Helicopter parents should understand that the more you try to hold on, the more kids will want to let go.
If parents are too strict kids get better at lying and sneaking around. And, one day they might decide to move out.
Redditor smiIeys encountered this very issue with his parents. So he turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for moral judgment.
“AITA for not telling my parents that I am going to a college states and states away from them?”
The Original Poster (OP) explained:
“I (17M) am going to college next month. My parents are strict.”
“Their rules: No dating out unless in a group, no swearing, no girl allowed over or going to her house, no phone in the bedroom, no phone at night, no passwords, social media has to be checked by a parent, keep location on life360, curfew 9:30 pm, no whispering, if I want to watch something they have to review it first to see if it has a lot of ‘inappropriate’ content, etc.”
“Last year I got a girlfriend (18f) and we’ve been friends since we were 12.”
“She wasn’t allowed over. If we went out on a date it’d have to be with friends. I bought condoms a couple of months after dating. My parents found them.”
“They confiscated them and grounded me for a month. My girlfriend bought more for us because we still found our way around the rules and no teen wants to have a baby accident just because adults are naive.”
“When I was ungrounded I got a job and bought my own phone. I figured if I showed responsibility by getting my own phone and paying the bill monthly, my parents would not treat me so childishly.”
“They got mad at me and said the same rules they had about the phone they bought me will apply to this one. Still couldn’t use it in the bedroom, had to leave it in the living room at night, still had it checked frequently, all that.”
OP wanted to grow without his parents constantly checking on them.
“The most confusing thing about parents is they know their children will be considered adults at 18, but they shelter them and are overly strict with them as they get close to that age.”
“How will they function as adults when they have no sense of independence? Because I thought you were supposed to gradually loosen the reigns as your kid gets closer to 18, but I guess being power trips is more comforting.”
“I live in NY but I applied to several colleges in Texas, Louisiana, California because I have family in those states.”
“I paid for all of my admission fees. I have aid from FAFSA. I did apply for some colleges in New York because I needed info and documents from my parents, so after they’d upload it I’d save it to my laptop.”
“I decided on UH (University of Houston.) Fall season starts two weeks after I turn 18 so my parents can’t really do anything. I spoke to my third cousin in Houston and I’m gonna be with her.”
OP wasn’t sure when to tell his parents.
“I wasn’t gonna tell my parents until August got closer but they found out recently.”
“They’re angry. My dad doesn’t want to let me go. I told him I’ll be 18 so it’s not his choice.”
“They told me I need to be close to home in case something happens. I said we have tons of extended family in Houston and I’m going to be with a family member.”
“My parents called me a selfish brat. They walked away from me while I was still trying to defend myself. We haven’t had another conversation about it since. It’s basically just silent treatment.”
“I get why they’re upset or worried because they don’t want me far away, and I do love them, but it should not be a surprise that I’d do anything to get far away.”
Redditors gave their opinions on the situation by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Redditors agreed OP was not the a**hole.
“Oh honey NTA. What do they expect? They aren’t mad you’re leaving, they are mad you will no longer be controlled by them. The second you are out of that house, a world of weight will come off your shoulders. Go live the life you deserve! Have the love life you deserve!” ~ BlueBeachedWhale
“But be careful! They still have time to sabotage your going. Call the university and ask that if there are any calls to withdraw you that they contact you.”
“They can put a note in your file. Also, if you have a bank account that also has one of your parents on it, empty it out NOW (except for $5). Establish a new account once you’re 18.” ~ MidwestNormal
“To piggyback on this…”
“OP, you seem like you have all your ducks in a row regarding funding for school, but I would still recommend talking very frankly with your school’s financial aid office. It sounds like your parents will be unlikely to furnish the information you will need for the FAFSA next year.”
“But if they cut off all support, you should be able to qualify as a non-dependent student. But there are documentation requirements for that. If you talk to your financial aid office, they can walk you through obtaining the documentation you will need.” ~ nixsolecism
Redditors shared their own stories.
“I had the same kind of parents. I escaped the first year but couldn’t get my parents to help with info when it came time to apply for the next year.”
“The financial aid officer went through all my records with me. She’s the one that discovered my parents had been stealing money from me.”
“I had a monthly stipend from the government that I received until I graduated, related to my father’s military service. Legally, it was supposed to be turned over to me on my 18th birthday. Instead, my parents had the money sent to their bank account. And they kept it.”
“They did it to my siblings, too, and none of us ever knew. We sued them for the money and won.” ~ rusty0123
“Fucking hell! Good for you!!!! How much did you end up getting? Did you get more than they took? What did your parents do after that?” ~ fivetenfiftyfold
“I didn’t get much. Like I said, I was only a year over 18 and it wasn’t much. Just a small monthly check. About enough to buy a meal plan or pay for books.”
“My oldest sister, though, got enough to buy a new car.”
“It just made me so angry, though. Here I was, taking out student loans to afford tuition, and they were keeping money from me illegally.”
“They did it because they wanted to control where I went to school and what I majored in. They told me as long as I went to this college and took that major, they would give me an allowance of $xxx a month. When I refused, they told me they wouldn’t give me any money. Just so happens that the $xxx a month was exactly the amount of the stipend.”
“One of the questions the financial aid officer asked was about my deceased father’s military service. Then she sent an inquiry to find out why I wasn’t receiving the benefit and was told that I was and where the money was sent.”
“After that, she helped me file a change of bank deposit and suddenly I was getting a small deposit every month. Then she advised me to see a lawyer about getting the back payments from my parents.”
“We only got the amount of the payments. No extra. My parents played it off as trying to be good parents and keeping the money so we wouldn’t waste it. Wow, was the judge angry at them. It was a pleasure to hear him tear them up from the bench.” ~ rusty0123
Some parents need to cut the cord.