How to spot a helicopter parent

Some parents might be cracking out the champagne and celebrating once their offspring finally leave the nest, but others have a much harder time of letting go.

Leaving your kids at uni can be a nerve-wracking time, so be kind to your folks. If you're feeling frustrated when your parents complain that you haven't spoken to them in months, remember it could be worse. Here's how to spot a real helicopter parent.


1) They start a nation-wide search when you don’t answer your phone

I had a flatmate whose mum sent out like a Facebook SOS and called the college because her son forgot to turn his phone on after class and wasn’t answering.


When I lived in halls last year, I had issues with my phone at one point so couldn't ring my mum or answer her calls. She rang the accommodation office and demanded that the man went to my room to check I was okay. It was 12am. The man knocked and said "Ring your mother. She thinks you are dead.


My dad is obsessed with the society I’m in he constantly checks my phone whenever I’m at home, and sometimes he goes on their Facebook page to see if I’m in any photos.


2) They just won't leave....

My sister's mate came from a very strict family and she was the first person in her family to move out for uni. During fresher’s week, the mate came back to her hall after a night out and saw her dad waiting outside for her because he wanted to know where she was and where she had been.


One mother was discovered during Freshers Week living in her daughter's Halls room - she wanted to 'share the excitement with her' and was worried 'she wouldn't be able to find her way to lectures' without her guidance.


…or they actually go to the effort of moving house to stay with you at uni

I know a relative whose parents moved to a house in his uni town so they can still live as a family (they thought that he would go out and drink alcohol/smoke if he lived in halls).


3) They do all your cooking and cleaning for you

(Well, there have to be some upsides to having your parents around...) 

I have a flatmate whose mum used to visit at least twice a week and cook for her daughter. She cooked for us all one night so I can't complain.


We once had an international student whose mum was living with him in his room, she'd been living there for two months before the university found out. When the other flat mates were asked why they hadn't reported it they said it was because the students mum was doing all of the cooking and cleaning for everyone in that flat.


I knew someone whose mum came round every weekend to clean her room/bathroom for her.


Had a friend who’s mum used to walk through the uni every morning on her way to work (there's a train station at the back of the uni), and she would come and knock on her son's door every morning to make sure he was up, make him a cup of tea, and then go on her way!

More on TSR: 
Helicopter parent horror stories 
How to handle helicopter parents 
Mum won't let me move out for uni

Do you know any helicopter parents? Share your stories in the comments