This article is based on the AskReddit question “Any overbearing parents in public stories out there?”
1. Watch where the one way slide goes!
When I was about 14 at a water park, playing in the kids area, I went down a tube slide. So I obviously couldn’t see what was going on at the bottom. As I went down a little girl walked literally right in front of it, causing me to crash into her. Her mother, seeing this, ran over and yelled at ME, telling me to watch where Im going!”
Woman, its a slide, there’s only one way to go.
2. Lesson learned in the most terrifying way
I knew a girl who, as a teenager, went running with earplugs in. Out of nowhere she gets attacked by someone from behind, a bag gets put over her head, and she gets forced into a van. After crying, screaming and peeing herself over being driven away, the van stops. Her mom opens the door and says, “That’s what you get for running with headphones on! You can’t hear what goes on behind you!”
3. When the kid smiles back
I was waiting in line at Kohl’s and there was a newborn behind me. I personally LOVE babies and I could look at them all day, but since this was in public I was minding my own business and just took a quick glance at him. As soon as he saw me he gave me a huge smile! When the mother saw what had just happened she took him and her stuff to the next line over, in a huff.
4. Awkward encounter at the bank
I was in the queue at the bank and in front of me was a lady with her grandson in a pram. The boy (maybe about 2) proceeded to make faces at me. Now I’m not one to pass up the opportunity to make faces at children so I joined in this game of making silly faces. Right about the time I was pulling a face, (except I’m a guy) the grandmother turned around. The look on her face would have suggested she thought I was attempting to steal her child. She then pulled the child round in front of her which lead to the most awkward 5 minutes I’ve ever spent in the bank.
5. Being put on the spot
I was at an airport waiting for them to call to load the plane, when this lady walks by with her little girl, who’s about to cry. She looks over at me, and pulling her daughter along, says, “If you don’t start behaving, THAT MAN is going to make you!” and she’s pointing at me! At this point the little girl starts bawling uncontrollably. Pretty much everyone in the area is looking at me. I’m kind of dumbfounded at this point, and I want to tell that lady off, but the little girl is just having a breakdown and doesn’t need me yelling at her mom.
6. Whoa, a twenty-something girl!
I walked out of a park one day, and in the parking lot there’s this mother in her car with her two kids. As I’m about to walk past her car to exit the park, she looks at me, so I smile politely, but she just stares at me wide eyed, and locks the doors. I’m a 100lb 5’3 girl in her early twenties.
7. Mohawk gives you super social skills power
Parents (mostly mothers) walking around with children often direct the children out of my way, positioning themselves in between the kids and me as I walk by them on the street.
The power of the mohawk. I also always have room to sit on public transport.
8. Making a baby laugh is a crime
At the age of 15 I was in a shop buying the new Pokemon game, in front of me was a mother carrying a baby so that the baby’s head was over her shoulder looking at me. I made a funny face and the baby laughed hysterically, the mother turned around, glared at me and turned her baby round so it was not looking at me.
9. Trying to be helpful doesnt sit well with some parents
I was at the park once with my dad, I think I was about 7, and we had the neighbour’s kid with us who was about 4. Anyway, some kid we didn’t know couldn’t get off the swing so my dad lifted them off, next minute, hurricane mother comes hurtling across the playground yelling “Get your hands off my daughter!!!” She was paying enough attention to immediately harass an innocent father at the park (who was probably not about to ditch the kids he was with in order to steal a new one) but not enough to notice her own child stuck on a swing. This was about 20 years ago too, hate to think the level of paranoia that is heading down that family line.
10. Every person is a potential kidnapper
We were waiting to board a flight. The disembarking passengers included a family that had at least three small children. The mother looked particularly harried and when one of the children wandered a few more steps than she liked, she grabbed him and began to scold loudly, “You can’t wander off like that. Look around you at all these people. Any one of them could have stolen you!
11. Paranoid mom
When I worked as a waitress in a resort I had a mom with a kid around 3-4 years old ask me if the cookies had peanut in them. We took allergies very seriously so I told her that yes they may be contaminated with peanuts and that if she’d like I could arrange for her son to have a special peanut-free dessert prepared for the rest of his stay at the resort and she goes “Oh no, he’s not allergic to peanuts. He’s just never had them before because I’m so afraid of allergies. You hear about them all the time, you know?” then shrugs and leaves without getting her kid dessert.
12. You don’t like it, you leave!
At the family entertainment center I work at, a mom asked my male manager if he can ask the dads to leave the play park area because she wasn’t comfortable with the idea of men in the tubes, even with their own kids. My boss told her hes not going to do that and if she doesnt like it she can leave.
13. Cops dont take bad kids to jail, for your info
I’m a cop. A partner and I were at Subway eating lunch during our break. This kid next to us is being a kid and just goofing around, no big deal.
Mom says to him: “If you don’t behave, that policeman is going to take you to jail. He arrests bad little boys like you.”
I turn to the boy and say deadpan “Don’t worry son, I only take bad parents to jail, not bad kids.”
The mom kept quiet for the rest of her lunch, which was very rushed.
14. Not a creep, just a nice person
I’m a 32 year old single father. I have a 3 year old son. I work maintenance at a hotel. Part of my job is opening and cleaning the pool. I find things other guests leave. I put them in our lost and found for 30 days them I put them in my pool room to offer to guests. They other day I was checking the pump and a 3 year old boy came up to me and asked what I was doing. So I told him and showed him how the systems work etc. I asked his parents if he could have a pool noodle I had in the pump room that I had taken out of the lost and found that morning as it had been there the required 30 days without being claimed.
His parents grabbed him and went to my boss and complained that I was a creep and should not speak to children. Now I am afraid to respond to children or try to do anything nice. I hate what this world has come to. If a random person walked up to my son and was offering gifts I would be a little concerned but if I was approached by an employee at our community pool and they asked if my son could have a toy I would be grateful there are decent people in this world still.
15. Save a child, then get yelled at
I was in Walmart shopping once, about 2 years ago. I was near the end of the aisle when this little boy, probably around 4-5, runs around the corner and is gonna run head first into the edge of one of the shelves.
Without even thinking about it, I stick my hand in between his head and the shelf and he hits my hand rather than the shelf. After this I ask if he is okay, he says he is. Then he gives me the cutest smile and says “Thank you.” I told him he was welcome and sort of patted his head.
It all happened really quickly and his mom was walking towards us, she could see the whole thing from where she was standing, and she yelled at me “Never touch my child again.”
16. The kid is fine!
A little kid, maybe 2 years old was running about the market as his mom shopped. Unstable little guy that he is, the kid falls down in front of me. He looks up to see if an adult’s nearby for a cue on how to react. I smile and say “You’re okay. It’s just a little spill,” as he realizes it isn’t the end of the world and happily gets to his feet. We smile and make pretty faces at each other. (I’m a 26 year old girl and babies dig making pretty faces at women of child-bearing age.)
His mother then huffs her way over, glaring at me, swoops up the child and checks him for injuries, telling him the whole time that he’s been hurt. The baby of course begins crying when his mother tells him he has booboos and owies. She tells me I should be ashamed of myself for not being sensitive towards her poor, darling boy.
17. Let the kids have some fun
I was volunteering at my sisters’ elementary school’s halloween party. I ran a game, “Pumpkin Golf,” where the objective was to putt a little plastic ball into the mouth of a jack-o-lantern.
Well, some parents couldn’t come to terms with the fact that their child is, oh, I don’t know, IN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL and isn’t a great shot at golf. I’d see parents grab the golf rod from their kids. “No, now look, this is how you do it! No, not like that!! Here let me help you. LET ME HELP YOU THAT’S NOT THE RIGHT WAY!!”
I was at a Starbucks the other day and this kid starts to choke on the ice he was eating, the mother starts screaming at the top of her lungs. Everyone stops to see what’s wrong, I get up to walk over thinking hey I know how to do save this kid, but before I get there this older guy drops all of his coffees he just ordered and starts doing Heimlich and the ice is dislodged. The mother looks at the older guy who just saved her son from choking on ice of all things and starts screaming rape, saying the guy just raped he son and starts to call 911, the lady next to her slapped the phone out of her hand and tells her that the guy saved he sons life, the lady is still screaming. The manager later gives the guy his new order for free and gave him a refund as well as some extras and kicks the mother out of the store and told her she was banned.
19. Poor pizza delivery guy
I deliver pizzas. Just last night I delivered to a house and when I rang the doorbell a 3-4 year old kid answered. He told me he couldn’t answer the door to strangers unless he knew my name, so he introduced himself as and so did I, then I asked if he could go get his mom or dad to pay so I can leave. He disappears, and in a minute here comes his mother, who looks infuriated. “Why did you let him answer the door?! He’s not supposed to talk to strangers! You’re going to get fired for this! Take your pizza and leave. I’m calling your manager and you will be fired!” The door was then slammed in my face.
I get back to the restaurant and my manager is like What? They called and demanded their pizza plus extra for free because their son opened their door to greet me. My manager, being a level headed soul, basically told them no and we black listed their address.
20. Whats the problem with fictional books?
A young boy, probably about 9 was at the library where I volunteered. A librarian had just helped him find the book he was looking for and he seemed pretty excited about it. His mom suddenly came up an asked what he found. He showed her and she asked “Is that fiction or non-fiction?!” He kind of whispered “fiction” and she just about blew up at the librarian for not consulting her. She then ripped the book from the kid’s hand and led him out without saying anything else.
21. Its just a blank journal, not a pack of cigarettes
I work at a bookstore. It is not uncommon for children to separate themselves from their parents to look at books on their own. Sometimes they even buy stuff.
One girl, around 8 but very polite and mature for her age, came up to the register and bought a blank journal. Nothing weird about that. A few minutes later, though, her mom came up to the register to return the journal because [cut] we “let” her daughter buy it without her permission. She was very uncooperative throughout the process of making the return and started lecturing me (and the shift leader I’d called over since she was making such a scene) about how it is against the law to sell to anything to minors and she would call the cops on us if it ever happened again.
22. WATER. W-A-T-E-R. Seriously?
I was buying clothes and just strolled around the shop, not a lot of customers or anything, and there’s this woman with her kid of about four or so. He tells her that he’s thirsty. She immediately picks him up like something’s wrong and goes “Aww are you thirsty baby? What do you want? A soda?” He’s like “No, water please” and she says “how about chocolate milk”, “some lemonade” while the kid just keeps saying he wants water (without ever raising/changing his voice or acting up at all). The woman then puts the child down and replies “We will find you something nice and sweet, as long as you calm down”
Do some people even listen to their kids?
23. Not even a simple hello sits well with some mothers
At a Costco when I was 15, my mom was learning how to put contacts in so I decided to sit on the couches in another isle. A few minutes later a young mother with a 4-year old daughter walks up to my couch and asks me if it was comfy. I say that it wasn’t bad and we make a little small talk. Then, her little girl hops out of the cart and sits on the couch next to me. The little girl looked at me and waved, so naturally I smile and say “hi” back. As soon as I did that the mother spat out an “UGH!” and forced her kid back in the cart and darted out of the aisle. Afterwards, every time I would pass the woman, she would glare at me and turn the other way, as if I was some 15-year old female creep that was going to take her precious child.
24. Way too overprotective
I’m a server, and as a parent I love getting tables with babies/kids. One night I had a couple with their daughter who was around the same age as my child (about a year old). The baby was adorable, and as I was taking the parents’ orders she was reaching for my hand and so I just let her hold on to my finger as I was still talking to the parents. As soon as I walk away from the table I can hear the mom say something like “You don’t touch other people’s kids.” to her husband, and breaks out the hand sanitizer. I just pretended like I didn’t hear, and made a point to ignore the baby for the rest of their meal, as hard as it was. So when they’re almost finished eating, my manager goes by on a routine table visit. The woman told my boss I had “groped” her child. He pretty much laughed in her face and told her he doubted that and that I had a daughter the same age. Her husband looked mortified and ended up tipping me over 25%.
25. This mother creating confusion
Once, I was at the grocery store and saw this little girl, maybe 5 years-old, reaching for the box of Fruit Loops cereal that was pretty high up . I asked her if she wanted the Fruit Loops and she said, “Yes, please.” So, I took it off the shelf and gave it to her . Before the box reached the little girl’s hand, her mother walked over, took the box of cereal from me, and placed it back on the shelf. She then gave me a disgusted look and grabbed another box of Fruit Loops for her daughter. The poor little girl was so confused. I was confused.
26. As if having divorced parents isn’t already tough
I was once not invited to a friend’s birthday party because her overbearing mother told me directly that she “didn’t trust children of divorced parents”, and I “would be a bad influence on her child.” I was twelve.
My mom was overbearing in weird ways.
“Hey, mom, can I go to my [then boyfriend, now fiance’s] house? It’s an hour and a half away by transit in one of the worst neighborhoods in the city, and I’m going to spend the weekend there while his parents are on vacation.”
“Sure, have fun sweetie!”
“Hey mom, can I go to the mall?”
“What? No! People get SHOT at the mall.”
28. Single dad problems
As a single father that raises a 7 and 8 year old boy and girl. I find my children lose out on a lot of close friends because parents aren’t as willing to allow them to our house. I get the feeling that other parents always fear I may be dangerous.
I keep a clean house, clean cut, make a good living, decent looking, good with other kids, a better mother than a lot of women, not awkward, and eager to make friends with other kids parents. My kids are polite, smart, well dressed, and not disheveled.
Despite all this, I find that most parents are constantly sizing me up and look at me with suspicion.
If I were a female, I would be praised for being a single mother with no help. As a male, you always feel like people look at you like a creep.
29. Never a dull moment at Chuck-E-Cheese
This was something happened to me when I was I think about 8 or 9 years old. We went to a Chuck-E-Cheese for my little sister’s birthday party. I had walked by the skee ball rows when I saw a 4 year old girl crying because she only had one more token to play the games. My mom gave me a whole pocket full of tokens so I decided to give her a few more tokens to play. The girl reaches out to take the tokens from my hand, when suddenly this girl’s mother and started screaming “No, Molly!! Don’t! She’s a stranger!” and dragged her sister away.
Looking back on that moment, I still wonder what I, a third grade girl, could have possibly done that was so terrifying to that girl.
30. Scary Parents
Walking through the store when this kid comes running past me crying; His mother, about 15 steps behind armed with a gun from the toy section yelling “I warned you! You aren’t clean now, that girl had two dad’s and you talked to her, it isn’t right”
People like that shouldn’t be allowed to have kids.