Rex and Rose Mary Walls spend their lives and their children's childhoods attempting to escape from reality physically and mentally. In addition to making up stories and filling his children with false dreams to escape his creditors and other nagging problems, Rex also physically moves his family whenever he and Rose Mary decide to do so. Even though each parent must have known that the constant moving hindered their children's emotional and educational welfare, they mentally escape from any guilt that they might feel by telling their children that they will be stronger for it and that they do not need stability.
Additionally, Rex escapes mentally from his parenting responsibilities by drinking and by promising himself and his children that he will be a better father one day (by building them a glass castle). Rose Mary, Jeanette's mom, is a little more complex than Rex is. She behaves as if she has no responsibility to her children because they need to learn on their own and escapes into the distraction of tangible items that require no emotional reaction from her.