20 People Share Their Most Extreme Helicopter Parenting Experiences
Some people would say that dropping off a kid at school and prolonging the goodbye is “helicopter parenting”. Any situation where a parent tries to overcontrol a situation just to be able to make things better for their child can be classified as helicopter parenting and serve as a disservice to their child ultimately. Maybe being a little overprotective is natural to any new parent in an emotionally overwhelming situation and there’s a learning curve involved but when does overprotectiveness really become a problem to society?
This post is dedicated to really extreme situations where parents obliviously upheld the “helicopter parenting” style to such an extreme, it will have you raising your brows in disbelief, at the sheer audacity they have in trying to make the world just perfect for their young’un. Teachers, nannies, counselors, and folks from all walks of life got on askreddit to share the following stories of their wildest encounters, with extreme helicopter parents.
I work in a kindy in China. We have about 35 kids in each class, seated in 4 rows of 8 (with a split down the middle) facing the teacher.
We move the children about once a month; each child moves back one row, and the back row gets to sit in the front row.
One parent came in and told us that her child must always be seated in the front row. There’s nothing wrong with the child’s eyesight; she’s just too special to be seated anywhere but the front row I guess. The parent did not request this; she ordered us.
Another time in primary the headmaster came to talk to me, aghast. We had one special group of children that was taught all in English for every subject. This is very expensive and all the parents are pretty rich (One guy has three porsches; a red yellow and blue one and drives whatever colour he feels like to school. He also has several Harley Davidsons.)
Anyway this VERY rich mother was upset because the other rich kids didn’t want to play with her daughter. Her daughter, having servants at home, tried to order the other kids around and you can imagine how popular that made her.
This mother threatened to have the other children killed unless they started playing with her daughter.
There was a kid in middle school, who was caught selling substances. His mom gave the whole “my kid would never do such a thing” speech. The best part? His mom is a teacher at this same school.
Had a kid bite another kid, had pictures of the bite mark where teeth were clearly visible and the kid admitted to biting the other kid because he got in his way. Parents said he would never bite anyone and that the picture could be of any type of injury…
Criminal defense lawyer here. I was talking to my 23 year year old client in the hallway before court. His mom walked up to me and said forcefully, “He is a CHILD, do you understand me? A CHILD!” Because she was upset that he was in trouble with the law.
I work daily with kids in outdoor programs. I screamed at a kid who was about to run into the road while a car was coming. The only time I ever scream like that is when a child’s life is in danger. The child proceeded to have a meltdown because, as I later found out, he never gets disciplined and his parents never hold boundaries with him. His mother was there and comforted him. She wasn’t mad at me but she was saying “forest-ninja is sorry she yelled at you!” and I was like “No, I’m not. I stopped him from getting hit by a car.”
I’ve gotten to know this child over two years and he is so disruptive and is never held accountable. It’s pretty scary. Because I work in nature education I meet a lot of parents experimenting with alternative parenting and most methods do more harm than good. Be in charge, you’re the adult.
Image source: forest-ninja
While studying I work in an after school care.
One day a 9yr old was showing everyone his lighter by trying to set the shirt he was wearing on fire, I obviously took the lighter off him. When his mother came to pick him up I handed it to her and told her about him trying to set his shirt on fire.
Turns out it was her lighter, so I had “no right” to confiscate it and her son just wouldn’t try to set his clothes in fire because “He’s not an idiot”, so I must be making that up.
I quit teaching high functioning special education when I taught my middle school kids how to dial 911 & work with an operator for assistance and got criticism from 5/6 parents for “traumatizing” their children.
The irony? One of the parents had choked about a year before and needed assistance, but my student was terrified, didn’t know what to do and ran away. The woman had passed out on the lawn and a neighbor responded. They had to send the police to help search for the student it had frightened her that much.
I had a student who was failing pretty badly, he had a pretty bad attitude and was extremely disrespectful. When I called his father, the response was “You’re a woman, he doesn’t need to respect you.” I handed the phone to a male mentor teacher pretty dumbfounded and explained the situation. The male teacher proceeded to ream the dad out and then had the kid transferred from my class to his class. The kid still failed and was still a disrespectful a*s. Not sure what the dad had to say about that but at least he couldn’t blame it on me being a woman.
An incredibly quiet student just flat out refused to engage in any discussion in class. She was an extremely pleasant girl, she just wouldn’t speak. I brought it up with her mother during an interview and she told me she’d forbidden her daughter to express her opinion and to just listen to the teacher out of fear they wouldn’t agree with her opinion and mark her down out of bias. I assured her that expressing an opinion wouldn’t get a student marked down in my class and that developing one is important to her learning but she just said “I’d rather she didn’t.”
Teacher here. We had a student, 5th grade, who was pretty sneaky at first. He acted innocent but he was far from it. I’ll jump to the end. He stepped on someone when they were laying down during free reading time. He would constantly talk and prevent the class from getting to lunch and specials on time, and did this just to cause trouble. He hit someone with a meter stick. He would “accidentally” kick people. He stole stuff. He cursed. Mom came out and said we were singling him out and he would never do those things and told us to stop contacting her. Later he did something else, something like ripping up classroom decorations or something like that, and the principal saw it. Principal called mom. Instead of accepting her child does wrong she pulled him out of school. Since he hadn’t been doing his work this kid that was actually quite smart had all F’s as transfer grades.
Work at a Summer Camp and we told scary stories. One of the boys in the camp couldn’t sleep for the whole week because of some of the stories so his mom demanded the scary stories be banned otherwise she would basically badmouth our programs. The next Monday the boy complained to me that we couldn’t tell scary stories anymore and was upset about it… Tell that to your f*****g mom…
Had a father tell the principal that his son could call three Jewish brothers anti-Semitic slurs because they were of the devil and his son followed the true word of god. He claimed the school would be violating HIS (the sons) rights with any disciplinary actions. There were no disciplinary actions taken. 1980s.
Image source: smokelaw23
Image source: arh1387
I guess this is more “helicopter aunting,” but I think it still applies. I’m a college professor, so 99.9% of the time I never hear from my students’ parents–and, legally, thanks to FERPA laws, couldn’t talk to them about their students even if I wanted to.
Last year, during the final week of one of the summer bridge programs for incoming freshmen I teach in, I got an email from one of my student’s aunt. She wrote me a 5-page-long email (I copied it into Word because I was curious) detailing, line by line and comment by comment, why she disagreed with what I’d written on her niece’s essay and the rationale I’d used to give it an F.
Every. Single. One of my comments (on a 5-page essay) had a short paragraph devoted to picking apart the comment and rebutting it. At the end, she lambasted my teaching and suggested I’d failed the student out of spite. (Totally untrue–the girl could barely string together a coherent sentence, let alone a grammatically correct one.)
When I told her I wasn’t allowed to talk to her about her student’s grades due to federal law, she called the program director and demanded I be fired.
The fun twist at the end of this story, though, is that we ultimately figured out why she was so angry with my comments: Turns out she’d been writing her niece’s essays all summer and had taken my comments personally. Needless to say the niece was removed from the program.
(edit: forgot a word)
I had posted this some time ago on r/childfree. When I was 21, I was still living with my parents. Our neighbours were just the worst kind of parents. They let their kids bully other children and harass people’s pets. One time the kids were bullying the puppies of a stray dog that lived in our neighbourhood, pulling their tails, twisting their ears etc. Predictably and understandably, the mama dog growled and snapped at them. Some of the other neighbours tries to tell them that they shouldn’t abuse animals. The kid’s mom began yelling that a “dangerous” animal almost killed her babies.
One day they came to our place for dinner. I couldn’t stand this family so I decided to eat in my room. Then suddenly I heard our puppy let out a painful yelp. Turns out the girl had kicked him. I ran downstairs immediately and picked him up while staring daggers at the kids. Their parents just smiled and said ” oh the kids were just playing with your pup”
I lost my temper and yelled at them to get the f**k out. They left grumbling about how rude I was being. However, in just a few days, the mom asked my step mom, who is a teacher, to tutor her kids. Free of cost, of course.
Late to the post but I’m a high school counselor. Last year I had this student who was a total sweetheart but really needed intervention. This girl was a sophomore and had a grand total of 20 credits towards graduation under her belt. She should have had 90 by that point and was on track to fail 25 more that spring. She was failing miserably. Not only that but she would be constantly ditching class and often end up in my office because there was no where else to go. The school has only one way in or out. I did everything in my power to help this girl and eventually was able to get a parent meeting with myself, teachers, the school psych and school administrators involved. I explained to her parents in great detail how at this point it was mathematically impossible for her to graduate from high school at that school at the rate she was failing classes. I offered continuation school that has a much higher rate of graduation for students in her situation. I desperately wanted her to get tested for special education because it was obvious she had deficiencies and could have at least gotten some legal accommodations put in place for her in order to help her. Parents just said no to everything. No to continuation school because that’s where the “bad” kids went. No to testing because special ed had a “bad stigma.” No to after school tutoring cuz “she’s capable of doing all of this work.” No to working one on one with the school psych to sort out her emotional issues. No to everything. I’d never felt so defeated and knew then that I couldn’t save every kid no matter how much I wanted to.
Edit: Words. Clarification.
I’m a nanny on the upper east side of New York and while my boss is a good non-helicopter father, I routinely have play dates with other kids. I have a 4, 8, and 13 year old, so I’ve seen it all. My two favorites though:
A mother of one of my girl’s little friends called my boss up furious and insisting he fire me because I let her child play with sidewalk paint. She was mad I made her seven year old use a paint brush, instead of doing the drawing for him after he told me what he wants. He could’ve poked his eye out with a brush according to her, and it was irresponsible.
The saddest part was that little boy told me before he left how fun it was we made the paints ourselves and then got to use them.
My 13 year old had a sleepover and I got a four page list of things one girl wasn’t allowed to do or eat. When I asked her about it, she told me she was only allergic to hazelnuts, and everything on the list was there because her mom ‘didn’t want her getting fat.’ I let her eat with the girls (we had build your own nacho/quesadilla thing) and I took them to our bodega that is legitimately less than 250 feet away (it’s the bottom level of an apartment building on our corner and we’re not even in the middle of the block) and got candy and soda to watch movies around 10 after they begged me to do so, and her mother informed my boss two days later her kid was no longer allowed to be friends with his daughter and it was my fault, as it was irresponsible for me to let four girls leave the house after dark, with a chaperone or not.
I also have a great one about my four year old’s team hockey mom threatening to call cps on me so she could get my boss’ attention, but that’s less helicopter parenting and more pathetic.
Volunteer at a library, a mom wouldn’t let her 10 year old kid read “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” because “they sin”.
Some time in 2012 (I distinctly remember it happening not long after Sandy Hook), a 4th grader I worked with was taking apart a highlighter at the sink and overflowing a cup. I asked him what his intention was and he said “I’m going to poison a girl I don’t like with highlighter juice.” I asked why he would do that and he said “I REALLY REALLY HATE HER.”
I told my dunce of a superior about this and she said “oh he’s just being dramatic” and blew me off. I told her if she did not escalate this i’m going over her head and she said fine. When his mom came to pick him up we explained what happened and she looked at him like “oh my did you really do this???” in a way like she’s never heard him do anything close to this. This was not the first time we’ve had issues with this kid that involved telling his parents, but she just sounded so surprised THIS time.
The next afternoon I could hear the kid from across the room telling his friends under his breath how he hated me for reporting this. The kid fricken openly admitted he wanted to poison someone, and the cup in the sink was full of yellow water. For the rest of the week when he got picked up by mom she asked him how his day went and he gave her the puppy dog eye treatment as if plotting to injure someone didn’t happen a few days earlier. She was so whipped. Parenting is awful these days I swear. I’m no longer in the field.
I’ll give two examples. One suburban, one inner city.
Suburban: Kid asked where dogs came from. Not sure why, I was an English teacher. I said they were bred from wolves, and gave two common explanations for how human interaction may have started. Mom called the school, then called me, freaking out that I mentioned evolution. Turned into a whole thing.
Inner city: Teen sucker punched some poor girl, then punched me in the face when I broke them up. Ended up getting escorted off by campus cop. Dad, who was obviously a crackhead, showed up to the school and started threatening to kick everyone’s a*s.
Had a pretty typical red/yellow/green behavior chart. One child was just transferred to me, not a completely terrible kid but had a habit of not know where the line was so it got him in trouble from time to time. Every time I flipped his card to a yellow or red would always let the parent know what happened and what we’re going to do to stop he behavior in future. She then goes off on how it’s the other little kid causing the problems and her child is perfect. I let here know that while there isn’t a perfect person in the scenario both kids could have acted in a different way. She then stated and I’m not kidding “I know that the other kid is a dirty foster child (still to this day don’t know how she learned this) and he assaulted my child! (Foster child pushed back after kidding hit by her child)” SHE DID THIS INFRONT OF THE OTHER CHILD! I told her to meet me in the office. Had a meeting with the director and she was no longer allowed in my classroom. However had to take down my behavior chart which kinda blew because of how well it was working.