Whenever I think of "helicopter parents" my mind immediately goes to an image of a mother or father hovering around their toddler at a park. After reading through a post on Reddit that asked readers for their worst examples of helicopter parenting, it's obvious the worst offenders are parents of older children. Actually, is it okay to refer to a college student as a "child?"
Here are some highlights, but the whole thread is amazing.
1. Mom's now your classmate!
"I teach high school and occasionally college. One IEP meeting for a high school student, the mother mentioned her other kid was enrolled at a local university, and that she (the mother) was also enrolling in the same classes to ensure her daughter did her work."
What? That's a great way to teach your kids the importance of accountability and self-reliance. Follow them to college so you can make sure they do their work.
2. Let go, mom.
"One day my niece was in the bathroom and she took a little too long to finish so her mother stood outside the door and said, 'What's taking you so long, are you wrapping the toilet paper around your hand like I showed you, do you need me to come in there and show you again, why is this door locked? Open this door!' It was Thanksgiving dinner and the whole family just stared at my sister-in-law in shock; we could all hear my niece crying in the bathroom."
Important detail - her niece was 14 years old. How mortifying for the poor girl. How does a mother get to the point where she doesn't trust that her teenage daughter can effectively wipe her own butt?
3. It's cool. Your kid probably doesn't want a say in the college they're attending.
"My senior year of high school my mom filled out an application for me to go to her alma mater, complete with an essay and a personal statement. I had no idea she'd done this until the acceptance letter arrived."
I've heard of parents pushing their kids to go to their alma maters, but this is ridiculous.
4. Be my kid's friend, or else.
"I was at college orientation and one parent came up to my friend and said, "That girl over there is my daughter. You go up to her and introduce yourself to her and be her friend." It wasn't done in a cute way - it was semi-threatening."
Way to ensure everyone labels your daughter "that loner girl with the creepy mom" her first day of college.
5. Way to impress a potential employer.
"I had a girl come in for a job interview with her mom... I had my supervisor do the full interview with the girl while I talked to the mother. I told the mom straight 'you are ruining your daughters chances at getting hired at any job,' she got offended and I clarified 'if your daughter can't show up to work without her parent making her, it doesn't make her look like a reliable employee.'"
How? How does any parent think this is a way to make a good impression on an employer? How does an adult child allow this?
6. Eat, eat!
"I went to primary school with a kid whose parents were Italian immigrants, his mum would come to the school gate every lunch and give him pasta and make him sit and eat it all there in front of her."
Some stereotypes are true. My Italian grandmother had a pot of sauce perpetually simmering on her stove and you did not leave the house without eating something. So although I can't help but find this story a little endearing, it's still a NO.
7. Man-child in the making.
"My roommate in college would not do his laundry, ever, until his mom came to do it for him every couple of months. He had tons of clothes and would just start piling them up in the closet as he wore them... then his mom would come in and basically monopolize the dorm laundry facilities for 3 hours doing all his laundry."
No. You do not send your children into the world without the ability to perform basic tasks for themselves. Bad.
(photo: Getty Images)