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In spite of all the materialistic things Bob's parents gave him, they failed to give him what he truly wanted and needed and that was some structure. Rules to live by. When Randy and Ponyboy talk at they Tasty Freeze, Randy confides in Ponyboy about Bob's home life. He tells him:
" ...they gave in to him all the time. He kept trying to get someone to say 'No' and they never did. They never did. That was what he wanted. For somebody to tell him 'No' to lay down the law, set limits and give him something solid to stand on. That's what we all want really."
Randy's quote couldn't be more true. Bob, Johnny and Dally grew up in very different homes, but their parents had similar attitudes towards parenting. We know that Dally's parents had given up on him a long time ago. Johnny's parents could care less about his well-being. They don't care if he comes home or not and when he goes missing for five days, they don't ask about him.
All three boys are like plastic bags blowing in the wind. No direction, no purpose, and their parents are not willing to grab hold of them and point them in the right direction.
he wanted them to say NO.
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