So, those of us that read YA regularly can usually bet that the parents of the main character are most of the time a) dead b) don't care about them c) away or gone for some reason or d) are too wrapped up in their own affairs to notice that their teen is sneaking out every night or whatever.
My crit partners and I were discussing this during our weekly chat. At one point someone goes, "Wait...are all of the parents in our stories dead?" We kinda looked at each other for a second and we all nodded and agreed that yes, at least one parent in our stories was dead. (there are 4 of us in the group, and we all write YA fantasy).
I've come to the conclusion that it's just easier that way. If the parent is nonexistent, then it's way easier to let the main character do what he or she needs to do and accomplish their personal journey. If there was a parent in the way, always making them check in (especially in fantasy- I mean, look at all the quests and journeys these teens go on- no parental units is practically a staple in YA fantasy) it'd be a pretty boring book.
So I'd like to say this to my own parents- I definitely don't wish you dead. I'm very very glad you are alive. And to those parents who notice that their teen's YA books' parents tend to be out of the picture, don't take it personally. Your teen doesn't wish you dead (at least I hope not), and it's all just part of the story. That's what being a teen is all about- escaping to a fantasy world for an hour or two a day where the teen makes all the decisions without the parent breathing down their necks. Of course they will mess up- it's what teens do. But seriously, we don't need to be lectured in real life AND in books.
BUT. I am not saying everyone should start killing off the 'rents. I've read books where they were very active and present, and are significant to the story. I'm just saying, if you notice the trend, it's just an easy peasy way to get those main characters off and by themselves so they can go on their emotional as well as physical journey without having to call mom every 5 minutes.
What do you as writers think of this? How about you as parents? How about as a reader- do you notice and are bothered by it, or is it just pretty normal to you?