Types of Parents in Books

Hi all! I have a quick, fun post today about types of parents in books. Some of these I hate, some I like, let’s just get right to it…

  1. saint anythingNon-Absent Absentee Parents– gosh I hate these ones- they’re there, but they’re not quite *there*. They are totally oblivious to things like their daughter becoming a vampire or stupidly manage to somehow invite a sexual predator to come live with them (hello Saint Anything– yes I’m talking to you!) Easily confused with…


  1. twilightCool Cat Parents– you know the type: the I’m-so-cool-I’m-basically-your-sister ones. Not gonna lie, I find these ones irritating too. Because arghhh can’t they just be a parent for one second?! But no, they’re too busy being “scatty” (another word for useless) and marrying some sporty guy to actually be of some use (yes, I am talking about Bella Swan’s mum)


  1. to all the boysThe I’m-doing-the-best-I-can type– and I don’t mean that sarkily, I mean it in a sweet kind of way. I mean, they’re a bit rough around the edges, often still learning the ropes and can even have a ton of problems, but at least they’re trying to do the best they can! Like Lara Jean’s absolutely lovable dad- who hasn’t had it easy but makes things work.


  1. matildaTotally tyrannical– not to be confused with a tyrannosaurus rex, though they have that temperament. Nope, these are humans that have about as much virtue as a toilet brush. Take Mr and Mrs Wormwood as an example- they literally punished their daughter for reading. It doesn’t get much worse.


  1. City_of_Bones (1)The Villain All-Along– often slick and charming, this one can totally take us by surprise, cos they were the villain all along (chorus of sighs). I did think of an example here that was super spoilery, but decided not to go with it, so instead I’m just gonna say Valentine from Mortal Instruments) cos we all know he’s the bad guy.


Annnd I think I’ll leave it there for now. Which parents in books do you like the most? Which ones get on your last nerves? Let me know in the comments!

48 thoughts on “Types of Parents in Books

  1. Nevada Baylor’s mother and grandmother. That whole family really. Best family I’ve read. They are like a blend of practical and badass when it comes to their charges especially the world they’re in! Great post! Now I’m gonna be thinking about other parents in books that doesn’t instantly come to mind right this second haha

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m usually just thankful a character has parents. Most of the time, in YA in particular they’re just missing. The MC seems to have brought themselves up (and maybe a half dozen siblings too).

    Even worse is the bad parent, the one who is too preoccupied with their own stuff or abusive in some way. Can we please just have some nice parent or parents who may not always be the best but who pay attention and put their kids first? (Basically the Weasleys)

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  3. Amazing list! I agree with you, most of these parents are the absolute worst… Sometimes I just wish people would include “normal” parents for once (but where would the fun be in that, right? How would it influence the plot then?)
    Don’t get me wrong, I love fucked up parents as much as anyone. But it’s become so much like the norm that I feel the need to go back to simpler times 😂 (I love #3 and #4 though)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much!! hehee that’s so true!! I’m the same- I want some normal parents- but then again I also want a good plot (that makes sense). And the trouble is when they’re nice, they also seem to have to turn a blind eye to everything, otherwise they’re interfering in the plot too much. Hahaha yes so true!! Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Omg the parents that are there but barely annoy me SO MUCH. Of course there are parents out there that are barely present in their kids life and barely notice anything that goes on with them, but the amount of parents we have like this in YA books makes it really annoying haha

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    1. I know right!!! They legit drive me crazy!! Yes I totally agree- also, yeah, they exist, but they always seem to turn up in *every* book- and it gets a bit exhausting. Plus what irritates me about those types is they’re always presented as “cool” when I reckon in real life they’re more likely to get yelled at to “be a parent!” Very annoying! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Huh, what a great idea for post! You’re a walking/talking/writing arsenal of good ideas and deep thoughts! 😀 no but really… not joking…
    anyway… I think the type of parent I tend to dislike in the book is the one that is too busy with themselves to actually be a pernt (fits with your item 2 I think?)- those moms that are too bimbo and chading their youth to see that their child is literally falling down the drain… It’s always very frustrating for me to read and I hate them! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I still find it depressing how lackluster the parental landscape of characters is in books. So very rarely do they resemble anything close to what’s going on in reality. I do understand that a lot of the time it just needs to be that way for plot reasons, but parents exist. For the most part, they also care. No one expects them to be perfect, but yeah … you summed it up pretty great in your list!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. hehe yes that’s fair! hahahah yes that’s true. Who’d a thunk it- parents who care? Lol, I can be mostly ok with lousy parents in books- but some of them- especially ones that are there but totally unobservant for the sake of the plot, tend to get on my wick 😉 Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, it works sometimes when they are lousy but in regular contemporaries where the familial life is pretty normal and they are just none existent and let their kids go out at all hours and what not, I just feel super weird about that haha

        Liked by 1 person

  7. The “Too Dumb to Live Let Alone Breed” parents. They haven’t the slightest clue about their children and potential issues. They literally live lives where they completely ignore symptoms of issues going on with their children.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. You’ve summed these up so well, I think I’ve encountered all of these types in one book or another! I find the 1st type really annoying too, but I think the 2nd type is even more annoying. Something about the ‘cool cat’ parent has always felt a bit try-hard to me in books. I get especially irritated by scatty, artistic mother characters who drift around dreamily… maybe because it also feeds into the ‘artists have to be constantly off with the fairies and unaware of what’s going on around them’ stereotype, and in my personal experience, it’s not an accurate one! I’m much more of a fan of the last three types… although it’s terrible for the children, villainous parents are just so much more fun to read about!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!! hehe I know right 😉 I can never quite decide which one is worse tbh, but possibly 2, cos like you said they’re so try-hard and they’re supposed to be “good” parents, even though they’re so clearly not. hahaha yes I totally get that!! Oh gosh totally agree with you- I can definitely appreciate some properly dastardly characters in books for sure!! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Haha yeah, I can see why you’re undecided, both types are pretty irritating (and similar, as you mentioned) – and that’s so true, the fact that they are supposed to be “good” and clearly aren’t makes them all the more annoying! Glad you like the dastardly ones too – I guess there’s a difference between an annoying parent character and a parent character you love to hate 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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