December 28, 2023 | Violet Newbury

These Helicopter Parents Crossed The Line


It’s a parent’s job to look after and safeguard their children. However, sometimes being a protective parent morphs into something worse—a helicopter parent! Constant hovering can lead to frustration, broken relationships, and kids who can’t even do the simplest tasks. Keep reading to hear some stories from people who lived with helicopter parents that will leave one realizing that letting go of the reigns maybe isn’t such a bad thing.


1. All Work No Play

I have a cousin, the same age as me, who was raised by overprotective parents. They constantly said to him, "You should be focusing on your education and your career. Women are a potential distraction that could lead to you flipping burgers at McDonald's in order to afford fancy cars and jewelry". Unfortunately, this strategy backfired big time. By the time we hit 30, he hadn't ever been in a serious relationship, causing his parents to stress out.

When we both entered our 40s, his parents' stress turned into full-blown panic. His total avoidance of women throughout all of his formative years left him unable to connect with them romantically. He had female colleagues and acquaintances at work, but he treated them just like he would treat any of his guy friends. 

The poor guy was completely lost. He did try dating, but it only caused him to panic and he eventually decided it was best not to bother. If I could time-travel back to our preteen years, I'd give his mom a piece of my mind.

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2. Listen Up, We’re Done!

My mom was what you'd call a "helicopter parent". Despite constantly prying into my personal life with incessant questions, she never truly absorbed any of the information I offered. Growing up, she was invested in Oprah's talk show, which often tread on topics like child abductions and trafficking. These stories wreaked havoc on my home life, often leading her to irrationally accusing me of such antics upon returning from school.

Endless questions felt like investigations, giving a facade of concern at first. Yet, as I matured, it dawned on me how offbeat it was. My mom wasn't necessarily keen on confirming if I was engaging in any negative behaviors she suspected—she just rushed through her inquiries before switching her focus back to the television.

Through these incessant probes on insignificant worries, I honed my ability to fabricate stories. It just became easier to lie when real issues surfaced, issues that she should have heard about. The habit escalated with age. For instance, at 23-years-old, I found myself lying about spending time at a bar with friends, watching a football game, when I was actually on a date.

It was around 11 PM when I finally got around to responding to her messages, mentioning I'd be home post-midnight. Unimpressed with my response, she ordered me home immediately. Ignoring her command, I left the bar around 11:45 PM, surprisingly crossing paths with her car on my way home. She had apparently driven to the bar, intending to fetch her grown son.

When she returned home only to find me there, she scolded me for not adhering to her orders. An ensuing argument only reiterated to me how tone-deaf she was to my concerns. Her fixation revolved around me not complying with her orders. Though she never escorted me to school or college, she dictated my academic choices and career path. Consequently, our relationship as mother and son dwindled to virtually none.

The Kids of Helicopter ParentsUnsplash, engin akyurt

3. Out Of Control

There was this girl from my graduating class whose mom was seriously overbearing—I mean, she was around school practically every single day throughout her daughter's junior and senior years. She took control of all her college and scholarship applications, down to penning her response in the essay section. Mom went ahead and even picked out the college for her. The aftermath… well, let's just say it was tough to witness.

Post-college, the girl spiraled into a severe depression that ultimately required her to get round-the-clock professional care. The saddest part was that her mom, her guide through it all, treated her like she was a complete nonentity. It seemed like she had absentmindedly taken the reins of her daughter's life.

The Kids of Helicopter Parentswww.wikiversity.org

4. At Her Beck And Call

My mother-in-law was both overly protective and self-centered – not a great mix, I can tell you. Even now, she phones my wife no less than three times every single day. If my wife falls short in calling her, my mother-in-law doesn't hesitate to call and scold her about it. Years back, before unlimited call plans were even a thing, I had to arrange a home landline because our cell minutes kept maxing out due to my wife's lengthy calls with her mom.

That was bad enough, but it got worse. During our dating days, her mom used to disrupt our dates with frequent calls, where she'd criticize my wife for her choices and behaviors. She even went to the extent of calling the middle school where my 35-year-old brother-in-law was a substitute teacher, just to stop the principal from supposedly bullying her darling boy.

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5. Time To Break The Mold

Growing up, my mom maintained constant watch over me. There was never a time I could step outside without her or another parent. Every homework assignment I did was inspected intensely. They kept a close eye on my meals, weight, and even my appearance. It's hard to remember the last time they allowed me to go out with a different family member. It seemed like they were trying to make me into the quintessential housewife.

The summer before college, my mom handed me a batch of rules that included when I had to sleep, how much I could use my phone, and more. I'd had enough at that point. Her incredulity, when she realized no one at college would be enforcing her rules, made me simply laugh. It was then that I made the decision to enlist in the Armed Forces, gain financial independence, and distance myself from them.

The Kids of Helicopter ParentsUnsplash, Jessica Radanavong

6. Lonely Way Out

I was never permitted to party, and the pals I connected with eventually became people I couldn't hang out with due to various reasons. A majority of my time was spent in the solitude of my room, reading extensively, and creating miniature robots. Ultimately, I began delving into less wholesome ways to relieve my boredom. I developed a method to extract codeine from common, non-prescription pills to cope with the intense itch of loneliness.

Upon discovery, my parents confronted me and I decided to leave home. With my social skills severely lacking, I found myself often being manipulated and taken for granted.

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7. School Daze

My mom held positions at every school I attended until I left for college. In preschool up until kindergarten, she was a teacher. Later, she started teaching at a different school, which prompted me to transfer there. When I transitioned into middle school, she got promoted to Assistant Head of the school.

Every time I was assigned detention, I ended up serving it under her supervision. That was until I complained it wasn't fair. They acknowledged my point, but the response just made things tougher.

So they elevated her to the position of Head of the middle school, which meant even more control over my day-to-day life. After pulling through, I finally moved to high school. Here, they kicked off a new experimental schedule and curriculum—all designed by my mother herself. I had very long school days from 6 AM to 6 PM and everything, including the curriculum for me and my peers, and our penalties, was orchestrated by her.

That's not even touching on the extra pressure of being the child of a staff member. There were countless social obligations to juggle. For instance, if a classmate was causing concern because he didn't have many friends, his mother would pester until my mom arranged forced playdates with him for the whole year.

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8. Like Night And Day

The way my folks raised my brother and I was poles apart. And boy, did Mom start me on the track to independence early! By age seven, I was running solo errands to the grocery store while she and my brother stayed in the car. I was tasked with learning to shop, make purchases, and navigate my own way.

She dropped me off at my after-school or summer classes, and it was up to me to figure out my way around buildings, find a spot for lunch, and so on. "You have to learn to do things by yourself, it might be scary, but it's crucial," she'd say. I started working at 14 in an office job, caring for my own needs financially through high school. In retrospect, things were admittedly a bit chaotic.

I was mostly left to my own devices in my teenage years, with just one rule binding me—no dating or being alone with boys. It wasn't a problem really, as my focus was mainly school and work. My brother, though, hardly ever escaped our parents' watchful eyes. They vetted his schoolwork meticulously, and he was deprived of the fun after-school activities I got to enjoy as a child.

He was always under Mom and Dad's wing and was pampered to the core. They made all the decisions for him: his wardrobe, who he was friends with, his school, even his classes. They even set him up for his junior prom! It was presumed that he'd stay at home, contribute to the family business, and take up a job arranged by Dad.

Our paths diverged entirely from there. At 18, I moved out. My folks refused to chip in for my college, so I worked two jobs to pay for it. Not once have I sought or accepted their help. I've traveled all around the country, accumulated fantastic life experiences, and built a stunning resume. Meanwhile, my brother's story is quite the stark contrast. At 25, he was still at home.

They entirely financed his four-year college tuition and permitted him to stay rent-free at home, but he chose not to complete his final credits for graduation. His only ambition was riding dirt bikes and working a low-paying four-hour daily job. We hardly conversed as we had little in common: he never ventured out of our hometown or really, even our house.

His only girlfriend was bossy to the hilt, with him playing the role of her servile aide. His relationship with money was dangerous; he blew it as soon as he got it. He ended up being quite the immature one, but Dad staunchly refused to let him fly the nest, even threatening to cut him out of the will if he tried.

The Kids of Helicopter ParentsUnsplash, NONRESIDENT

9. I Felt Like A Caged Animal

When I was a teenage lad of 17, hanging out independently was a no-go for me. Exceptions to this rule were limited, mostly confined to school followed by supervised hours. Standing tall at 6 feet, I was perfectly standard. My father, brainwashed by misguided narratives about safety dangers, convinced himself that calamity awaited me at every turn. This paranoia escalated over time, squeezing my freedom down to a thread.

Isolation took away all my friends as hangouts were out of bounds on account of "security reasons." I had no history with drugs. My group was generally nerds, mainly interested in Yugioh and gaming. A rigid lights out was fixed at 9 PM—on lucky days pushed to 9:10 PM—but sleep was a long way off. In bed, I'd just stare at the ceiling. Father would flare up on witnessing a B grade and identify an A—as underachievement. I even was barred from joining any hobby classes.

After wrapping up school, a bee-line home was mandatory. I'd sneak in some chill gaming time on my PC before tackling homework. The idea of a part-time gig was rejected, in fear that the allure of earning, although minimal, might convince me to abandon education. Pet-ownership was forbidden, with me being branded as "reckless" and incapable of pet caregiving. It felt as if I was living like a confined hamster.

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10. Under Hover

My boyfriend's folks had a knack for being over-involved. I was 21, and he was 23. They were fully clued up about my use of birth control and my aversion to having kids. Still, they were always on our case, trying to supervise our every move. When we chilled in the living room catching a show, if his dad was in, he was always within earshot, either in the same room or the next.

He expected us not to lounge back too much on the couch or seats, and constantly voiced a desire for us to avoid watching TV series he considered gloomy, like Stranger Things and Mr. Robot. Hanging out in my boyfriend's room or the basement was off-limits. If we ventured out, they had to be well-informed about his destination, his return time, and who he'd be with.

I understand the concept of checking in, but they took it to another level—they'd reach out to all his buddies if they didn't get a response immediately. One particular occasion, we were at the cinema and he turned his cell off. Upon returning, he saw 18 missed calls logged in just the two hours we were away. It felt like they were treating an adult as though he was still in diapers. I couldn't stand them.

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11. Hard To B-lieve!

While I treasure my folks, they could've given me a bit more freedom growing up. Until I hit 16, they didn't permit me to play unsupervised in our front garden, and it took until I was 14 to get the solo backyard pass. Bike rides through the neighborhood with friends were off-limits – instead, we'd circle around my small backyard. Talk about a joykill!

Having boyfriends or even just male friends were no-nos until I reached my 30s. When I introduced my first boyfriend at 16, they practically had a meltdown. My TV was child-locked – when other kids were binging on Naruto or Dragonball Z, I had to settle for Veggie Tales. Rugrats was banned, lest I "morph into Angelica." My dad even had issues with Arthur, believing his little sis was a dubious role model.

Driving was out of the question, which meant I didn't get my license until part way through freshman year. This led to an intense fear of driving. Working was also off the table, resulting in job rejections due to my lack of experience. My grades, emails, and phone calls were under their watchful eyes too.

It got to the point where they dialed up my college professor, questioning why I had a B. I found amusement in the fact that the professor hung up on them courteously. And even as I entered adulthood at 21, sleepovers at friends' were forbidden unless verified that boys wouldn't be present in nearby rooms. I certainly missed out on a fair share of experiences.

The Kids of Helicopter ParentsPublic Domain Pictures

12. She Took Debit Measures

My partner wasn't permitted to have a debit card until he moved out in his early twenties. There was a time he tried to get one, but his mom thwarted his plans—she found it in the mail and got rid of it. He wanted to discuss it with her, to address how illegal that was. But she had already hidden any proof.

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13. Daddy Issues

My father was the ultimate definition of an overprotective parent. He restricted my freedom intensely—I wasn't permitted to visit my friends, invite friends over, take the school bus, or even call friends. 

His fear was that the moment he turned his back, I would indulge in drugs and end up pregnant, despite being just an 11-year-old girl. During daylight, he wasn't employed, so he spent his time parked outside my school to ensure I wasn't "merry-making" or sneaking out.

Added to that, he made it a point to regularly contact my teachers and confirm that I was attending my band, PE, and drama sessions, suspecting that I might use those as opportunities to bunk. His constant hovering subjected me to mockery from my schoolmates, which left me with hardly any friends. Whenever I was at his place, I'd retreat into the world of video games after school.

Surprisingly, even though my mother was a more reasonable parent, I wasn't exactly a social bee. I had one good friend with whom I spent most of my time playing video games and writing vampire-themed fanfiction. Despite my solitary lifestyle, my father constantly accused me of being promiscuous or partying at every possible occasion. Over time, such accusations wore me down.

Fast forward to the present, I struggle with severe trust issues and have an anxiety disorder diagnosis. I finally decided to move halfway across the globe to start anew after my college graduation. I'm not particularly close to my family. I maintain minimal contact with my mom and brother, mainly out of societal expectations. 

Unlike me, my brother had a fair degree of freedom while growing up and turned out to be very sociable. My father, on the other hand, harbors resentment towards me and is perplexed at my distancing myself from him.

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14. Children Of The Banned

There were instances when my mom was quite strict. She had a list of people she did not want me interacting with. I never really followed that rule, but according to her, I was "prohibited" from speaking with them. During high school, I took up two jobs to escape the home environment, thus enabling me to mingle with individuals beyond her approved circle. I even had certain relatives blocked on my phone due to her rules. If my grades slipped below A’s, she would confine me to my room for studying.

Eventually, I chose a college within our state but at a distance of 400 miles from home. That's when I started asserting myself. At first, I needed to call her every day. Gradually, I began making excuses for why I couldn't speak, and the frequency dropped to roughly once a week. 

She initially tried to make me visit home every fortnight, but my father stepped in, highlighting the impracticality and cost involved. Over time, she became more reasonable as I grew older, though she maintained her strictness about my dating life, especially with girls she didn't like. There was an instance when she advised me to break up with a girlfriend, claiming she was too good for me. 

However, by my early 20s, I started making travel plans and informed her only afterward. In my mid-20s, I stopped mentioning anything to her altogether. Eventually, I managed to become a self-reliant adult, albeit it took longer than it should have.

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15. Her Parenting Plan Backfired

Once, I was over at a friend's place for a sleepover. I had promised my mother that I would be back by 10 in the morning, but to my shock, I overslept and woke up at 2 in the afternoon. My phone battery had died and I discovered seven increasingly anxious voicemails from my mom. On calling her back, a police officer answered the phone. Mom had called the police, worried sick about me. I had to provide the officer with my friend's address.

The officer arrived, put me in his car, and then went to speak with my friend and his mom. When he drove me back home, he questioned me as if I was a troublemaker. Their plan to intimidate me boomeranged, as I couldn't have cared less and rather enjoyed waving at passersby from the police cruiser's backseat. I wasn't handcuffed or anything, just enjoying the ride!

After this incident, my mom tightened up, limiting my outings to school-related events only. Yet when I went off to college two years later, I went full throttle into the party scene, day and night for nine months, until I had to drop out. She had the best intentions, but her overprotectiveness only made me less self-sufficient.

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16. It’s A No-Knock Life

My folks seemed to struggle with the idea of personal space. Charging in like characters from a video game, they'd look startled when we jumped in fright. Here's what made it SUPER frustating—I couldn't even use the bathroom in peace because the door didn't have a lock. Even though I would lock my bedroom door, they'd still spend ages fumbling with the handle—without knocking once. I ended up having to learn what privacy meant on my own.

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17. Hard Shut Down

One evening, I got busted by my folks for sneaking in some rounds of GTA V when I should've been hitting the books. They whisked away my computer to a storage unit a good ten miles from our place. The conclusion of my sophomore year in high school came with a report card flaunting five A’s and two B’s. Fast forward nearly a year, and my monitor and keyboard were embodying dust collectors.

In the meantime, the gorgeous desktop I proudly assembled gathered frost each night in a chilly cement storage space, anticipating the day I would bring it back to life. Plus, my parents had my whereabouts on their screens 24/7, thanks to Find My iPhone. They set the WiFi to automatically disconnect at 10 PM each evening, and my texting privileges decided to call it a day thirty minutes later. Sure, in the grand scheme of things, these were just first-world grievances, but they were still a bummer.

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18. Oh, Baby!

I once dated a girl whose mother was overwhelmingly overbearing, almost surreal in her archetype of a Jewish mother. My girlfriend initially gave off vibes of being so heavily subdued by her mother's actions that I even had to carefully inquire if there was any physical abuse at play, given her seemingly terrified and tormented demeanor. She and her mom were constantly at odds, mainly because her mom struggled to accept the fact that her lovely, feminine daughter was completely open about her lesbian orientation.

The mom harbored a distaste for me, both because I was female, and for not meeting her preconceived expectations of being Jewish, wealthy, or having a prestigious Ivy League education. One particularly strange thing was my girlfriend's bedroom, which hadn't been renovated since it was styled as a nursery. Throughout the time we dated, she was 19 and 20, but one look at her bedroom suggested it belonged to a seven-year-old.

The room was embellished extravagantly with a color she detested – pink. It had girlish wallpaper, carpet, and beddings. The bed was rather like a daybed, somewhat crib-like. To add to the unusualness, the room was small, akin to a baby's room, especially strange considering their large house. There was plenty of space for her to have a bigger room. And the most bizarre part about the "nursery"? It wasn't even the house she was born in. Upon moving to this house when she was 10, she had pleaded for a more grown-up room.

Her control-freak mother also forbade her from sleeping over at my place. She even threatened to inform the police that I had kidnapped her daughter if she stayed the night. My girlfriend's much-needed medication and therapy were also used as bargaining chips in case she chose to sleepover. The mother exerted control over what my girlfriend read and watched and even accompanied her to upper-leg wax appointments to regulate where the wax was applied.

My girlfriend lacked many essential life skills as a result of never being allowed to figure things out on her own. Stuff as basic as cheque writing or using utensils was a challenge to her. It made her self-conscious, and she desired to be self-reliant. Oddly enough, the way she conversed with me almost implied that I was her caregiver, which felt eerie.

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19. My Mom Was A Peeping Tom

During my first year of high school, I spent the night at a friend's place that was about three miles away from my own, situated on the same bustling street. Sitting on a corner lot, her house shared an alleyway with the house behind hers. One evening around 9 PM, we found ourselves hanging out in front of her neighbor's house, which was across the street.

These neighbours were some adorable guys we attended school with. Suddenly, my friend elbowed me, gesturing towards "those women" suspiciously peering into her house. I glanced over and my heart sank – it was my mother and her friend. Oblivious to our presence, they were tip-toeing, jumping, and clinging onto the fence to catch a glimpse inside her home.

Ignoring all instincts, I acted like I didn't know these women, praying my mom would spot us and simply vanish into the dark alley without my friend recognizing her. But after an agonizing 20 seconds, my friend asked, "Hey, isn't that your mom?" Panicking, I yelled out, "MOM"?

They turned towards us, dropped the fence, and in the most awkward manner, began to creep/run into the alley. It was a tough sight to digest. I had to come clean to my friend and the cute guys that my seemingly bizarre mother was indeed mine. It still makes me shudder thinking about it. And sadly, this isn't the only such story I have to share.

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20. Locked Up

My folks were pretty strict when it came to raising me. As I grew older, their several rules and restrictions seemed to have multiplied. At 18, they didn't allow me to head off to college on my own, so I was still living at home. They closed the door on my dating life, often ended up heatedly arguing, and there were even instances where they got physical if they found out I had been talking to boys. Despite being an independent adult paying for my own stuff, they restricted my time online and took away my mobile phone. That's when I decided enough was enough.

Making a move for more independence, I left home to live with my boyfriend, who lived four hours away. They reacted by contacting the authorities and reported me missing. They also constantly bombarded me with calls and text messages. When I visited them two months later, they shut me in my old bedroom. My boyfriend had to once again get the authorities involved so I could leave without them causing me harm.

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21. They Spoiled My Life

Growing up, my life was catered for. It wasn't until I was 16 that my parents let me try to wash the dishes. It always baffled me when I heard other kids getting allowances for completing household chores. When I suggested the same idea to my parents, they chuckled and told me, "Just focus on your schoolwork. 

We're content if you get good grades". Consequently, I matured into a pampered kid who consistently had high grades. I look back on it with regret.

Sadly, basic life skills like respect, job hunting, or growing up weren't part of my upbringing. At the age of 19, I found myself searching on Google for tips to "mature and be an adult" because I was clueless about where to begin. My parents loved me a lot, but they rarely believed I could manage things on my own. 

Even when I turned 18, my mom maintained her overbearing and excessively protective nature towards me. It eventually led me to move away for some space.

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22. Step-Off Stepdad!

My folks used to be pretty chill, but once I started in public school when I was in the 7th grade, that's when things began to shift. The typical rules started appearing, like no boyfriends, no texting boys, and they wanted to vet my pals before I could hang out at their houses. Before long, any friend they didn’t approve of was a no-go; I even had to abruptly cut ties with my bestie.

The issue? We were a bit noisy in our gym class, and after a parent-teacher conference, my gym teacher expressed his concerns to my folks. From that point, my parents kept a tight leash on my social media interactions; they even insisted on having my Facebook password to monitor my chats. Not only was I prohibited from messaging anyone after 10 PM, but the people I know also couldn't message me either!

If it happened, I got an earful. Always had a hard time making friends, and things got complicated when I developed my first crush in my 9th year. I once borrowed his iPod and forgot to return it for a while. My stepdad found out about it through Facebook and he was not pleased that I had personal possession of a guy.

This incident put my crush on my stepdad's radar, and things went downhill from there. At the Sadie Hawkins dance, we were tagged in a photo together which added fuel to the fire. My stepdad escalated the situation by grilling me when my crush was spotted at a car show, leading to me being grounded for summer.

Fast forward to my 10th year, my crush and I were still interested in each other, and as my 16th birthday approached, we would officially be allowed to date. However, before all this, there was a church retreat that, unfortunately, my crush was attending. My choice of sleepwear for the retreat led to another blowout with my stepdad, resulting in him attempting to stop me from going to the mandatory retreat.

My mom, thankfully, put her foot down and insisted I attend. A week before my 16th birthday was another incident with my friends and my crush after watching a movie, leading me to be grounded again on my special day.

After six more tumultuous months, I finally told my mom that enough was enough—I wasn’t going to tolerate my stepdad's unreasonable rules anymore. Surprisingly, it worked in my favor. I regained control over my Facebook account, had the liberty to text anyone anytime I wanted to, I was free to date my crush, and for once didn't have anyone glaring over my shoulder the entire time.

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23. Church Was Not My Savior

Growing up, an Evangelical Southern Baptist church where I attended nearly every day was my environment and social circle. Defying my parents' expectations, I chose to pursue higher education and major in theater. A few weeks after leaving home, I experienced my first sexual encounter. My first Sunday away, I visited a church affiliated with my home congregation, but never returned afterwards.

Members of the Baptist Student Union were persistent in pursuing me for a period of time, but eventually eased off. It's safe to say I was severely under-equipped to navigate life outside of my tightly-knit community. When my parents threatened to cut my financial support unless I moved back home, I found myself a job and arranged to pay my own tuition fees with the college.

I settled into a modest living arrangement in my college town alongside some roommates, and learnt to manage my finances. The fallout of these choices resulted in a complicated relationship with my parents that took years to mend. In the twelve years between my graduation and my mother's passing, I paid a single visit home. My relationship with my father eventually improved, but it took time to nurture.

Protecting children is a natural instinct, but completely isolating them can have dire consequences, even under the pretext of religious nurturing. Instilling fear of the world creates an individual unable to think critically. Luckily, I had the fortune of supportive friends during my transition into college who guided me. I inevitably made mistakes out of innocence and unawareness.

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24. This Interview Did An About Face

In the past, I had a computer business where I was hiring for an on-site tech role. A recent college graduate with a pretty good resume applied, so naturally, I reached out to potentially set up an in-person interview. But, surprisingly, I ended up with his mom on the phone—that was my first warning sign. 

But the deal-breaker? It was when she demanded to join her son's actual interview. Although part of me was intrigued to see how it would go, I decided against it. I just couldn't risk being badgered by an overbearing mom if her son didn't land the job.

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25. Time To Unfriend Dad

The first film I saw with an R rating was a scary one about Facebook called Unfriended. I went to see it with my father. During a part where a girl undressed on a Skype call, he looked at me and said, "If this makes you uncomfortable, we can leave anytime you want." He repeated this offer whenever there was even a hint of explicit content. Interestingly, he didn't mention it during the scene with the blender.

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26. Photo Bomb

I wouldn't exactly label my folks as "overly protective," because they gave me a good amount of independent space while I was growing up. Although, my mom did have a peculiar approach. A classic example was when she used to send me her photos whenever I was out chilling with friends. She came across an article which suggested that if I was into drugs or mischief, these pictures would trigger guilt, leading me to return home. Needless to say, it didn't quite pan out that way.

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27. Her Mom Was Such A Drag

My girlfriend's mom was definitely what you'd call an overbearing parent, and my girlfriend had reached her breaking point. At 19, she was completely self-sufficient, handling all her own bills, but her mother still tried to control and manipulate her life. It got to the point where my girlfriend had planned to spend a few days over at my place, knowing her mother wouldn't approve.

So, she decided to be proactive – she packed all her stuff into my car beforehand and I positioned myself outside her house, ready for a quick exit if necessary.

About an hour into the wait, I saw her in my rearview mirror, sprinting away from her mother, who was hot on her heels trying to drag her back into the house. My girlfriend later told me her mother had threatened to haul her back inside by her hair if she refused to comply.

The Kids of Helicopter ParentsFlickr, Creative Carol

28. Watching My Every Move

My mom had a rule: no hanging out with friends if boys were part of the mix, since she worried they'd try to take advantage of me the moment they had an opportunity. My parents made it a habit to go through all my emails, texts, and Facebook posts. 

And that's not even the worst part—they also wanted to keep track of my diet, even when I wasn't around them, to ensure I wouldn't gain any unwanted weight. Ironically, I was actually a little below the average weight.

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29. I Didn’t Plan On This

After weeks of barely sleeping, I finally made it through the final presentation for my architecture class. I was so exhausted that as soon as I got home, I flopped into bed and slept for seven straight hours. I blinked myself awake at 11 at night to the alarming sound of police knocking on the window of my flat. 

My phone was blown up—24 missed calls, 18 unanswered voicemails and 11 unread texts. My dad, in his worry, had jumped to the extreme conclusion that I was not alive anymore...Yep, all because I'd forgotten to update him on my presentation.

The Kids of Helicopter ParentsFlickr, 28704869

30. Heavy Metal Madness

I attended a concert in a pretty secure, upscale neighborhood. I was fortunate to have VIP tickets, which meant I had to be there super early, around 6 PM for the 8 PM gig. The whole thing wound up by 1 AM. My folks wouldn't stop bugging me via text throughout the entire event. 

They even suggested buying me pepper spray and urged me to keep my keys at hand all the time because they assumed all metal music fans are trouble. They wanted me to call them upon my arrival, at break time, and when I was ready to drive back home.

And here's the thing—I was 20 years old! Funny enough, they never had a problem when my younger brother went on two separate trips to Africa at the ages of 16 and 18. 

My father was the overseer of my bank account and never missed a chance to scrutinize every little spend I made. I had slightly over $8,000 in savings, yet he was always on my back about my finances. Yet, my brother who only worked roughly 10 hours a week and was barely able to cover his insurance got a free pass.

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31. Strange Bedfellows

I once knew a guy, 23 years old, who still cozied up with his mom in the same bed. Sounds strange, right? He used to work in a retail store, but lost his job because his mom didn't know where to draw the line. She'd come to his every shift and just stand there, observing. One day, she had an altercation with one of the customers and that led to his dismissal. The unfortunate thing? He didn't even think there was an issue.

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32. Throw This Mama From The Train

I found out that I was dating a helicopter kid when he introduced me to his parents, particularly his mother. I had heard about her overprotective nature, so I naturally tried to avoid meeting them. Despite my hesitations though, he was eager for me to meet his family and managed to persuade me. Unfortunately, this turned out to be a big blunder. 

After spending the night at his place, he came to me the next morning with some unsettling news. His mom had demanded that I return home claiming that I was a distraction from his academic responsibilities. As a result, I had to undertake an unplanned, seven-hour train ride and incur additional expenses to change my ticket. All this, mind you, while we were only 20 years old.

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33. Daddy’s Little Girl Lost

My friend grew up with a dad who spoiled her rotten, even when she was in her early twenties. When we first met, a few years after she left college prematurely, I learned about her privileged life. Her folks not only provided for her but went as far as navigating her through high school and university.

She was in her twenties, jobless, and didn't even have a bank account of her own. When she wanted something as trivial as a Cup O’ Noodles, instead of popping across the road to buy it, she'd dial her dad. The lengths he'd go to, to accommodate her, were astonishing. He would abandon his work, drive for an hour, purchase the item across the street from her, prepare it for her, and then head back.

He took over all responsibilities—paying bills, running errands, scheduling medical appointments, the whole nine yards.

Without any educational qualifications, aspirations, or drive to achieve anything, she was idle. She didn't contribute anything to household chores. If no one cleaned after her, her place would quickly morph into a hoarder's paradise. The people around her—her dad, boyfriend, or roommates—ended up picking up after her.

To sustain her lifestyle, she always had a wealthy boyfriend whose resources she relied on. This strategy worked well in her twenties; she was young, beautiful, and well-loved. Her charms had no deficit of suitors, and she could still be "daddy's little girl". However, when her father suffered health and business setbacks in her early thirties, and couldn't pamper her as before, she faced a major reality check.

She found herself more reliant on boyfriends. But she quickly realized that the novelty she once had as a attractive 22-year old was fading as a relatively less attractive and entirely dependent 30-something. She even resorted to getting pregnant, by a man she hardly knew, dreaming about a life as a pampered housewife while her husband would provide for all.

For a while, they cohabited in his luxurious house. However, her inability to take care of her personal life bled into her inability to care for a child. Before they could tie the knot, he left her, sued for custody, and she found herself alone, in search of another benefactor, this time with extra baggage.

Her endeavor to find a new boyfriend did not yield as much success as before. She found herself as a mistress to an elderly, well-off man. He covered her expenses and gave her access to his credit cards. Her spendthrift lifestyle and flamboyance caught his wife's attention, resulting in him cutting her off.

She had a brief stint with self-reliance, but without education, skill, or work experience, she struggled to find employment. For someone accustomed to a luxurious lifestyle, it was a severe blow to her self-esteem. She had to face the harsh reality that she had no money, no bank account, and no one to financially support her lavish taste.

She managed to get a job as a waitress but couldn't even keep that for more than a week. Eventually, she resorted to illegal activities for income, joining forces with a man manufacturing drugs. Their sizable operation soon garnered the attention of law enforcement. Her dad, in a bid to salvage the situation, sold his house and bled himself dry to hire top-tier lawyers.

The Kids of Helicopter ParentsUnsplash, Vitaliy Rigalovsky

34. The Runaway

I grew up as a Jehovah's Witness' kid. My parents attempted to dictate each part of my existence. At the age of 16, I couldn't handle it any longer and left home. I was unwell at the time, plagued by stomach ulcers due to the intense stress. Later, I indulged excessively in alcohol and had a series of emotionally taxing relationships. I lost my way for a time and spiraled into deep depression. It took me ten long years to finally bounce back.

The Kids of Helicopter ParentsWikimedia Commons

35. Cut Loose

My mom truly had the best intentions, but she overly engaged in my social life. One eventful summer, after the school term ended, I shifted back home. But, I decided to go stay overnight on campus with a girl I was interested in. To my horror, my mom located her on Facebook and dropped a message asking about my whereabouts. This was such an embarrassing incident as I had been in contact with this girl for barely a month!

That incident was enough for me to draw a line. I decided to keep my social life strictly private from my mom. I no longer shared about my friends or social activities. I figured, at the age of 20, it's a bit too much to have your parent that closely entwined with your social circle.

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36. The Riding Was On The Wall

I remember, back when I was around 11 years old, I had this friend whose mom was quite overprotective. She didn't let him bike even a quarter mile to the other part of our neighborhood. Whenever we would chill together, we were stuck playing on the street right in front of his home. His mom would keep an eye on us like a hawk, constantly peeking through one of their front windows.

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37. Helicoptering Was Not The Answer

My mum always needed to know where I was. When I was studying at a college three hours from home, not replying to her messages within five minutes would result in texts demanding an immediate response. I moved back home when I was 20 and still had to be in by 9:30 PM because she was concerned about me spending time with so-called "bad influences". 

This, combined with the feeling of always being supervised and rarely having the freedom to explore, put a lot of pressure on our bond. In fact, I chose to cut off all communication with her for a few months. Although she has become more relaxed over time, our relationship still differs from what you might typically expect between a parent and child.

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38. This Helicopter Parent Was A Hair Razer

In my line of work, I encounter numerous overprotective parents. There's this one mom I distinctly remember; she sported a "may I converse with the superior" type hairstyle and closely observed my every move as I was trimming her child's hair. 

When I'd finished and her son expressed how pleased he was with his new look, she couldn't stop questioning him if he truly liked it. This back and forth lasted around 10 minutes before the youngster broke down in tears. As a result, I had to redo the haircut, not once but twice, until it matched the desired length that his mom envisioned.

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39. The Lost Boy

When I first left for college, my folks tried to keep a direct line to me at all times. This translated into daily calls from home. There was this one time during my freshman year, at a fraternity pledge retreat, where it was part of the rules not to bring our gadgets. I'd informed my parents that I was heading out for a three-day retreat and they shouldn't bother calling. Yet, on our returning day, our driver received a call that he passed over to me.

He told me that I should contact my parents, and my heart dropped instantly. When my parents were unable to connect with me over the three-day stint, they went into full panic mode. They traveled down to my college, and proceeded to scour my dormitory and much of the campus in search of their "lost" son. Let me tell you, I was 18 then.

And it didn't end there. Given that I was attached to their family cell plan, they sifted through all the numbers I'd interacted with and reached out to them—everyone on the list. They had informed everyone from near strangers to girls I was crushing on, that I was "missing", and asked if they had any insights about my location. 

By the time I returned, my frantic parents were anxiously awaiting my arrival at the dorm, while my cell had piled up with messages from people expressing concern and informing that my parents had been on a search for me.

The next day, I couldn't get five steps past individuals who would ask me if I'd made contact with my folks who'd been worried sick.

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40. The Jury Was Out

At the age of 21, I was summoned for jury duty, and my dad decided to tag along, skeptical about my ability to handle it on my own. Even though I repeatedly told him he didn't need to, dad joined anyway. As we reached the court premises, security guards stopped him from proceeding further. This is when things got interesting...

He put up quite a scene in protest, leaving everyone in the courtroom puzzled and uncomfortable. Luckily, I wasn't required for the trial, and so, was let off early.

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41. Done With Daddy

I never attended any school socials like dances or games, not even prom. When I was 19, I wasn't permitted to go to the shopping center alone. My father would always shadow me, staying just about five steps behind. By 20, I decided to get a cell phone. This sparked a huge disagreement with my parents as they were opposed to it.

I'd been earning my own keep since I was 15 and intended to cover my cell phone expenses myself. Part of their control extended to not allowing me to lock my bedroom or bathroom doors, even into my early 20s. The highlight was moving out on my own. 

Fast forward to when I was 31, my dad would still pop in at my workplace and get my colleagues to pass on the message that my 'daddy' was here to see me. It made me feel sick. I reckon the last time I referred to him as 'daddy' was likely when I was about seven or eight. Point is, NO ONE calls him 'daddy'.

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42. Up To His Ears In Trouble

My friend had an incredibly overbearing mom. We were in college, a good three-hour drive away from our home town, when we found ourselves at an impromptu party after a night out with some folks we'd just met. Out of nowhere, his mom appeared. I still can't fathom how she tracked us down. Without hesitating, she stormed in, grabbed him by the ear, and hauled him off to her car. She then drove him all the way back home.

When the next day rolled around, she arranged for him to hitch a ride back to college with his high school ex-girlfriend, with whom he'd recently split up. It was her way of showing her disapproval of their breakup. He eventually got hitched to a lady who, in my view, was quite controlling herself. Talk about a real-life Oedipus scenario!

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43. First Born Fury

As the eldest child, I was often on the receiving end of cautions like, "no, don't do that, you might get injured." The most memorable incident was during my college years when I studied overseas. I gave my parents a heads up that I wouldn't have access to the internet or my phone for the initial week of my trip. To make sure I was safe—since I wasn't replying to their emails—they contacted the professor accompanying our group numerous times throughout that first week. I truly treasured them, but I was in Bavaria and I was pretty sure I was going to be okay.

The Kids of Helicopter ParentsFlickr, Nenad Stojkovic

44. Any Minute Now…

During my first year of teaching, we had a system in place where we could track whenever parents signed in to view their children's grades. The system kept a log of it. It was quite common to see parents checking in at the end of each day, or perhaps every other day. However, one mother took it to the next level. 

She would check on her child's grades every ten minutes, every single day. If any grades were updated or if her child had an assignment missing, we'd receive an email from her within minutes. Terrifically prompt, every time.

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45. A Questionable Existence

When I became a teenager, my first job was at my parents' café. Being from the era before mobile phones, my mom always wanted to keep tabs on me. Each time I'd disappear from sight, she wanted me to account for my activities, places I'd visited, and people I'd met. This went on even though I'd moved out and been on my own for over a decade.

She fiercely guarded her son's personal life, questioning our staff about my dates to determine who was suitable for me. She'd then discuss my dates behind my back. As a result, I often had to go on dates covertly. I found it utterly tiring.

She gathered information about me from my buddies, colleagues, bosses, and even neighbors. Local cops would tell her about my whereabouts based on where they noticed my vehicle. She'd thoroughly interrogate my friends about not just my love interests, but also intimate details like my habits, work performance, and more.

Almost every day, we'd chat and she'd subtly bring up all the information she'd gathered about me to let me know she was a constant surveillance presence in my life. I was pretty composed about it back then, but I ultimately had to move across the country, about 2,500 miles away, to secure my privacy and mature as an adult. Reflecting upon these experiences, I now realize how overbearing all of this was.

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46. Time To Call It Quits

During my first year in college, I shared a dorm with a kid who had incredibly overprotective parents. Even though I never personally met them, they managed to visit almost every weekend. This was quite impressive since our college was in Connecticut and he was originally from New Jersey. 

They'd even threatened to stop paying for the part of his tuition that financial aid didn't cover if he didn't call them after every class, first thing in the morning, and right before he went to sleep to recount his day's events. Unfortunately, he had to transfer to a school nearer to his home because these constant calls were eating into his study time and causing him to fail his courses.

The Kids of Helicopter ParentsUnsplash, Alex Nemo Hanse

47. Nice Job, Mom!

One day, my brother had a full-day job interview, located roughly two hours away from home. Out of nowhere, our mom got a phone call from the bank warning her about unusual activity on his debit card. She immediately jumped to conclusions, fearing that he might be in danger. This is because he wasn't picking up his cell phone due to his lengthy interview. That's when she lost it.

She attempted to reach out to the company where he was being interviewed, but was unable to find the specific person he was supposed to meet. In a desperate move, she managed to find the interviewer's home phone number and gave it a ring. She ended up speaking to his wife, who then dialed her husband's cell phone number. He picked up, completely thrown off by the unusual situation. Both he and my brother were astounded to hear what was unfolding.

My brother was seething with anger and overrun with embarrassment. Although our dad was present throughout the whole time, urging her to stay calm and not make that call, mother was not easily swayed. Up till today, mother stands by her move unarguably. Unfortunately, my brother didn't secure the job in the end.

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48. Lost At Sea

I was visiting California for a wedding when my mother and I decided to take a detour to the beach. I took off for a quick stroll along the shoreline, but ended up spending 20 minutes more than I had promised. Upon my return, I found my mother in tears, and the reason why was disturbing—she was telling a surfer that she'd lost her son. 

The fellow was preparing to launch a search, clearly under the impression that a small boy had gone missing. Imagine his surprise when I showed up! I was already 23 years old, for heaven's sake. Instead of trying to call me, my mom immediately jumped to the worst possible conclusions—kidnapping or even worse.

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49. Doomed On The First Date

It was my initial date ever with my first girlfriend. My mom was aware that we'd be going out for dinner and a movie, and I'd be back home by 11 or 12. Somehow, I'd forgotten to top up my phone's battery that day, and it died before we even had dinner. After our date, we returned to her house, where I took the chance to give her a goodnight kiss—my first, no less. Rather quickly, however, things took a turn for the worst.

Her dad had been patiently waiting by the door for us to wrap it up. As soon as we did, he peeked around the door frame and extended a cordless phone towards me, saying, "The authorities want a word with you." I thought he was simply poking fun at me dating his daughter. I laughed it off awkwardly, replying with a half-hearted "Yeah, OK." Sternly, he informed me, "No, really, your mom's been trying to find you."

Turns out, she'd attempted to report me as a missing person, and the authorities had somehow traced my girlfriend's home number to get in touch. The whole situation was incredibly humiliating, and boy was I livid with my mom when I finally got home. I was just 19 when this all transpired.

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50. His Lifestyle Didn’t Work For Her

My former boyfriend's mother was overly protective. She didn't permit her son or daughter to have jobs. Once, when she discovered her son had a job, she called his workplace and demanded they let him go, which resulted in him losing his job. Instead, she gave them $200 every week to spend on whatever they pleased. However, if they wanted to buy something she disapproved of, like ice cream, my ex had to get cash and dispose of the receipt to avoid detection.

When he was 20 years old and didn't answer her calls, she had him placed into a mental health institution. As he was a fencer, she described him to the authorities as "armed and dangerous" in her report to get him committed. To an outsider from the middle class, this seemed to extend beyond normal parental protectiveness.

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Sources: ,


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