Judge Bans Helicopter Parents From Hell From Stalking Their Daughter

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helicopterA 21-year-old college student named Aubrey Ireland has convinced a court to approve an order of protection against her own parents for "stalking." Helicopter parents, everywhere, consider this your last warning. This could be you in a courtroom saying your mea culpas next!

The Irelands had raised a kid responsible enough to get to her senior year at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. Not bad, huh? Not good enough for the Irelands apparently. They've spent the years since their daughter actually grew up and became a legal adult doing everything from driving to her school unannounced to accusing her (wrongly of course) of promiscuity.

Poor kid, er, adult woman.

Parents, if you think your kid is that screwed up at 21, it's time to sit back and consider: whose fault is that? I mean, you raised that kid, didn't you?

More from The Stir: Top 10 Most Outlandish Helicopter Parent Hover Moves

This is the problem with helicopter parenting in a nutshell: these sort of parents put so much effort into controlling their kids' every move that they forget that eventually they will grow up. And when they do, these no-longer-kids need to have developed the skills to survive. If they haven't: guess whose problem it is ...

Ding, ding, ding! The parents!

It's tempting to be controlling, to spy on your kids, to be up in their every bit of business. But it will only end up hurting everyone involved.

Aubrey Ireland seems to have made it out pretty OK, all things considered. Somehow, she escaped.

But her parents seem to be living the life of a typical empty nesting helicopter parent. You get to that point where your kids are grown up, and it's too late. You can't do anything but wonder: can they do it? Can they muddle through with the limited skills we gave them?

Stalking your adult kid like the Irelands have isn't a sign of the kid having done something wrong; it's a sign of a major parenting failure. These people can't even trust their (grownup) kid. If that's not a wake-up for the helicopter parents, I don't know what is!

Don't let your kid be the next one hauling you into court. You can still fix this!

Be honest, have you considered how your kids will fare in college without you? Think they will be able to do it?


Image via Steve Snodgrass/Flickr

behavior, discipline


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nicol... nicoleeolee

My mom and grandparents are just like this. The only way out is to be vocal about things - be real and straight with them, however it does (or in my case) cause irreparable damage to the family "unit" as a whole. Ours will never be the same, however I refused to be a "grown child" rather than a "grown adult" like my supressive family has tried to raise the rest. And the thing is? They STILL fail to see any problem on their end that what they are doing is life debilitating and forces everyone in the family to rely on them. TOTALLY WACK! GET OUT AND MOVE AWAY!! 

RMT1995 RMT1995

I don't know if it's a parenting failure but more of a personal issue, so long as the kid is doing well. Not being secure enough to let your child be on their own ... or being so attached that you can't function without them? I feel bad for them.

spect... spectralmind

No one can top my mother in law. She is the ULTIMATE helicopter parent. She literally wanted all her children to live with her forever... I mean literally. She wanted all her kids and their spouses to live with her and saw this as completely realistic.

We went to her house all the time, usually at least all day Sunday every week and multiple times during the week to help her or see her. When my husband proposed marriage, I was cut from the "family". But not before she came up to me in the local Walmart to plead a case about stealing her other son "back to the family." At that point, he had been married for 5 years and lived out of the house for longer, FYI. Unsurprisingly, she has done nothing wrong as a parent, ever. And does not know why some of her kids choose not to associate with her. Good for this girl... I have contemplated restraining orders, but moving states away worked just as well :)


Heath... HeatherMazzone

Omg ^ my mil is the exact same way! She wants all her kids to stay with her forever, and 2 of them still do, including her 29 year old married daughter who has 2 kids and one on the way. She totally hated me for the first 3 years of my marriage to her 3rd son because he left home and lived his own life like a normal human being is supposed to.

tbruc... tbrucemom

My children are the most important thing in my life, but this is WHACKED. They need to seriously get a life! I can see parents being involved to a certain point in an adult child's life if the child is financially dependent on them in some way (tuition, etc.) but that is just to make sure that they're attending school so their money isn't being wasted, etc. You can control them to a certain degree when there are financial strings attached so the child needs to be prepared to be totally independent before they do anything drastic.

nonmember avatar Samantha

I think its hard for parents to let go, but that kind of behaviour only pushes the kids away more. When i was 18 (i had been living on my own) i moved 4 states away & my mom went ballistic & harrassed my roomates family for allowing me to do so. I can imagine it was hard on her, but it was my life. I went. I was very adventerous & always wanted to travel. The situation didnt work out. Roomate raped me when i was blacked out drunk, of course that just gave my mom ammo for her cause, but im a responsible mother & dont regret a single thing. I have a beautiful 2 yr old daughter. I work. I dont go out often. I have a steady partner. I dont have any other kids on the way. Ive never been to jail. Just got my first car. Mistakes are meant to be made. They are crucial to lessons we need to learn. If i had never done that, sure it wouldve saved me some heartache & pain & a whole big mess. But i wouldnt be who i am today. I hope when she grows up, i am strong enough to let her live her own life.

momof... momof1teengirl

I love my daughter more than anything in this world.  And after her father, my husband, passed away, it was just the two of us.  We've become very close.  She's in high school, and the day of her "leaving the nest" is getting closer and closer.  And I know that will miss her terribly.  However.  I am of the firm belief that "the day we bring the baby home, is the day we start teaching them to leave us".  If I've done my job half as well as I hope, she will be well-equipped to be on her own.  She will be independent and self-supporting.  She will be educated and kind.  And hopefully she will still have the sense of importance of family and will visit often.  Probably not as much as I'd like :) but often enough.  But she needs to have her own life, and I hope sincerely that I'm strong enough to shut my big mouth and let her live it.  Giving advice when asked, making suggestions when warranted.  Tough line to balance, but my mom did it, and hopefully I will, too.


surpr... surprisemom06

My husbands family is the model of helicopter parents!! He is the baby of the family and his mom has yet to cut the cord and he is 32!! I live two hours away from my parents but we live on the same property as my Inlaws( but not same house) it's misery! We have discussed moving but every time we do born his parents start crying hysterically! So then hubby changes his mind bc he doesn't want to "hurt them" he has been brainwashed his entire life that his sole priority is their happiness and that our daughter and I should come second. I implore anyone in a relationship with someone like this to consider what you are willing to deal with bc we are not a priority to anyone.

Nelli... NellieAthome

surprisemo06 - run now and run fast. If your husband will not put you and your child first now it will only get worse as his parents age.  Give him a choice - you and your daughter somewhere other than his parent's property or he can stay with mommy and daddy without you.

nonmember avatar Inthesameboat

My MIL is the same way with my husband!! We live an hour and a half away, and to them that is bad enough. I say good job to this girl!!! Our son is going to be 1 on Jan 2nd and he is the most independent little boy you would ever meet. He actually tries to do everything himself and will literally push us away, but I am not upset, as this is good for him to be so headstrong this early. We know we can't keep him young forever, and we encourage him to be who he is. But my MIL hates me also for taking her baby away and marrying him and moving soooo far away from them lmbo. He's 27 BTW.

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