In the book The Outsiders, what was Johnny's relationship with his parents like?
Johnny's relationship with his parents is nonexistent. Sure, Johnny interacts with his parents, but that does not mean that he has a relationship with his parents. I suppose that a case could be made that any interaction is indicative of a relationship. If that is the case, then Johnny's relationship with his parents is unhealthy. They abuse him both physically and emotionally. Johnny's father is a drunk—a mean and violent drunk, to be specific, and he frequently beats Johnny. Johnny's mother does nothing to intervene and stop the beatings, nor does she do anything to console Johnny afterward. She either verbally abuses Johnny or completely ignores him. It's no wonder that Johnny feels love and companionship from the Greasers. Johnny's home life has left him quite skittish, which is why Ponyboy describes Johnny as
"a little dark puppy that has been kicked too many times and is lost in a crowd of strangers."
Johnny is beaten by his father, a drunk, and ignored by his mother. Johnny stays around for his friends, the adult world has no use for him. Even his teachers think he is ignorant.