Families aren't often depicted in YA Literature. Is it because they are for teens who want to be independent? Or is it because the parents are always working? Whatever the reason, families aren't a big part of YA Literature. When you find a family, they are usually disconnected, and uncommunicative. The parents don't usually care about the kid's well-being. Or the parents are manipulative. A good, healthy family relationship is like finding a needle in a haystack.
Family relationships are very important to be shown in YA Literature. They help readers, know what is a healthy relationship and it also helps the story be better. YA Literature needs to start to learn that family relationships are important to showcase.
Let's take Harry Potter for example. The Harry Potter series has tons of family relationships and they are what makes the story a lot better. We are all well aware of the Weasley's. They have been called one of the best families in YA Literature and it's true. The Weasley's maintain a strong relationship which gets them through thick and thin. This is what makes them one of the strongest family relationships and the book is a lot better because of it.
Now, let's take The Hunger Games. The Hunger Games doesn't have the best family relationships. But Katniss' family is a strong one. Her mom and her sister are always there for her, even though her mom does seem a little out of it in the first book. But they all really care for each other and are determined to see the best in each other and have each other see the best in them.
Then we have a book on the opposite end of the spectrum: Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes. The relationship between Magnus and his parents isn't necessarily an abusive relationship but it is not healthy and they don't seem to care for each other at all. Magnus just seems like another way for Gaius to get what he wants. Gaius doesn't think of him as his son. And then you have the mother who is pretty much out of it much of the time. She doesn't seem to care about her children either which shows that it is an unhealthy relationship.
Then we have abusive family relationships; The Young Elites and Lock and Mori. In The Young Elites, Adelina's father treats her like dirt. She isn't treated like a person at all, just because she has scars from an illness that she got. It isn't right to treat someone like that, just because they aren't as pretty as someone else. Her father wanted to marry her off, just so he could get money and then when she got sick and emerged with scars, he knew he would never get to marry her off. This family relationship is just plain wrong. Then there is Lock and Mori. Their father treats them really poorly because he thinks it is their fault that their mother died. This is also a messed up family relationship that isn't right at all.
So, why are family relationships not treated as something that is necessary to YA Literature?
It's a serious issue that needs to be fixed. Family relationships are things that should be depicted in a good light, every time they are showcased. Families are very important. They are something that every kid wants. Every child wants to belong. So, when author's start writing books that don't have healthy relationships, kids will think that abusive families are okay. And they aren't.
Having a strong family relationship is very important and I believe that they should always be showcased as so. Starting in YA Literature!