There’s nothing wrong with being close to your parents. Adults who maintain close parental relationships have better outcomes in life. This is according to leading psychologists. When you have supportive parents who are involved in your life, you go further in your career, make healthier relationship choices, and do a better job raising your own kids.
Your parents benefit when you’re close, as well. We’ve all heard those tragic stories about the old man who dies in his house alone, and no one discovers him for weeks because he had no close friends or relatives. The sad truth is, the older you get, the fewer contemporaries you have. Barring tragedy, though, your kids will be around longer than you. This means if you stay close to them, you’ll have love and support until your final days.
But how close is too close? Opinions vary. What about the college student who gets a bad grade and has her dad call the professor? Or the never-been-married 40-year-old who lives with mom and dad because he’s “saving up for a house down payment” (the same excuse he gave at 25)? At what point does a close parental relationship cross the line into extended adolescence or, worse, extended infancy?
You can ask ten people and get ten different answers. But the following cases leave no room for ambiguity. These people are close with their parents in sick and disturbing ways. Here are 15 creepy stories of grown children who are way too close to their parents.
15. Breastfeeding Her Teenager
Breastfeeding in public is a huge debate topic right now. On one side, you have reasonable people who understand that seeing a flash of breast in public won’t bring on Armageddon. On the other, you have outraged losers (I question the manhood of any male who supports laws banning women from showing their boobs). But one mother, Nicole Mullen, is taking it too far. She wrote a piece for Thought Catalog about public breastfeeding. She describes standing in a movie line while her son suckles on her bosom. Shocked onlookers avert their eyes and make disparaging remarks. Is it because they fall into the “outraged loser” category described above? No, it’s because Mullen’s son is a teenager who’s taller than she is and needs to shave. That’s bad, but this is worse: Mullen says she derives sexual pleasure from her son’s facial hair brushing against her nipples. GROSS!
14. In Love With Her Father — And Having His Baby!
In December 2015, 18-year-old Sara (surname not available) gave birth to a baby girl in Mallorca, Spain. She claims she’s in love with the baby’s father and wants to raise her daughter with him as a family. But authorities took the baby into protective custody mere hours after she was born. The reason: the baby’s father, Cris, 36, is also Sara’s father. Doesn’t that make baby and mom half-sisters? I don’t know, I’m confused. But here’s what isn’t confusing: this situation is messed up. Sara and Cris are fighting for their baby, arguing that those who take issue with the situation are the ones with problems. Shockingly — disturbingly, even — the law is on their side. Spain has no prohibition against incest. And since the daughter was the age of consent when the baby was conceived, they can’t pop the dad for a sex crime.
13. Mother-Son Bonnie and Clyde
Nothing says mother-son bonding like robbing banks together. Just ask Damon Ward, 20, and his mother, LaTanya Ward, 41. The pair, from Detroit, knocked off at least two banks in nearby Ann Arbor in June 2016. In the first robbery, the son handed the note to the teller, and the mom drove the getaway car. In the second, they switched roles. All parents should teach their kids teamwork. But they made the mistake of not covering their faces, and a surveillance camera at the second location, Fifth Third Bank on Washtenaw Avenue, captured mom’s ugly mug in undeniable clarity. This led to an anonymous tip to police. The tip resulted in the pair’s arrest. No word on the outcome of their trial. But if and when they’re freed, let’s hope they stick to bowling night when they decide to spend quality time together.
12. Kissing Grown Son on Lips
At what age should you stop kissing your opposite-sex child on the lips? Is it at age three? Six? Maybe eight? Like most parenting topics, this one is debatable, and no definitive answer exists. But let’s cut the nonsense: when your child is sixteen years old and the opposite gender, you don’t kiss them on the lips. We can all agree on that, right? But check out Cheryl Leach, 42, from Swindon, England, and her son, Jordan, 16. They full-on smooch on the lips, and neither seems the least bit ashamed about it. That’s just nasty. For the normal, non-creepy parents reading this who might be grappling with where to draw the line, here’s something interesting to chew on: child psychologists claim that kids develop sexual awareness beginning at age four or five. At this point and beyond, a kiss on the lips can be stimulating to them.
11. The Oldest Family Profession
As a parent, nothing makes you swell with pride like your kid growing up and entering the family business. Passing your insurance agency or law firm to your kid is a rite of passage in many entrepreneurial American households. But there’s one profession that’s been around longer than law and insurance. Who says it can’t be a family business, too? Certainly not Tanja and Darcel Gammon of New Jersey. The mother-daughter pair took off for Central Florida and set up shop in a Motel 6. They worked in “sales.” They did well, too, as the service they sold has insatiable demand. Unfortunately, they closed a deal with an undercover vice cop. He popped them both for prostitution and booked them in jail. But who’s more honest here? The consenting adults buying and selling sex, or the people pretending to buy and sell sex so they can arrest people for buying and selling sex?
10. Predators Together
The old saying that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree is true. Children often become like their parents when they grow up. That’s why Donald Trump‘s grown children are all shrewd businesspeople; Dale Earnhardt, Jr., like his father, is great at racing cars; and Kate Hudson is a talented movie star, just like her mom, Goldie Hawn. But not everyone inherits brains and talent from their parents. Some people pass along far more sinister traits to their kids. Take Juan Carlos Garcia, 50, of Texas. He’s a disgusting sexual predator. He has a son, also Juan Carlos Garcia, who’s 25. Juan, Jr., grew up to be a sexual predator, too, just like dad. They prey on young girls together. In January 2017, police arrested the father-son pair, alleging they had assaulted 14-year-old twin girls on a weekly basis. Let’s hope these two soon get plenty of father-son bonding time behind bars.
9. Having Trouble Letting Go
Watching your child go away to college is never easy. They’re out of your protective cocoon and out from under your watchful eye. They are free to make their own choices. You hope those choices will be good ones, but, if you’re a realist, understand some won’t be. Still, there comes a time when you have to let go. David and Julie Ireland, of Kansas, just weren’t ready when that time came. Their daughter, Aubrey, headed to the University of Cincinnati to study music. David and Julie regularly made the drive — all 600 miles of it –and showed up unannounced at Aubrey’s dorm. They put a tracker on her cell phone and keylogging software on her computer. When she told them to back off, they stopped paying her tuition checks. Finally, Aubrey had enough. She filed for, and received, a restraining order against her parents. Her school took her side, too. They offered her a full scholarship to make up for the funds her crazy parents were no longer providing.
8. Sleeping With Mommy — At 18 Years Old
Every kid crawls into bed with mom and dad at some point or another. Maybe they had a bad dream; perhaps they’re afraid of the dark; or, possibly, they just don’t like being alone. Whatever the reason, in healthy children, this practice ends, at the latest, around the time adolescence begins. Not to be crude, but if you’re old enough to have a wet dream, do you really want to be in bed with your parents when that happens? The website AskThePsych.com fields questions from readers who wonder if certain behaviors they have are normal. One person wrote to say they slept with their mom every night. The writer was 18 years old. They said they were “terrified of the dark” and “couldn’t bear to sleep alone.” This person had plans to attend college soon, and medical school after that. The next time you have surgery, just think: this could be the person cutting you open and rearranging your insides.
7. Adult Child Abuse
When most people think of child abuse, they picture a big, bullying parent overpowering a small, defenseless kid. But Lynn Beisner, a writer at Alternet.org, shed light on an issue that doesn’t get much press but is very real: adult child abuse. In other words, adult children still being abused by their parents. Beisner herself was a victim. The abuse wasn’t physical. But even at 19, her mother used fear and intimidation to control everything she did. It wasn’t until she had dinner with a man she was dating and his family, and witnessed the man get cold-cocked by his father, that it dawned on her: adult child abuse exists, and she was as much a victim as her date. People abuse their adult children for the same reason people abuse their domestic partners: they crave control. The only way to stop the cycle of abuse is to remove yourself completely and permanently from the situation, even if it means severing ties with your parents.
6. Marriages Destroyed
This category lacks a specific example. But chances are, you know someone who’s had a marriage destroyed by one partner’s interloping parents. The overbearing mother-in-law has been common movie and TV sitcom fodder for decades. This characterization is often unfair. Plenty of married people enjoy fantastic relationships with their in-laws. But when parents start butting into their grown children’s relationship issues, that’s a sign they’re too close and need to back off. This is why married couples should never live with one partner’s parents unless an extreme financial or medical issue makes it necessary. It’s just impossible for the parents to stay neutral and stay out when marital conflicts inevitably arise. If your marriage is on the rocks and your parents have something to do with it, that’s a sign you’re too close.
5. Mother-Son Mafia
It’s one thing to pull off a single crime spree with your mother, like the aforementioned pair from Detroit. I mean, what mother hasn’t had the urge to call her grown son and suggest robbing a few banks? But when your crime spree turns into a complete lifestyle that spans almost a decade? That’s just taking it too far. Case in point: Everett Lee Pack, 38, and his mother, Lois Edna Pack, 77, of Lancaster, Pennsylvania. During the 2000s, the pair terrorized their small community, committing robberies, thefts, and break-ins. Their stated reason for the crimes was to support the son’s heroin habit. The son is no threat to Zac Efron, but it’s the mother who looks like she’s done some hard living. I know 77 is no spring chicken, but that woman looks more like 177.
Used to be, parents abhorred the way their teen and young adult children dressed. “You’re not leaving the house looking like that,” was a common parental refrain from the 1960s through the 1990s. Not anymore. In fact, the new trend is for parents to emulate their children’s fashion. It’s downright creepy. And mothers with daughters are the worst. A 2011 Temple University study examined over 300 mothers, average age 44, and daughters, average age 16. The study found that the mother-daughter pairs were shopping at the same stores, such as American Eagle and Gap, and buying the same clothes. And it was the daughters making the decisions and the mothers following their lead, kind of like, well, the opposite of how it’s supposed to be. If you’re “twinning” with your teen or young adult children, it might be time for a reality check — your Abercrombie days are long gone.
3. “His Mother Showed Up For Our First Date!”
First date horror stories inundate the web. There’s the one about the dude who seemed totally normal, made great conversation, paid for dinner, was a gentleman, opened her car door — and then, upon getting in the car, unzipped his pants and whipped out his johnson. Apropos of nothing. And then there’s the chick who nonchalantly let it slip that she doesn’t do gangbangs “anymore.” But here’s one that might top them all: a woman wrote to a popular dating blog about a guy she’d gone out with recently. He was educated, employed, and had no crazy exes or drama. His Tinder pictures were classy; no bathroom mirror shots. But then, an hour or so before the date, he texts her and lets her know, casually as can be, that his mother would be tagging along. Ummm… what did the barber say? “NEXT!”
2. Watching Adult Films Together
Fathers and sons have plenty of bonding options that are completely normal. There’s the usual stuff like fishing and watching sports. For the adventurous, a skydiving excursion or ski trip offer a fun way to log quality father-son time. And hell, as long as they’re not sharing or going after the same age cohort, it’s not totally beyond the pale for a father and son, if they’re both single, to chase chicks together. But a post from a guy named Blake on a popular men’s forum revealed he might be a little too close with his old man. Their favorite father-son activity? Watching adult films together. He didn’t mention whether that includes doing the other thing guys usually do while watching adult movies. And I didn’t respond to his post and ask him. I didn’t particularly want to know. Just the idea of a dude sitting in a room with his father, both proudly sporting wood, is too much for me.
1. Killing Their Family Together
Diane Staudte, of Springfield, Missouri, seemed to have a normal family. She was married to her husband, Mark, and they had four children together. Then in 2012, Mark suddenly died. Because he’d been a drinker and heavy smoker, no one was shocked that he passed at a relatively young age. His death was ruled naturally caused. The following year, their autistic son, Shaun, died in a similar manner, and the year after that, their daughter, Sarah, was on the brink of death from the same symptoms. It was then that investigators took a closer look at this family. Turns out, Diane had poisoned her husband, son, and daughter. Another daughter, Rachel, had helped. They confessed everything to the cops. Diane said she wanted Mark dead because he was “mean” and “threw things at the kids.” Shaun was a “burden” due to his autism, and Sarah had “college debt” that had become suffocating. What a problem-solving mom! She didn’t kill Rachel or her fourth daughter, she claimed, because she “loved them.”