Saturday, 4 August 2018

8 Health Benefits of Fasting, Backed by Science

Despite its recent surge in popularity, fasting is a practice that dates back centuries and plays a central role in many cultures and religions.
Defined as the abstinence from all or some foods or drinks for a set period of time, there are many different ways of fasting. In general, most types of fasts are performed over 24–72 hours.
Intermittent fasting, on the other hand, involves cycling between periods of eating and fasting, ranging from a few hours to a few days at a time.
Fasting has been shown to have many health benefits, from increased weight loss to better brain function. Here are some powerful health benefits of fasting, backed by science.

1. Promotes Blood Sugar Control by Reducing Insulin Resistance

Several studies have found that fasting may improve blood sugar control, which could be especially useful for those at risk of diabetes. In fact, one study in 10 people with type 2 diabetes showed that short-term intermittent fasting significantly decreased blood sugar levels (1).
Meanwhile, another review found that both intermittent fasting and alternate-day fasting were as effective as limiting calorie intake at reducing insulin resistance (2). Decreasing insulin resistance can increase your body’s sensitivity to insulin, allowing it to transport glucose from your bloodstream to your cells more efficiently.
Coupled with the potential blood sugar-lowering effects of fasting, this could help keep your blood sugar steady, preventing spikes and crashes in your blood sugar levels. Keep in mind though that some studies have found that fasting may impact blood sugar levels differently for men and women.
For instance, one small, three-week study showed that practicing alternate-day fasting impaired blood sugar control in women but had no effect in men (3).

2. Promotes Better Health by Fighting Inflammation

While acute inflammation is a normal immune process used to help fight off infections, chronic inflammation can have serious consequences for your health.
Research shows that inflammation may be involved in the development of chronic conditions, such as heart disease, cancer and rheumatoid arthritis (4).
Some studies have found that fasting can help decrease levels of inflammation and help promote better health. One study in 50 healthy adults showed that intermittent fasting for one month significantly decreased levels of inflammatory markers (5). Another small study discovered the same effect when people fasted for 12 hours a day for one month (6).
What’s more, one animal study found that following a very low-calorie diet to mimic the effects of fasting reduced levels of inflammation and was beneficial in the treatment of multiple sclerosis, a chronic inflammatory condition (7).

3. May Enhance Heart Health by Improving Blood Pressure, Triglycerides and Cholesterol Levels

Heart disease is considered the leading cause of death around the world, accounting for an estimated 31.5 percent of deaths globally (8). 
Switching up your diet and lifestyle is one of the most effective ways to reduce your risk of heart disease. Some research has found that incorporating fasting into your routine may be especially beneficial when it comes to heart health.
One small study revealed that eight weeks of alternate-day fasting reduced levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol and blood triglycerides by 25 percent and 32 percent respectively (9). Another study in 110 obese adults showed that fasting for three weeks under medical supervision significantly decreased blood pressure, as well as levels of blood triglycerides, total cholesterol and “bad” LDL cholesterol (10).
In addition, one study in 4,629 people associated fasting with a lower risk of coronary artery disease, as well as a significantly lower risk of diabetes, which is a major risk factor for heart disease (11).

4. May Boost Brain Function and Prevent Neurodegenerative Disorders

Though research is mostly limited to animal research, several studies have found that fasting could have a powerful effect on brain health.
One study in mice showed that practicing intermittent fasting for 11 months improved both brain function and brain structure (12). Other animal studies have reported that fasting could protect brain health and increase the generation of nerve cells to help enhance cognitive function (1314).
Because fasting may also help relieve inflammation, it could also aid in preventing neurodegenerative disorders.
In particular, studies in animals suggest that fasting may protect against and improve outcomes for conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s (1516). However, more studies are needed to evaluate the effects of fasting on brain function in humans.

5. Aids Weight Loss by Limiting Calorie Intake and Boosting Metabolism

Many dieters pick up fasting looking for a quick and easy way to drop a few pounds. Theoretically, abstaining from all or certain foods and beverages should decrease your overall calorie intake, which could lead to increased weight loss over time.
Some research has also found that short-term fasting may boost metabolism by increasing levels of the neurotransmitter norepinephrine, which could enhance weight loss (17). In fact, one review showed that whole-day fasting could reduce body weight by up to 9 percent and significantly decrease body fat over 12–24 weeks (18).
Another review found that intermittent fasting over 3–12 weeks was as effective in inducing weight loss as continuous calorie restriction and decreased body weight and fat mass by up to 8 percent and 16 percent respectively (19).
In addition, fasting was found to be more effective than calorie restriction at increasing fat loss while simultaneously preserving muscle tissue (19).

6. Increases Growth Hormone Secretion, Which Is Vital for Growth, Metabolism, Weight Loss and Muscle Strength

Human growth hormone (HGH) is a type of protein hormone that is central to many aspects of your health.
In fact, research shows that this key hormone is involved in growth, metabolism, weight loss and muscle strength (20212223). Several studies have found that fasting could naturally increase HGH levels.
One study in 11 healthy adults showed that fasting for 24 hours significantly increased levels of HGH (24). Another small study in nine men found that fasting for just two days led to a 5-fold increase in the HGH production rate (25).
Plus, fasting may help maintain steady blood sugar and insulin levels throughout the day, which may further optimize levels of HGH, as some research has found that sustaining increased levels of insulin may reduce HGH levels (26).

7. Could Delay Aging and Extend Longevity

Several animal studies have found promising results on the potential lifespan-extending effects of fasting.
In one study, rats that fasted every other day experienced a delayed rate of aging and lived 83 percent longer than rats that didn’t fast (27). Other animal studies have had similar findings, reporting that fasting could be effective in increasing longevity and survival rates (282930).
However, current research is still limited to animal studies. Further studies are needed to understand how fasting may impact longevity and aging in humans.

8. May Aid in Cancer Prevention and Increase the Effectiveness of Chemotherapy

Animal and test-tube studies indicate that fasting may benefit the treatment and prevention of cancer.
In fact, one rat study found that alternate-day fasting helped block tumor formation (31).
Similarly, a test-tube study showed that exposing cancer cells to several cycles of fasting was as effective as chemotherapy in delaying tumor growth and increased the effectiveness of chemotherapy drugs on cancer formation (32).
Unfortunately, most research is limited to the effects of fasting on cancer formation in animals and cells. Despite these promising findings, additional studies are needed to look at how fasting may influence cancer development and treatment in humans.


There are many different types of fasts, making it easy to find a method that fits your lifestyle.
Here are a few of the most common types of fasting:
  • Water fasting: Involves drinking only water for a set amount of time.
  • Juice fasting: Entails only drinking vegetable or fruit juice for a certain period.
  • Intermittent fasting: Intake is partially or completely restricted for a few hours up to a few days at a time and a normal diet is resumed on other days.
  • Partial fasting: Certain foods or drinks such as processed foods, animal products or caffeine are eliminated from the diet for a set period.
  • Calorie restriction: Calories are restricted for a few days every week.
Within these categories are also more specific types of fasts.
For example, intermittent fasting can be broken down into subcategories, such as alternate-day fasting, which involves eating every other day, or time-restricted feeding, which entails limiting intake to just a few hours each day.
To get started, try experimenting with different types of fasting to find what works best for you.


Despite the long list of possible health benefits associated with fasting, it may not be right for everyone.
If you suffer from diabetes or low blood sugar, fasting can lead to spikes and crashes in your blood sugar levels, which could be dangerous. It’s best to talk to your doctor first if you have any underlying health conditions or are planning to fast for more than 24 hours.
Additionally, fasting is not generally recommended without medical supervision for older adults, adolescents or people who are underweight.
If you decide to try fasting, be sure to stay well-hydrated and fill your diet with nutrient-dense foods during your eating periods to maximize the potential health benefits. Additionally, if fasting for longer periods, try to minimize intense physical activity and get plenty of rest.


Fasting is a practice that has been associated with a wide array of potential health benefits, including weight loss, as well as improved blood sugar control, heart health, brain function and cancer prevention.
From water fasting to intermittent fasting and calorie restriction, there are many different types of fasting that fit nearly every lifestyle.
When coupled with a nutritious diet and healthy lifestyle, incorporating fasting into your routine could benefit your health.

How to Make an Affordable Transition to Clean Beauty

Making the transition from conventional beauty products to clean beauty products can be overwhelming, even for those of us with cash to spare. Where do you even start? How do you know what’s safe? What are you supposed to do with all the products that are already in your makeup bag? 
Swapping everything you already own for clean equivalents can be a real budget drainer — non-toxic ingredients are expensive! — but the truth is, this is your health we’re talking about. Eliminating toxins from your foundation, your shampoo, your nail polish…that’s a worthwhile investment to make. 
Ready to take the plunge? Here’s how to make the transition to clean beauty an affordable one.


Our skin soaks up approximately seven pounds of chemical toxins every year through the products we apply to our bodies — some of the worst offenders being lathering detergents like sodium lauryl sulphate (a known irritant), parabens (formaldehyde releasers that have been linked to cancer) and fragrances, which are often made up of undisclosed chemicals.
Keep this transition cheap by ditching conventional liquid body washes and choosing a gentle soap like Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Soap or a solid bar made from organic goat’s milk — so luxe!


That pretty bottle you reach for every day may not be as innocent as it looks! Dozens of toxic ingredients are found in top-brand body lotions, including Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA) (an endocrine disruptor and human carcinogen), DMDM Hydantoin (a formaldehyde-releasing preservative) and Retinyl Palmitate (a controversial vitamin A derivative).
While there are lots of delightful clean lotions out there, if you’re trying to keep things simple you’ll want to go with something tried and true like extra virgin coconut oil. Just make sure you keep it on your body and use something lighter for the face.


If you were to replace every single conventional makeup product with a clean alternative in one go, you’d be in for one hefty bill. Instead, start with the big five — foundation, concealer, blush, brow liner and mascara — then introduce smaller, infrequently used items like shadows and bronzers later on.
Some of my favorite affordable nontoxic beauty brands include 100% Pure, OSEA and Juice Beauty. There’s lots to choose from!

Is Monk Fruit A Healthy Alternative Sweetener?

Monk fruit has been eaten and used medicinally in China for thousands of years, but monk fruit has gained recent attention as a possible alternative to artificial sweeteners.
Processed sugars have been linked to the development of many different health conditions, so food manufacturers have been searching for healthier alternatives for decades. This has led to the creation of artificial sweeteners, such as aspartame and sucralose, which are proven to have health hazards of their own.
Just when it was looking like you could never enjoy a sweet treat again, monk fruit offers a new alternative to sweeteners. Read on to find out how this obscure fruit could be a game-changer for those of us with a sweet tooth.  


Also known as luo han guo, monk fruit (Siraitia grosvenorii) is native to Thailand and China. It’s a small fruit related to squash and melons that grows on a vine. Monk fruit plants are rare in the wild, and they’re only cultivated in a small area of southern Chinathat has ideal growing conditions for the vines.
Monk fruit is said to have gotten its name from a group of Buddhist monks who first spread knowledge of the fruit in southern China. The sweet taste of monk fruit comes from chemical compounds known as mogrosides, which are estimated to be 300 times as sweet as sugar by weight.
Mogrosides make fresh monk fruit sweet, but the soft fruits cannot be stored as they quickly start to ferment. They also contain many other unpleasant flavors that would not make them a suitable food sweetener. 
Traditionally, the ripe fruits are dried for storage and later use. The drying process naturally removes most of the unpleasant flavors, but the dried fruits also develop a bitter taste, so they’re usually only eaten medicinally or as a tea.
To deal with this issue, Proctor and Gamble was the first to develop a process to remove the undesired flavors from ripe monk fruit and produce a concentrated fruit juice or puree that can be used in food manufacturing. They first created this process in 1995, and since then a few other companies have developed similar ways to make monk fruit extracts to use for sweetening food.


Traditional Chinese Medicine has long used monk fruit to help treat colds, sore throat and lung congestion. It’s also said to enhance longevity.
While modern science has limited research on these uses, there are some promising initial findings about monk fruit extract.

1. Low Glycemic Index

The glycemic index (GI) is a scale that ranks a carbohydrate-containing food by how much it raises your blood sugar levels after you eat it. Foods with a high GI, such as white sugar, will raise your blood sugar quickly. And eating high-GI foods frequently increases your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Monk fruit extract contains no carbohydrates, so its glycemic index is very low. This may be one reason why it’s been shown to have antidiabetic properties in animal studies.

2. High in Antioxidants

Your body naturally produces free radicals in response to stress, but too many free radicals in your system can cause serious damage to your cells and tissues. Antioxidants help protect your body against stress by combating free radicals and their damage.
The mogrosides found in monk fruit have significant antioxidant properties. In particular, they have been found to help protect the pancreas against free radical damage. This includes stress on the pancreas from excessive exposure to glucose and fatty acids, which can lead to the development of type 2 diabetes.
Mogrosides are shown to help restore the pancreas’s normal insulin secretion functions, and potentially even reverse damage already done by free radicals. Researchers suggest this could help delay the progression of type 2 diabetes.

3. Zero Calories

In addition to having no carbohydrates, monk fruit extract also has no calories. Most sugars added to foods, such as refined sugar, fruit juices or corn syrup, are very high-calorie. This can lead to weight gain when consumed in excess. Even the artificial sweetener aspartame has been linked to weight gain.
Monk fruit extract is a potentially safe alternative sweetener that will actually help keep weight off.

4. Antibacterial Agents

2009 study looked at monk fruit extract’s effect on oral bacteria, such as Streptococcus mutans, which is known to promote tooth decay. It was found that certain compounds in the extract were able to inhibit bacterial growth.
This is promising news because monk fruit extract is now being used as an alternative sweetener in drinks.

5. Generally Regarded as Safe

Short-term studies have shown no adverse effects from consuming monk fruit extract. No long-term studies have been done yet, but the FDA approved monk fruit extract for use in 2009, and determined that it was “generally regarded as safe” (GRAS).
Considering the proven benefits of monk fruit extract so far, and the fact it has no calories, carbohydrates, sodium or fat, this is an alternative sweetener you may want to try.
Monk fruit extract is used in some products, and it’s also available as a sweetener on its own. Although, always read the label before buying a monk fruit extract sweetener because some of them have added ingredients such as dextrose, erythritol or molasses.
And keep in mind that monk fruit extract has a somewhat different taste than regular sugar, so you’ll have to sample it to see if you like it or not.

25 Awful Helicopter Parents Who Thought Their Kids Could Do No Wrong

When your children start running around and destroying another person's house, throwing toys/food all over the place, bullying the other little cuties who are just trying to have fun, and pulling on a two-week-old infant's hair while she's sleeping, then you might want to sit their butts down and get mean. Otherwise, you're raising someone who thinks there are no consequences for garbage behavior. 
And as these teachers and childcare workers of Reddit revealed in a recent Ask Reddit post, there are tons of kids who turned out just downright awful on account of their parent's poor child-rearing decisions. Whether it's never letting kids do things for themselves or thinking that their children are the bees-knees — no matter what anyone else says — these tales of reverse-child abuse are just plain sad.
The backseat guitarist mom.
Music teacher here. I had a heli-mom of one of my guitar students sit in on him during his first lesson. She was sitting right by him, shoulder to shoulder. As I was talking about various things like how to hold the guitar and how to shape your hands and fingers around the neck, she would grab his hand and do it for him. Every single time. For everything. Time to strum some chords? Mom did that for him too. Can’t get the fret hand to squeeze hard enough to make the strings ring? She pressed his fingers for him. He cried out at that and that’s when I stopped and told her she had to let him do it on his own. All I got for that was a sharp look and a “Fine, then.”
He tried on his own and the string just made kind of a thud noise and she said, “See he needs me to help him.” I told her that the only way he was going to be able to do it was to try and do it, on his own. He was the one who had to build up the strength. Things didn’t really progress much after that and I ended the lesson.
With all of that, I wasn’t thinking they’d be sticking around for a second week but back they came. Second lesson started off the same and I politely told her she’d have to give him space in order to try. Still she wasn’t thrilled but relented and got up in a huff and went out into the hall to watch from there. After she left this kid took a deep breath and was visibly more relaxed. After she stepped out, he was able to have his own space and actually try on his own; he started to do better. It was awesome. At the end of the lesson he said he couldn’t wait to come back and his mom came in and grilled him with something like “Why can’t you do that when I’m helping you? You don’t want my help? You don’t need my help?”
I could understand stuff like this if he was a young kid, 7 or younger, but dude’s 14 years old. He’s going to be a freshman in the fall.
This poor kid has ended up being one of my best students. His mom still hovers and he’s still a super weird and socially awkward dude from living in a bubble but he’s finally found something he can be good at independently from his mom. It’s really rewarding to see him gaining more and more confidence even if it is slowly, he’ll get there someday.
Not allowed to have an opinion.
An incredibly quiet student just flat-out refused to engage in any discussion in class. She was an extremely pleasant girl, she just wouldn't speak. I brought it up with her mother during an interview and she told me she'd forbidden her daughter to express her opinion and to just listen to the teacher out of fear they wouldn't agree with her opinion and mark her down out of bias. I assured her that expressing an opinion wouldn't get a student marked down in my class and that developing one is important to her learning but she just said "I'd rather she didn't."
Confiscate my kid's lighter!
While studying, I worked in an after-school care.
One day a 9yr old was showing everyone his lighter by trying to set the shirt he was wearing on fire, I obviously took the lighter off him. When his mother came to pick him up I handed it to her and told her about him trying to set his shirt on fire.
Turns out it was her lighter, so I had "no right" to confiscate it and her son just wouldn't try to set his clothes in fire because "he's not an idiot," so I must be making that up.
When an entire teaching staff and administration has it out for their child.
I taught middle school for 1 year. We had a student who was being disruptive in all the classes. He was refusing to turn in work, or even do it. He was constantly causing trouble.
We had each tried several strategies to deal with the behavior in our own time. We had each talked to the parents numerous times, but they never did anything nor believed that the student was doing anything inappropriate. No one was having any success.
Eventually one of the teachers had enough so he suggested we do a meeting between all of the student's teachers, the guidance counselor, a vice-principal, the student, and his parents.
There are 6 teachers plus the vice-principal and the guidance counselor all saying the same basic version of, student needs to pay attention, needs to do the work, needs to stop distracting other students, needs to be respectful, etc.
The mother disbelieves us; it's not the student's fault. We all have it in for the student.
Nothing changed.
Teaching sucks.
This mom who GOT OFF on her kid crying for her when she dropped him off and left.
1st grade — My 2nd or 3rd year, I had a kid whose mother was my first legit, extreme 'helicopter mom.' She would walk him into the classroom every morning and put his backpack and folder away for him and then sit at his table with him and he would cry and cry for her not to leave. The crying is normal at the beginning of the year, but at this age  they don't cry for very long once the parent has left. After about 5 min, he would be fine. But she would take 20 min to leave because she "didn't want to leave him like that." I asked her a few times to let him get his things ready by himself, but I was young and this kid was a surprise kid (had brother and sisters with kids of their own), and the parents were older. She didn't give a flying s--t what I would say. That's when I started rationalizing with the kid. Much easier. "Do you see how all of your friends put their own backpacks and folders away every day? You're a big boy, too. You don't need you mommy to do that for you, do you?" Worked like a charm.
After the 2nd week I started physically blocking her at the classroom door (I'm a big girl), have them say their goodbyes, and have him go in the room by himself. The first time this happened he snatched the backpack from her and said, "I can do it. I'm a big boy." She. Was. Pissed.
One morning during the 3rd or 4th week I had a meeting and it wasn't over before school started. The person covering my class didn't know to block her and she let crazy mom in. When I came back, the kid was crying his eyes out, chasing his mom around the classroom and she was smiling and giggling about his fit that she caused.
Around December, mom had told the kid that he was going to be home schooled and wouldn't go back to our school. When she dropped him off the next day, he cried and cried and we could not console the poor kid. She left him at the door and smiled at me because he was so upset when she left. After a few hours he had finally calmed down enough to tell us the problem. "My mom said I was going to go to school at home and I wouldn't have to come here today, but she lied."
She told him she was going to home school him so that he would cry when she left him at public school. WTF?!
He had one friend in the class. Super sweet boy who would play with anyone. The crazy mom kid would punch other kids if they got in the swing next to his friend. No one else was allowed to swing next to him. Crazy mom called me and asked if I could just let them two play inside alone so her kid could have him all to himself (not in those exact words, but that's what she was asking). Nope. Not an option.
Cut to April and we had a zoo field trip. Our whole class had our lunches in a cooler that was in the bus in the zoo parking lot... except his and his mom's. She insisted that she carry theirs and she doesn't want them in the cooler. Whatever. We had a meeting time and place for lunch because parent chaperones took small groups of kids around. We didn't stay in one big group. Had to wait about 10 min for a very nice dad to fetch the cooler with the lunches. Perfect. Waited on the stragglers and let kids use restroom and wash hands while waiting. During this time, kid comes up to me and asks if I have a knife to peel his apple. Yeah, I always bring a knife to the zoo. "No, the kind of knife you need to peel an apple isn't allowed in the zoo, just eat it with the peel on. You'll be fine." He walks away. Lunches get to us and I make sure everyone is eating and accounted for. Come to crazy mom who is PEELING HER KID'S APPLE WITH HER CAR KEY. What?! When she saw me walking up she said, "It's better to eat the peel separately, it's healthier" with that smile. I say, "I hope you sanitized the key before you started. Otherwise, it won't be healthy at all," then I returned the same smile. At this point, she hands the apple to the kid and he said he didn't want it. She was flabbergasted. "WHY NOT? I just spent 20 minutes peeling it for you!" He said, "That's gross. You used a car key," and walked away to play with his friends.
There are more stories about this parent from other teachers as he moved through the school. She once snuck into the school to get a picture of him taking his first standardized test. This is/was literally against the law in Texas (photographs during state testing) and they had to contact the testing officials and fill out tons of paperwork and our school had to reschedule the testing dates, all because Crazy Mom wanted a picture of her baby taking his first test for his scrapbook.
Didn't mean for this to be so long, sorry. That mom still pisses me off when I think about her and how she effed up her kid's life.
tl;dr - Crazy Mom wanted her kid to cry every day when she left him at school and when he didn't cry anymore, she would lie to him to get him to cry for her not to leave. She also made a whole school stop and reschedule a state standardized test because she wanted a picture of her baby for a scrapbook.
The stolen earring.
Less helicopter parent, more “my child is innocent,” and a scam. My mom was kicked out of work (temporarily) from her underprivileged school until this case was settled. A kindergartener had just gotten her ears pierced and she took the earrings out in class because they hurt. The teacher sent her to the health secretary (my mom) and the little girl lost an earring somewhere along the way. Cleaned the ears and sent her back to class. Mother of the child sued my mom and filed a case with the school because I guess the earrings were solid gold and diamond. I guess that’s what Claire’s pierced with, seems legit. Tried to accuse my mom of stealing the earring, no chance that a 6 year old lost a tiny object. Of course the woman did not win in this situation and my mom got back to work but it was a whole bunch of baloney, accusing the teachers and office employees at the school for a lost earring and injured earlobe.
Threatening a punch.
I had a boy who kept acting out in class; things like talking to classmates while I was giving directions, giving strange answers, hitting the boys sitting next to him in the arm, grabbing a boy's p-nis during class. I kept notes and informed our academy director about what was happening and he was pulled aside after school a few times to talk about his behavior.
One day, at the end of class, he reached across the table and forcefully flicked a girl in the forehead. She complained and he cocked back his arm like he was going to punch her in response. I had him sit while I let everyone else leave and told him to stay seated while I discussed his behavior with the academy director. (If nothing else, being the last one to go would be a sort of punishment.)
The director chewed him out and apparently he told his mom about it because his mom came to the academy to say that her son was an angel and I should be reprimanded for exaggerating or lying about the situation. Cue the director listing off all the crap her son had done over the past few weeks and telling her that her son was no longer welcome at the academy. Never saw him again after that.
This mom who picked her kid's wedgie for him.
My mom owned a daycare center, and I worked there when I wasn’t in school. There were some very unique kids and some crazy a-- parents. The one that comes mind though had a 6-year-old son. This kid was an incredible brat, but as soon as you met his parents you understood why. He had just started school and was coming home upset because kids were making fun of him, because of his pacifier that he kept with him and used throughout the day.
So his mom decided to wait with him at the school bus stop and pick him up from there. One day they were waiting and he mentioned he had a wedgie. So right there at the bus stop, in front of all the kids in his class, and the crossing guard, his mom picked it for him. Just stuck her hand down his pants and took care of it for him.
She wouldn’t even let him handle his own wedgie.
Needless to say, that did not help with his teasing.
The secret recording watch.
I had a third grade student whose mother felt that I favored other students over her son. She would call me and yell at me about not treating him fairly and lying. She snuck past the office a few times to come into the classroom to watch me teach (which of course is illegal and I’d have to call the office). She’d tell me and the principal that she was trying to “catch me in the act [of being dishonest].” (Of course my principal always defended me and dealt with the parent). 
As a final straw, the mother bought a watch with a voice recorder in it and the boy wore it to school. He yelled out in the middle of class suddenly, “I’m secretly recording you and you won’t teach here for much longer!” (An 8-yr-old!) Of course the watch was confiscated and the child was moved into a different classroom, though the school district could have legally moved him into another [school]. But the mother still never backed down and the next teacher had similar issues.
The 23-year-old child.
Criminal defense lawyer here. I was talking to my 23-year-old client in the hallway before court. His mom walked up to me and said forcefully, “He is a CHILD, do you understand me? A CHILD!” Because she was upset that he was in trouble with the law.
Snorting Xanax.
I wasn’t a teacher, but I did have a brief stint as a cheerleading coach. Kid gives an attitude about doing literally anything. Won’t follow any instruction and usually either sasses me or sits on her phone. Additionally, kid skips practice to snort Xanax and put it on her Snapchat. Ok. I told her that if she wasn’t interested in participating, she can sit in the stands Friday night instead. Kid proceeds to go to bathroom and calls mother (it’s not like I can actually take away their phones — try dealing with parents on THAT). Mother drives from work 30 minutes to scream at me for almost an hour. Apparently it is my fault. Her child is the best on the team and I am clearly targeting her. She says I have destroyed her confidence and am jealous of her talent. She can do whatever she wants if she’s the best on the squad. Oookay lady. I stopped coaching after that year.
The plagiarizer.
While I was student-teaching, I had a student and his mom was the art teacher. The student was a straight-up douche. Would cheat on any assignment, belittle classmates, etc... Any time the student got in trouble or called out he would run to his mom (the art teacher) and she would fight for him. All the teachers in the schools were afraid of her since she has been in the district for a long time and was thought to do no wrong by the administration.
The student ended up plagiarizing an essay in class. I gave the student a zero (as it was stated in the assignment sheet that all plagiarism would be an automatic zero) and all hell broke loose. Meetings with the principal were set up, mom would come in during my plan period and rip my ass for failing her kid, and the student would come fake crying to class. The essay was a large portion of the grade and would mean he would fail the class. After about two weeks of the mom coming in, I finally told her if he turned a new essay into me by the end of week he could get 50% credit on it (would move his grade to a “D” if he got a 100%).
The student comes waltzing in to class on Friday and hands me his essay. After quickly scanning the essay it just seemed off. After a quick Google search, the student took the entire Wikipedia page and copied it for his essay. After school, I went down to the art room to talk to the mom. I still remember the conversation like it was yesterday.
Me: M***** did a great job on his essay! Mom: Great! He was locked up in his room all week working on it. Me: When I looked at his paper I did notice there was an odd section though. Mom: What do you mean? Me: This section has a superscript number on it and I don’t see where he citied it. Mom: That is odd, I’ll ask him about it. Me (pulls out the printed Wikipedia page over his topic that is word for word): Here is the Wikipedia page over his topic if you want to look at. Mom (scanning over both and her face turns ghost white): Will he be able to make this up? Me (with a look of disbelief on my face): Hell no!
The student ended up getting suspended and mom tried to fight the suspension. She even went as far to look into the legitimacy of the grade since a student-teacher taught the course. All in all, the mom is no longer a teacher in the district and the kid is in jail for selling drugs. The rest of the staff loved me for standing up to her and her son.
This two-for-one.
Okay two great stories...
Happened in 2006. A parent who volunteered in her child’s classroom just to videotape her child all day, everyday. She threatened to sue if we did not allow her to. She did this all through elementary. It ended in middle school when they told her no. She stood outside the fence and video taped him at PE. Someone saw this and called the police. She pulled her kid and homeschooled him.
Happened to a brother and sister I went to high school with. The son was socially awkward, tall and a little round. He was in high school for only a year by himself but his mom was present at every band function we had. She even tried to come to every practice, even the ones from 9am-9pm. But then she decided that her 7th grade daughter was going to skip the 8th grade so she could enter high school early. Now she had two kids, she was always at school, even stopping by to lunch with them, it was so sad. The kids were miserable. Then she had her daughter skip the 11th grade, literally appealing to the school board. Threatening legal action if they “held back” her child from her “destiny.” So now she has both kids in the same grade, they graduate together. Mom enrolls them in community college together, in the same classes... with her. So, she is now going to classes with them. She never actually passes the classes but she wants to be with them so that the professors knows she is watching. Since she is a student, there are no grounds for having her removed. The kids get ready to transfer to the local university. They are done with mom, she tries to “ sit in” on classes but that is a big NO from day one. They diverge in interests so they get their own majors. Then they go nuts with classes, appealing to admin to take a huge load of credits. They are in school all day, every day they can. How I met up with them again was weird. I was working on campus and closed the library one night. I found them bedding down for the night in their old station wagon in the parking lot. I offered to let them stay overnight with me. They came to my house and told the tale. Last I heard the daughter dropped out and went into the medical field.
The mom who wanted scary stories banned from summer camp.
Work at a Summer Camp and we told scary stories. One of the boys in the camp couldn't sleep for the whole week because of some of the stories so his mom demanded the scary stories be banned otherwise she would basically badmouth our programs. The next Monday, the boy complained to me that we couldn't tell scary stories anymore and was upset about it... Tell that to your f--king mom...
The mom who has a problem with kids socializing.
Before uni started we used to hold activities for first year students (frosh week for Canadians reading this). Nothing educational, but always good fun.
Had a student show up with his mother, and she questioned everything we were doing and how it will relate to her son's studies.
It didn't. We were very clear that it was all for building relationships and a bit of pre-study enjoyment. It was also a chance to meet older students and get an idea of uni life.
She was having none of it. She wanted to speak with the head of department and file an official complaint about these activities. Clearly having fun was not part of an education.
The second day she came again, and triumphantly said the dean is coming to talk to us. The dean did come, gave us a pep talk and said how much he enjoyed this time of the year, chugged a beer, and told us to join him in the local pub later on.
She was speechless and left in a huff dragging her son by the hand.
Neither showed up for the rest of the week.
Over-planning a kid's future.
In kindergarten, we have testing twice a year, once in winter and again in the spring. A parent called in a conference because her daughter had received 2 percent under the cut-off that suggested her child may, by THIRD grade, need additional help meeting reading goals. Now, that isn't why I consider her a helicopter parent. Those test scores can be confusing and I could see why she might have been worried upon seeing that if she didn't really understand the way it worked. However, myself and my mentor teacher spent about 45 minutes (with her kid in the room hearing everything) trying to console her that her daughter was doing fine and that we weren't concerned about her progress at all. We told her she interacts well with her peers, feels confident, and comfortable reading, and that these tests aren't a good way to showcase understanding, especially for a five year old. The mother revealed that she makes her daughter do over thirty minutes of homework every night and won't even let her walk downstairs without reciting all of her weekly spelling words. Other stuff too, but basically the mom was putting unreasonable pressure on this 5-year-old girl. Like planning college and thinking years ahead.
Just relax, your kid is five. If we have any concerns, trust me, you would know. Don't burn your kid out this early in their education.
The parents who just couldn't admit their kid needed help.
Late to the post but I’m a high school counselor. Last year I had this student who was a total sweetheart but really needed intervention. This girl was a sophomore and had a grand total of 20 credits towards graduation under her belt. She should have had 90 by that point and was on track to fail 25 more that spring. She was failing miserably. Not only that, but she would be constantly ditching class and often end up in my office because there was nowhere else to go. The school has only one way in or out. I did everything in my power to help this girl and eventually was able to get a parent meeting with myself, teachers, the school psych and school administrators involved. I explained to her parents in great detail how at this point, it was mathematically impossible for her to graduate from high school ... at the rate she was failing classes. I offered continuation school that has a much higher rate of graduation for students in her situation. I desperately wanted her to get tested for special education because it was obvious she had deficiencies and could have at least gotten some legal accommodations put in place for her in order to help her. Parents just said no to everything. No to continuation school because that’s where the “bad” kids went. No to testing because special ed had a “bad stigma.” No to after school tutoring [because] “she’s capable of doing all of this work.” No to working one-on-one with the school psych to sort out her emotional issues. No to everything. I’d never felt so defeated and knew then that I couldn’t save every kid no matter how much I wanted to.
"You're a woman, he doesn't need to respect you."
I had a student who was failing pretty badly, he had a pretty bad attitude and was extremely disrespectful. When I called his father, the response was “You’re a woman, he doesn’t need to respect you.” I handed the phone to a male mentor teacher pretty dumbfounded and explained the situation. The male teacher proceeded to ream the dad out and then had the kid transferred from my class to his class. The kid still failed and was still a disrespectful a--. Not sure what the dad had to say about that, but at least he couldn’t blame it on me being a woman.
This parent who's afraid of paintbrushes.
I'm a nanny on the Upper East Side of New York and while my boss is a good non-helicopter father, I routinely have playdates with other kids. I have a 4, 8, and 13 year old, so I've seen it all. My two favorites though:
A mother of one of my girl's little friends called my boss up furious and insisting he fire me because I let her child play with sidewalk paint. She was mad I made her seven-year-old use a paint brush, instead of doing the drawing for him after he told me what he wants. He could've poked his eye out with a brush according to her, and it was irresponsible.
The saddest part was that little boy told me before he left how fun it was we made the paints ourselves and then got to use them.
My 13 year old had a sleepover and I got a four-page list of things one girl wasn't allowed to do or eat. When I asked her about it, she told me she was only allergic to hazelnuts, and everything on the list was there because her mom 'didn't want her getting fat.' I let her eat with the girls (we had a build your own nacho/quesadilla thing) and I took them to our bodega that is legitimately less than 250 feet away (it's the bottom level of an apartment building on our corner and we're not even in the middle of the block) and got candy and soda to watch movies around 10 after they begged me to do so, and her mother informed my boss two days later her kid was no longer allowed to be friends with his daughter and it was my fault, as it was irresponsible for me to let four girls leave the house after dark, with a chaperone or not.
I also have a great one about my four-year-old's team hockey mom threatening to call CPS on me so she could get my boss' attention, but that's less helicopter parenting and more pathetic.
"I'm not a bad parent, my kid must be disabled."
This is a little different from the rest of these but it sprung to mind: I taught a 5-year-old whose very eccentric and wealthy mother came in to meet with us before she started to tell us that he had some developmental and social issues and needed a little extra attention and help understanding things (note that at this age a lot of kids aren't officially tested yet for anything) . He comes in and we discover after a week or two that he is absolutely one hundred percent f---ing fine developmentally, he's just HORRIBLY behaved and has never been disciplined in his entire life. He was a NIGHTMARE who was rude, entitled, and bratty, but he was perfectly smart and once we got through to him about what behavior was expected of him, he could easily do it. She was a lazy parent who instead of admitting that he was a brat, chalked it up to disabilities. To sum it up: "There's no way that my child can be wrong something must be wrong WITH him".
This fine young man who punched girls in gym class.
Happened in sophomore year in high school, we had a classmate who was of Indian descent and it was notable in his somewhat accented voice, while sometimes he played it up and he sounded like a cartoony Raj.
Anyways, he was a troublemaker and notorious for not listening to any female figures and even punched a female classmate during gym class.
He also had a sister the same year in classes as him, who was more level-headed and smarter; get this, he was older by 3 years!
Every time he gets in trouble with a female teacher, he takes out his phone and calls his father and gives the phone to the teacher, who starts yelling, we could all hear it.
This got everyone angry because it would cut our class time and the stress from exams coming up, so one day his parents came in and had a shouting match with the principal, we could hear it from the class next to their office.
Turns out, some students followed the kid home and beat him up and even took his pants. No one knew who it was, and the kid always played the incident as him fighting a bunch of gangbangers.
All I know now is that he was either deported or went back to India, as he had a criminal record and could not do any basic life skills.
His sister is doing well, though.
Another smart kid ruined by a deluded parent.
Teacher here. We had a student, 5th grade, who was pretty sneaky at first. He acted innocent but he was far from it. I'll jump to the end. He stepped on someone when they were laying down during free reading time. He would constantly talk and prevent the class from getting to lunch and specials on time, and did this just to cause trouble. He hit someone with a meter stick. He would "accidentally" kick people. He stole stuff. He cursed. Mom came out and said we were singling him out and he would never do those things and told us to stop contacting her. Later he did something else, something like ripping up classroom decorations or something like that, and the principal saw it. Principal called mom. Instead of accepting her child does wrong, she pulled him out of school. Since he hadn't been doing his work, this kid that was actually quite smart had all F's as transfer grades.
Crackheads and evolution.
I'll give two examples. One suburban, one inner city.
Suburban: Kid asked where dogs came from. Not sure why, I was an English teacher. I said they were bred from wolves, and gave two common explanations for how human interaction may have started. Mom called the school, then called me, freaking out that I mentioned evolution. Turned into a whole thing.
Inner city: Teen sucker-punched some poor girl, then punched me in the face when I broke them up. Ended up getting escorted off by campus cop. Dad, who was obviously a crackhead, showed up to the school and started threatening to kick everyone's a--.
This kid who humps his mom's leg.
One-on-one aide for a student in public school. Kid has Downs so he's a preteen but obviously is at a lower level with schoolwork and has socialization issues. Unfortunately, kid also has hit puberty hard and has major anger issues in addition to acting sexually frustrated a lot.
He's tried to grab males and females in a sexual nature, has gotten violent with multiple students, and has physically grabbed me (female) on more than one occasion. When he's told "no" or that it's inappropriate to react that way, he either throws something or screams in your face. Oh and he's tried to masturbate in multiple classes, which resulted in him having to leave one classroom because the other students, who were not special education students, were understandably uncomfortable with his actions.
Mom insists he is not aware of his actions, that she's "talked with him" and he won't do it again. This is what she says after every incident, without fail it continues. The violence alone could get him suspended as he has shown that he's cognitively aware of his actions & the consequences but parents are "high-profile" persons in the community. Also, I've watched the kid grab his mom's breasts and hump her leg & she just waves it away with "oh he's just a little excited," you know, like one does with a dog . . .
This mom who hates foster kids for some reason.
Had a pretty typical red/yellow/green behavior chart. One child was just transferred to me, not a completely terrible kid but had a habit of not knowing where the line was, so it got him in trouble from time to time. Every time I flipped his card to a yellow or red would always let the parent know what happened and what we’re going to do to stop the behavior in future. She then goes off on how it’s the other little kid causing the problems and her child is perfect. I let her know that while there isn’t a perfect person in the scenario, both kids could have acted in a different way. She then stated and I’m not kidding “I know that the other kid is a dirty foster child (still to this day don’t know how she learned this) and he assaulted my child! (Foster child pushed back after getting hit by her child)” SHE DID THIS IN FRONT OF THE OTHER CHILD! I told her to meet me in the office. Had a meeting with the director and she was no longer allowed in my classroom. However, had to take down my behavior chart which kinda blew because of how well it was working.