Why do today's books and television shows for preteen and teens have such weak or absent parents in them? They try to convey that kids could rule the world if the adults would just get out of the way. Many TV "family" shows have silly, immature, no-nothing fathers and over-worked, dissociated mothers. Perhaps it is a true reflection of the current state of the family, but I like to think it's not. I see dedicated, nurturing mothers and protective, supportive fathers in the families with which I come in contact.
Wouldn't we be naïve, or even foolish, to think that our children could grow up with a sense of a strong family connection when their minds have been filled with dribble? They would have no "bone knowledge" of a family with strong, present, supportive parents if that image has not been set firmly in their "heart bone."
Write those wonderful stories of childhood adventure and creativity, but ground them in the faithful love and support of an involved family. Kids used to travel by bike and bus all over their towns and come home by sundown. Now, they are chauffeured, dropped off and picked up on a ridged schedule. No wonder they seek the independence of TV characters who can sass back, lie to their parents, and create their own family of children.
The challenge for authors in the present time, is write wonderful tales of adventure and freedom without contributing to the destruction of the family in the process. To tell you the truth, kids had more freedom and chance to learn about life fifty years ago when parents were present in their lives than they do now. Yes, children are on their own more now: home alone, eat alone, study alone, and cry alone. Tell that story - and how parents rescued them from their aloneness. Be brave enough to give them the family they may not have and desperately long for.