What is the worst parenting you've ever seen?

It was in the mid 1990s. I used to work with this computer programmer. He was a brilliant engineer, so let's call him Scotty. Scotty was married to a similar brainy type, let's call her Leah. Scotty and Leah were two of the most talented yet socially awkward people I had ever met.

Scotty had a six-figure job working for the government and Leah stayed at home to raise her two kids in a rural and isolated home about 1-2 hours drive from the city. Money was no problem, but both of them considered themselves the height of intellectual perfection, and thus homeschooled their kids the same way. The eldest was Kilocal (not his real name, but a similar unique scientific one), and his little sister was Ripley (not her real name, but named after a prominent female sci fi character).

I get the concept of "free range kids," I do. But these parents also didn't believe their kids should be "restricted by society's boundaries." Thus, they were obnoxious, ill mannered, and often dirty brats. Social services had them on speed dial, because often they would come to events, drop off their kids, and come back later. Like adult, unsupervised events like science fiction conventions and the like. And heaven help you if you tried to tell them how to raise their kids. Instant death stares and public beratement.

To give you an idea how messed up these kids were, at age 14, Kilocal had a 19-year old girlfriend who was a severely messed up alcoholic street punk. At age nine, Ripley had a working knowledge of BDSM concepts, including dressing in leather accessories and whipping people for fun. NINE. And she wasn't "physically advanced for her age," either: she looked nine. No amount of eye bleach will wash that image out of my head.

Eventually, this huge calliope of parenting collapsed in on itself. The kids were removed from the home more than once, and I think finally placed in parental foster care for a while. Scotty and Leah decided to have an open marriage, which eventually led to a very bitter divorce. I heard Ripley ran away with some 40+ year old guy in Florida when she was 16, where she still lives with him in some kind of treehouse complex (unclear on the exact details, but she'd be in her late 20s now) in a communal living farm. I heard Kilocal straightened his life out, "divorced his parents," and moved to California to become a software engineer.

/r/AskReddit Thread