But Disney’s Rapunzel certainly got me thinking more about a subject that has tickled at the back of my mind for quite a while: Why in the heck are there so many books or stories featuring bad mothers/absentee mothers? I suppose there are plenty of books and stories where both parents are negative forces/absent, but perhaps because I am a mother, I’m particularly bugged by the moms. And this is not a new trend in writing, either. Consider some traditional fairy tales, like Hansel and Gretel, Cinderella, and even the real story of Rapunzel!
Here’s a thought: Kids love adventure, and let’s face it, sometimes mom and dad squish the adventure bug (Especially mom. “Be careful, Jack!” “Don’t do that, Susie!”). Better to be rid of the parents, right? Or perhaps a child’s need for nurturing parents is a crucial aspect of the young character’s development?
I had planned to dissect this a bit more, but my kids want me to play with them. Ironic?
I’d love to hear your thoughts about this topic. Are the parents in your favorite stories a positive presence or a presence at all?