In some ways, Victor describes his childhood as idyllic. In chapter one, he says, "My parents were indulgent, and my companions amiable." There really was no disciplinary figure in the home, but neither did such a figure seem necessary at the time. Victor continues,
My father directed our studies, and my mother partook of our enjoyments [...]; the voice of command was never heard amongst us; but mutual affection engaged us all to comply with and obey the slightest desire of each other.
There seems to have such a general sense of accord and love that no one fought, everyone read what they loved, and all got along without incident.
On the other hand, it seems that Victor's imagination really did require more direction than he received. Although he was "calm and philosophical [...,] [his] temper was not so yielding" and he felt keenly a desire to "discover" the world's secrets. He began to study the work of writers like Cornelius Agrippa (writers whose work focused on the fantastic, not the realistic at all). When he told his father what he'd been reading, rather than instructing him further, his father simply told him, "do not waste your time upon this; it is sad trash." Now, as an adult, Victor says,
I cannot help remarking here the many opportunities instructors possess of directing the attention of their pupils to useful knowledge, which they utterly neglect [....]. If, instead of this remark, my father had taken the pains to explain to me, that the principles of Agrippa had been entirely exploded [....,] It is even possible that the train of my ideas would never have received the fatal impulse that led to my ruin.
Victor censures his father for his lack of education, and he actually blames his father for not curbing the impulses that eventually lead to his own catastrophic mistakes, ruin, and death. Thus, even though his childhood appeared ideal in many ways, it becomes obvious that adult Victor sees it as a liability rather than a blessing.