Parents want the best for their children. They want to see their kids be successful in life and not make the same mistakes they might have made. But, how far is too far? When does a caring parent cross over into helicopter parent territory? Overbearing parenting can be just as harmful to kids as unconcerned parents! Just ask these people.
These children of helicopter parents shared the most embarrassing things their parents ever did. Content has been edited for clarity.
"I was on my first ever date with my first ever girlfriend. My mother knew we were going to dinner and a movie and that I'd be home around 11 or 12. I guess I neglected to charge my phone that day because it was dead before dinner.
So we get back to her place and I went in to kiss her goodnight. My first kiss! What a memorable moment! Well, I guess her dad was waiting by the door for us to wrap up because as soon as we finished, he peeked through the door frame and held a cordless phone out to me.
'It's the police, they want to talk to you.'
I thought he was making some jab at me being with his daughter so I awkwardly chuckled and said, 'Yeah, ok.'
'No, really, your mother is looking for you,' he said.
Apparently, she tried to file a missing person report and the police somehow tracked down their home number to check there first. It was so embarrassing and I was so furious with her when I got back. I was 19 when this happened."
"I am of Korean descent. I'm familiar with Korean enough to get by.
Near the time I was set to graduate from my university, my parents saw a job posting for a new office in my area for a major Korean electronics company. Let's call them 'Life's Great' or 'LG' for short. I'm sure you'll never guess which company I'm referring to...
Anyway, my parents sent me the job posting. In looking over the details, I was a pretty good fit. So I called up the recruiter. Lucky me, turned out the recruiter was just recently sent over from Korea to the US, and barely spoke any English. The phone call was on a Monday, and it was all done in Korean.
Me: 'Hi, I'm calling about Job Ad (####), in (City).'
Guy: 'Yeah, tell me about your experience. And how's your English?'
Me: (switched to English) 'My English is pretty good, I think, since I did grow up here.' (switched back to Korean) 'I can email you my resume, but here's a rundown of my coursework.'
Guy: 'Wait wait, you're fluent in both languages AND you know about manufacturing quality control? Yeah, send me your resume, but can you also come in for an interview tomorrow?'
Me: 'I'm actually still at school, and I have midterms this week. I can come Friday.'
Guy: 'Oh, Friday will be difficult for me. How about next Friday?'
Me: 'Sounds good.'
Excited, I called my parents up and told them of the good news. I also told them that I'd be back in town for an interview on the following Friday since the guy was apparently busy that coming Friday.
Monday rolled around, and I didn't hear from him. Tuesday. Then Wednesday. A bit concerned, as he hasn't responded to my email inquiry about the interview time and location, I gave him a call.
Guy: 'Oh hi, yeah, sorry, we've decided to go a different route. Best of luck to you.'
I was baffled and a bit disappointed. I called my parents to vent, and that was when my mother said,
Mom: 'That's very odd! After you told us about the phone call last week, we immediately called him up and demanded that he give you an interview last Friday!'
So. Yeah. There we go.
The first time, I tried to explain how it was their fault was right after the whole fiasco. They were very defensive. 'Well, it's just Korean culture, EVERYONE does it over there!' and 'We know best, we know how to handle other Koreans!' Straight up denial.
The second time was some years after the fact. They were a bit more chagrined about the whole thing. 'Yeah, that was our bad...'"
"My husband and I bought a house and surprised my mom by having her drive us to our new home. My husband had a nice dinner set up but my mom refused to get out of the car because 'how dare we look at houses and buy one without her coming with.' I had been living on my own for seven years and was 25 at this point.
Then, we mentioned later that we were getting furniture with our tax refund. She called immediately after it been delivered and asked why we bought a brown couch and where we were going to put it. When we asked how she knew we bought a brown couch, she admitted that she called every furniture store in our area and pretended to be me and inquired about our orders."
"My brother had a job interview one day. It was about two hours away and would take most of the day.
My mom received a call from the bank stating that there was some strange activity on his debit card. So my mom is freaking out thinking he was kidnapped or something. He isn't answering his cell since he's in an hours-long interview. My mom tried to call the company he was interviewing with but had no luck tracking down the person he was meeting with.
So, my mom looked up this guy's home phone number and called it. She talked to his wife who ended up calling him on his cell. He got the call and was baffled about what was going on. He and my brother cannot believe what was happening.
Needless to say, my brother is mad and beyond embarrassed. My dad was there the whole time telling my mom to calm down and not call. But, she cannot be easily persuaded. To this day, she still insists she did the right thing.
He did not get the job."
"My mother took an international flight because I didn't answer my phone during the weekend. I had left my phone in one of my classes for that day. Later that day, I realized that I had lost my phone and called it to see who had it. One of my classmates, who lived off campus, picked up. He said that he tried to find me, but failed and that he would give me the phone back during class on Monday. I was okay with that. I didn't even think of the implications of not having my phone during the weekend. Not long after the call, my phone ran out of battery, and my mom spent the better part of two days trying to get a hold of me on a dead phone. There were 821 missed calls when I turned it on. Obviously, I had no idea how to approach this, and before I could even think of an excuse, there was a knock on my door.
I opened the door to find my mother with a deranged look on her face. She subsequently manhandled me into a bone-crushing hug and started whispering repeatedly, 'Thank god, my baby is fine,' as some sort of really disturbing mantra. It took a while to process that she was actually there. She spent around a thousand dollars to take a flight from Panama to Washington D.C. She didn't call my roommate or my RA. She just booked the flight completely forgetting that there were around 40 other Panamanian students, all of whose parents she knew, at my university. Four of my high school friends were attending the same university as me, including one of my best friends. She had all of their phone numbers, but the thought of calling any of them never crossed her mind. The worst type of helicopter parent is the one that has enough money to fuel their paranoia on a whim."
"My mom has some pretty bad anxiety she refuses to get treatment for. My dad is a lot more relaxed about myself and my sister and knows we will ask for help if we need it. But ever since I got a phone, I've always had to respond to my mom ASAP or else she gets more worried as the hours drag on.
In college, I was living with some friends. I had gone to bed but didn't charge my phone. I woke up on a Sunday to it being dead. No biggie. I plugged it into my charger but didn't turn it on. Later that day, my phone was still off as I was busy and forgot about it.
My roommate came into my room, and said, 'Uhh, Sam? Your mom just called me, she wants you to call her back.' He and I stared blankly at each other because I don't think my parents met him more than once or twice, much less his parents.
I asked, 'How did she get your number?'
'I don't know...' he said.
So, that was the only time in the past seven years that I let my phone die and didn't immediately charge it."
"Back before cell phones, my mom would ride around our small town and sit outside wherever I was. I'm talking about a party, a friend's house, McDonald's, my dad's house, everywhere. Once, I was at a house with friends just sitting around playing cards, and everyone smoked cigs. I was 18-19 at the time, and one of my friends who didn't smoke ran outside when she started coughing. She came back in and said 'Hey, your mom is sitting in your car outside...in the dark.'
I went out there and I was so mad. She didn't really know how to drive my car and had flattened the side of my new firebird backing out of the garage. I'd ridden my motorcycle over there and have no idea how she found it in the dark, and this was in the '90s. When I started college that fall, she would do it there, too. She would even hook up this ancient tape recorder thing she had used to tape my dad on the phone without him knowing and used it on me without me knowing. I never told her where I was really going either, she would just ride around until she found my car."
"My dad was a helicopter parent. I believe that he actually has a kind of either anxiety disorder or paranoia. Basically, he was incredibly controlling and distrusting of my mother when they were married, and then treated me exactly the same as her after they divorced when I was a child.
The basic rundown: I wasn't allowed to go to friend's houses, have friends over, ride the school bus, or talk on the phone because he thought I would do illegal substances and get pregnant the minute I was out sight. Even when I was like...11 years old. He didn't work during the day and would park his car outside of the middle school/high school to 'make sure I wasn't galavanting' and apparently watch to make sure I didn't leave school. He also called a few of my teachers weekly to make sure I was going to my band/P.E./drama lessons because he thought those would be prime times to skip class and do illegal substances or whatever.
The kicker was that because of his actions, the other kids at school teased me quite a bit. It was a small Midwestern town and I had barely any friends. When I stayed at his house, I would come home from school and play video games all day. Even when I stayed with my mom, who was a very normal parent, if not a little disappointed I wasn't a social butterfly, I only had one friend who I regularly hung out with. We mostly played video games and wrote bad vampire fanfiction. Obviously, I wasn't part of the crowd that a parent would have to worry about, yet he constantly accused me of sleeping around or whatnot whenever he could.
The result is that I have terrible trust issues myself. I've been diagnosed with anxiety disorder and moved to the other side of the world to build a life after college. I'm not close at all with my family. I still talk to my mother and brother, though it's basically just out of social obligation. Fun fact: my brother was allowed to do whatever he wanted growing up and was socially well adjusted. My father resents me horribly and doesn't understand at all why I don't talk to him. He called me a 'tattoo tramp' when I tried to have a civil Skype conversation with him last Christmas, so there's that.
It's been over 10 years since I've had to really deal with his bull. I've been able to mostly grow and socialize since. I often feel like I went through everything 7 or so years later than everyone else, though. I didn't have my first kiss until well into college due to anxiety around men. I went through my partying and casual hookups period a few years after college. Now, in my late twenties, I'm starting to even out and feel like I've 'caught up' to my peers, experience-wise."
"My freshman year of high school, I was staying the night at a friend's house about 3 miles down the road from mine on the same busy street. She lived on the corner of the street with an alley separating her backyard and the backyard of the house directly behind her. We were hanging out in front of her neighbor's house across the street on the other corner at about 9 pm. Her neighbors were cute boys we went to school with.
All of the sudden, my friend backhand hit me on the arm and said, 'What the heck are those ladies doing? Are they looking into my house!?' I looked over and saw that it was my mom and her friend. Not even noticing that we were standing on the corner, they continued to stand on their tippy toes and jumped up and down by pulling themselves up on the fence to try to peak over and into my friend's house. Imagine a tall, skinny, uncoordinated lady and her short, overweight, uncoordinated sidekick, both in their 50's, jumping up and down.
I pretended I didn't know who it was, hoping my mom would notice us and just disappear into the dark alley never to be seen again, and before my friend could recognize that it was indeed my own mother.
After about 20 seconds of this painful sight, my friend said, 'Wait, Sarah, isn't that your mom?!'
All I could think to do was yell out 'MOM?' They awkwardly looked over at us, let go of the fence and did the slow-old-lady-walk/run into the alley. It was honestly so hard to watch. I had to admit to my friend and the cute boys that my mom was a psycho.
Yes! She was trying to peek into my friend's house from the backyard. Most houses where I'm from have a sliding glass door that goes out to the backyard. In this case, my friend's kitchen and living room were visible from where they were looking in. So it made me wonder how many times my mom did this without me knowing.
I was speechless. My dad was mad and I mean really mad at my mom for doing that to me. My sister and I didn't talk to my mom for a couple of weeks after that. To this day, I still cringe thinking about it. And sadly, that's not the only story I have like this.
She also used to do drive-bys at whatever house I was at and make me come out front to blow in her face to make sure I wasn't drinking. One time, she knocked on the door at a party I was at and that was pretty embarrassing as well. The kid that opened the door had to yell my name through the sea of maybe 40 people and I was in the backyard smoking a cig so it turned into a pretty big deal.
Whenever she heard a helicopter in the sky or if she heard an ambulance, she would call my sister and me to make sure it wasn't for us."
"Last year, I was in California for a wedding. My mom and I decided to go to the beach for a while. I went for a walk down the shore and was gone 20 minutes longer than I said I would be. I came back to my mom crying to this surfer that she had lost her son.
The guy was thinking that this little kid was missing and was about to go look for me when I showed up. I'm 23. She didn't even think to call me. She just jumped to the conclusion that I was dead or kidnapped."
"The most recent example is when I went to a concert in a very safe, rich area, at a venue I've even been to before for a different concert.
I had VIP tickets so I got there very early, like, 6 pm for an 8 pm show. It lasted until about 1 am. My parents were texting me the entire time. They offered to buy me mace. They told me to 'hold my keys in my hand the entire time you know how metalheads are.' They also told me to call them when I got there, during intermission (THERE IS NO INTERMISSION), and when I was about to drive home.
Not the most severe case ever but I'm 20. They let me brother go to Africa, TWICE, at a way younger age,16 and then 18. They didn't give him any trouble about that at all.
It still ticks me off, honestly. Sometimes it's not about how extreme they do it but just how little it shows they trust you. Also, my dad is still the guardian to my bank account and questions every little purchase I make. I have a little more than $8,000 saved, and he's constantly on me about my money. My brother works about 10 hours a week and can barely pay his insurance. Yes, I'm the one you should be complaining to about an occasional, rare, $30 purchase."
"I remember representing my company at a job fair held on a college campus.
One young gentleman approached our table, with his father. The young man didn't speak a word. The father did all the talking. He asked about our company, asked about our products, all kinds of things. He spoke about the qualities of his son, and he was the one to hand us the resumé.
It was totally off-putting and somewhat cringe-worthy. I'm sure no serious employer would take this young man seriously."
"When I was an undergrad, I was the president of a small volunteering-based club. This extremely un-organized girl was the secretary, she was elected unopposed. Her mother would call me and re-assign me tasks the girl was supposed to do. She would say she didn't have time/whatever or have long conversations with me about how 'all the extra work was just too big a strain on her.' Her tasks were things like post this online before next month or ask this other member to organize an event. Things that would have taken her 5 minutes, tops.
The mother had a copy of her phone contacts and it was always a bit weird talking to her, obviously. The girl never mentioned anything like this to me or her mother's phone calls either. I didn't bring them up. I'm not sure if she knew about them or not. She also she could easily have quit if she wanted to. I felt sorry for her even though I was annoyed too sometimes."
"I love my parents but my family always made everything very awkward about girls.
Ever since I was young, say in primary school, whenever I had a friend that was a girl, my family would make a massive thing of it. 'Ooooh, he has a girlfriend.' I got embarrassed by it and hated the attention. They were just my friends. I wished they would stop making a fuss and embarrassing me.
As I grew up, I stopped telling them about the female friends I had. I never had girls around my house. I never told my family about my friends who were girls. I actually had my girlfriend of 2 years stay for a few days with my parents a couple of times but never introduced her as my girlfriend. I'm sure they knew of course, but I didn't tell them.
It was generally just annoying. Hopefully, the next girlfriend I have I can tell them that she IS my girlfriend. But, I still feel anxious and nervous about the experience and conversation. If they'd just made less of a fuss over things and been more casual when I was 6-8 years old I wouldn't have this weird, specific problem."