"One of my close friends is an EXTREMELY sheltered person. She's a senior in college now, but here are just a few things she's still not allowed to do:
1) She's not allowed to stay out past her curfew. (Sometimes the curfew extends to 12 am if she's lucky.)
2) Her parents and her older siblings monitor her phone's text messages and messaging services.
3) She's not allowed to drive. She's 21 years old and her parents still drop her off for classes every morning. There's not much public transport where we live, so a car is essential. I know that they have the money to get her a car if they wanted to because her family is actually wealthy.
4) She's not even allowed to choose what she wants to study. Her parents are so dead set on her becoming a pediatrician that it stresses her out so much. When I asked her if this is really what she wants to study, she told me that at least she'll have money in the future.
5) In order for her to hang out with friends, her parents must meet them first. If they don't approve of you, you will not get to hang out with her. I'm actually one of her 'forbidden friends' that she's not allowed to hang out with. I would still see her in the library under the impression that she's studying and I just happen to see her.
She's so depressed and I feel so bad for her. I don't know why her parents are so protective of her when her two older siblings don't get the same treatment. Every time I see her, I have to make a point to tell her that even if we don't talk much she's still my friend. She's very sweet and I hate seeing her so depressed all the time. Still, she always makes sure to keep on smiling."
"My best friend throughout childhood wasn't allowed to watch anything with magic, especially evil magic. Her mom would fast forward through Disney movies and/or edit them (I really don't know how she did it), but once in high school, I was talking about The Little Mermaid, and I mentioned Ursula, and she was very confused. She hadn't seen any of the magical witch Disney villains, only ones like Gaston and Cinderella's stepmom. Also, her mother apparently explained to her that Cinderella was okay because she had a fairy GODmother, which I guess was okay because it was related to god?"
"A girl I knew from Girl Guides was homeschooled until 10th grade. When she came to school, she still wore Frozen Elsa t-shirts, colored with crayons, and played with Barbies. She wasn't allowed to use technology for more than two hours a week (on the weekend) and was straight up SCARED of the idea of shagging/dating. If you said the word denoting the male anatomy, she would say, 'Not cool, guys,' and cover her ears."
"My daughter has a friend who is very sheltered. The first time I realized how sheltered she actually is was when my daughter told me her friend cried at school after finding out some people don't believe in God. I believe this was in 3rd or 4th grade. She had no clue that there were other religions out there or that atheists were a thing. We live in the Bible Belt and this was when my kids attended a private Christian school, but it still seemed extreme.
It got worse over the years. She has never been allowed to sleep over at our house because I have a son as well, and this girl's mom doesn't think unrelated boys and girls should be able to sleep in the same house. She isn't allowed to come into our pool in the summer if my son and his friends are around. My son is extremely extroverted and active, and our house is the hangout spot in the neighborhood, so him not having friends around is pretty uncommon. She hasn't been in our pool all summer because her mom doesn't trust her to be around shirtless teen boys.
She also isn't allowed to talk to waitresses or waiters or anything like that. We took her out to eat for my daughter's 14th birthday and she was surprised when we expected her to order food. She had never been allowed to do something like that before. She is a very nice girl but my daughter and her are slowly growing apart because of how sheltered she is. It's hard to be friends with someone who isn't allowed to do much of anything."
"I was that child.
My dad is a Southern Baptist preacher. I wasn't allowed to ever watch anything Disney because Disney liked gay people. Under no circumstances was I allowed to wear tank tops, shorts, anything with cherries, short dresses, or bikinis. I wasn't allowed to check the mail by myself, even at age 20/21, because someone might have kidnapped me. At 21, my curfew was 9 pm, but only if I did all my chores and farm work for the day. At 21, I still had to ask to go on dates or stay the night with friends. When I was finally allowed to go to college, I was only allowed to major in nursing or elementary education. I picked teaching because needles make me pass out! And I was absolutely not allowed to live on campus. When I got a job, it was at a fellow pastor's hardware store. That guy just gave my dad my paychecks and my dad handled all my finances. My mom has never physically taken her own paycheck to the bank or had a say in where the money goes.
I finally moved out at 22 to a city with my boyfriend. I realized really quickly I was easily a decade behind my peers as far as maturity. It took a long time and a lot of stupid mistakes to catch up and feel like a real adult. I'm now a 31-year-old who's never worn a bikini despite having abs; I feel wildly uncomfortable showing my arms and legs off, so I'm usually in jeans and a sweater year round, and I cry after being intimate because I feel so awful about myself."
"There was this one girl in my high school who was not allowed to paint her nails, have sleepovers, watch anything with swearing (so PG only), etc., and would become extremely upset whenever she saw someone else doing things that she deemed 'inappropriate.' Someone made a comment about coming out as gay, and she was so offended that she stormed out of the room. She also hates jokes of any kind. Like, one of her friends made a funny comment to her, and she didn't speak to her for weeks. Really sad.
I actually met this girl's parents and they are much worse. Her father didn't smile once and her mom looked permanently disgusted by anyone and everyone. I think it's because they are super religious and believe that God only chooses a small number of people to save and sends the rest to Hades, no matter what. So they are really entitled and believe that most people are lesser than they. So there's a little bit of insight about why she is extremely sheltered."
"Some acquaintances of mine and my husband have one child, a 14-year old boy. Let's call the mom and dad Sue and Bob, and their son Jim. I knew things were odd when we went out to a local restaurant that we had been to many times before, and she asked my husband to take Jim, who was 11 or 12 at the time, to the bathroom. She also cut up his dinner, including french fries, that night.
A mutual friend of ours has a 16-year-old daughter who Bob and Sue pay to babysit on the few nights that Sue decides she can possibly be separated from Jim. The babysitter has told her mom that she has to cut up Jim's dinner every time, even pizza. Also, Jim told her that Sue lays in bed with him and reads him a bedtime story every night. When I asked Sue about that, she explained that it's their way of bonding at the end of the day.
Sue monitors every part of his daily life, including showers and making sure he poops. Sue still walks him into school every day. Sue still arranges 'play dates' for Jim, but it's obvious that it's getting harder since other kids are able to start socializing on their own at this point.
There aren't any developmental issues with Jim, other than the limitations his mother has put on him. He's in mainstream classes and gets good grades, but she is stunting him socially. He was getting bullied at school, which sucked, but it didn't help that Sue holds his hand and carries his backpack as she walks him into 8th grade every day.
I think Bob lets all this happen so Sue doesn't bother him. She is so wrapped up in every aspect of Jim's life that Bob can pretty much do what he wants. It really sucks to look at a kid and know that his mother will control every aspect of his life going forward."
"I went to an all-girls school from years 9-12 (had been at a co-ed school up until then). One of my classmates had been in an all-girls environment since the age of 4. Her mother, who was legitimately nuts, wouldn't allow her to participate in any events where boys would be present---no school musicals, no debate team (we debated against boys), nothing that wasn't all girls. When we did family education in high school, her mother refused to consent, with the result being she received no school-based family-planning education, which at my school was actually decent and informative. She had no ability to relate to boys as friends and would just hit on any boy she met, even her friends' boyfriends.
To the surprise of absolutely nobody, she got pregnant very young after doing it a grand total of one time. If I recall correctly, she's now at kid #4 at an age where most of her peers are starting to think about having their first."
"When I was 17, my friend at the time, who was also 17, said that he hadn't yet finished puberty. So I asked him what he meant by that and he got all flustered and said, 'Well... I haven't reached the last stage yet.'
At that age, we were pretty much done with hormonal swings; we would maybe get one more growth spurt now and then, but for the most part, we were at full physical maturity. So I asked what stage he's talking about and he said, 'You know...climax!'
Like, he seriously thought that it was an automatic level-up that just happened and then you were officially a man. This kid was so sheltered. He didn't know what intimacy was and didn't know that in order to climax, you can't just sit there."
"I had a friend in primary school whose parents were dead set on her becoming a doctor because she was so smart. We're Vietnamese for context. They made her study and read all the time for hours at night, then she'd come into class the next day visibly tired because she had stayed up late reading books that were way too advanced for our 9-year-old brains. I went to stay over at her house once after my dad died. I guess her mom felt bad for me. There was no TV, no internet, video games, board games, anything. It was like a kid didn't live there at all. I tried to get her to go outside and play kickball with me since I had a ball and only lived a few blocks away. She wouldn't do it because playing was a waste of time. We sat and started reading The Hunchback of Notre Dame, which was not comprehensible to me in the least. She may have understood it. It was not at all like the movie.
She did grow up and is a physician now, but she's so depressed. We drifted apart but I see her around every now and then and I feel bad for her."
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"My boyfriend in high school was extremely sheltered. He came to public high school after being in a wealthy, Catholic private school his whole life.
His parents monitored his social interactions way too closely. He had prepaid minutes on his cell phone with just enough minutes to call home for a ride every day. His parents were mad when we started 'talking' and he used a couple of minutes to text me. As a result, they also monitored his texts. He was allowed on the internet for 'fun' for a very limited amount of time; it was like a miracle when he Facebook messaged me. They weren't poor by any means, either. They simply wanted to control that part of his life.
His parents had a strict rule that he couldn't visit someone's house or have someone over without them meeting the child and their parents first. My mom met his parents before I did. My poor mother had to approach his mom at a track meet and say, 'Hi, I'm your son's girlfriend's mom,' and she basically treated her 15-year-old son hanging out with his girlfriend as a playdate.
My senior year of high school, he came over to my house while my family wasn't home. My parents didn't really care because they knew he was too sheltered for anything to happen. His mommy let herself into my house like an hour after he got there because I couldn't be trusted, apparently. It's not like we're neighbors. He lived a 20-minute drive away.
When we first started talking, he told his parents about me on the ride home from school. His mom's first question about me was about my family's political affiliation. She pulled over in shock when she learned my family was liberal.
There was a whole other slew of things that were extremely weird, especially toward the end of high school when a lot of people's parents start giving them more freedom because they'd be at college soon enough. He wasn't allowed to go to weekend trips at a friend's family's lake house (which the friend's parents would be at); he couldn't do sleepovers with his friends; he couldn't drive his friends anywhere or receive a ride from them.
We broke up like two months into college because I realized I could do a lot better and that he was slowly turning into his parents. We were like 6 hours away from each other, and both of us lived on campus at our respective schools. He continued to act super sheltered and got really angry that the other kids on his floor would go to parties. Days would go by with him failing to return my texts, and when he'd resurface, he'd tell me he was studying and that I needed to follow his example and take school more seriously and stop worrying about my social life.
Disclaimer about me: I was your run of the mill nerd in high school. I was in all those AP classes, sports, and clubs. I stayed out of trouble and I had decent goals for myself (or at least I thought so), so I wasn't a bad influence either."
"One of my aunts got very religious when her son was born and she is so overprotective of him that it's a little scary.
He was maybe 13 when 'Agent Cody Banks' came out and she refused to let him watch it because of the violence. He also wasn't allowed to watch other various kids shows or movies and he wasn't allowed to hang out with us, the rest of his family, in case we were bad influences.
He wasn't allowed to read Harry Potter or various other popular kid's literature.
He just started college and is having so much trouble socializing that it's really sad. He can't talk to girls at all, or relate to his peers in general.
I wish I could help him but I wouldn't even know where to start."
"A relative of mine was/is so sheltered from responsibility that he's crippled when it comes to basic financial obligations. His mother is a classic helicopter parent.
He played three sports and was a C student in high school. He went to college and played out his eligibility for a sport. Got put on academic suspension from school, so he transferred. He played out his last year of eligibility at the new school, and with a semester left to get a degree (but not eligible for sports anymore), he was put on academic suspension. So he dropped out.
He moved home to 'save money' and pay off his loans, of which his parents were co-signers for part of them. I think this is because he didn't drop off the financial aid papers that his mom had literally filled out for him by the deadline, so they were forced to take out a private student loan to secure funding for that year.
Shockingly, he's terrible with money (surprise). So now that he was home under their roof, they tried to micromanage him into paying his bills so that he wouldn't ruin their credit. They expected him to live there until the debt was paid off: he's not paying rent, so he can put more towards the debt. Oh, and they thought he'd finish school online since he had a seasonal job and he could finish school in the offseason. While living there, he bought a truck (they co-signed), a dirt bike, and later a jetski. He'd routinely lose his cell phone (three times in one year), and they'd buy him another.
He's in his late 20s or so at this point, works a seasonal job, is finally living on his own, and still routinely misses bill payments. His parents were forced to consolidate his loans so they could get their names off his debt. After avoiding his parents for a month while they were trying to set up a meeting with the bank, he showed up without any money to pay the consolidation fees, which they then covered. It wouldn't surprise me if they paid off his truck loan and he 'owes them' now.
So after finally 'cutting the cord,' his parents found out he's going to get a warrant issued for his arrest due to some unpaid fine or something which was mailed to them by mistake. So they paid it for him. It was easier than trying to get him to answer his phone for weeks to get it resolved. These are just the highlights of what I'm vaguely aware of over the last ten years.
They can't understand why he's so irresponsible. He can't understand why the rest of us think he's irresponsible. He's starting to lash out, presumably because we don't treat him like an adult (my words)."
"My college roommate came from a family that practiced the Family Bed until she literally left for college. Every night, she, her mum, dad, and brother slept in the same bed. Every single night. It wasn't even out of necessity, they had a four-bedroom house. When we lived in the dorms, she had a horrible time sleeping in her own bed. She said she needed 'a warm body.' She had a part-time job at a gas station and started bringing random guys back to our room to bang/cuddle with. I'm no prude, but she would roll in at 3 am with some homeless looking guys. I am convinced it was to have someone in bed. I didn't room with her next year.
She ended up dropping out, due in part to her promiscuity."
"I love the woman, but I think my husband's grandmother grew up pretty sheltered. My husband's grandparents travel around the world twice a year. One time they went to Africa and his grandmother was telling me a story about how they were sitting around the fire with their tour group. An older gentleman brought his two grandsons that had just graduated high school. 'And let me tell you...they had a bottle of Jack, and they were drinking STRAIGHT OUT OF THE BOTTLE! I mean, have you ever seen such a thing? They couldn't be bothered to get a cup. Just STRAIGHT OUT OF THE BOTTLE! I've never seen such a thing!' I couldn't help but laugh. You're 70 years old, you've been to Japan, Thailand, the Galapagos (and a bunch of other places!), and the craziest thing you've seen is two teenagers drinking out of a bottle of Jack Daniels?!"
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