What Do Kids With Helicopter Parents Look Like As Adults? People Share Their Eye-Opening Stories

What happens to the kids of overbearing, pushy parents after they grow up? Over on Reddit, former shut-ins, shut-outs, and sheltered kids of overbearing parents share their stories of life after lift-off with a helicopter parent.

Warning: Some of these stories might be triggering for some readers.

  • 'The Most Depressed Guy I Know'

    From Redditor u/moist-pizza-roll:

    Friend of mine has a big-time helicopter mom. He has never paid taxes. He’s 23 and his mom handles everything. Recently he moved from his hometown to Austin so he can attempt to be an adult. His mom moved to Austin less than a week later.

    But other than that, he’s the most depressed guy I know.

  • 'The Victim Roots Run Deep'

    From Redditor u/High_Speed_Chase:

    I’m in the midst of dealing with this exact thing. My helicopter mother still tries to call the shots in my life, my wife’s life, and my sons’ lives. I’m 37 years old. I’m trying to set boundaries. My new boundaries are being received by my mom as withholding my family from her presence. My mom is telling my kids that I’m brainwashing [them] and teaching them lies about her. The victim roots run deep with my mom.

    Here are some more details: (Fair warning, it’s a lot.)

    January 2020: My dad became ill with a misdiagnosed illness. His condition deteriorated. He was transferred to a leading University Hospital ICU. My dad was diagnosed with “a Coronavirus, we just can’t seem to figure out which one.” Tests for COVID-19 hadn’t been invented yet.

    February: (Money was the only way my dad knew how to show his love/support to his kids. Rather than bleed my dad dry, I asked for his financial support on an “as needed” basis, and I rarely needed his support.) My dad was a safety net for me, monetarily. Since my dad was in the ICU and deteriorating, I saw what may need to happen, so I explained to my baby-mom that [...] I may need to file for child support if my dad died. (I’ve had my boys for seven years without filing for child support.) My dad died of “a Coronavirus,” which caused my mom to lose her mind.

    March: Lockdown began. Wife is out of work, I’m “essential.” I tried to mend the bridge with my mom, twice. Each time, my mom tried convincing me that my wife is wrong for her part in the falling out. My mom tried convincing me that I was wrong for my part in the falling out. My mom tried convincing me that she was without fault in the falling out. Okay, noted.

    April: No change. The Department of Child Support determined a certain dollar amount that my kids’ mom is required to pay. The payment amount is based on my household income/expenses, baby-mom’s income/expenses, and the amount of time we each spend with our kids. I have my kids 90% of the time, per court orders; Also, baby-mom dipped out of the state and lives 680+ miles away. A hearing is scheduled. My mom openly interpreted my boundaries as abusive and neglectful behavior to my kids.

    May: Work reopened. I went on furlough for mental health reasons. My dad died from COVID, and my work wanted me to screen guests on their way into my place of work, a casino. I had problems with that.

    June: My boys’ mom started her court-ordered visitation. At the beginning of her visitation, she improperly served me with Emergency Custody/Visitation Revaluation paperwork. In her paperwork, baby mom quoted my mom, citing my abusive and neglectful behavior. I confronted my mom and asked her if she’s colluding with my kids’ mom, and she said yes. I said, “This means my kids could get taken away from me, mom. What happens if my kids get taken away from me, mom?” She replied, “What if your kids get taken away from you?” Since then, I’ve been investigated by my county’s Sheriff’s department as well as Child Protective Services for allegations of abuse/neglect.

    Baby-mom’s request was denied. She filed the same thing again. It was denied again. Baby-mom said she’s not going to return my kids.

    The Court isn’t helping because “this is a civil matter, not criminal.” Law enforcement isn’t helping because, “We don’t have orders to remove the children from her (baby-mom’s) custody and return them to your custody."

    Silver lining: My attorney said that my baby-mom’s behavior is common and the court system knows it. A parent who is suddenly required to pay any amount of child support typically panics; they then try to smear the other parent in an attempt to get out of paying child support.

    My attorney also said that my mom’s behavior is common, and the court system knows it. A grandparent who is suddenly denied access to their grandchildren will side with whichever parent grants them access to the grandchildren, even if it means alienating their own child.

  • He Was Looking For Advice On Going No-Contact

    From Redditor u/Loststrawberrypie:

    I saw a post on relationship advice from a guy whose mum was a helicopter parent.

    He was nearly 30 and still lived with her... she used to check his bank account and turn up to his work to make sure he was there. He'd never had a relationship and wanted advice on moving to new city and going no-contact.

  • 'I'm Scared Of My Parents'

    From Redditor u/Scribblywitch_994:

    I can answer this! I'm scared of my parents, specifically my dad. I'm the youngest in my family and grew up conditioned to always be a delicate little flower who had to be protected at all costs. As I grew older and by them being particularly strict about what I could or couldn't do, my adult brain registered the "couldn't do's" as threats to my safety.

    I have two separate personas around people. When I'm with friends, I swear a lot, I joke around, I deliberately try to piss them off for a laugh. I'm not afriad to admit I enjoy playing video games or watch cartoons. Near my parents? I'm as quiet as a mouse. Even when I do speak near them, I don't swear or try anything to bother them.

    I'm seeing a psychiatrist and a psychologist, and both of them told me my mental health will improve drastically when I move out. They say right now, I am an independent adult... but I'm very much a robot conditioned at a young age to stay safe to the point of never really experiencing the world and learning to make mistakes, so as a result, I am always anxious and terrified of disappointing my parents.

  • 'She Is Struggling With Honesty'

    From Redditor u/missluluh:

    My best friend grew up with controlling, helicopter parents, and there [are] a lot of things she never learned because they never taught her. My husband and I have been teaching her basic financial literacy because her parent's never helped her build credit, never let her have her own bank account, never let her apply for a credit card. They controlled everything, so she had to unlearn a mindset of spending any money you have on hand ASAP.

    She also struggled with honesty. In her household, lying was second nature. The best way to get out of any problem was to lie. This caused a lot of problems for her because she would lie to fix things, cover things, and get out of things in her other relationship[s]. That took a long time and a few destroyed relationships to really unlearn.

    She also struggles with impulse control. She's much better now, but she used to make a lot of bad choices simply because she could. She wouldn't stop to think through if [something] was a good idea or not.

    We're in our late 20s, and my husband and I have served as a lot of her safety net and support over the years. Her relationship[s] with her parents and herself have gotten way healthier, so now she's living on her own, supporting herself, and making smarter choices, but oof, those early 20s were a rough time.

  • Just Say No

    From Redditor u/SpaceWhale89:

    I just say ''no'' when I'm told to do something or follow a rule. I don't give a reason, even when I'm asked why. It's satisfying.