Alarmed People Share Stories Of The Worst Helicopter Parents.

It's normal to worry about your kids. It's natural to want to help them. It' routine to check up on them. But it's super-weird to do anything you read below.


This piece is based on an AskReddit thread. Link on the last page.

1/18. I was a manager of a bagel store. Had an interview with a kid, I think he was about 16 years old.

His dad came to the interview, and basically answered every single question I asked the kid.

At the end of the interview I turned to the dad and said, "You know what? You're hired." The look on his face was priceless. The kid laughed his butt off.

The kid came back for an interview on his own a few days later, and I hired him. But ultimately it didn't work out.

He was a nice kid, and reasonably smart, but had absolutely no work ethic, and couldn't perform even simple tasks. I have always assumed that this was due to his parents pampering him.


2/18. An acquaintance of mine got yelled at by her parents when she decided to get an apartment for herself. She was 30 at the time.


3/18. In my first college course, there was a 16-year-old in my class. His mother sat through the entire lecture next to him.

The professor expressed concern about her taking up a seat for a student and the mom immediately snapped at him about how she was paying his salary by enrolling her kid there and she deserved "respect. Poor kid made no friends in that class.


4/18. When I was 14, I helped my sister film a project for her and her teammates. They were in the 6th grade. They had to do a music video and rewrite the lyrics of a song to have it be science related. They chose Survivor's "The Eye of the Tiger" and turned it into "The Bones of our Body.

Everybody came to our house and we shot the music video in one shot in our garage. One of the teammates was this REALLY quiet kid, but still made the effort to sing along. When everybody's parents came to pick them up, Shy Guy's mother INSISTED on watching the video. (continued...)

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It wasn't ready of course - I still had to edit it. But nope! She demanded I let her watch the whole thing through the camcorder screen. And - what a surprise - she didn't like it. She told me to film it again and to make sure Shy Guy came out more (when some of the teammates had left already!)

So everybody had to return to our house and film again because of one nutty lady. Oh yeah! And she stood behind the camera to make SURE that Shy Guy came out. She basically took control of the whole project. She was a known crank, so we figured it was best to do it her way and shut her up.


5/18. My 71-year-old grandmother still phones my 51-year-old mother three times a day demanding to know where she is and what she's doing.


6/18. My parents tracked my phone, read my texts, emails and social media, searched my room weekly and sometimes my body. Theyd take my door off its hinges so I had no privacy.

I was a straight-A student that never did anything wrong before they began treating me like a criminal. I had to act out somehow and I started eating a lot because it was the only thing I had control over in my life. Now I can't wait to move across the country next summer and be far away from them.


7/18. My brother had it pretty bad. He ended up being locked in his room for the summer because he went to his high school grad party without permission.


8/18. Anesthesiologist here, I was in pre-op interviewing a 26-year-old woman whose mom answered all of her questions. Apparently she was allergic to 54 drugs with side effects ranging from "makes her yell" to "the pill is blue and she doesn't like blue." Patient was 500lbs and her mom wiped her butt for her still. Not a joke.


9/18. I ran a kid's theater program, so who wasn't a helicopter parent? (continued...)

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I had one kid who had a leading role two years in a row, but didn't get a lead the third year she was in our program- she just wasn't the right fit for any of the parts (we were doing 'Fiddler on the Roof Jr.' and her onstage personality was very 'diva').

But we did take one of the smaller roles and divide it into three, and gave that girl one of the three.

The mom came storming in and demanded to know why her daughter didn't get a lead and how dare we give her a made-up role and how come a girl who had just joined the program got a lead (because that girl was a perfect fit for the part). It was just ridiculous and the kid ended up dropping out of the show.


10/18. My old roommates mom called me and basically asked me to parent him for her because I was the girl roommate. She e-mailed me a list of mommy tips. Super creepy.


11/18. When I was 15 the parents of a kid in my school year drove 7 hours to save their pride and joy from watching Casino Royale on the coach's on-board DVD player driving back from a school trip.

They actually stopped the bus and made him get off. The weirdest part about it is that he must have asked our teacher


12/18. My college English professor told me this story about one of his students. He had this kid in class who seemed to be really passionate about English, but by the end of the first week the kid stopped coming to class.

Soon after, he got a call from the kids parents. Apparently they made their son drop out because they did not want him reading fiction books. The only books he was allowed to read were non-fiction and the Bible.

But the weirdest part is - this happened at a Christian University! (continued...)

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The craziest book we were reading was Faust by Goethe. All the other books were stuff like the Iliad, Othello, and My Antonia. I mean, everything was already oriented toward their religious views, there was nothing potentially offensive, but that still wasnt enough control for these people.

The reason the parents didn't want him to read fiction books was because they believed that it would lead to temptation and eventually sin. I just feel horrible for the kid because it seemed like he really wanted to learn.


13/18. I used to teach/lecture at a university. I had one poor student whose mother insisted on attending the university with him. She enrolled in the same course and used to follow him around to observe his social interactions, and dictate to him who he should be friends with etc.

He had limited social skills as it was, and this made it much much worse. In the end I put them in different lecture streams so that they had to attend separate lectures and labs.

She flipped her lid and took me before the Dean to change them back into their same classes, but the Dean was pretty happy with what I had done. A few weeks later the student came and thanked me personally.


14/18. This guy who Im friends with 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. He can't have sleepovers or do any normal kid things.

You might think it would be nice to have a parent who supports you so avidly, but there comes a point where it crosse from being to supportive into the realm of abuse. (continued...)

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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.


15/18. Back when I was in Boy Scouts, we had this really weird family in our troop. Let's call the kid Joe for reference.

We held game/movie nights once a year in the winter for everyone to come to. Joe's parents were homeschooling him, and apparently didn't want him watching and movies rated above G, and disallowed him from playing any videogames rated above E (Everyone).

We ignored the parent because he was a real jerk and brought teen-rated games and PG-13 movies, because we wanted it to be fun. The parents flipped and yelled at the parents who hosted it, saying that it was inappropriate.

He eventually threatened to take us to court and requested that we never spoke to him again. I checked up on Joe last year, and apparently his parents never let him use the internet. They also prohibited him from getting his driver's license because they feared him getting into trouble.

He was a decent kid though. I feel really sorry for him.


16/18. A 15-year-old genius girl arrived on our small liberal arts college campus. Her parents randomly called during the evening to make sure she was still there, had the RA spying on her every move, and picked her up Friday at 2 PM. She was never allowed to go out.

But she loved poetry, and we had a poetry slam on Wednesday nights at the student union cafe. She took a risk and went even though they might catch her. (continued...)

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Her parents happened to call five minutes before she got back, and then kept calling until she answered. She told them she'd been in the bathroom, but then they started calling her friends (they'd made her highlight names in a campus student directory) and in just a few minutes they got a well-meaning fellow student to admit she was at the poetry night.

Her mom and dad showed up before midnight to move her back home. We never saw her again.


17/18. I knew a girl in college whose mother would frequently drive 11 hours to the campus to clean her dorm for her.

I remember having a conversation with the daughter where she mentioned she's never held an actual job before. I raised my eyebrows and said something like, "Wow, really? Not even at McDonald's or something like that?"

And her mom got defensive with me and said, "She's only 19!"

Her mom would build her up like she was gonna do great things after college and it carried over into the girl's ego that she was special. But she didn't know how to do the bare minimum of taking care of herself and was still playing with children's toys while her mother washed her dishes at 20 years old.


18/18. There was a mom who would come to middle school every day at lunch to "touch up" her daughter's ponytail. Like, she'd tighten it or smooth down flyaway. She'd come back and do it again if the girl had anything after school.

This mother also punched a boy at the Fall Fling because his pumpkin won the pumpkin carving contest. His wasn't the greatest, but he was the most popular kid in school, and it was voted on by students, so obviously.

The girl cried (like, huge heaving sobs) and the mom flipped out, running onto the dance floor, and found the boy who won and just started pummeling him for "stealing" the votes.

I remember her being removed from the dance floor. I assume she was somehow punished but I don't know if she was actually arrested.



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