December 15, 2013

5 Things YA Parents Say (But My Parents Never Did)

You've probably noticed an on-going trend in Young Adult fiction. YA (especially anything that's paranormal/scifi/fantasy, etc) has an odd tendency to have absent or complacent parents. (And, kinda like Disney movies, you frequently see single parents in YA.) As I writer, I get it. You need the parents to not get in the way of the story. (We can't be bothered by petty things like good parenting!)

So here are 5 Things YA Parents Say (But MY Parents Never Did)

1) "I'm okay with anything, sweetheart. Be back home by... oh, whenever you feel like it."

  Um. Yeah. My parents set a curfew. And sometimes they forgot how late that curfew was (because I was a good girl and came home early) and so my parents made my curfew even earlier than it was before! And breaking curfew meant not leaving the house again for a very long time.

2) "You've been acting out. I'm going to punish you by leaving you home by yourself (like I always do) and you'd BETTER NOT leave."

Seeing as my parents were pretty protective, I was rarely left at home without one of them there, even when I was a teenager. But you'd better believe that if I was being punished, my parents were right there, making sure I was wallowing in my misery.

3) "You mean you're dating that perfectly-chiseled heartthrob? Are you being safe?"

First of all, ew. No, mom. You can't date my boyfriend.

I kept my parents out of my dating life as much as possible, but when that couldn't be avoided, they NEVER commented on how hot the guy was. (Thankfully.)

Also, my parents never assumed I was having sex (especially not RIGHT after finding out that I was dating someone). So I got to avoid that lovely little question.

4) "I'm going to be at work for a few (hours, days, months). You can take care of yourself, right?"

No. More like: "I have to go to the post office. If you're hungry, there's leftover chicken, sandwich meat, granola bars, and cereal. Please don't use the stove; I don't want the house to burn down. But hang in there and I'll come home and make dinner. I have my cell phone. Call me if you have any problems. The number for the doctor is on the fridge. Do you know what to do if there's an earthquake?" and on and on.

5) "Your grades are slipping. You're grounded!" (see #2)
Yes. Well done, parents. Your daughter is going through some major life events (possibly with an immortal or alien or something) and, of all things, you notice her grades. And instead of finding out WHY, you just ground her. *applause*

Of course, my grades NEVER slipped, so I have no idea what my parents would have said. But I did hear, "We don't care if you make an "A" or a "D", just as long as you're doing the best you can."

I had awesome parents.

It's just a shame they'd make boring fiction.


Thea van Diepen said...

I think, if someone wrote a YA where the parents actually parented, that it's perfectly possible for that to be not only interesting, but also for it to add to the story as a whole. I can't help but think about Buffy the Vampire Slayer and how awesome her mom was.

Unknown said...

That's true. She was clueless about a few things, but they made it work. I loved her relationship with Spike.

taborer said...

I can totally hear your parents checking to be sure you knew earthquake protocol.

And Buffy's mom was great.

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