Teacher Says The New Wave Of Parents Are 'Roommate Parenting' — 'I Can't Believe The Decline In Quality, Involved Families’

One teacher argued parents are not invested in interactions and relationships anymore.

teacher shaking mom's hand while student looks on Drazen Zigic / Shutterstock

There are so many different parenting styles now, and teachers have a front-row seat to all of them. Some are beneficial and innovative, while others seem to not help the child as much. 

One teacher suggested that a new form of caring for children is “roommate parenting.”

What is ‘roommate parenting?’

In a Reddit post, a teacher introduced the concept of “roommate parenting” — although he claimed it had been in practice for quite a while.


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“It’s time to trademark the label ‘roommate parenting,’” he insisted. “This is my 11th year teaching, and I cannot believe the decline in quality, involved parents.”

“This year, my team and I have coined the term ‘roommate parenting’ to describe this new wave of parents,” he explained. “It actually explains a lot.”

The teacher gave an example of what roommate parenting means. “Kids and parents are in the house, but they only interact at meals, TV time, etc.,”

He further added, “Parents (roommates) have no involvement with homework, academics.” He compared this to his own experience as a roommate: “I never helped my roommate with his chemistry homework.”


Another thing the teacher said was that parents lamented “getting a call from school or the teacher,” which “means immediate annoyance and response like it’s a major inconvenience. It’s like getting a call at 2:00 a.m. that your roommate is trashed at the bar.

parents and child all on separate tech devices in the same room Sorapop / Canva Pro

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Kids also have to take on more responsibilities now. “Household responsibility and taking care of the kids aged four and below is shared,” he said. “The number of kids I see taking care of themselves is insane. The moment those young ones are old enough, they graduate from being ‘taken care of’ to ‘taking care of.’”

This sad reality means many children are forced to grow up quickly to take care of their siblings rather than being allowed to be kids and focus on their education.

“Lastly, with parents shifting to the roommate role, teachers have become the new parents,” he concluded. “Welcome to the new norm; it’s going to be exhausting.”

This teacher essentially feels that parents have given up on their jobs and are relying on others — in this case, teachers — to pick up the slack.

@michellecharriere_ A secure attachment relationship is the most important thing that you can provide your child with. We need to cut out the noise from previously held misconceptions about child development, and move towards valuing the importance of a child’s need for security, nurturing, and certainty that they can depend on their caregivers for support. #attachmentparenting #attachmenttheory #infantmentalhealth #parentsoftiktok #gentleparenting #responsiveparenting ♬ original sound - Michelle | 0-5 Mental Health🧠

Mental health professionals have acknowledged that some parents truly are acting more like roommates.

Although this may seem like just one person’s observation, experts actually agree.

Modern Parenting Solutions, run by licensed clinical psychologist Dr. Becca Ballinger, said that it is not uncommon for children living in a house with other people to feel lonely if their parents are not attentive.

@melrobbins "If you want to be closer with your kids, this one’s for you. In this eye-opening episode, Jennifer Wallace shares the 5 to 1 Parenting Rule and delves into the pressure of “toxic achievement” that can leave you feeling like you’re never doing enough 👇 “Never Enough: 7 Ways to Protect Yourself (and Your Kids) From Toxic Pressure” 🔗 in bio #melrobbins #changeyourlife #mindset #createabetterlife #takecontrol #motivation #melrobbinspodcast #podcast #podcastclips #parentingadvice #parenting ♬ original sound - Mel Robbins

“If you think you’ve slipped into the bad habit of being your child’s roommate instead of their parents, then the first step is to identify the behaviors that need to change. Next, create a consistent (and hopefully, daily) habit of interacting with your child,” they said.


According to the experts, interaction is key. This is something that, based on this teacher’s post, seems to be seriously lacking in a lot of parent-child relationships.

Holt International insisted that interaction is of the utmost importance. “Interaction is another way of saying ‘relationships,’” they wrote. “Positive relationships are the foundation for raising healthy children. Interaction also refers to a child’s social-emotional health and well-being, which is a cornerstone in their development.”

If interaction is the same thing as a relationship, then it is easy to see why not interacting with your child could be detrimental to their health and development.


It may be easy to just allow your kids to do what they want and slowly slip out of their lives, but this is not healthy. Parents are meant to actively care for and show up for their children. That’s the mark of real parenting.

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Mary-Faith Martinez is a writer for YourTango who covers entertainment, news and human interest topics.