The 10 Worst Helicopter Parenting Moments of 2017
Helicopter parenting -- hovering to the point of hysteria -- is not only practiced by parents. Cops, schools, reporters, bureaucrats and busybodies can helicopter, too.
As you'll see.
These stories are brought to you by Let Grow, the new nonprofit whose president is Lenore Skenazy, founder of Free-Range Kids. Let Grow's mission is to restore a culture of resilience by fighting the push to overprotect.
Sit down, so you don't fall over and hurt yourself.
1 - MOM ARRESTED FOR TRYING TO GET HER BABY OUT OF THE CAR
An Omaha woman taking her niece out of the SUV was shocked when the wind blew the door shut with her keys and the child inside. The car locked! The aunt, the girl's mom and two other relatives frantically tried to get the door open using a hanger and screwdriver, and when they couldn't, they called 911. The cops arrived, broke the window, and got the child out, safe and sound. Then they ticketed the mom on "suspicion of child abuse by neglect."
2 - DAD FORCED TO INFANTILIZE HIS KIDS
After Vancouver dad Adrian Crook taught his kids 7, 8, 9 and 11 how to ride the city bus to and from school, that's what they've done for the past two years, without incident. But then someone reported these "unsupervised" kids to the Ministry of Children and Family Development, which informed Crook that children under 10 years old cannot be unsupervised in or outside the home, for any amount of time -- and the 11-year-old doesn't count as a chaperon. That means the kids cannot ride the bus -- or even walk to the corner store -- without an adult accompanying them.
3 - CARTOONIST ORDERED NOT TO DRAW ALIENS WITHOUT LIFE VESTS
Cartoonist Nick Confalone released a list of the changes demanded by the "Standards and Practices" lawyers at his network. These included: "When we first see the aliens waking up on the beach, we should see that they are clearly wearing life jackets." "Please ensure all daredevil tight-ropers are only a few feet off the ground and wearing appropriate safety gear." And "Both characters should be wearing helmets while riding the T-Rex."
4 - STUDENTS DENIED ANNUAL D.C. TRIP BY SCAREDY CAT ADMINISTRATORS
A middle school in Ohio has cancelled its annual 3-day student trip to Washington, D.C. because of fears D.C. could be attacked by terrorists -- at exactly the time and exactly the place the students were visiting. A letter to parents from the North Ridgeville Academic Center said, "As you know, the safety of our students and staff is our main priority, and we feel that the risk of travel to Washington, D.C., is not worth the potential for tragedy." Of course, not only are the odds of dying in a terrorist attack astronomically low, they are far lower than the odds of dying in a car ride to the school. As one commenter asked, "Are there no math teachers at this school?"
5 - NEWSPAPER RUNS "ABDUCTION" STORY THAT MOM MADE UP
A Reno mom posted on Facebook that she was almost certain she, her husband and kids were about to be kidnapped and sex trafficked, because when they went into the parking garage, there was another car there with four people already in it. One had a device in his ear! The mom added: "Just because it didn't happen to us that night doesn't mean it couldn't happen." Which is technically correct...about everything. More egregious than the fact her post was shared thousands of times, was that the Reno Gazette Journal ran an article about the incident, accompanied by a map pinpointing where the abduction did not occur. (But could have!) For the record, David Finkelor, head of the Crimes Against Children Research Center at the University of New Hampshire, reports that snatching young children from their parents in a public place for sex trafficking purposes is not just rare, he has never heard of such a crime occurring.
6 - DAD TACKLES MAN TRYING TO HELP HIS TOT
When a Good Samaritan noticed a little girl wandering by herself near a softball game in Lakeland, FL, he assumed she was lost and started taking her around, trying to help her find her family. Alerted by bystanders that a stranger was walking toward the playground with his kid, the girl's dad punched the man out. "What would you do?" the father told NBC affiliate WFLA in a phone interview. "I wanted to kill him!" Even after the police explained that the stranger had truly been trying to help, the dad went on social media to say: "So, I guess in Lakeland, you can kidnap a child and get away with it," and called the Samaritan a "child predator." The Samaritan had to flee the town, fearing for his life.
7 - NEW APP LETS PARENTS PROGRAM THEIR KIDS
A new app available for pre-order will allow parents to log the food their child eats each day and compare it to the child's perspiration and activity levels. The company's website explains that then, "the Kiddo app compares consumed calories against those burned through exercise and recommends appropriate activities to help them maintain a healthy weight." Which means at last you can program your child like a robot. A skinny one.
8 - NEW "BUDDY SYSTEM" REQUIRES A BUDDY FOR THE BUDDY
A mom reports that at her daughter's Y camp over the summer, the girls were told they had to take two buddies with them anywhere they went, including from the pool to the locker room. "My daughter complained that she nearly had to pee in the pool because she couldn't find two other girls to go to the locker room with her." Worse, if they had to go to the bathroom at night, they had to wake two buddies AND a counselor.
9 - FATHER ASSUMED TO BE TRAFFICKER
A dad returning from Mexico with his 3-year-old daughter was suspected of sex trafficking her. Despite dad having her passport, his passport, AND a notarized letter from the mom saying that she gave them her permission to travel, the authorities felt compelled to act upon a "tip" that was nothing more than a passenger's hunch. The authorities finally allowed the dad and daughter to leave after reaching the mom, who confirmed that the notarized letter was a notarized letter and the dad was the dad and their kid was their kid.
10 - SCHOOL BANS GRANDMA FROM PROM
Bryce Maine invited his beloved grandma to be his date to the Eufaula High School prom. The principal said no, because, "Safety of students and staff is the first and most important of the many tasks of a school administrator. For the 10 years I have been high school principal, we have denied requests each year from students asking to bring older dates to prom. We do not chance leaving any stone unturned when it comes to safety." A local restaurant invited Bryce and his grandmother to dine at their place instead, on the house. We can only hope that the other diners ate safely, considering there was a grandma present.