How is Rose Mary’s immaturity used to show how parenting impacts a child’s development in The Glass Castle?

Rose Mary's immaturity forces her children to rely on themselves, and her parenting style negatively impacts their development. Rose Mary is not ready for the responsibilities of motherhood, and she neglects her children's needs, expecting them to be entirely self-sufficient. It is suggested that Rose Mary's behavior and parenting techniques were heavily influenced by her own mother, as Rose Mary wanted to raise her children differently than she was raised.

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The subjects of immaturity and child development in relationship to parenting are relevant both to Rose Mary and to Jeannette. Rose Mary seems to have been unprepared for the responsibilities of raising children, but she also insisted that her parenting choices were deliberate. Because she was highly critical of her...

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The subjects of immaturity and child development in relationship to parenting are relevant both to Rose Mary and to Jeannette. Rose Mary seems to have been unprepared for the responsibilities of raising children, but she also insisted that her parenting choices were deliberate. Because she was highly critical of her own mother’s methods, she decided to try a different approach. Her lack of maturity is revealed by her inability to confront negative situations, demonstrated by her regular pattern of withdrawing into her painting whenever a challenging situation arises.

Her mother’s insistence on developing self-sufficiency propelled Jeannette toward adulthood long before she was ready for such steps. One example is foraging in the woods for kindling, as she and her siblings often did. She also took on financial responsibilities, assuming a larger share of family obligations than a child normally would. Taking on this burden required her to become a wage earner at the age of thirteen, which violated state labor law.

Jeannette was raised to believe that such activities built character and resilience, so for many years she did not understand that her parents’ behavior was abusive. Although some of the children in her family did become more resilient, one brother broke away completely from their parents, and one sister developed serious mental health problems.

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