Are you a parent? Has your child ever accused you of meddling? While such accusations are many times levied on a whim, you may want to pay attention to this story and weigh in.
There’s a term out there called “helicopter parents” — moms and dads who do more than just take an interest in their kids, but try to dictate their every move, take an interest in every detail, and even live vicariously through their sons and daughters. Twenty-one year old Aubrey Ireland knows the type full well. That’s because she just won a restraining order case against her parents who have taken the idea of being involved to a whole new extreme.
Aubrey is a senior actress at the University of Cincinnati’s prestigious College-Conservatory of Music. This fall, she finally had it with her overbearing parents. The school was tired of it, too, having witnessed the odd behavior for years. After Aubrey filed a civil stalking case against them and the judge heard the details, he agreed to order Aubrey’s parent to stay away.
So what were they doing? The Cincinnati Inquirer has the surprising accusations, which include the parents installing tracking software on Aubrey’s electronics (emphasis added):
Despite her good grades and success in musical shows, David and Julie Ireland often drove 600 miles from Leawood, Kan., to visit their daughter unannounced. They accused her of using illegal drugs, promiscuity and suffering from mental woes. She insisted none of that was true and asked them to stop, but their accusations escalated. They informed her department head she had mental issues that could force them to go to court to have her treated.
The parents knew about what they saw as their daughter’s problems because, they admit, they installed monitoring software on her laptop and cellphone, allowing them to see her every keystroke and phone number dialed or received. It was “like I was a dog with a collar on,” said the daughter, a dean’s list student every quarter.
The parents became such an issue that the school hired security guards to keep them out of their daughter’s performances. When the parents stopped paying her tuition because she’d cut off all contact with them, the school gave her a full scholarship for her final year.
“It’s just been really embarrassing and upsetting to have my parents come to my university when I’m a grown adult and just basically slander my name and follow me around,” the accomplished young actress said in court.
Her mother responded: “She’s an only child who was catered to all her life by loving parents. We’re not bothering her. We’re not a problem.”
The relationship, to say the least, isn’t doing well. Julie Ireland is trying to get back the $66,000 the parents had already spent on Aubrey’s education and have accused her of being a “good actress and lying.” A third-party “interventionist,” however, has even sided with Aubrey.
So for now, the parents have been ordered to stay at least 500 feet away from their daughter until Sept 23, 2013.
Do you think the parents went overboard? Take our poll:
This story has been updated.
Editor’s note — We discussed this story during our live BlazeCast today: