What is it with parents these days? It’s like kids never get a chance to make mistakes for themselves anymore. These Redditors witnessed some of the most extreme cases of “active parenting” that we’ve ever seen!
[Source listed at the end of the article.]
“The mom of a student at my school moved her daughter up a grade, which caused the poor little girl to be ostracized by the class of older kids for behaving immaturely.
When she found out a bunch of 8 year olds aren’t likely to respond well to a 7 year old with a superiority complex, mama made it worse by deciding she would force the kids to like her daughter. She threatened to sue the school for not addressing her daughter’s lack of attention from other students.
The school didn’t take the threat seriously because no you can’t sue somebody over that. As far as I know the mom never sued but she still whines, even two years later.”
“It was Little League baseball, with I want to say 1st and 2nd graders. A kid gets up to bat and the mother is standing about six feet away. The kid gets a hit and the mom begins to ‘race’ with him from home to first, encouraging him to run the whole way.
I had to ask someone in the crowd if the kid needed special attention or something. Nope, just a mom being way too over-eager to see her kid ‘succeed.'”
“A girl in my old secondary school (aged 15) had a bracelet that would beep loudly whenever she wasnt in a location she was expected to be in.
Once, due to a glitch, the bracelet went nuts beeping and flashing during a math lesson. Long story short, she left the room, she rung her parents, and they called off the cavalry.”
“I work at a university mailroom, and at the start of the semester, freshmen students need to come to us to open up a mailbox. One father came in and tried to sign his daughter up for her mailbox, and we had to turn him away and tell him that his daughter had to be the one to open the mailbox herself.
So he came back with his daughter later that day, and we gave her the signup sheet. Then we watched as he filled everything out for her. He had her permit in his wallet. She didn’t know her own email address or her school ID number, but daddy did. When we were going over the rules and regulations with her, she was staring off into space, and her dad pocketed the key to her mailbox as they left.
About four weeks later, we saw that girl again. She was closing her mailbox because she was dropping out of college because it was ‘a lot harder than she thought it would be.’ She didn’t know her mailbox number, still didn’t know her school ID number, and didn’t know her home address. She had to call her dad and ask him for all of that information.”
“When I was little, the mother of a kid in my 4th grade class volunteered at the school. She would literally sit in class with him all day, and assist him with his assignments. He was a little shy, but just a normal kid and clearly smart enough to do it himself if he had just tried.
Anytime someone tried to befriend him, his mother always ‘chaperoned’ the introduction; Since this was back in the 90’s, anything involving parents was seriously off putting. I remember inviting him to kick ball, but his mother didn’t wan’t him getting hurt…
We felt bad for him.”‘
Well graduation came, and I found a better job, and I let them know. They begged me to give them more time to find a replacement so I could train them. No dice. I leave, they finally find a replacement. A few months later, I visit just to say hi to old coworkers and see a girl pushing the loader. There are also people in regular clothes pushing carts.
I went in and told my old manager because they generally try to avoid having customers pushing carts–that’s the purpose of the cart attendant. He goes ‘not again.’ I come to find out this girl’s parents had literally been coming to her shifts to help her out because pushing carts was too hard.”
“I was at college orientation and one parent came up to my friend and told her, as if it was a direct order: ‘That girl over there is my daughter. Go up to her and introduce yourself to her and be her friend.'”
“I know a girl whose dad is a helicopter pilot, and gave her a ride to prom back in high school. It was so cool. Ironically, he was actually a totally chilled out parent.”
“This is my favorite story, cause it makes me laugh every time my husband tells it. His mom was such a worrywart that she made him use the toilet with the doors open. So he was always just used to not being able to close the bathroom door when he was going number two.
When he was like 8 years old, he was invited to a friend’s house for the first time and had to do his business. So naturally he went to the bathroom and started going with the door wide open for an audience, which attracted several members of the family to just stare at him until the kid’s mother came shut the door.
He could hear the family laughing. Then when he was done and came out of the bathroom the kids mother told him, ‘I don’t know what happens at your house but over here we shut the door when were using the toilet.’ I don’t think he ever forgave his mom for that embarrassment.”
“My brother’s friend had no idea about any of the major wars of the 20th century until she was a senior in high school. Her parents forbade anyone to teach her about them because it was ‘too upsetting.'”
“My aunt picked out my cousin’s clothes well into his teen years. He would wake up late for school and sit on his bed until she physically dressed him.
When my kid was in preschool, a lady and her son came to check out the school one day. She was really cool, and her son played well with all the kids. He started full-time the next week. On his very first day, he went down the slide too fast and landed on his knees on the mulch. He wasn’t hurt at all, just got right back up to play.
The next day, his mom came in completely enraged. She said someone should have held his hand as he went down the slide, and couldn’t believe there wasn’t an ‘incident report’ filled out. They never came back.”
“Not me, but my friend when she was maybe 13 went to the cinema with her best friend to find the best friend’s mom sitting in the front row. She apparently sat there the whole time constantly turning around to check on them. My friend couldn’t enjoy the movie at all.”
“I’m a parent myself, and a few weeks ago I inadvertently ended up at my son’s job interview.
I drove him to the mall, and when he went up to the store to interview, I went to the coffee kiosk then settled at a table nearby. The manager that was interviewing my son decided that there was no room in the office of the store and led him to the table next to mine. I just pretended not to know him and browsed Reddit.
I don’t think I helped his nerves by being nearby, but he got the job, so it all worked out.”
“I was 19 years old and flying home from college over Christmas break. A boy I graduated high school with was coming home on the same day and his mother went to great lengths to ensure that he and I were on the same flight and seated right next to each other (without my knowledge) because she didn’t want her son flying alone.”
“Okay, so during a group chat last Halloween, some friends and I were talking about what horror movie to watch. I was debating with my friend between Ouija 2 and Alien when another buddy of mine chimed in out of the blue. (Keep in mind this was at around midnight.) So we ask for his opinion, yet he didn’t know what we were talking about. He had absolutely no frame of reference for anything we mentioned and was constantly trying to change the topic.
As it turns out, my friend’s mother had taken his phone and pretended to be him to try to squeeze out any info on us. Which is just really creepy, and we somewhat ended up avoiding him a bit later. This mother also has a tracker in his phone and is generally a bit of a nutcase.”
“Some friends of mine wouldn’t let their kid take the school bus. He was in kindergarten so I didn’t think too much of it.
For the first day of Grade 1 they said he could take the bus, but they would drive to the school to make sure he got off the bus and into school OK.
Kudos to the kid: He told them he didn’t want them to do that and they backed off.”
“I’m not sure if this counts, but one time when I was in kindergarten, I hugged one of my friends as little kids tend to do.
As it turns out, his mom didn’t like the fact that I hugged my friend. To avoid any sort of confrontation from my friend’s mom, my mom had to tell me that I couldn’t hug my friend anymore. I didn’t really get it.”
(1/2) “This is all one family. The mom wakes the son for school every day because he oversleeps. I told her, why not buy the kid an alarm clock? ‘Oh, he doesn’t need that. I wake him up.’
The son wants to go away to college, and she can’t imagine why. ‘We’re not paying all that money when you can’t even get yourself up in the morning.’
The older sister graduates college a whole year early, gets a job and applies to grad school. The mom: ‘You don’t need to go to grad school. You have student loans to pay.’ Mom does not grasp the concept of deferment. The sister applies to school, and mom is so distraught that she moves out the house FOR MONTHS because she’s convinced it’s going to go into foreclosure if the sister gets a Master’s Degree.”
(2/2) “The older son joined a fraternity. Mom and Dad are upset because they did not discuss this as a family. They wanted to select his fraternity. Both were distraught when they were not invited to his induction.
The son graduated and wanted to join the police dept. Mom, Dad, and ALL the adult siblings piled into the car to drive him to the physical. Apparently they stood outside the examination room. I can’t imagine why he didn’t get hired!
One more story: that alarm clock son mentioned before? He was kicked out of a dorm at the local college Mom and Dad selected for him because he would leave garbage lying all over the place and refused to clean up after himself.”
(1/2) “I used to practice and study a martial art. I eventually became an assistant and helped lead the class. No, I’m not at all a ninja. Just a guy who knew the drills and could be a punching bag for the master most times.
Doing the kids’ class was always super fun, and super exhausting. There were some silly kids, but overall it was great. I would leave the kids’ class extra exhausted. Those little ones can go go go. So this one kid was perfectly normal, not a behavioral problem at all. Very polite and always a good student. Usually he came with his friend’s and that kid’s family but I was also there at times when his mom brought him.
Typically, the parents would sit along the back wall, or in this waiting room we had. I don’t really even recall any others causing a problem, but this one lady was bonkers. She wouldn’t stop whisper-shouting things to him. It wasn’t all criticisms, some of it was praise. But she just like … couldn’t let him experience things on his own. He was never in the moment when she was around.”
(2/2) “It got to the point that she was getting up and coming out onto the floor, disregarding our traditions about how to enter and leave the space and how to interact with senior members of the academy. She’d sit next to him to give him prodding and encouragement, and when she started actually demonstrating the moves for him we tried to get her to sign up too. I mean, she was on the mat with him doing the moves. It was a very family friendly place that had parent + kid classes and everything. She declined to fully participate.
But she kept showing up and it eventually had a negative effect on other parents and students in their classes. When the instructor had saved enough money to renovate the school, one of the improvements he added was an enclosed and completely separate waiting room for parents. They could chat it up, get their attention off the kid, and there was a big screen TV on the wall for when they wanted to check on the kiddo.
Some of us lower-rank assistants who had dealt with her informally dubbed it, [parent’s name]’s room. Surely not the most evil or egregious case of helicopter parenting but hey, she practically caused a renovation to happen.”
“In middle school, I had a lot of friends with helicopter parents, but one was especially bad.
When he would come over to my house to hang out, his mom would walk in and sit in my kitchen until he had to leave for dinner. She wouldn’t talk to my parents or anything, just sit there for a few hours and then take him home. The one time I went to their house it was filled with security cameras both visible and hidden, like it was from some sort of dystopian society.”
“My dad was such a helicopter parent that he became a meme at my high school. He was a good guy, but always checking my “Powerschool” (an online grading resource thing) and printing it out/highlighting things he didn’t like, then passive-aggressively leaving the paper with his notes on my bed. He always reminded me of stuff I had coming up for the week, even when I mentioned it beforehand.
It got to the point that whenever someone got a bad grade or did something dumb, people would look at him and do their impression of my dad scolding them.”
“I have a friend who works at the mail room at a local college. She says she routinely seems parents going in to set up their child’s mailbox for them. Mind you, understanding how the mail room works is pretty important if the student ever wants to get mail, but the parents try to do it all for the ADULT anyway.”
“I have an aunt and uncle where whenever they fly somewhere for a family vacation, they fly with the family separated in half. Each half takes a different plane. So if one crashes, half the family will have survived.
I told him the whole, ‘You’re more likely to die when you’re all driving to the airport together’ thing but he’s not interested. In his defense, he was actually in a commercial airplane that emergency landed in a farmer’s field at one point, but still.”
“I was an RA in college. I sat the 10:30-12 pm desk shift, and like clockwork every night this dude’s mom would call. She would immediately DEMAND that we send an RA to her son’s room and make him call her.”
“My mom once asked out a girl for me, totally out of the blue. The girl and I were both weirded out by it. We didn’t go out.”
These comments have been edited for clarity.