Hear the Writer Roar! Tuesday: Parents in Children’s Novels

MeandLilOne

Hello dear ones. So Michael has been sick since last night. I’m recovering from the Star Wars birthday party I threw for him Saturday (thanks Mom for your help!). I haven’t written much these last several days. I’m trying to get in author mode. And I read this interesting article that got me thinking:

http://parenting.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/02/26/when-parents-kill-parents-in-the-name-of-literature/

The author talks about the somewhat absent or bad parents that are often in children’s novels. She mentions “The Little House” series, Narnia, and The Secret Garden. I can think of several myself. She goes on to say how the authors were parents themselves and how she has even had absentee parents in her novel. Check out the article. She has an interesting way of explaining this “phenomena” in Children’s literature.

So I thought about my own books and how the children also take off on their own adventure. I can understand the need for this so that kids can imagine growing up. Most children’s books are coming of age stories. The fiction helps us deal with the hardships of growing up.  Still, I think maybe my character’s parents need a bit of grace. They are practically living in the dark ages with the curse and all. So maybe there will be redemption for Emmanuel’s folks. Being a parent is hard.

I myself, am a super involved parent.  We both slept in the living room last night and I checked on him constantly. I miss when Michael was tiny and I treasure every moment of his childhood (He’s almost 7 !). But I know one day he has to grow up. I doubt he will learn to ride Falkor and save Fantasia. But my goal as a parent is to prepare him for adulthood. It is my mission, my calling from God, to raise Michael with a love for Jesus, Godly character, and the ability to take care of himself in the world.

The books we write, fellow authors, are legacies we leave to our children and many others. May we leave them truths to guide them amidst the fantasy. Because they are learning something whether we believe it or not.  Parenting is heart rending. On one hand you are pushing your kid out of the nest so they can fly and on the other hand, you’re grasping at their childhood like dandelions blowing in the wind. It’s like catching lightening bugs. You treasure them for a moment but then have to let them go free.

So today I will consider what I’ve learned and show my characters to give their parents grace. Though I think they already have and will once they see their folks again. Maybe the parents will have more of a presence in the next two books. Well, back to writing…

God bless & remember the High King lives! ~Amber Dover

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