Oh God, no...
Growing up, my mom’s and dad’s parenting style changed drastically between my oldest and youngest siblings. I feel bad for my older brother because he was the “trial child,” as we like to call it. He had the strictest curfews, worst punishments, did the most chores, and was involved in more extra curricular activities than the rest of us combined. My youngest sibling? Well, he could get away with murder, so he’s got that going for him.
As semi-strict as my parents were on us, my siblings and I got pretty lucky in the guardian department. They were no where near as bad as these helicopter parents.
Mom to the Rescue
“I had a friend in high school whose mom was terrible. Every time there was a party (and, mind you, most of my friends were Mormon so they were supervised, appropriate parties) she would come just to make sure her daughter wasn’t getting into trouble. She wouldn’t let her watch pg-13 movies (even at 17), had a strict curfew, and became a constant and judgemental fixture at every social event. One time she called me a slut because she saw me kiss a boy at a school dance (she wasn’t chaperoning, she was just there to watch her daughter). The best story though was one time my friends and I went to my house to watch a scary movie. Sheltered friend comes. Helicopter mom shows up. My dear mother distracted her in the kitchen so my friend could have a little peace and just be a teenager. My mom later said she had no idea what to talk to her about so they talked about cats for 2 hours. My mom is a saint.” (tonysbeard)
“I worked at a science museum that had hands on for kids. The aim of the game was for the child to solve a problem by themselves. Like ‘can you get x to do y’, they make something, test it, and figure out how to make it better. One day a woman comes in, practically dragging her five year old son. She sits him down beside me and starts poking me on the shoulder and I’m talking to another family.
‘Tell my son what to do,’ she says, standing over him. I tell the family to hold on a sec, as I explain the challenge to the newcomer. The whole point is to work autonomously, so it was alright, and I was used to working with a few rude/pushy parents so I wasn’t surprised. I tell the kid the prompt, tell him he had a wide range of materials… (cont.)
No Mistakes, Cont.
But no. The woman wants me to tell him every step of the process. ‘Tell him the answer! Tell him the answer!’ she says repeatedly, grabbing his hands to make him fold paper, or reaching for my own.
I start getting mad. ‘Ma’am, the goal here is to learn the scientific method. Make a hypothesis, test it, make conclusions and try again.’
‘But you already KNOW the answer,’ she says, ‘tell my son! Or I’m calling your manager!’
I don’t even have a manager. In the mean time, the poor kid is looking so embarrassed. Ever time he tries to start something for himself, his mom reaches for his hands and tells him to wait for me to tell him what to do. The woman was so afraid of him failing when the whole point was to learn from one’s mistakes. I’m so worried about how he’ll deal with mistakes growing up, with her around.” (Nosynonymforsynonym)