How to Deal with Helicopter/Overprotective Mother?

May 12, 2020

From as early as I can remember, my Mom has been an extreme micromanager of me and my sister. She refused to let us take any risks or responsibility growing up. Obviously learning to take risks & responsibility, make mistakes, understand consequences, and face fear is a huge part of growing up and I feel like I missed out on a lot of that. The past few years I've been at University I've really been trying to sort myself out, basically get to know myself & understand my values and pursue those. I still have some fear and anxiety left over from my childhood, but I'm firmly on the pathway to doing better.

However, I still face issues with my Mom from time to time. She still tries to call almost everyday and manage aspects of my life. For example she'll try to tell me what to eat and tries to get my homework schedule so she can constantly remind me about due dates and stuff. These are things I need to be able to manage myself (and am more than capable of doing so). I am also worried about my little sister who is still in high school (she already has pretty bad social anxiety as a result of this parenting style, doesn't know how to interact with people or manage her own life). I try to set boundaries to explain all of this to her, but she takes any slight criticism as a personal attack and it ends up in a big argument where I have to fight tooth&nail to gain the tiniest sliver of independence. I also try to talk to my Dad about it, but he's a pushover (to put things nicely) and will sometimes sympathize with me, but I know he is never going to impact any meaningful change on this.

I don't want to cut contact as I believe in Honoring thy Father and Mother, and especially for my Dad's sake I want to be a part of their life. Also they are covering about 1/3 of my yearly tuition and I seriously don't want to be ungrateful for this. I guess I'm just looking for any advice on this type of situation.

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Post Information
Title How to Deal with Helicopter/Overprotective Mother?
Author gettinjuiced147
Upvotes 4
Comments 8
Date May 12, 2020 6:17 AM UTC (1 year ago)
Subreddit /r/askRPC
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[–]UpTanks3 points4 points  (1 child) | Copy Link

This specific situation is dealt with in When I say No I Feel Guilty. In fact its in one of the early chapters because it's such a common scenario! I recommend getting your hands on a copy.

Your Mother has failed to transform her relationship with you as you've grown into adulthood. But, at the same time you have failed to set firm boundaries with her and have allowed her overbearingness to control and annoy you to the point where you're posting on here.

By being a helicopter, she is projecting her own anxieties onto you and your sister. Ironically, this over-protectiveness is causing her children to develop their own anxiety issues and suffer as a result.

Please read the book, or at least the first 3 chapters. But until you do, here is a key quote:

The right to be the final judge of yourself is the prime assertive right which allows no one to manipulate you.

You should also give this book to your sister at some point, or at least tell her to emulate your interactions with Mum. Talk to your sister regularly! Anxiety is a real pain in the a**

[–]DuffBude1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

I highly recommend this book also. I didn't even know I had a problem with saying no until I read it. It also helped me in general to become more assertive and confident, and less regretful. I didn't really get the stuff in the later part of the book about sex, so I stopped reading it, but the first of the book was well worth the read.

[–]redwall922 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

You've got to frame this differently. Don't frame this in your mind as "how to deal with a certain type of mother"... Frame this as "how to take control of my own life."

The Boundaries books recommended by another comment would be a great eye-opener for you. Don't read it with an eye towards helping/changing your mother, though. Read it with an eye towards taking control of your own life.

[–]Deep_Strength2 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

"Thank you for the advice mom. I appreciate it. I am trying to figure out things on my own because I'm an adult now, but I will take your advice under consideration because I think you give wise advice."

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

You are allowing your mom to have influence over you and face it, you like it. It's convinent for you. Cut that shit out because you can't bring it into marriage. I highly suggest reading the book, "Boundaries," by Henry Cloud and John Townsend.

Also she probably still has her grip on you by paying for collage so you feel obligated. Find ways to get scholarships or work while going to school, whatever you have to do to implement boundaries.

Honoring your parents doesn't mean obeying their every wish, you're an adult. I highly suggest listening to a John Piper Sermon on what it means to honor your parents.

[–][deleted]  (2 children) | Copy Link


[–]Praexology0 points1 point  (1 child) | Copy Link

before she starts asking your wife to forward her menstruation charts so she can recommend good time slots for grandchildren production.

Holy yikes, this from personal experience? Gotta hear the story on that one.

[–]ENTPunisher0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

No lmao


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