. You have to remember that these kids would be out for blood during one of their crisis episodes. It wasn't done for punishment, only safety.
Well, we had one parent who wouldn't sign it because little Johnny "didn't really need to be there." Since we couldn't touch him, he could beat up on the teachers and nothing could legally be done. We would just move out of the way. One day, he decided to leave the building and run down the road. We called the police and said we had a kid who left the building, and we couldn't get him back.
Mom was notified, and Johnny was brought back in a cop car. She was irate over the situation and took him home for the rest of the day because she was scared that he was traumatized.
99. Putting This Crowd On Ice
On my first date (which ended up being a "friend date" but that's a different story), the girl brought her mom. The mom bought both of us ice cream (even though I offered to buy it) and stayed with us for like 10 minutes before leaving for 20 or so minutes and calling her daughter telling her she had to go. That was something.
For everyone asking, this was a few months ago, I was 18 and she was 17. We were talking for a few months prior to this, and I'm fairly certain her mom knew about me. The girl told me to meet her at this ice cream place and that she would have her mom drop her off as she couldn't drive yet. Her mom came with her inside the store, I introduced myself and thought she would go.
She didn't. She bought ice cream for everyone and it was very awkward. I don't know why she did it, but it happened, and I never went on a friend date with that girl again.
100. 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.
101. 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.
102. New Fashion Skirts
As a teacher, I encounter weird overbearing parents all the time. My favorite anecdote is that time I had a parent end a sewing lesson on how to make skirts, for fear the student might make a short "tarty" skirt with this knowledge.
103. Her Anxieties Never Held Water
My grandmother (who lived with us) did not let me walk up and downstairs, and I was also not allowed to let shower water hit my chest. She believed that if I either fell on the stairs or did them too quickly, I would die. She also told me that if shower water pounded on my chest it would destroy my heart and it would be my fault if I had a heart attack and died. Both of these were enforced rules (amongst 10 million others) in my house.
She did have a kid who had died of heart problems, but the shower water thing is only an instruction for like RIGHT AFTER open-heart surgery. Jesus.
104. How Dare You Have Boundaries
I’m a college student. When I get stressed/anxious, I get nasty acne breakouts. A couple of weeks ago my midterms began, and my acne started getting bad. My parents have me FaceTime them every week to check in. When they noticed my acne a couple of weeks ago, they made comments like, verbatim, "You look exponentially worse than you did last week"!
Also, "Your face looks awful"! It's made me feel pretty bad. Normally, I'm a very passive person. But recently, I've gotten more confident, and so tonight I decided to stand up for myself. By the way, I have a mental health condition that my parents are very concerned about. My condition is well-regulated, and I haven't experienced any significant flare-ups in over a year.
Regardless, if I get stressed or worried, or if I otherwise act out of character, my parents immediately assume my condition has worsened, and that my life is therefore in danger. Fast forward to tonight. I called my parents at the scheduled time and they said, “Hang on, let's switch this to a video call”.
I said, "I'd rather we keep it an audio call. In the past couple of weeks, you've made some comments about my complexion that I was uncomfortable with, and though I know you didn't mean anything harmful, it still hurt, and since my face is still broken out I'm not comfortable talking to you over video". The tone of the call changed completely—in a bad way.
"No, turn on the video. You don't have a choice". I stood my ground and just repeated, "I'd love to tell you about my week and hear what's been going on in your life, over the phone. I'm just not comfortable using video". My parents didn't take that for an answer. Since I rarely say "no" to them, their first thought was that I was mentally ill again.
They told me, "We need to see your face for safety reasons, because we need to make sure you're healthy". I replied, "I will tell you honestly that I'm doing fine. Aside from being stressed about midterms, which is a pretty normal response, I am healthy. And since you've told me you trust me, you should trust that I'm telling the truth and I'm doing fine".
They told me they refused to believe that, and accused me of hiding something from them. My mom asked me what on Earth they'd said that could have been hurtful, and that they didn't do anything of the sort. About 20 minutes in, I was not going to budge. I was not going to turn the call on video. Especially since they didn't respect my request, which I felt was simple and reasonable.
My parents were getting furious, and it began to get scary. They told me that if I didn't turn on video and show them my face, they were going to call 9-1-1 and my campus's security system, in addition to getting immediately into the car and driving the three hours to my school. When I told them I was disappointed they didn't trust me, they laughed and asked me what on Earth I was talking about, that I had no right to say that.
I had lost their trust, but I was irrational in thinking that I had the right to stop trusting them. I was called a spoiled brat, irrational. My parents asked me what they ever did so wrong to deserve this treatment. They told me how worried they were for my safety, and if I could just turn on video, they would be happy to know I was safe.
My mother told me that if I didn't turn on video, she would call the authorities, and they would take me into custody and I'd be spending the next six hours, at minimum, in the waiting office of a mental health facility. I was told that I was acting immature, and I wouldn't be allowed to attend the summer program I've been accepted to. They kept going, though.
My father told me I was shutting them out and told me that if I didn't want to lose all their trust and respect that I would have to turn on the video. I just kept saying, "I'm disappointed that you don't trust me enough to respect my decision. All I asked was to keep the call off video this week. And I understand and appreciate that you're concerned for me. This is me acting in my best interest".
Finally, after about an hour of going back and forth, I decided, the heck with it. I have work to get done. I don't have time for this argument. When I switched the call to video for them, my mother showed me that she had 9-1-1 into her cell phone, and she told me that she had been hovering over the "call" button for almost 20 minutes.
She showed me all the pamphlets and folders with emergency services and numbers, which she had been going through, and my father told me he had been just about to get in the car to head to my school. She started crying and talking about how worried she was, and she said, "Promise me you'll never act like this again. This was stupid".
I asked, "What do you mean by 'this?'" She said, "Digging your heels in, and being this irrational". I said I couldn't promise that, and I reiterated that I didn't feel I was being irrational; all I wanted was to call over phone and not use video this week, and I felt I had not been respected. Then my dad snapped. "Don't you EVER say anything about not video calling, ever again".
I'm feeling alright (and kind of good) after finally standing up to my parents for the first time in my life, but I'm still drained and definitely shaken. Part of me wants to laugh at the ridiculousness of the situation, and part of me wants to cry because I hate that this is the reality of my family. Where do I go from here? I do enjoy surface-level banter and chitchat with my parents.
I don't want to go completely no contact with them. However, I also know that this situation is going to repeat itself the next time I stand my ground against them, and I don't want to spend my time on people who don't respect me. They say it's a healthy practice to cut those people out of your life. What do you do when those people are your parents?
105. His Lifestyle Didn’t Work For Her
My ex-boyfriend’s mom was a helicopter parent. She would not allow him or his sister to have a job. At one point, his mother called up his job, saying he wasn't allowed to work, and got him fired when she found out. She instead gave them $200 a week to do with whatever they wanted—unless they were buying something their mom didn't like, like ice cream. My ex had to take out cash to buy that and then throw out the receipt so that she wouldn’t know.
She then had him committed to a psych ward at the age of 20 because he refused to pick up her calls. He was a fencer, so when she put in the call to the authorities, she said he was “armed and dangerous.” As a middle-class person looking in, it seemed to me more than just general overprotectiveness.
106. 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.
107. Breaking the Glass
I'm 35 years old now. When I was about 14 or 15, my mom stormed into my room one evening and accused me of having smashed a glass and tried to cover up the evidence. It was one of these retro Coke glasses. I swore I didn't break any glass. I added that if I did, why would I hide such a small accident? But my mom didn't believe me.
She was so mad and accused me of lying to her. She wouldn't even say why I was her prime suspect. Somehow, she had made up her mind that it just had to be me. Anyway, I got into trouble for the incident, even without any evidence. I was so angry—but when we finally found out the truth, I wanted to scream. Sometime later, it turned out that no glass had actually been smashed. My mom had mistakenly thought that the glasses she bought came in fours.
But when our neighbor bought the exact same set, we very quickly realized that there were actually only three glasses in it to begin with. My mom finally acknowledged the fact that she had been wrong, but she never apologized to me for how she screamed at me or how she accused me out of the blue of lying to her. She just never mentioned it again. I'm still mad about it to this day.
108. Sheltered From The Wicked World
My mother tried to imprison me within her presence in order to shelter me from the "wicked" world out there. She put it in my head again and again and again and again that everything would go bad, that everyone would reject me, that I'd always get hurt…physically and emotionally. No matter what I did, she would say that she was the only safe space. She also used me as her emotional punching bag in the same breath. The consequences were chilling.
I ended up nearly completely unable to leave my room for a couple of years, then struggled a few more with the ability to continuously leave and lost the academic success that every single teacher believed I would have. Now I'm back in school and struggling to attend regularly and on time, and my last chance for the next few years to get the degree-level I need to get into the careers that might fit me is in danger.
My parents also constantly let me down with promises they made. I understand that they really wanted to give me all the presents and everything else they'd promised, and that they just weren't able to afford these things, but...well...I got fed up with their promising of stuff at a way too young age. I got mad whenever my parents just couldn't stop swearing on their graves that they'd get me certain birthday or Christmas presents by the time I was around 10 years of age. This kind of behavior also extended way beyond just gifts.
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