Aubrey Ireland, College Student, Wins Restraining Order Against Helicopter Parents10:54 am - 12/29/2012
Sometimes parents just don't know when to let go, but it's rare when a judge needs to intervene.
That was the case for Aubrey Ireland, a 21-year-old music theater major at College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati. She convinced a judge to grant her a restraining order against her parents, David and Julie Ireland.
According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, Ireland told the court that despite making the dean's list, her parents would routinely drive 600 miles from Kansas to Ohio to make unannounced visits to her at school. Then they accused her of illegal drug use, promiscuity and mental illness.
Her parents allegedly became so overbearing that they installed keylogging software on her computer and cell phone to keep track of her every move.
She told the court, "I was a dog with a collar on.”
According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, the school hired security guards to keep them out of their daughter's performances in school productions. When she cut off all contact with them, her parents responded by stopping payment on tuition checks.
Both the school and the court have sided with Aubrey. The University of Cincinnati gave her a full scholarship for her senior year, and the judge issued a civil stalking order against her parents, ordering them to stay at least 500 feet away from her and have no contact with her until September 2013.
Helicopter parents are nothing new. They ignore boundaries or simply embarrass their adult children once they've left for college -- or worse -- in the workplace. Few cases are so extreme as Ireland's.
In June 2012, researchers at the College of Business and Economics at West Virginia University conducted a study of 340 students and found that many simply grow accustomed to parents' constant involvement. Nearly seven out of 10 students said it was "somewhat" or "very appropriate" to receive help from their parents in writing a resume or a cover letter. One-fifth of students thought it was fine to have their parents contact a prospective employer.
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Good on the school for covering her final year of classes.