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Examples of the Worst Kinds of Helicopter Parenting

We're all familiar with the term "helicopter parent," right? A helicopter parent is a type of mother or father who can't stand to see their sweet little angel be independent. They instead choose to hover over them 24/7, in order to make sure they're being treated fairly. Heaven forbid their child ever learn how to live without them! I will absolutely agree that parenting is a tough job. I'll even give you that it's hard to see your little kid — who once depended on you for absolutely everything — grow up and do things for themselves. But I think most of us can agree that at a certain point, hovering over your kid, double-checking every single thing they do, and putting up a fight whenever someone else disciplines them is ultimately pretty harmful to child development. Kids need to be able to express themselves, and sometimes that means making mistakes. It might even mean failing a class! But helicopter parenting is not the solution.

To the front row with you! I work in a kindergarten in China. We have about 35 kids in each class, seated in 4 rows of 8 (with a split down the middle) facing the teacher. We move the children about once a month; each child moves back one row, and the back row gets to sit in the front row. One parent came in and told us that her child must always be seated in the front row. There’s nothing wrong with the child’s eyesight; she’s just too special to be seated anywhere but the front row I guess. The parent did not request this; she ordered us. –TheDevilsAdvokaat This one has a happy ending! Music teacher here. I had a HeliMom of one of my guitar students sit in on him during his first lesson. She was sitting right by him, shoulder to shoulder. As I was talking about various things like how to hold the guitar and how to shape your hands and fingers around the neck she would grab his hand and do it for him. Every single time. For everything. Time to strum some chords? Mom did that for him too. Can’t get the free hand to squeeze hard enough to make the strings ring? She pressed his fingers for him. He cried out at that and that’s when I stopped and told her she had to let him do it on his own. All I got for that was a sharp look and a “Fine then.”
He tried on his own and the string just made kind of a thud noise and she said: “See he needs me to help him.” I told her that the only way he was going to be able to do it was to try and do it, on his own. He was the one who had to build up the strength. Things didn’t really progress much after that and I ended the lesson. With all of that I wasn’t thinking they’d be sticking around for the second week but back they came. The second lesson started off the same and I politely told her she’d have to give him space in order to try. Still, she wasn’t thrilled but relented and got up in a huff and went out into the hall to watch from there. After she left this kid took a deep breath and was visibly more relaxed. After she stepped out he was able to have his own space and he actually tried on his own; he started to do better. It was awesome. At the end of the lesson, he said he couldn’t wait to come back and his mom came in and grilled him with something like “why can’t you do that when I’m helping you? You don’t want my help? You don’t need my help?” I could understand stuff like this if he was a young kid, 7 or younger, but dude’s 14 years old. He’s going to be a freshman in the fall. This poor kid has ended up being one of my best students. His mom still hovers and he’s still a super weird and socially awkward dude from living in a bubble but he’s finally found something he can be good at independently from his mom. It’s really rewarding to see him gaining more and more confidence even if it is slowly, he’ll get there someday.
–TheLivingEnd1884 I'm sure this will never cause any problems in her life. An incredibly quiet student just flat out refused to engage in any discussion in class. She was an extremely pleasant girl, she just wouldn’t speak. I brought it up with her mother during an interview and she told me she’d forbidden her daughter to express her opinion and to just listen to the teacher out of fear they wouldn’t agree with her opinion and mark her down out of bias. I assured her that expressing an opinion wouldn’t get a student marked down in my class and that developing one is important to her learning but she just said: “I’d rather she didn’t.”
–losturtle1 This kid is (almost) on fire! I work in an after school care. One day a 9-year-old was showing everyone his lighter by trying to set the shirt he was wearing on fire. I obviously took the lighter off him. When his mother came to pick him up I handed it to her and told her about him trying to set his shirt on fire. Turns out it was her lighter, so I had “no right” to confiscate it and her son just wouldn’t try to set his clothes on fire because, “He’s not an idiot,” so I must be making that up. –samaki14 Helicopter parenting apparently has no age limit. Criminal defense lawyer here. I was talking to my 23-year-old client in the hallway before a court hearing. His mom walked up to me and said forcefully, “He is a CHILD, do you understand me? A CHILD!” Because she was upset that he was in trouble with the law. –tinyahjumma There's no coming back from this one. While I was student teaching I had a student and his mom was the art teacher. The student was a straight up douche. Would cheat on any assignment, belittle classmates, etc… Any time the student got in trouble or called out he would run to his mom (the art teacher) and she would fight for him. All the teachers in the schools were afraid of her since she has been in the district for a long time and was thought to do no wrong by the administration. The student ended up plagiarizing an essay in class. I gave the student a zero (as it was stated in the assignment sheet that all plagiarism would be an automatic zero) and all hell broke loose. Meetings with the principal were set up, mom would come in during my plan period and rip me a new one for failing her kid, and the student would come fake crying to class the work. The essay was a large portion of the grade and would mean he would fail the class. After about two weeks of the mom coming in I finally told her if he turned a new essay into me by the end of the week he could get 50 percent credit on it (would move his grade to a “D” if he got a 100 percent). The student comes waltzing into class on Friday and hands me his essay. After quickly scanning the essay it just seemed off. After a quick google search, the student took the entire Wikipedia page and copied it for his essay. After school, I went down to the art room to talk to the mom. I still remember the conversation like it was yesterday. Me: M***** did a great job on his essay! Mom: Great! He was locked up in his room all week working on it. Me: When I looked at his paper I did notice there was an odd section though. Mom: What do you mean? Me: This section has a superscript number on it and I don’t see where he cited it. Mom: That is odd, I’ll ask him about it. Me (pulls out the printed Wikipedia page over his topic that is word-for-word): Here is the Wikipedia page over his topic if you want to look at. Mom (scanning over both and her face turns ghost white): Will he be able to make this up? Me (with a look of disbelief on my face): Absolutely not! The student ended up getting suspended and mom tried to fight the suspension. She even went as far to look into the legitimacy of the grade since a student teacher taught the course. All in all, the mom is no longer a teacher in the district and the kid is in jail for selling drugs. The rest of the staff loved me for standing up to her and her son. –joeyf11 ADVERTISEMENT
This one makes my blood boil. I taught middle school for 1 year. We had a student who was being disruptive in all the classes. He was refusing to turn in work, or even do it. He was constantly causing trouble. We had each tried several strategies to deal with the behavior in our own time. We had each talked to the parents numerous times, but they never did anything nor believed that the student was doing anything inappropriate. No one was having any success. Eventually one of the teachers had enough so he suggested we do a meeting between all of the student’s teachers, the guidance counselor, a vice principal, the student, and his parents. There are 6 teachers plus the vice principal and the guidance counselor all saying the same basic version of, the student needs to pay attention, needs to do the work, needs to stop distracting other students, needs to be respectful, etc. etc. The mother disbelieves us; it’s not the student’s fault. We all have it in for the student. Nothing changed. –sodabased WHAT?! A parent who volunteered in her child’s classroom just to videotape her child all day, every day. She threatened to sue if we did not allow her to. She did this all through elementary. It ended in middle school when they told her no. She stood outside the fence and videotaped him at P.E. Someone saw this and called the police. She pulled her kid and homeschooled him. –Ginnylala ADVERTISEMENT "Nah son, I got this." Had a parent who would stay behind during breakfast to do the kids homework for him. Fast forward a year, he’s in secondary but his sister now attends primary. All students have gone to class, guess who’s in the cafeteria doing their sons homework. Had to be asked to leave. – tatorlicio Kid SMASH! I was at a grocery store and watched a mother let her child demolish everything in sight. The kid threw magazines on the floor, knocked over displays, threw apples on the ground. Some people shouldn’t be parents. – kcshaddex ADVERTISEMENT Maybe some sons are just inept? I work as a GP receptionist. Often have 70-80 year old ladies calling up to make appointments and pick up prescriptions, etc for their sons (35+ and living with their own families) or grandsons (usually 16-25+). Must be a cultural thing because it doesn’t happen anywhere near as frequently for daughters or granddaughters. – sadadult You're on camera, son! We had a student who was God’s gift to mankind for almost all three years of his time at our school. This kid was snarky, disruptive, cruel to his classmates and teachers, but still handed in high level work. His work came in on time, but he was a net negative on the class – other kids who needed help were too distracted by him and his antics. Whenever a meeting was called, it was like we were looking at a different child. He would play the part of “lil ol’ harmless me?” extremely well in front of his parents, who doted on him. The talks would go nowhere, and he would brag the next day that his parents thought we were all morons. That is, until one day: A fight broke out in the hallway from a class being covered by a substitute. My co-worker looked out in the hall to see the commotion and called the office for back up. Meanwhile, this student (the golden child) decides he wants to spectate and yell “fight fight fight.” He keeps trying to get around my co-worker (who is a huge dude) in the doorway, but my co-worker plants himself in the middle of the doorway and tells him to sit down. Not content to be told what to do, he squeezes past my co-worker, only to get his shirt caught in the door, ripping it open. He tells my co-worker “you ripped my shirt, my parents are going to get you.” Well, sure enough: the next day mom and dad come tearing in and they want answers NOW. Their son said the teacher ripped his shirt by grabbing on to him and the demand the teacher and the principal. Too bad for the kid, there was security footage of the hallway this time, pointing right at him. It was beyond obvious that the kid was pushing my co-worker and trying to get around him. You could even see him mouth the words “fight” over and over. Worst of all, when he got back into class, he was seen running all over the room, egging people on. Best day of my life

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