IMO: Portrayal of Parents in YA

Where are the parents in YA that tell you this stuff?

A lot of the time, teenagers complain about not being portrayed realistically in young adult books. While as a teenager I completely agree that sometimes we're not written "right", I wanted to talk about the other usually forgotten or dead characters who are unrealistically portrayed.


I know the death of a parent is often used as a plot line, but it takes two people to have a child. That usually means two people to raise a child. So if one's not around... Where is the other? Often in this case, the other parent is usually the parent who is always busy at work or has fallen into an emotional spiral and is basically off the grid, both instances leaving the child to survive on their own.

Parents, don't you ever get angry at this portrayal of parents?

As a reader, I am getting so frustrated with the portrayal of parents. Or the lack of parenting shall I call it? I have two parents, neither of which would let me get away with a tenth of the things characters in young adult books get up to, supernatural or not. There's also no possible way that my parents would not know about me doing said things. Parents mystically gain psychic skills once they have children (at least mine seem to have). 

And often the lack of parenting in books seems to just be so there's no conflict when it comes to the protagonist going out to save the day. I feel like it's a cop out. Also, what happened to education? I swear the majority of protagonists have dropped out of school (of course their parents have no idea) to battle the forces of evil. 

If the lack of parenting in the book is a plot line, I'll have no problem with its appearance in a book. But it seems to be way too often that parents are removed from YA books to create sympathy for the main character or because they're an inconvenience (because actual parents would notice these things happening to their children).

I want to know as readers, parents, or parents who are writers: what's your opinion on the portrayal of parents in young adult fiction? Both contemporary and paranormal (though it seems to occur more often in the latter), dead and alive-but-emotionally-unavailable, or just plain irresponsible. 


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