"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 and showed me these really great-looking houses and skyscrapers; some were from kits and others were all his own creativity. More than that though, he arranged all of these structures to look like an actual living town. I was impressed, and I listened to him describe how he laid it all out. He just gave random names to different areas, 'This is Chicago where all the buildings are. This is California and these are all the shops.' Just as he was describing the last section, 'This is New York where everyone lives,' his dad walks into the room and says, 'No that's wrong, they don't have houses like that in New York. That can be Queens.'
Closely monitored playtime and undermining a child's creativity...they aren't mean parents, but it's so weird. Even the way the kid talks makes it sound like he's reciting lines for a T.V. advert. Whenever they visit, there's always this, 'Our son has something to say! Go ahead, greet everyone and thank them for inviting us into their house,' and we get this saccharine, 'Hello Mr. and Mrs. Aldairion, thank you for calling us to your lovely home!'"
"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 10 - 13 year old class. The school had a little waiting area were parents could watch their kids. She would sit in the waiting area staring at her son.
One class we were doing very light contact drills (no more then a poke) and 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."
"When my niece was 14 or so, her mother (my sister-in-law) was so far up in her business that I'm not sure the kid ever actually spoke for herself.
One day my niece was in the bathroom and she took a little too long to finish so her mother stood outside the door and said, 'What's taking you so long, are you wrapping the toilet paper around your hand like I showed you, do you need me to come in there and show you again, why is this door locked? Open this door!'
It was Thanksgiving dinner and the whole family just stared at my sister-in-law in shock; we could all hear my niece crying in the bathroom.
That woman is a freaking psychopath. I remember the incident happened after we ate, and everyone had split into two groups, the options were to listen to my mother and sister in law gossip about the family, or watch football. My niece would try to sneak by to the bathroom without being seen, but if her mother saw her she would obnoxiously interrupt the conversation and start telling us all about what a bad kid her daughter was, and how awesome her boys and her dogs were. This went through most of my niece's teen years.
That was just the topping on the cake. My niece was very overweight and used to get headaches a lot - her mother would give her two to three ibuprofen 2x a day for nearly four years, which she eventually built a tolerance to. They also forced her to eat only salad for a year, and exercise for four hours a day. No one believed that my niece ever really had the headaches, and no one would have believed she was abused because she was in and out of teen mental hospitals from the start of puberty. I was there when her father took off her bedroom door.
One day, out of nowhere, she doubled over in pain and passed out; an MRI later confirmed that she had dozens of cysts on her ovaries - some they suspected were there since she started puberty. The cysts were 'benign' in that they weren't cancerous, but they were causing massive fluctuations in her hormone levels which effected well, everything. This kid was diagnosed as being bipolar, having ADHD, and some personality disorder that I don't remember. She was on some serious psychiatric meds from the time she began puberty, the effects of which will probably be with her for the rest of her life. All of those 'troubles' went away when the cysts were removed and her hormone levels regulated - she went through a second puberty as a result, and is no longer on any of the medications.
Her parents should be in jail, but who's going to believe it? I have no proof, and my niece didn't tell me about half the stuff until she'd moved away from her parents."
"An old neighbor of mine was notorious for being clingy to her daughter. She is one of those moms who tries to live vicariously through her kid. Her daughter is now a junior in high school. She bought them identical phones, cases, and set identical backgrounds so no one would know when one had the other's phone.
She would take her daughter's phone and text her boyfriend pretending to be her daughter, things like, 'I love you' and 'I want to be together forever.' Even some of daughter's friends have caught her texting them pretending to be her daughter."
"Friend of mine turns 19 in a month. He can't hangout past about 7 o'clock, his parents won't let him get a phone, even though they aren't in any financial troubles that we know of, and they won't let him get his license. He has his learners permit, but they refuse to take him driving anywhere. He took the test once and failed when he got 30+ points off because they won't teach him how to drive. Worst of all, they won't let him get a job until he's 21.
The kid is afraid to talk to people from how much they shelter him. It's actually pretty sad. To be honest, I don't think he'll have the social skills to even apply for a job by the time he's 21."
"This is more of a spoiled kid with a former helicopter parent that had given up.
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. Score! right? Not at all.
First off, it was a long flight and we were missing two weeks of school so the two of us (myself and I believe her name was Sarah) had a ton of schoolwork. So we of course had both independently planned to get it all done on the flights so we wouldn't have any to do during the trip. Well, to be clear, I planned to do my work, apparently Sarah planned to have her Mom do her work. I kid you not, her mother spent the entire 10 hour flight doing her daughter's homework. I don't mean helping, I mean actually sitting there doing the work while Sarah listened to her headphones and messed around.
I believe it was at this point that my Dad realized he had made a series of serious compounding errors here. First, getting involved with this woman, second inviting her along on our one and only international vacation ever, and 3rd allowing her to bring her irredeemable super witch of a 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.
Any attempt to be nice to her generally resulted in a 'Shut up' from Sarah. Her mom heard every one of these and said nothing.
If we stopped to see a sight, and Sarah wasn't interested, she would just wander off and we'd have to hunt for her. The most her mom would do was to say, 'Sarah honey, please stay with us,' 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 ever, and I have never heard the f word from a from a fourteen year as often old before or since.
On our 4th 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, its not good for...' when she interrupted with, 'MIND YOUR OWN FREAKING 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, followed by the clear and unmistakeable 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 we could barely breathe. We sat there laughing ourselves nearly into a coma while the mother frantically tried to calm the daughter and the restaurant staff kind of stood there in shock. The mom, of course, couldn't believe we were laughing and was indignant towards our behavior. She yelled at my dad who responded something like, 'That was the best thing to happen this whole trip,' and then continued laughing.
My dad 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 its one of my best memories of growing up with my Dad.
I never saw her again. We still joke about it occasionally. My dad historically makes terrible choices in his relationships. She was one of the worst."
"My parents were pretty nuts in their ideas about parenting. As a I got older, they got more and more crazy. They wouldn't let me move out to go to school at 18, so I ended up living at home. They wouldn't let me date, they would have crazy arguments, and occasionally get physical with me if they discovered I had spoken to a boy. They limited my time on the internet, they even confiscated my phone after I was an adult and paying for it myself.
Last year, I left home and they called the police reporting me missing and wasted a lot of police time. Then they turned up at my boyfriend's house 4 hours away, where I was staying. They constantly hounded me with calls and texts. I went to see them two months later and they locked me into my old bedroom and my boyfriend had to call the police, again, so I could leave without them hurting me.
I went back in February to collect clothes and some belongings, and had to have police accompany me there. Glad I did, because they'd decided to have a huge family gathering and wanted to ambush me when I got there. I've seen them once since then in June when they came to see me. I didn't let them know where I lived and met them for half an hour in the park."
"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 poop 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."
"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 nannying, 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 by which each activity should be finished (Smoothie prepared and eaten at kitchen table 2:50pm-3:00pm), and then 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, and go over the schedule AGAIN with me. One of the most annoying things she did was instruct me on 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. After two hours of homework, they would go to tae kwon do or tennis, and then I would pick them up and they would do another 30 minutes of extra homework from a program called Kumon. After finishing, they would have to read for an hour, and then do studying for any classes before dinner.
The boys had no sort of free time at all; no time 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 wonder was from lack of free time and friends. These twin boys were forced to skip a grade, and so they were already under immense pressure to succeed. Also, one of the twins had severe ADHD and learning disabilities, and was not on proper medication or OT treatment at the time. This caused him to have trouble keeping up and succeeding at the same rate as his twin brother, resulting in IMMENSE pressure and frequent breakdowns due to him 'failing,' 'I'm so stupid,' etc... He would crumble under not being able to make the same grades as his twin and with the same ease. It made me very, very sad to watch him struggle.
The worst 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. They were an Indian family who moved to American about 11 years prior, and from what I understand, this is not abnormal in Indian families. The mother and father were both very nice people, but they drove me up the wall."
"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 to see a series of escalating text messages and phone calls threatening to call the police if I didn't call her back immediately, because obviously I was dead in a ditch somewhere.
I tried setting up a rule where I would call her once a day at a time of my choosing and she would stop her hysterics. She agreed, and then about two days later at around 7 pm, it was back to threatening to call the cops as I had not yet called her and obviously something terrible happened to me.
No matter how much I called her in a week, she would still freak out, so eventually I just stopped calling her so that she would understand that I didn't want to talk to her if she was going to keep treating me like a 7-year-old. She seems to have gotten better and hasn't called any of my friends within the past 2 years."
"My first room mate in college had a helicopter mom whose helicoptering bordered on abuse:
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.
She pulled me aside and very seriously asked me to inform her any time he talked to a girl, she said he has 'problems' with girls trying to take advantage of him.
He was born deaf, she 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."
"Worked in the Goth store at the mall.
A mom would come every week with her daughter (started when she was 15) 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 ok and hired her for the holiday season. I gave her 10 hours a week, she never worked her alone, and just gave her stock to do. Her mom would come in every shift for at least 30 minutes, take her to lunch on break, and would still spend big bucks every week on her. I slowly weened her off of visiting and the girl eventually started to blossom a little. I didn't keep her on after holiday because I didn't have the hours, but she was a good kid with a well meaning but very overprotective mom.
Today, that girl is a very sweet girl, has gotten a lot of confidence, and is doing alright."
"I'm a cop. I once arrested an 18-year-old for drinking and driving. She called her mother from the car as the stop was happening, and Mom showed up on the side of the road at the same time I was starting my SFST's.
Mom insisted that there was no way her darling was wasted, while she's bombing the tests, and then, when the cuffs went on, she insisted that there was no way I could arrest her, that it would keep her from going to college, follow her forever, etc...
Long story short: Mom ended up getting cuffed up for attempted bribery and obstructing, and she and her daughter ended up sharing a jail cell that night. Mom offered $500 to let her daughter go, and when rebuffed, upped it to $5,000.
That's felony attempted bribery, but she took a plea for the misdemeanor to keep it out of the press.
It didn't work.
The daughter was tried and convicted of drinking and driving, refusal to blow, reckless driving, and accident with property damage."
"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' stuff going on, but get this, her mom was a psychiatrist and her dad was a doctor!
Her dad was her doctor. He diagnosed her with depression and then her mom was her psychiatrist. Her mom diagnosed her with severe depression and had her (temporarily) committed to an institution. When she got out two weeks later and I asked about it, she broke down crying and said she couldn't remember anything because they'd kept her so out of it with pills, on her mother's orders.
She ran away to California when she was 17, two weeks after she got out of the institution. I think she's going for her doctorate in some science field now, so fortunately she managed to get out okay.
I assume she didn't want any of her friends to have to keep secrets for her when the police came around questioning us, because she didn't tell any of us anything. One day she was just gone. The only reason I know she's okay now is that she made a Facebook page and friended us all about three years later."
"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. 'I don't like way that child interacted with my Timmy,' and, 'I don't appreciate the way your staff has been interacting with my child,' and 'you need to' do this or that. It went on endlessly. If she was on her phone, it was most certainly with the daycare."
"In high school, my mom got a call saying she should look at my Facebook because something indicated that I was pregnant.
My Mom came 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.
It turns out some other parent thought my status that said '14 months in :)' referring to my relationship anniversary with the SO of the time 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."
"Once I was on a pub trivia team with a guy in his mid-20s. 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.
It turns out it was the guy's mom, waiting to pick him up. Trivia ended, we went outside to part ways and say goodbyes. 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."