Adult Children Of Helicopter Parents Explain How They Cope With All The Excess Attention
Image by Fabio Grandis from Pixabay

Parenting is a difficult job and there is NO perfect way. You learn very early on that there is absolute rulebook to avoid the fact that your kids will need a therapist eventually. It's easy to be overly too much. You can't protect them every second. So you have to learn to let go and that is a lesson many parents are unable to acquire. The helicopter parent is an issue. You don't want to suffocate them... or yourself.

Redditor u/Nicho-chan wanted all the grown kids out there to speak up about their parent's way of being "protective" by asking.... Adult children of helicopter parents, how do you deal with them now?

Down my Neck....

The way that I got my mom to chill out on me was to tell her that I wanted to go to a college out of state. That was the moment she realized she wasn't going to be protective of me forever and it took her a long time to accept it.

As of now, she's been a little easier on me, though she still sometimes treats me like a child. If I'm out of state, then I just limit contact with her and don't call home often. I think a lack of contact is the best everyone with helicopter parents can do initially because it's just so refreshing to be by yourself with nobody breathing on your neck after so long. Antique-Dancing

"the bad ones"


My brother and I had no free time allowed growing up, just music and homework allowed. Age 30+, my dad has passed away now (he was never the problem) but my mom still does her best to control our lives, inserting herself into situations she doesn't belong, and passive aggressively putting us in situations that she wants to happen. But cutting her off or telling her she's overstepping makes us "the bad ones" in her mind [edited for clarity], so minimal contact and details are all that's on the menu for her from me now. 🤷♂️ My brother doesn't get it though, giving her minute details and then getting annoyed when she thinks she can have a say in how he lives his life. FlyingBike

It grosses me out. 

My husband deals with this with his mother. We make decisions as a married couple then later every thing changes after they talk to each other. Even situations dealing with our daughter, like I have no say even when he and I were on the same page before decisions were put into action. He is so desperate to please his mom he turns his back on me. When I confront him he blames me for causing drama or being petty. IDK his mom acts like she is his wife and he lets it happen. It grosses me out. O0oBubblesBubblesO0o


My parents track my location at all times now. (I'm 27) . That way they don't call the cops if I don't pick up within 30 min....which has happened multiple times. frvrlvd

Stop Walking on Eggshells

Unfortunately, the helicopter behavior continued after I got married and had children. Eventually, the only way to gain control was to go no contact.

Edit: Fundamentally it boiled down to a complete lack of respect for boundaries. My happiness, marriage, and ability to be a good parent were all suffering because my mother was still trying to control my life. We tried setting up boundaries, but that only escalated things. I would have gladly gone to family counseling if she agreed, but it was far easier for her to complain to her friends that her children don't speak to her. (Yes, my brother cut her off too.)

I strongly recommend the following books: Stop Walking on Eggshells (by Paul Mason) and Boundaries (by Henry Cloud). I also very strongly recommend counseling. LilacSniffer



It was a nice sense of relief to get out of the house

To put it into perspective here's some of the stuff that was common in my house:

8:30 bedtime

No shooting games allowed, I could only ever play Minecraft with my friends

Could not close doors other than bathroom

Could not LOCK bathroom doors

Could not spend your own money without parents approval first.

Could not play on computer unless they were home (obviously this rule got broken a lot)

No social media at all

The one that got me the most though was until high school we could only have sleepovers at our house and could not go to most birthday parties

Getting out of the house to stay with someone else for a little was an absolute godsend. I love being independent and stupid with my money and being able to play whatever games I want when I want.

So yeah that's kinda what it's like. TomIsInPain

The Reality of It. 

  1. I moved to a different country.
  2. I do not go back to visit.
  3. When they come visit they stay in a hotel.
  4. My husband, who was not raised in an overbearing environment, is always present when they visit. He serves as a reality check and is effective in shutting down misbehavior.
  5. Im going to have to explain one day that they wont be allowed unsupervised visits with any children I have. Eldrun

​Still pretty bad.

Still pretty bad.

I'm 26, married and a mom of 4.

She treats me like a toddler when she visits. Thinks I'm incapable of basic things... like making breakfast or taking care of my kids.

She'll hover over me while I'm changing my kids. Criticizing how well I'm doing.

She tries to go through my clothes and pick out outfits for me to wear. Will literally buy me clothes that look like baby clothes. It's weird.

Have to set some hard boundaries with her. Boobyjuicy

Shut Up!


My mother made my bank accounts, insurances, even my mobile phone contract when I was underage and just kept them. (I also think she stole money from me but that's another story). She said I wasn't able to manage this kind of stuff by myself. With the help of my SO I took everything back from her when I was 26. When I visited her she tried to pressure me into stuff again, so I threatened her that I would pack my stuff and leave immediately and that she would never see me or talk to me ever again in her life. These two things were kind of wake-up calls for her. Now she is so afraid that I could really go No Contact that she keeps her stupid mouth shut. Joernoddebossamienau

 "Get out"

They tried to ground me after I came back from serving in the Marine Corps. Tried to take the keys to the car I own and prevent me from getting an education.

Told my Mom she can pound dirt and my Dad that if he didn't fix himself and nut up to my overbearing Mom. I'd never talk to the two of them again. Got in my car and drove off was homeless for a minute until I got enough for an apartment.

You'd think that me moving out and being homeless instead of living with them would be the thing that made things click.

No. About a year after my move out. I'd reconnected with my family and agreed to take my mom to her aerobics class one day since her car was in the shop.

Well I drive about ten minutes before she lays into me about my life choices etc. I pulled the car over looked at her and said. "Get out" she looked stunned. I just repeated myself and added "Now."

She got out. I drove off to my apartment played some CSGO and she got her much needed exercise. ill_effexor

Be Verbal!


They say things, and I just kind go "mhmmm" like I'm agreeing that I will do those things. BUT never verbally say I will do those things. Ranger_Caitlin

Forget you Dad!

My dad was never a helicopter parent, he was actually the complete opposite. My mom was a super helicopter parent. When I was a sophomore in high school I got grounded from "everything". I couldn't go anywhere or do anything. I had to go to school and come home. I couldn't watch tv unless it was about God. I didn't have a phone, or computer, and couldn't listen to music. For months. It got worse and worse as time went on.

She would give me a curfew randomly one day and it would be different the next day. I would get in trouble for not following a curfew I had no idea existed. She gaslighted me so much that I often felt like I deserved what was happening to me. After going to therapy I am better able to identify her abusive & bipolar tendencies. I'm working on minimizing contact with her. So, whenever she's being a pain in my butt I just tell her to screw off. daykota1234

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I just say ''no'' when i'm told to do something or follow a rule.

I don't give a reason, even when I'm asked why. Its satisfying. SpaceWhale89

Lost Control. 

I don't.

I'm not NC with them but I'm absolutely firm on my boundaries and standing up for myself, and I don't let their tantrums sway me.

On the other hand, the pressure does eat at me, but I'll never let them know that. themarajade1

Married In....


My parents weren't. But a friend moved to a different state and got engaged and my friend's mom still managed to be a helicopter parent. Visiting at least 3 times a month and contacting either her or her SO constantly. It ruined the engagement because the SO finally had enough because even though my friend was annoyed with her mom as well, she couldn't cut her mom off completely... Idk all the details but it must have been superrr annoying if someone was like "I love you, but forget having in-laws like this." She is now single and has moved back home. It's unfortunate... jxwtf585

Build the Walls.....

Honestly me and my husband are trying to figure this out. My MIL is a total helicopter parent; if one of us (me, my husband, or his brother) doesn't respond to her messages within an hour or two, she'll bombard the other two about where we are/if something happened to us. She freaked out on me when I didn't respond to her after three hours (we were doing a cross-country drive) and accused me of trying to shut her out and said we're never going to be a real family because of the "walls" I've built up around myself. I don't know what to do. My husband won't stand up to her as much as I want him to, but I can't do this for the rest of my life. We have to establish some boundaries, but it's not my mom, so I can't be the one to initiate. Krutoon

"I don't give a crap mom. Go work it out."

I had to be extremely mean and blunt with my mom. I'm a mid-thirties married man, and had to straight up tell her that I have a family and my own life and she needs to go get a hobby or take classes or anything whatsoever that will give her a sense of value because I do not need a goddamn interfering invasive mother any longer.

When she started giving me either the "thats so horrible you'd talk to your mother that way" or the "ohhh no my kids don't need me anymore" I literally flat out had to just say "I don't give a crap mom. Go work it out." I had to be super super mean to her about it. Sometimes parents have to cut their children off, and sometimes children have to cut their parents off. Doesn't make me feel good but I sleep fine. shiddydogs

No Need 4 U!

I ignore them. To be honest it's also because I'm in a different city and have a hectic job. But there was also a period of slowly getting them used to the fact that they would not know and control every detail of my adult life. SocraticAlva

After I turned 21.....

My parents weren't that bad, but they were quite over-protective. After I turned 21, I still wasn't allowed out after dark and all that jazz. Had to let them know where I was going and who I was seeing in case I was murdered. What I did was move to another continent. I talk to them every couple of weeks over Whatsapp voice chat. They try and tell me what to do sometimes and I'm just like "ok" and don't do it. Blinker_Fluid_

Still Going....


They still helicopter me, actually now more than ever that I'm 24 and I'm not sure what suddenly turned the dial up. However I'm finally planning on moving out for good this year with my boyfriend. Everytime I bring it up, they don't believe me or they think I'm kidding and say it isn't happening.

Oh well, I did tell them. I guess they'll get a reality check when the time comes and it won't be on me. vivalalina


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