Ever met a parent who truly thinks their kid can do no wrong? They're the type of parent who believes it's always everyone else's fault, not their own little angle. News flash: that's almost never the case.
People on Quora share the most annoying case of a snow-plow parent they've ever seen. Content has been edited for clarity.
He Knew At An Early Age
“I taught for an online charter school where students (and teachers) lived all over the state and attended from home until it came time for state testing every spring. Then the school would rent out YMCA’s and hotel conference rooms all over the state so no student had to travel more than 50 miles to get to a ‘testing center.’ These testing centers were staffed by the teachers who lived in the area. Regardless of what grade or content you taught, you would test any student in the area. I taught high school math, and I saw a ton of helicopter parenting during seven years of testing seasons. This is one of my favorites.
Day one of Testing: Reading for grades three through eight.
A mom showed up with two elementary-aged sons and an 8th-grade daughter. She was dressed similar to the daughter and they both had a matching, alternative haircut. This was nothing too strange, we had a lot of young parents dropping off kids. The strange happened when she tried to follow me as I walked her youngest son to the room where we were testing the elementary kids. Still not weird. Then I showed him to his seat, and I turned to see the mom taking a chair from the stack in the corner.
When I looked puzzled, she replied, ‘Am I allowed to use these chairs?’
I explained to her, parents could wait in the nursery, but not in any of the rooms where testing was going on. She didn’t protest, but you could tell she was not happy.
Day 2 of Testing: Math for Grades three through eight.
The mom showed up in another matching outfit as her daughter. I happened to be handling the sign-in table and apologized to the mom about yesterday, but state rules say only students taking and proctors giving the state tests are allowed in the room once the testing has begun.
Her face perked up as she replied, ‘Don’t worry! I figured it out. I parked my van right outside this window. As long as he sits in that chair and you don’t close the door to that room, I will be able to see him from my car.’
I looked over my shoulder to the elementary room and sure enough, you could see one of the student seats from where we were. I also happened to be the elementary proctor that day.
When it came time to start testing, I walked her son into the elementary room and sat him in the chair she requested. I sat the rest of the students and handed out the materials. Right before we began, I walked to the door. I looked out and could see the mom looking in, and I slowly shut the door.
I went to the son and said, ‘Now if your mom asks, you make sure to tell her how I made sure nothing happened to you.’
He looked at me, rolled his eyes, and said, ‘She’s ridiculous.’
Even in 4th grade, that kid knew she was crazy.”
It Stopped Being Fun
“When I was in Boy Scouts, it started off awesome. There was a defined chain of command (if you have a problem, talk to your patrol leader, if that doesn’t work talk to the senior patrol leader if that doesn’t work go to the scoutmaster) and parents were pretty hands-off. We’d go off on camping trips, do dumb (but not terribly dangerous) stuff as kids, with a couple of the adults there to make sure nobody got hurt. Stuff like manhunt, kayaking, going off on random walks in the woods. It was so cool.
Then over time, some newer kids started coming in from Cub Scouts, which was pretty normal. What wasn’t normal was the adults couldn’t get the new kids’ parents to let go. At all. They started coming on camping trips and causing a huge fuss if anyone did anything remotely dangerous (not even majorly dangerous, but minor stuff like climbing a small tree). And then the new parents started raising so many issues if anyone tried to discipline a new kid when they did something wrong. Not because their kid was being disciplined, but because their kid could do nothing wrong.
But camping was still alright.
Until this one kid comes along, who had been kicked out from another troop for being too much of a handful and joined us. Slept in the same tent as his mother, there were rumors (which I don’t know if they were true or not) that his mother would dress him in the morning, was told to do freaking everything that was even common sense by his mother (bathe, brush your teeth, eat lunch, etc). He didn’t seem to have any issues that would necessitate that, and he had enough initiative to do anything he needed to do on his own (sunscreen, eating without having to be told, etc).
The problem is that the kid is kinda a bully. He would get into fights over people because he doesn’t get his way (like, blowing up on someone who took the last drink of Gatorade…even though it took like two minutes to pull out some mix and make some more in the cooler/dispenser thingy). So naturally, people started excluding him from things because he’s toxic as heck (like, think of the average toxic teammate from an online game, and that is this person). So, he complained to his mom (who has literally no authority) who then complained to us to include him.
So we do. And it goes freaking horrible. The thing that kinda killed scouting for me was this one camping trip we all went on to a nearby lake. We’d brought along some kayaks, and went out to the lake. After a while, everyone was kinda tired, so we stopped at a beach on the lake to rest a bit. A couple of people started running around playing in the shallows, but I decided to sit down on the shore and rest a bit.
The kid comes up to me and asked, ‘Do you want to play tag with us?’
I responded with, ‘No, I’m tired,’ so naturally, he stopped playing with them and sulked for the rest of the time.
Later that day, we were back at the campsite, and a few of us were messing around with the kayaks in the shallows. Someone figured out how to do like, a complete roll in a kayak. Someone else and I were in a kayak talking, and the kid comes up and does a freaking body slam on the kayak. We were freaking done with the kid, so we yelled at him and he sulked away all sad (because clearly, he’s in the right here).
Then, we had to take 15 minutes walking the kayak along the shallows back to the beach at the campsite (there were too many trees and tree stumps to get to a shore with enough room until there). We then had to drag the kayak onto the shore and turn it over to get the water out. It was such a pain in the butt. And then his mom comes along and starts screaming at us for yelling at the kid, and after we tell her that her kid literally sunk the kayak, she got frustrated and goes back to her tent.
None of the other adults, nor the adult leaders there, gave a single care. The kid was never punished for anything he did (because again, he could do no wrong), and I ended up quitting after that trip. Because it just stopped being fun. A friend ended up staying in, and according to the troop lost about 3/4 of its members in the ensuing year, except for the helicopter parents and their kids.”
She Wasn’t Telling The Whole Truth
“I am a collegiate coach and had a parent email me a nasty note questioning my judgment and demanding to know why his kid didn’t play in that evening’s game. He finished the rant by saying he was going to talk to my boss, the AD. Now every year on the day my athletes move to campus for training camp, I have a meeting just with the parents explaining I will not talk to you about your kid’s playing time, no exceptions. That’s a conversation between your daughter and me. This particular parent didn’t move his daughter in this year, but he did hear it the previous year when she was a freshman. Anyway, I actually showed the player his email on the way home on the bus and said to her this was not acceptable, she knew it’s not acceptable, and I didn’t appreciate her dad threatening me saying he’s going to go to my boss.
She was upset and embarrassed and apologized for his behavior. She went back to her seat and not long after, I got another email from the dad saying how dare I show his daughter his email, it was meant to be private, and she was very upset right now, and should something happen to her once we get back to campus, he was going to take me and the school down.
This might now sound terribly helicopter-ish yet, but that’s because I forgot the meat of the situation. His daughter played in the game, actually starting the second half. She lied and told him she didn’t play. Going into that game, we were 4-0 on the season. We won one game total the season before. The dad wanted to know why she wasn’t starting anymore. I explained we were bad last year and I recruited wonderful players this year, hence our 4-0 record. His daughter also missed the training session the night before the game, because she told me absolutely had to go to an extra credit assignment for a class to make sure she didn’t do poorly in a class. Also, Dad kept harping back to how he is a decorated military man and that should not be disrespected.
I wound up talking to this guy at two am explaining his daughter lied to him, and if she plans on transferring because she’s no longer starting, he did a disservice to her during the college search/recruitment process. I also reminded him of the time his daughter got into a car accident two weeks into her freshman year, and I was the one who his daughter called immediately. It was my boss and I who raced to the scene to help handle it. So sure, go ahead and call my boss about your kid not starting anymore. That will definitely get me in trouble.
When he questioned, and I quote, ‘Parents aren’t allowed to talk to you about playing time?’ I said, ‘Yes, you heard that from me last year on day one but apparently forgot because I worked magic to be able to have your daughter live off-campus this year when she’s not supposed to as a sophomore and you moved her in last week.’
That shut him up for half a second.”
Yeah, That’s Not Part Of The Job Description
“I work for the Study Abroad program at a university. You see all kinds here.
We send out acceptances in June and December. One year, a student was accepted in a December round and wasn’t able to be placed in her first presence host University. This happens all the time, and we are very open about this when people apply. Sometimes it’s just not possible to go to the first pref. This girl then emails me saying she had been crying all night, and that Santa has forgotten all about her because she didn’t get first preference.
I sent a usual, ‘Sorry, but we can offer you this placement instead,’ message, and the next thing I knew, our Executive director came over to ask why this girl was rejected.
Turns out she told Daddy she was rejected, daddy called his boy’s club friend who worked high up in our school, who in turn called my director. I was livid. She didn’t end up going overseas in the end, thank goodness. I don’t remember her excuse.
Sometime later, it emerged the friend of Daddy’s who called my director was a serial adulterer at various workplaces, and including our University. He left under quiet circumstances, and it emerged he’d done the same thing at his last immediate previous workplaces. He had to move overseas to get another job.
Just this semester, we had a student who clearly had anxiety and he never disclosed it with us (if he had I would have got him to create a coping plan, maybe even suggested studying at a place with more support available, etc.). Nothing went right for this angel, according to the father, who had me on speed dial. It was getting too much. I’d contact little darling and when he eventually would write back, he’d say the opposite to the father.
The final straw for me was when the father claimed the student was not eating (which was disputed by my colleagues overseas) and he wanted me to go overseas to deliver him money and food. I got my boss involved after that. Last I heard, Mommy went overseas to get him food. I’m surprised Daddy didn’t go over, to be honest.”
He Couldn’t Think For Himself
“My freshman year of college, I had a roommate I shared a cell dorm room with, and he was probably the most overly-parented person I ever encountered. We moved in without knowing each other beforehand, because, well, that has to go well, right?.
Anyway, this kid had an annoying habit of trying to make me his surrogate parent, often asking me if he could do all kinds of things.
‘It ok if I microwave some food?’
‘Cool if I head to this place for a while?’
Yes, it is, you’re a freaking 19-year-old adult. After about a week of that nonsense, I flat out told him to call his parents if he wanted permission because I didn’t really care what he did. And he actually called them from then on. It was extremely weird, I think his parents literally waited all day for the phone to ring because it never rang more than a single time before they were on the line with him.
A couple more weeks into living together, we were hanging out studying, and a couple of my friends came by and walked in, as we had our door open.
They wanted some ice cubes, they’ve all got their cups in hand and asked me, ‘Hey man, you got any ice?’
This kid turned around quickly and looked really uneasy.
I went, ‘Sure, got a small ice cube tray in here,’ and gave them each some.
The kid looked relieved and went, ‘Oh thank goodness, I thought you guys were talking about illegal substances or something!’
Um.. what? Yes, I was slinging Ice from our dorm room! Because I’m a genius 19-year-old kingpin, apparently.
A month went by and I basically just left this dude to himself because, well, we don’t have much in common. I myself like to smoke the reefer and drink (this was freaking college to be fair!) but this guy was straitlaced as they come. I would come back to the room at around 10:30 pm and he’d freak out like I was going to get busted. If I had had a few drinks, he would try and treat me like a helpless infant or a plastered idiot.
He started getting made fun of around the dorms (not by me, I didn’t like living with him as it was and didn’t want to make him even more of a bummer than he was) by lots of people, many of whom call him ‘SpongeBob; because his name was Bob and he only wore Hawaiian shirts. I mean that’s pretty funny but besides the point. The dude had a rough time of it from the start.
Anyway, we make it through the first semester, and he lets me know he’s going to be leaving school ‘because his parents didn’t think it was a good fit for him.’
I asked him, ‘Dude, you’re 19 freaking years old. When are you actually going to try acting like an adult and think for yourself?’
No answers, just an awkward look. I said it’s fine and wished him well.
Well, move-out day comes around, and his parents were there to help move stuff. From the look his mom gave me, I’m pretty sure she was struggling not to violently attack me the entire time. I was sitting there watching TV, and as his dad left the room for the last time, he turned and just stared at me before scoffing and shaking his head and leaving.
His mom said, ‘We won’t let you be a terrible influence on our son anymore, you’re reprehensible, etc., etc. We can’t believe you’d be able to go to college here.’
Mind you, I’ve never met this lady in my life. I’m a good student with a 3.8 GPA, great scores on the SAT, here on my own living (somewhat) like a normal young adult. I simply told her how her kid is going to have to grow up at some point, or he’ll be a worthless excuse for an adult.
She stormed off and tattled on me to my RA, who basically said, ‘Well yeah, your kid is 19 and is incapable of doing anything himself. Everyone here has seen that. So what?’
As you can imagine, that went over well.
Turns out my self-sustaining attitude had rubbed off and his parents started making up all these wild accusations about me being a horrible person because their son cut back to only calling them every couple of days. Anybody who knows me knows I’m not some wild, dumb moron, I’m just a normal freaking 20-year-old college student.”
It Was A Team Effect
“So I was a cart attendant at Target for about three years. During that time, the original one that trained me left, and the guy that started after me got fired. Leaving me. They never hired another. I told them several times they needed to let me train people on the cart loader because once I got out of college I was gone.
Well graduation came, found a better job, and I let them know. They begged to give them more time to find a replacement so I could train them. No dice. I left, they finally found a replacement. I visited one day just to say hi to old coworkers, and saw a girl pushing the loader. There’s also people in regular clothes pushing a boatload of carts.
I went in and told my old manager because that’s not really something they encourage.
He went, ‘Not again.’
Come to find out, this girl’s parents literally had been coming to her shifts to help her out because pushing carts was too hard.“
She Didn’t Want Him To Fail
“I worked at a science museum that had hands-on activities for kids.
The aim of the game was for the child to solve a problem by themselves. Like ‘can you get x to do y,’ they make something, test it, and figure out how to make it better.
One day, a woman came in, practically dragging her five-year-old son. She sat him down beside me and started poking me on the shoulder, and I was talking to another family.
‘Tell my son what to do,’ she said, standing over him.
I tell the family to hold on a sec, as I explain the challenge to the newcomer. The whole point was to work autonomously, so it was alright, and I was used to working with a few rude/pushy parents, so I wasn’t surprised. I told the kid the prompt and told him he had a wide range of materials.
But no. The woman wanted me to tell him every step of the process.
‘Tell him the answer! Tell him the answer!’ she said repeatedly, grabbing his hands to make him fold paper, or reaching for my own.
I started getting mad.
‘Ma’am, the goal here is to learn the scientific method. Make a hypothesis, test it, make conclusions and try again,’ I explained.
‘But you already know the answer,’ she said. ‘Tell my son! Or I’m calling your manager!’
I don’t even have a manager. In the meantime, the poor kid was looking so embarrassed. Every time he tried to start something for himself, his mom reached for his hands and told him to wait for me to tell him what to do. The woman was so afraid of him failing when the whole point was to learn from one’s mistakes. I’m so worried about how he’ll deal with mistakes growing up, with her around.”
Doing A Lot Of Check-Ins
“My college roommate, I lived with him junior and senior year, so from when he was 21-23. It was his first time living away from home, but not really, since he was from the same town the campus was in. Every week, at least once, up to three times per week, he’d go home for dinner because his mom made him. During this time, she would grill him about homework and grades, as if he was still in high school or something, and ask why he wasn’t going on any dates or bringing home any nice girls. She is why he wasn’t bringing home any nice girls.
We went on a baseball road trip once, and even though my car was much younger and had no issues, unlike his troublesome car, she insisted he couldn’t go if it wasn’t in his car. So since he was doing the driving, he couldn’t text obviously, so he decided to give my number to his mother to give updates. We were driving back from Detroit to Buffalo, so we drove through Canada, so we had to turn off our phones.
When I turned my phone back on, I had a ton of messages asking me if her son was alright doing all the driving, especially in a foreign country, and she wanted to know why it took so long to cross the Canadian section of or drive. She wasn’t even my mother, but she helicopter parented me.”
He Had To Ask His Mom For Help
“My first year of college (I’m only in my second but still), I had a roommate in a four-person on-campus apartment who, when the time came to register for apartments the next year, didn’t realize it was first-come-first-serve and didn’t read any emails about the actual time the offices opened. Needless to say, he registered three days after registration began and was waitlisted and given a dorm in the meantime because it was all that was left.
At this, he was outraged. He was a national merit scholar! He had a national merit scholarship! He deserved an apartment.
He was also mad at me for a couple of days for not waking him up or letting him know, but I kept my distance from him because he was creepy and I’m not his mom, so I never bothered to make sure he was being an adult.
So he called his mom to yell at the housing department until he got one. It apparently took several calls, and I’m pretty sure housing gave in solely because they were tired of hearing about it. They moved him to the top of the waitlist and he got an apartment for this year.
My absolute favorite part is he directly addressed this aspect of his character in a monologue to me. He said he’s ‘not like some people who have helicopter moms,’ and instead, she was ‘more like an AC-130, not hovering right above him but still hanging around close enough that he can call an airstrike in when it needs to.’
If that isn’t the definition of helicopter parenting, then I don’t know what is.”
He Just Didn’t Want His Kid To Be Cold
“I worked at a summer chess camp in a beach city. Not a serious one, so it was two hours or so of chess-related stuff, then seven-plus hours of playing elsewhere. We told the kids’ parents to bring a swimsuit and change of clothes and a towel for water balloon day.
This one kid’s dad showed up to supervise water balloon day. It was overcast, so a bit chillier than usual. Hover-dad started yelling at me because his boy was shivering. He got in my face and screams about how ‘His boy shouldn’t be shivering, it’s chess camp!’
I said to him, ‘Uh, he looks fine, but he can sit out the rest of the time.’
He then rushed into the grass field his kid was happily running around, wrapped him in a towel, and hoisted him over his shoulder. He ran to his car and left. The kid didn’t return for the rest of the session.”