Some parents can never seem to let go. They have to control every single aspect in their children's lives that verges on absolute lunacy. These are the most over protective, helicopter parents.
Can I Help?
“I am in the middle of teaching my second grade class when one of my students says, ‘Amy’s mom is watching us.’ I look at the very large window into the hall and see Amy’s mom standing in the window, and she is indeed watching us. I only see her for a brief second though because as soon as I make eye contact, she ducks.
I open the door, walk out of my room, and Amy’s mom is right there squatting on the floor.
Me: ‘Can I help you?’
Me: ‘Are you here to volunteer?’
Me: ‘Unfortunately, parents are only allowed on campus if they are volunteering, even then, they are required to sign in and get a name badge. Have a nice day!’
She remained squatting for the entirety of the conversation.”
Her Mom Wasn’t Helping
“I did a placement in a school while studying to be a math teacher. On my very last day at the school, a freshman girl in the top class came to class crying. We set up a seat outside for her so she wouldn’t be embarrassed while she calmed down.
I thought, ‘Oh, maybe boy trouble or a fight with a friend’ since this girl usually had an aura of confidence and was a cool kid/class clown. So I thought I could help her out and get her into class in a short time or give her the lesson outside anyway.
Instead, we spent an hour talking about her suicidal depression. I had wondered why she sometimes seemed to get concepts in trigonometry and sometimes didn’t. I had been previously been working with her in small groups because she needed the attention. It turns out she’d been guessing or copying from others. She had been doing this so well because she had three years of experience in faking how good she was at school.
Despite being in several top classes, she was borderline illiterate. She had no fundamentals and couldn’t read the material or understand any explanations. But she could fake it really well or was naturally smart enough to wing it. But it drove her to this breakdown.
This girl told me the only reason she was in any of the higher classes was because her mom insisted the school put her there. Even though the girl struggled in the lower classes, her mom insisted it was because she needed to be in the top classes. Her mom was trying to force her kid to be the top. She even paid for Kip McGrath tutoring (expensive professional tutoring) though this was the most socio-economically disadvantaged school in the city or surrounding areas.
The delusional thinking and helicoptering of her mom had put impossible pressure on this poor girl. She had driven her daughter to give up on life. I think my talk with her had settled her a bit and given her some hope. I followed mandatory reporting and was frustrated that the principal only gave solutions tried before but his hands were somewhat tied.”
Her Daughter Was Wired
“I was a middle school English teacher. I had a student who was advanced and a really great kid all around. Her mom asked me to tutor her so she could test out of 9th grade English and go straight to the 10th grade class, which she was definitely capable of.
A few other parents asked, too, so I put together an after-school tutoring group (on my own time, no compensation) and helped them through what they’d need to know.
Well, the first mom came to every session and would sit there correcting me (with incorrect corrections) on everything. I would walk them through analysis of Romeo & Juliet, she’d contradict me. At first, I could ignore it but then I told her that the other parents had complained (a lie) and that she had to stop coming. I also subtly told her that if she wanted, she was free to tutor her daughter on her own.
After that she had her daughter bring a digital recorder to the sessions with her, so her daughter could ‘review them’ later. Instead, she used the recordings to send me her criticisms of what I’d said. I hope she had an email tracker because then she’d have seen that I deleted every email after the first one without opening or reading.
The girl did pass the test though, which really was difficult as she had to demonstrate that she had mastered EVERYTHING the curriculum mandated for 9th grade (three out of four of the other kids did, too, without such parental intervention).
She was really embarrassed about how her mom acted. I may or may not have suggested to her to forget to turn on the recorder or that she might consider breaking it.”
A 96 Wasn’t Good Enough
“I had a mother call me because her son made a 96 on a project, and she wanted to know why he didn’t earn a 100. I told her he did a great job and that’s why he made a good grade.
She wasn’t satisfied and then called out a different student and told me how that kids mom had done the project and made a better grade. So I asked her what grade she wants me to give her son.
After she heard that she said ‘I don’t want you to GIVE him a grade’. So I responded with ‘Then why did you call?’ She did not expect that retort and said the 96 would be just fine and hung up.”
Here Comes The Plane
“I had a mother coming in at recess to literally spoon-feed her 7-year-old son, and wouldn’t stop until he was finished his lunch, even if class had started. She’d just sit there at the back of the classroom periodically holding a spoonful of food in front of his mouth while he tried to do his worksheets or whatever.
The administration told me I couldn’t ask her to stop. I no longer work at that school.”
Henry’s Mom Wasn’t Messing Around
“I had a 7th grade student (Catholic School) who was being bullied constantly by a kid named Henry.
The victim’s mom wasn’t satisfied with the way the principal was handling it, so one day she sneaks over to my classroom, opens the door and yells, ‘Henry! You touch my kid one more time and I’ll cut your balls off!’
The mom was in big trouble but the bullying stopped.”
Their Daughter Isn’t Special
“I had a 4th grade student one time who was very mediocre—B student, blah personality. Her mom’s best friend was the mother of a classmate who was a star student in every way, and Mediocre Mom was constantly comparing the two. I’d send home graded work, and it would come back saying that I had made mistakes in my grading and the girl deserved a higher grade. I finally started photocopying the papers before I sent them home. I knew it was mom changing the answers, not the kid.
The end-of-the-year award time arrives which is invitation-only. I did NOT send Miss Mediocre and her family an invitation, and was shocked when they showed up at the event. After the award ceremony, Mediocre Mom approaches the Principal and says that they had received an invitation, and why didn’t her child receive an award? Principal calls me over and asks what happened…I insisted that I did not send them an invitation, but the Principal didn’t want the child to feel badly now, so asked me to think of an award which would work for the child, and she quickly went and made a certificate for the child. Mom then bad-mouthed me for forgetting that I’d sent the kid an invitation and not having the award ready. What a pain in the butt!”
“I had a 15-essage exchange with a parent regarding how I will not continuously remind their child to drink water throughout the day. I told them that I have no issue with letting their daughter have water whenever she asked, and the whole class got a water break after recess, and had ample opportunity to drink at snack time.
But apparently that wasn’t good enough and I needed links sent to me about the dangers of dehydration. Suffice it to say, their daughter did not die of dehydration in my class without me pausing my lessons every half hour to ensure she was drinking.”
Leave Me Alone
“In New York City, students have to apply to high school the way most kids apply to college. I was asked to fill out a recommendation letter for a student, but it required a writing sample (essay only) from the kid and I didn’t have one yet because it was early in the year. The deadline was a month away, so I would get a writing sample during that time. The mom didn’t accept this answer no matter how many times I told her.
For two weeks, she harassed me daily through email, phone calls, and text. She ended up calling the principal who put me and the kid in his office so he could write an arbitrary essay, and I could write the letter. I missed two classes (they were covered by a sub)!
The principal philosophically sided with me, but he just wanted her to go away.”
She’ll Never Learn How To Budget
“I was volunteering for a special activity my wife does with 5th graders that have them set a grown up budget, decide grown up things, and try to balance their checkbook. My station was groceries and eating out. Everything was going good until one girl walks up to my station with her mom.
I first assume she was on a special basis and this was a one-on-one aid, but the mom was making all the decisions for this kid. I asked my wife later and it turned out that the mom just comes into school on a regular basis. Way to prepare the kid for the real world by taking over one of the few activities that prepares them for the real world.”
The Mom Got My Number
“Had a mom call me on my personal cell phone, which I do not give out, checking to see whether her daughter had homework that day.
It was the first day of school.
She got my number from the principal, who thought it was a great idea. I did not stay a second year.”
Get Out Man
“My ex would get on the phone with her mom so she could tell her daughter what to wear every morning. I thought that was a little odd, but the real red flag was when we went to stay the weekend at her parents house and she still slept in the same bed as her parents at age 25. Apparently they considered this totally normal.
They also had never allowed her to get a driver’s license. ostensibly because driving is dangerous, but really because it was a method to reduce her independence. But her parents assured me they weren’t helicopter parents, because you see, they allowed her to do her own makeup.”
Hide The Banana
“I had a preschooler once whose mom wanted everything he ate written down, specifics like ‘3/4 sandwich, all of muesli bar, half of fruit’. There were two boys in this class with the same name, and I accidentally gave the other kid his banana. She turned up while they were still eating afternoon tea and argued with us about her son not having eaten the banana (I forget how she figured it out).
She smelled his breath in front of everyone to prove the point that he hadn’t eaten it.”
A Cyber Helicopter
“Well, I suppose this could be helicoptering parenting in a way. I teach online. The students use a webcam and mic and chat pod to communicate with me. I have a parent who will get on the mic in the middle of class:
‘Teacher. Teacher. Teacher. Teeeeeaaaaacheeeer! Why aren’t you answerrrinnnggg meeeeee????’
And then I turn the mic off. So then she spams the chat pod ‘hellohellohellohellohellowhyarentyouansweringme??????!!!’ One day last week, she logged her kid out abruptly (not allowed to do that, it’s a required class). I called her. She said that my (teacher) webcam ‘kept freezing up, the room must be broken.’
‘I can turn my webcam on and off…’
‘No, it can’t be that. Like, I could still here your voice and stuff but like your face wasn’t moving!’
‘That’s because my mic was still on.'”
So I Shouldn’t Correct Her?
“Not a teacher, but my mom is. Whenever her 3rd graders write ‘essays’ (more like journal entries), my mom goes through and marks and corrects any mistakes, then she gives the papers back so the students can rewrite them for a final draft so they learn the correct way to write.
One of her students wrote an entry on Guinea Pigs, but misspelled it as ‘Giney’ each time. My mom wrote the correct spelling next to each incorrect spelling and gave it back to the student to copy correctly. The student’s mom came into my mom’s classroom the next day asking ‘Why did you correct my child’s spelling of Guinea?’ And saying ‘Guinea is a word my child doesn’t need to know how to spell as a 3rd grader’ and ‘all the red correction marks are making my child feel stupid.’
This same parent wanted to see improvement in her child’s spelling by the end of the year. Idk how my mom puts up with it…”
She Wanted To Become The Dietician
“I am not an educator but I work in a kitchen at a daycare. We deal with a a lot of food intolerances and dietary requirements. This year we got a new kid who is gluten/dairy intolerant. His mom also only wants him to have veggie sticks for afternoon tea (which we complied).
She has also asked for all the ingredient lists from our menu and she sees a dietician so she’s suggesting recipes for us to use. Everything we have cooked so far (following the national diet guidelines) has not been good enough for her cherub.”
Not Fair At All
“I work at a state university. One of my colleagues uses online education software for some of her assignments. Apparently the software can determine if students attempt to open other windows on their browsers during a quiz/test, and automatically shuts them out if they do.
One of her students was caught by the computer and booted out of the assignment. He emailed her and claimed he didn’t know that’s how it worked, so she reopened the assignment for him. Turns out, he did it again, the program gave him a zero again, and she refused to re-open it a second time. A few days later, the department gets a complaint from the student’s parent (you know, an ADULT’S parent) that claimed the professor was racially discriminating against her child (again, an ADULT). Even though it was a computer program that gave him a zero, she gave him a second chance, all the students in the class have the same rules, and there are about 130 students in the class, so, more likely than not, she couldn’t even match this student’s name to their face.
To prevent the department/school from getting in trouble and my colleague from potentially losing her job/being reprimanded for no actual reason, our supervisor told her to let it go and just let the student do the assignment again.”
Her Mom Controlled Her From Far Away
“This one was from afar. In college, there was this girl I used to hang out with whose mother was somehow in constant and total control of her.
We grew up in kind of the same area, maybe about 1,000 miles away so it was extra weird. This girl couldn’t do anything without asking her mom first. Couldn’t go to parties, hang out with people, couldn’t even buy groceries without her mother’s approval. Whenever she went out for groceries, she would have to hold up the line and call her mother with the exact price, and wait for her mother to transfer money to her debit card. It wasn’t even like we were in our freshman year or anything either. We were both like 21-22. Any time the girl got into a disagreement with her roommates, her mother would step in and call the housing office on campus to try and get the roommates in trouble.
The weirdest part, I think, was when it was the end of the semester. She lived in the same area, so she asked for a ride back home for break. I usually drive alone, so I agreed to let her come. A few days before we left, she called me saying her mom wanted my drivers license number and other info to look up my driving record before driving her home. In the nicest way, I told them to F off, and they backed down pretty quick.”
Peanut Butter Sandwich Time
“I use to work with the Girl Scouts, teaching the younger girls about how to camp, we had some older girls to help out with the girls and make sure everyone was happy and safe. This one parent came to us about a week before the camp was set up, we had told all the parents to come to us with any allergies and things of that nature, so this mother comes to us and tells us that we can not put any pepper in her daughters food, that she is deadly allergic and will die if given it. We take this seriously because we don’t need anyone going to the hospital for something we could prevent.
This mother then proceeds to make peanut butter sandwiches for her kid for the entire weekend. Breakfast, lunch and dinner. The kid would not eat any of the food we made saying it wasn’t something her mother said was ok for her to eat. If someone was eating near her the mother would go over and move her child so that she wouldn’t sit near this kid.
At the end of the weekend she had the gall to put in a complaint that we didn’t make anything for her daughter. I just don’t understand people.”
She Can’t Even Snapchat
“My former college posts their little police blotter on Facebook. Not that long ago, they posted with a story about a parent who saw that his daughter Snap chatted with a boy at 2am from her dorm. Supposedly, this angered her father so much, that from the time of the post until around 10am the next morning, he kept trying to call his daughter, but she wasn’t answering the phone. So what does he do?
He calls the university police, and reports that she’s ‘missing’.
So they basically do a welfare check on her and the story ends with ‘the student contacted her father’.
I commented on the Facebook post, said something like ‘Dad’s just upset that his adult daughter’s hooking up’ or something. A man who appeared to be in his 40’s/50’s, angry-emoji’d my comment. I like to think that this was the dad.
She Has To Draw Her Line Somewhere
“I teach first grade at a small charter school and it’s not unusual for teachers and parents to communicate via texting at my school. I don’t give my number out to all my parents, just the ones that have certain issues that we need to communicate about on a regular basis.
Well, I have a kid that is still figuring out the whole potty situation. His dad texted me last week and said that Billy was having trouble wiping himself, if you could help him wipe when he goes, his dad would make it worth my while.
What? No, I will not wipe your kid’s butt. I do not get paid enough for this. You can make it ‘worth my while’ by teaching your kid to wipe his own butt. He’s not special needs or anywhere close. He’s actually one of the brightest kids in my class. He’s just babied by his parents so he acts like a baby.”
The Security Blanket
“I’m a preschool teacher. One day, one of my girls, Abby, was playing with Becky’s security blanket during free time. Becky wanted her blanket back so she asked Abby to get off. Abby refused so Becky pulled the blanket from under her and Abby cried. I told Abby that she needed to listen to what Becky was saying and respect her friend’s belongings.
I also told Becky that next time, instead of pulling the blanket from under Abby, she should just come tell a teacher. Maybe five minutes later, while I was passing out snacks, Abby flipped into a crazy rage and ran towards Becky, tackled her and took a HUGE bite out of her shoe. Plastic literally came off. I pulled Abby off and tried as calmly as I could to ask her why she attacked Becky. Basically, it was revenge for getting her in trouble and taking the blanket away from her.
I wrote an incident report telling both parents what happened and, of course, I put Abby in the thinking chair for such an outrageous attack and called her mom, leaving a message and what not. But the next day, Abby’s mom came in and found the child who got bitten, Becky, and told her that if she ‘hadn’t yanked the blanket from out under Abby, maybe she wouldn’t have attacked you.’ Of course, I asked the parent to leave immediately and to not speak to the children, that Abby was the one who attacked out of spite, and that her child’s reaction was not an appropriate one that can be excused in my classroom. The mom got so mad at me for defending Becky, a 3-year-old, that she reported me to my supervisor for being unprofessional. I still have my job, but the mom withdrew her child.”