Twilosophy: Charlie & Renee – a parenting cop out?

Dear Twilosophy Majors,

My good pal nopaperkg has just recently begun reading Breaking Dawn and on our road trip back from the holiday break she turned on her copy of the Breaking Dawn audiobook. While the audiobook version is a whole ‘nother post for a different day suffice it to say it got me thinking again about the saga through new eyes. Something about hearing a woman imitating a man’s voice or maybe hearing the only book in the saga I’ve read once being dramatically read to me gave it new life. And it brought up some of my old questions I had that started back in the Twilight book. We listened to the chapter of Breaking Dawn where Charlie sees Bella for the first time since she’s been changed into a Vampire. He tells Bella that the less he knows the better. And so that got me to thinking…

Is Charlie’s (and for that matter Renee’s) parenting style a cop out? Now obviously, I’m not a parent, and who knows if I ever will be one, but I know from having a couple of really good parents of my own that none of this shiz Bella tries to pull would NEVER have flown. The “less I know, the better” would NOT have happened in my house. Especially if I supposedly came down with some tropical disease on my honeymoon that required me to go to the center of disease control. RIGHT. My mom would have beat me to the center before I ever got there. And the whole Renesmee is our maybe daughter/maybe niece who grows at an unnatural rate and has a betrothed that is a werewolf on the side. Nope, don’t want to know anything about it, TMI! YEA RIGHT.

Hey baby, I'll maybe see you in 2 years when you graduate. Oh wait, I won't.

Let’s take it back to New Moon. Had my boyfriend dumped me and left me in the woods which would lead me into a downward depression spiral my mom would have been on the first plane out. Especially if months went by where I became a zombie with night terrors and a penchant for dangerous after school activities. Is Charlie not sharing the whole truth with Renee? Is she too busy in Jacksonville with Phil the minor league baseball player to care about her child who is hurting?

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When I first read Twilight back in the day I thought the person in the preface she was referring to was her own father. I thought Charlie would find out the truth and try to kill Edward. Well, boy was I ever wrong. Charlie barely talked to his daughter in Twilight let alone actually knew anything she was doing after school or on weekends while on “hikes.”

Don't tell me anything about your life, please.

Were Charlie and Renee both too busy with their own personal pursuits to notice what was going on on the home front? Charlie is almost always out fishing with Harry or spending overtime at the station probably trying to meet his quota of speeding tickets in Forks for the month. Renee’s no better and probably worse. Bella reasons away her mom’s actions and says that she is the one who took care of her through all her hair brained activities, her boyfriend and uprooting her kid during her junior year of high school. I simply don’t get the lack of parenting skills or the lack of caring what your own daughter is up to.

Sure, I didn’t grow up with parents like Charlie or Renee so I have zero basis for understanding the reasoning behind it. All I can go on is my own experience and what I think kids benefit the most form and it’s parents who actively participate in their kids lives, even when it’s not the easy way out.

So is Charlie and Renee’s parenting style a cop out? Would your parents say the less information the better? Can we blame Charlie and Renee for some of Bella’s dumb decisions? Would your mom or dad have figured out “there’s something up with that Cullen kid” 5 minutes after he stepped into your house to take you on a Vampire Baseball date?


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