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Evicted Son Perfectly Illustrates the Dangers of Helicopter Parenting

Photograph by Twenty20

At 30 years old, Michael Rotondo has been told by a judge that it’s time to get out of his parent’s house. This comes after eight years of living with them rent-free in upstate New York, not contributing at all to the household (by his own admission), and after receiving five eviction notices from his mom and dad over the last few months.

And yet, he’s still arguing that he should be given at least six months to continue with the status quo.

For 30 minutes in court on Tuesday, May 22, Rotondo (who represented himself) and the judge argued back and forth while his parents looked on silently. Rotondo cited a legal case he thought set a precedent for him being given at least six additional months to continue living rent-free. The judge praised him on his research, only to have Rotondo wave it off as something he’d found in a simple internet search. The judge then provided an appellate court decision that found family members aren’t extended that six-month grace period. (Hello, mic drop.)

But Rotondo continued to argue.

This isn’t the first time Rotondo has found himself in court. Last year, he sued Best Buy for $338,500 for firing him because of his refusal to work Saturdays. That case is still pending.

He also claims to be in a custody battle for his son, to whom he lost all visitation rights in 2017. At that point in time, his parents told him if he wanted to continue living with them, he would have to get a job and health insurance. He refused, but remained under their roof.

One of their eviction notices cites his poor work history, but argues that he should still be able to find a job. They also offered up $1,100 to help him find a place to stay, further suggesting he sell some of his belongings—including his stereo and weapons—until he can find a job.

To take their son to court, his parents clearly must have been desperate. But it’s impossible not to wonder what took them so long. It's also impossible not to feel that they must be partially to blame for how entitled their son appears, both in court and the multiple interviews he’s taken part in since.

While they remained silent and have yet to sit in front of a camera themselves, their son beckoned the media to follow him out once court adjourned. He’s been courting them ever since, providing an especially bizarre interview to CNN.

He clearly seems to be soaking up the attention. But no matter how many reporters side-eye his current fight, he maintains his “right” to continue living with his parents rent-free.

Are mental health issues to blame for how detached from reality he seems to be? Or is this the result of helicopter parenting—a mom and dad who coddled their boy way too much, raising him into an adult who's completely incapable of taking care of himself? (And completely convinced he shouldn’t have to.)

Without knowing more about his home life, it’s impossible to tell. But if nothing else, this story should serve as a warning to parents everywhere:

If your adult child asks to move back home, you might want to have strict ground rules in place before handing over the key. Otherwise, you could find yourself in court years down the line, wondering how in the heck it went this far.

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