Twilosophy: Charlie & Renee – a parenting cop out?

Dear Twilosophy Majors,

My good pal nopaperkg has just recently begun reading Breaking Dawn and on our road trip back from the holiday break she turned on her copy of the Breaking Dawn audiobook. While the audiobook version is a whole ‘nother post for a different day suffice it to say it got me thinking again about the saga through new eyes. Something about hearing a woman imitating a man’s voice or maybe hearing the only book in the saga I’ve read once being dramatically read to me gave it new life. And it brought up some of my old questions I had that started back in the Twilight book. We listened to the chapter of Breaking Dawn where Charlie sees Bella for the first time since she’s been changed into a Vampire. He tells Bella that the less he knows the better. And so that got me to thinking…

Is Charlie’s (and for that matter Renee’s) parenting style a cop out? Now obviously, I’m not a parent, and who knows if I ever will be one, but I know from having a couple of really good parents of my own that none of this shiz Bella tries to pull would NEVER have flown. The “less I know, the better” would NOT have happened in my house. Especially if I supposedly came down with some tropical disease on my honeymoon that required me to go to the center of disease control. RIGHT. My mom would have beat me to the center before I ever got there. And the whole Renesmee is our maybe daughter/maybe niece who grows at an unnatural rate and has a betrothed that is a werewolf on the side. Nope, don’t want to know anything about it, TMI! YEA RIGHT.

Hey baby, I'll maybe see you in 2 years when you graduate. Oh wait, I won't.

Let’s take it back to New Moon. Had my boyfriend dumped me and left me in the woods which would lead me into a downward depression spiral my mom would have been on the first plane out. Especially if months went by where I became a zombie with night terrors and a penchant for dangerous after school activities. Is Charlie not sharing the whole truth with Renee? Is she too busy in Jacksonville with Phil the minor league baseball player to care about her child who is hurting?

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When I first read Twilight back in the day I thought the person in the preface she was referring to was her own father. I thought Charlie would find out the truth and try to kill Edward. Well, boy was I ever wrong. Charlie barely talked to his daughter in Twilight let alone actually knew anything she was doing after school or on weekends while on “hikes.”

Don't tell me anything about your life, please.

Were Charlie and Renee both too busy with their own personal pursuits to notice what was going on on the home front? Charlie is almost always out fishing with Harry or spending overtime at the station probably trying to meet his quota of speeding tickets in Forks for the month. Renee’s no better and probably worse. Bella reasons away her mom’s actions and says that she is the one who took care of her through all her hair brained activities, her boyfriend and uprooting her kid during her junior year of high school. I simply don’t get the lack of parenting skills or the lack of caring what your own daughter is up to.

Sure, I didn’t grow up with parents like Charlie or Renee so I have zero basis for understanding the reasoning behind it. All I can go on is my own experience and what I think kids benefit the most form and it’s parents who actively participate in their kids lives, even when it’s not the easy way out.

So is Charlie and Renee’s parenting style a cop out? Would your parents say the less information the better? Can we blame Charlie and Renee for some of Bella’s dumb decisions? Would your mom or dad have figured out “there’s something up with that Cullen kid” 5 minutes after he stepped into your house to take you on a Vampire Baseball date?


Time to jump in the discussion in the comments!

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173 Responses

  1. Yeah, I blame SMEYERS… Charlie probably wanted to be a better dad, but she wouldn’t have it. Renee is a whole other story… Too busy chasing young baseball peen players to properly care. Even in the hospital scene when her kid is all mangled and awake for the first time in days, peen Phil calls and she’s like “I gotta go!”.

  2. I wondered all those things right from the beginning. Actually, Charlie I can relate to. My dad also seems to function on a need-to-know basis. “So your boyfriend dumped you? Noted.” Or maybe it’s because he knows my mom will tell him all about it in detail later, so if he asks me, he’ll have to hear the same thing twice, and that is just a waste of time.

    But I don’t really get Renée. Then again, what if she did show up at the Cullen house when Bella got ‘sick’? I’m sure Stephenie would have found a way to work around it (after all, she found a way to work around a vampire-human pregnancy, and she found a way to get rid of the Edward-Bella-Jacob love triangle). The relevant question is how much that would have upped the cringe factor of Breaking Dawn.

    • Hmm… you are so right. It definitely would have upped the cringe factor. I don’t know about Bella and Renee, but I think the rest of us kind of lucked out with the way their relationship faded away.

    • Renee’s behavior was weird for a mom! My mom would have been all over me and my dad and everyone else over something like the “tropical disease” and “no visitors” situation. Charlie – I kind of relate to how he is. My dad is that way. He doesn’t and never did want too many details.

  3. Yeah, my dad also seems to function on a need-to-know basis. I feel like that’s kind of a dad thing. maybe it’s different if they have son, but being from a family with two girls I can’t speak for that.

    My mom definitely would never have let that shit fly though. If something happens, she wants to know about it. Pretty much like yours, Moon. She would have been on a plane so fast it would make your head spin.

    Parenting fail?

    • That must be why S. Meyer chose to have Bella living with just her dad – b/c she knows dads want to be kept in the dark about their daughter’s love lives. Imagine Bella living with her mom & dad — one of them surely would have noticed a god-like creature creeping into Bella’s bedroom every night. I know growing up every time I would tell my dad where I was going for the night, he was just like “uhm, okay …sure.” So, I think Charlie is pretty spot on for a dad. Renee….well…she does not seem like the typical mom.

  4. Well I think Charlie is honestly doing the best that he can. I mean he essentially wasn’t a father to Bella until she showed up on his doorstep at the age of 17. Sure she spent a few weeks out of the year with him but other than that they didn’t seem to have much contact. Really, what does he know about teenage girls. I think he truly loves Bella but doesn’t want to dig too deep.

    As for Renee… well not really sure whats going on there, to be fair she did at least show up in Forks during Bella’s catatonic period in New Moon. But you’d think she’d call more, she just seems to email Bella which is kind of strange.

  5. Hell, I’m 36 years old and my mom still calls me nearly every day. If I go 2 days without talking to her I get a lecture.

    Let’s just say Edward would have been turned into a pile of ashes after the first date!

    • Oh tooold for this….I’m older than you…I was sort of hoping someone else would wear the wrinkly crown…

    • @tooold – I ❤ u! I'm also 36 and my mom expects to hear from me everyday too. Usually e-mail is good enough though.

      • Oh no, e-mail would not work for her. If she doesn’t talk to me, how on earth would she be able to detect the slightest change in my voice so she could ask, “What’s wrong? You seem down? Is everything okay?”
        And God forbid I don’t pick up the phone! “Where were you? Are you screening your calls?” (truth be told, I usually am 🙂 )
        But all that aside, I do love my mom and she also shares this Robsession. You gotta love being able to talk to your mom about all things Rob related. She’s usually the one updating me on the latest Rob news!

        • That is too funny! My mom tries to be supportive of my Twi-habit, but she doesn’t fully “get it.” She did buy me a Rob calendar for Christmas. And she did watch the Twilight dvd with me. And she did go see New Moon with me for my 3rd viewing. Hmmm…methinks my mom is a fan!

          • I love your mom, Ang and yeah, she sounds like one of us.

            I had to bargain with my mom: I would take her to Applebees *gag*, if she would watch Twi with me.

          • My mom actually really wanted to see New Moon! Afterwards, she said “I think that was better than the first one.” I told her I loved them both, but for different reasons…told her that for me, picking a favorite Twi-movie was like asking her to pick her favorite daughter. Of course, I KNOW I’m her favorite. 😉

        • That’s awesome that your Mom loves Rob too! I did tell my Mom that I bought the intriguing People magazine with Taylor Swift on the cover (I don’t normally buy magazines) and because Rob was on it too and she said “Oh, that good looking guy from Twilight?” Maybe there’s hope for her yet!

          • My Great-Nana said Edward Cullen was “Dishy”.

            Women live to be very old in my family. She’s 102. Cullen worthy, I think. But she did get old and wrinkly.

          • “Dishy”? This is my favorite comment today.

  6. My parents would have caught on faster than Charlie can say “theonlypersonwhoevenknowsihaveadaughteristhesalesladyiboughtthatpurplebeddingfromandevenshedoubtedmyparentingskills”. My parents can read me like a book, add to that the concept of Bella blushing like she’s reading dirty FF about Alice and Jasper and they would have sat my ass down and asked me “why does that guy who looks like he’s one of your craft projects (yes they would notice) always look like he’s got a stick up his butt?” and “that other guy who makes us wanna rub his head and give him a doggy treat (ooooh look he shakes hands! what a good boy!…whose a good boy? you are…yes you are)”

    And the shiz would have REALLY hit the fan if she had siblings..and with Charlie and Renee as their parents…omg I smell a reality show…”Staying above Water- Growing up Swan”. Episode 3 ‘Bella runs away…again.Charlie feigns ignorance. Renee goes to baseball game with boy toy’

    I ❤ Charlie though and even Renee and her "woah ma! personal space much?" face…but they'd go to jail for child neglect…I mean really parents? REALLY? lol

    Morning everybody!
    The hamster has officially been diagnosed as insane…

    • “Staying above Water- Growing up Swan” – A show I would definitely watch! 😉

    • I’ll take an “officially been diagnosed as insane cookie”!

      You bring up something I neglected in my long, rambling post. Why didn’t Charlie stop Bella from “running away” in Twilight? I mean, I know he put some restrictions on her the second time she ran away, but I’m kind of shocked that a police officer would let a 17 year-old girl drive to Arizona in the middle of the night from Washington. The way I justify it to myself (because the copstache can do no wrong!) is that he reminded her too much of Renee and he knew he was powerless to stop her.

      • “The copstache can do no wrong” TRUTH! I Sometimes I love him more than my own dad…I see me saying “Yeah…well you’re not my Charlie!” *door slam* in future tantrums…That should confuse the bejeezus out of him… 🙂

      • And that is why he fails…

        No matter who your teenage daughter “reminds” you of, you don’t let her drive to freaking Arizona. Even if she “reminds” you of Lord Voldemort, Hitler, or Barbara Streisand.

        Seriously. Get over yourself, copstache.

        • Yeah, the poor guy never got over Renee breaking his heart, but that’s no reason for him to let his daughter run away like that.

      • Aren’t we supposed to believe that he was so stunned by what she said to him that he didn’t physically stop her? My parents would have been so angry that I would have been tackled to the ground.

        • Yeah, that was Bella’s explanation for it. She threw Renee’s words back at him and it stunned him. Much like a phaser, I imagine.

          *crosses fingers that someone gets her lame joke*

          • awwww….U so witty Toosday! Charlie would LOVE you!
            Make a joke about his “guns” and you’re gonna give Sue a run for her money…. Breaking Dawn Rewrite dammit! 😉

          • Rewrite indeed!
            “Who’s that new, potentially emotionally detached hotty in Forks?”
            “Why that yahoo’s name is Tuesday.”
            “Does she like copstaches and VitaminR?”
            “Oh, I think she can handle that.”

            this is going in a bad direction…

          • LOL. Love the way this is going, TS… 😉

    • Awwww… Sounds like someone is on third base there. ^_~

      “that other guy who makes us wanna rub his head and give him a doggy treat (ooooh look he shakes hands! what a good boy!…whose a good boy? you are…yes you are)”.

      • *Gasp!* Oh u dirty perve! I had to read it a few times to get that (cause I’m a tubelight) but leave it to you to…

        *shakes head in wonder and disbelief*

        • Wait, what are YOU talking about? I was simply stating it appears you were hanging out at the Cullen makeshift baseball field during Eclipse when Bella is all rub-a-dub wolf.

          Nah, you are right. I was totally perving out. I did try to spin it, but ‘rub-a-dub wolf’ sounds even worse.

  7. we wouldn’t have got past Arazona, the story with the window at the hotel!, .. nah that wouldn’t of washed, there would have been no prom for me, no trip to Italy, no leg hitch and no isle esme..

  8. I unfortunately have a mom like Renee. When I was in labor with my son the first words out of her mouth after the doc said we had 2 hours left was “I’m going to go call Ray(her at the time Boyfriend)”.
    I actually ended up giving birth 20 min after the doc said that, and she was out of the room. Thank god! That was the best gift my son ever gave me 🙂
    Being a parent myself, the stuff Bella pulls would have never been ok! I have always done the opposite of my parents, who were always totally oblivious, and may tend to be over protective 🙂

  9. My parents are kind of hands off parents for the most part and always have been. Denial and passivity run deeply in my family, so I kind of get Charlie and Renee’s parenting styles. I don’t think it’s necessarily the best way to parent, because I’m a bit… uh… emotionally detached. But, I digress.

    What I never understood about Twilight – Breaking Dawn was Bella’s relationship with Renee. In Twilight, she tells Edward that Renee is her best friend. Yet, she is willing to give her up and let the wedding be the last time she sees her. Perhaps it was just a demonstration of their role reversal, and she became the mother, cutting Renee loose from her own apron strings.

    Yet, throughout the saga, Bella never contemplates the depth of what it truly means to be immortal. Having to watch your parents age and die is something that most of us will have to go through, but not from an unchanging viewpoint, knowing it will never happen to us. Not to mention watching our peers grow old and die, and their children, and their children’s children… I don’t think Edward was only concerned about her soul. I think he was concerned about the real consequences of being a vampire, and Bella’s love either blinded her or protected her (depending on how you want to look at it) from the agony of immortality.

    Wow, sorry for being so dark… maybe I need a hug from Charlie to cheer me up.

    • *Charlie hug*
      ” ahem..err…ya gonna be alright there kid? yeah good err…can you get me more of that errr…fish fry? Thanks’re…a…you’re a good kid”

      • Hahahaha! Just what I needed. 🙂

        • You writing such a dark entry is actually sort of perfect (said in the voice of Bella when Jake gives her the dream catcher), because I happen to have this photo that is called The Light. There are always ways to keep the Volturi in the dark, but this photo is not one of them.

          And you’re so right about Bella not really “getting” immortality. She does technically spend the entire book of Eclipse thinking about becoming a vamp and what that will actually mean, but she never really “gets it”.
          Edward obviously does get it and does not want her to become a vamp for said reasons. His concerns had little to do with the soul factor (“Take it! I don’t want it without you!” “Yeah, this isn’t actually about your soul, kiddo. Hence we’re not quoting the breakup scene from the book any longer.”) when I read the books. I think in the movie they needed to focus on one viable reason he doesn’t want her to become a vamp that would be able to stay as a thread throughout the three final films. I mean, there’s been no mention of the fact that she’s going to go all newborn insane yet (in the movies) (which she doesn’t…and that’s a HUGE SM cop out right there. ugh. a topic for another twilosophy though)

          Eclipse should have spent more time on a real reflection of what she is giving up/gaining instead of the whole “Oh em gee, my immortal friends and lovers may die and it’s all my fault because I’m this frail little human danger magnet.” The ribbon on the front is supposed to represent her making 2 decisions: Choosing between Edward and Jacob and choosing to become immortal.
          I saw a lot more of the first choice than the second. Remember that whole scene with the two magnets on the fridge?

          • I totally agree with this, dark as it may be. Another thought…how many of us really “get” a situation until we’re in it? Particularly as a teenager? Was there any chance that Bella would know what she was giving up until it was gone?

          • You’re absolutely right. There really wasn’t much of a chance, but I think Edward worked hard trying to show her.

          • I also thought it was kind of a cop-out the way SM handled getting Charlie back into her life. (This has been mentioned elsewhere on this post, I’m sure, but it bears repeating.) She really had zero negative consequences that resulted directly from her becoming a vampire. She never went through the crazed newborn state, Jacob imprinted on someone else (let’s not get into the squick factor with THAT), her mental blocking power saved everyone from the Volturi, her daughter is safe, her father is still in her life, etc., etc., etc. I realize that it’s a book for teenagers, but still, surely there could have something in there to balance it a little. Losing Renee doesn’t seem like nearly enough, not to mention, she didn’t seem to really care…

    • I have an alternate thought on Renee being Bella’s ‘best friend’. I think part of the reason I identified with Bella SO much the first read through is that I always had guy friends. Ever since like 3rd grade, I was drawn to the boys at lunch, on recess, in class, etc. As we all got older and it got ‘weird’ that I hung out with Les, Josh, Shawn, and Mike instead of the girls, I tried to make an effort. I went to a few slumber parties (i.e. trips to Port Angeles) and tried to sit with the girls at lunch. It wasn’t happenin’. It was awkward and I just never clicked with girl relationships. EXCEPT my mom. For some reason, when someone would ask who I considered my best friend, I would always say my mom. Were we close? Sure but not like bff close. Maybe because it was too weird that my best friends were a group of guys right through the end of high school and then a new group of guys all through college. I saw that with Bella. How easily she clicked with Jake and Edward (for obvious reasons Edward), even Mike, but how she could barely have a conversation with Angela and Jessica. I think when your closest friends are the opposite sex, it’s easier to answer the question with your mom or sister or whoever is female that you have lived with forever than try to explain that your best friend is a dude.

      That rant being said, I had a problem with Renee from day 1. Still do and always will. What mother abandons their 17 year old daughter? Stephenie tried to explain it away as Bella was adamant about her ‘self-imposed exile to Forks’ and Renee’s hair-brained whimsy but I don’t buy it. In RL, no good mother does that. Sorry if I offend anyone.

      • That’s a really good point. Not to mention, it’s possible that Bella didn’t really have any other friends. I mean, we know absolutely nothing about her when she was in Phoenix, other than people may have teased her for being pale and she took ballet lessons as a little girl.

        I was never the girlie girl type either, so I always had a lot more male friends than female friends. It seems like it’s not entirely socially acceptable for a heterosexual man and a woman to be best friends and not be romantically involved. (If romantic comedies have taught me anything, it’s just not possible. :p)

        Thinking about Renee now, it makes me really wonder how Bella turned out as well as she did.

        • Sooo true. I even got a lecture from my mom when I was like 14. “Why aren’t you friends with the girls in your grade?” “You know that it’s not natural to only be friends with boys.” “I just don’t want to be one of those naive mothers when all the other parents are talking about what a slut her daughter is.” True story. I heard it all. It took me forever to convince my parents that I was seriously just friends with these boys. We had played chase on recess in 3rd grade, for God’s sake! Like I was going to start letting them gang bang me 7 years later. Yeesh!
          I hate that about society. I am married now and one of my very closest, most treasured friends is a guy. Fortunately, he is friendly with my DH and my DH isn’t the jealous type. They are not in any way best friends though. My friend would never call my husband unless he couldn’t get ahold of me and needed to talk to me. Outsiders think it’s weird. I don’t give a shit what they think. He totally understands me and we have been there for each other through sooo much and it has ALWAYS been platonic. He’s been with his fiancee for 12 years, I have been with my husband for 7, and he and I have been best friends for 5. I guess it helps that the SO’s came long before each other but I still don’t care what people think about the relationship.

      • Thanks for deconstructing, Singlestrand. Totally agree with you.

      • Maybe she just isn’t a good mother?
        I’m close to my Mom too. And even if she wanted to travel with “Phil” I wouldn’t let her. I’d rather leap off of a cliff 😛

  10. My mother would know in a second but she would say take the kid who needs him he’s a bum. he’s nothin but trouble. I have enough headaches with him hear let him drive the vamps nuts. They will get their just desserts.

  11. Actually it didn’t bother me while reading. On the contrary, the more time the old man spent fishing, the higher the odds of some smexy Bella x Edward time. But since that didn’t happen, on retrospect, Charlie and Renee being proper parents would have been better for the story than Bella cooking and reading for the umpteenth time.

    • Really, comments sections like today make me wonder why we love Twilight so much in the first place.

      * cricket chirps *

      OMG… my inner adult is taking over again. Shrrriiiieeek!

      • I ask myself that quite often. I’ll get on a nitpicking fit and start complaining about everything I didn’t like about the series, but before I know it, I’m sucked back in.

        Damn you, Edward!!

  12. *Ahem*

    Charlie and Renee ARE cop outs. This is why I could never identify with the story more… Sure, I’d love to have a hawt vampire stalker dude that wants to kill me as a boyfriend (errr… not) but really.

    My mom woulda busted that shizz up so fast… She would not have left me somewhere to go follow her “man” while he plays baseball. That is ridiculous.

    Charlie was never properly prepared to be a father. He had this kid… and then her mom whisked her away sending her back for 2ish weeks in the summer. 2 weeks in the summer does not a parent make.

    Then he expects to understand and be able to raise a hormonal teenage girl. And this girl is supposed to cook him dinner all the time.

    I cannot understand what the hell S. Meyer was thinking when she wrote some of this stuff. Sure, we all love her because she created this “story” but seriously. Half of the crap makes no sense. She threw in details at the last minute to make it all fit somehow. (Yeah. Downthumb me. See if I care.)

    End o’ rant.

    • No down thumb from me! I think you’re so right about Charlie. He had no idea what he was getting into, and sometimes it seemed like SMeyer seemed to equate lack of affection with a lack of attention. I think that’s why I liked Billy Burke so much in the movie, you could see that Charlie loved Bella. Though, it still concerns me that he let her run away.

      “Sure, I’d love to have a hawt vampire stalker dude that wants to kill me as a boyfriend (errr… not) but really.” Sigh… don’t we all, don’t we all. 🙂

    • Imma downthumb u so hard…ur upthumb’s gonna get jealous…see what i said about the insanity?

      p.s.Ohhhhh snap S, Meyer…u got called out by the Fang…If this doesnt make her comment I dont know what will….

      Love ya twinsie…

    • I completely agreee with you. And this is another reason for me why i can’t takeSM writing seriously. None of her character seems real, they are all one dimensional. I mean how come some parents doesn’t freackout when your daughter boyfriend never have lunch or diner with you, he always come up with an excuse. Especially if you’re a cop. Charlie and edward never shake hand? How come he never notice the temparetureof his skin?
      I don’t even want to talk about renee bacause i have come to the conclusion that in SM world, a women is nothing without his man, so she will even let her child die without seing her just to stay home and fuk her man. I think this is maybe where i hate her writing the most, woman in her storty are crap.

      Bella is just the epitome of this crap. She is an 18 year old girl who has no life, no project in life beside being with aman. If edward leaves her, she can’t function, she needs another man to remember how to move to one point to another. I mean beside wanting edward and becoming a vampire what do we know about her, next to nothing. She has zero aspiration in life. That is just to bad.

      I’m not going to talk about the men because they are just weird, controlling and i have no brain cell today to think.

      • I have a best friend who would totes agree with you. Wait, is that you Mandy?
        I, on the other hand, can only agree to an extent. The series is a love story. The books focus on the relationship between Bella and Edward. We know ‘next to nothing’ about her because we are supposed be as consumed by her love for Edward as she is. Do we know anything more about Jacob or Mike or Edward or Angela or Jessica? No, not really. The focus of the story is the love and bond between the two main characters, Bella and Edward.
        As far as ‘a woman is nothing without his man’, I don’t think that’s the case. I think SM was trying to write a story about true love, everlasting love, the kind of love every woman I know has hoped at one time they will find in this life. Bella found hers. She found it very young and did the best she could to cope with it but ultimately, that kind of love consumes your entire life. Every thought and every action are with that person in the back of your mind because you LOVE them. And SM proves you wrong that ‘a woman is nothing without his man’ in Breaking Dawn when only the powers Bella has saves her family. She wasn’t nothing without Edward. She became the very best thing she could be because of finding Edward. She was the most powerful in the family in the final battle. That is all.

        • Single Strand… this is a reminder why we are all so in love with the series…it’s all about the love story..we all want it..powerful, force of nature love, he adores me love, he puts me FIRST love…**sighs**

          • It’s so true. I don’t ‘live to please my man’ like some may think but when you have found that one, the one that makes your heart soar every time you see him, it’s overwhelming. It hasn’t gone away for me for 7 years and I hope it never does.

        • For me , i really mean for me; Bella and edward doesn’t love each other. They are obsessed with each other. I only see infatuation. But some say infatuation is love but for me isn’t.
          For me the book is all about two young people who want to fuck each other but who are really affraid to do it. And when in breacking dawn they finally fuck each other, i realize they was nothing left exciting about their relationship.
          Bella became a housewife like the one you see in the movie from the fifhties.

          For me bella is the epitomie of the village girl whose only plan in life is to get married so she can have a place in the society.
          I’m sorry but if a guy you have none for 6 month leave you and you start acting like bella, there is something wrong with you. Bella is not an independent woman. None of the woman in SM books is one. They all leave trough and for a man. When edward is not there, bella needs jacob.

          When you say she become the best thing because of finding edward, you just by your words say what i have been saying that she is nothing without edward and that for me is just not the model of independance.

          In fact it doesn’t really bother me that bella is not independant and all that. What bothers me with her is just that it is apparent that she used evryone without carrying about they feeling and that for me it’s not a good thing. At least in the movie MR makes this less apparent.

      • Damn, Pauleta!

        All the chicks who follow their men around and just live to “please” them are down thumbing you!

        So sad.

        Getting a life is green, people.


  13. Jorts on Jacob! These last few days on LTT have been quality – even more than usual!

    Yes parenting fail, but she is at least over 18 by the time some of the fishier stuff goes on….I think I would’ve sussed pretty damn quick that ‘something wasn’t right here, hmmm’, but that might be because I’ve worked with teenagers for years & I have superstrength teendar. Renee’s a co-dependent fruitloop & Charlie’s a former (unwilling) absentee Dad floundering about…cutely…

    Ever noticed that in RL Rob, Kristen & Taylor are all children of parents who are still married (to each other), all have siblings & strong family support? To me that’s unusual & really really good for their long term sanity. I don’t think Claire, Deborah or Ma Stewart would have let such shennanigans go on. However…it is fiction 🙂

    On an aside – snowed in here in Old Hampshire for the first time in 20years+. Have christened snow Cullen Powder as it makes everything look gorgeous, & sparkly. I’m off to lie in the garden…

    • It’s snowed in Manchester where I am aswell! 15 inches or something, up to my knees :’). Whenever I see it falling I automatically think of the little montage at the end of Twilight when Edward’s biting Bella, when it shows them lay in the snow :D. My favourite part of the whole movie aswell so I am LOVING THIS SNOW.

      • Not just snowed, snowed in! Off work, snow day, dogs running round like little loonies in the snowdrifts snowed in. Husb spent 10 hours in car on motorway last night…nearly 30 yrs since it was this bad here.

        And a moment of nostagia for us all: BFF, sick in bed in London, snowed in too, is reading Twilight for the first time….I’m tearing up. The magic is happening, even while I type.

        • I’m praying that there isnt a Cougewicke patting your mattress right now…I hope u feel better!

          *triple chocolate cookie*

          • I’ll pass it on to the BFF, who no doubt will be joining us as soon as she’s made it through all 4 novels…

            She’s the type of woman who’d want a wolf to pat her mattress, knowwhati’msaying…

          • This is why I should NEVER type in the dark at 3 am in the morning… i missed a “u R BFF feelS”… I should always read before submitting *face paw*

            “Wolf to pat her mattress” PRICELESS!
            I may or may not want a wolf to pat mine…in a BFF way of course … 😉

            *reads comment over…fixes typos on every word including ‘typoos’ * aaaand submit!

        • It’s 25 degrees here today. But thats in celcius.
          Last tuesday, I got sunburnt reeeeal bad all over my back 😦 .
          I’m naturally dark-skinned, you see, so I usually never get sunburnt.
          I guess I cant trust my SPF 8 anymore. 😦

  14. i think charlie and renee are definitely guilty of parenting fail, but for me at least; it was part of the fantasy of the book. my parents were SO strict that my inner teenager found myself wishing i had had bella’s freedom and autonomy – SM was walking a thin line by putting her protagonist in high school – considering everything that happens in these books, if Bella’s folks had actually been paying attention/laying down the law, pretty much none of the plot would have had a chance to happen.

    p.s. good morning, everyone!

  15. It’s hard to judge it really. Dad’s seem to be the “TMI”-types because they feel weird talking girl-stuff with you. Though my dad wouldn’t have let me run away.
    And I guess that Renee and Bella drifted apart in their relationship because Bells lives with her dad and her mum lives with her boytoy. But the fact that she doesn’t visit her is quite strange and unlikely for a parent.
    If it had been another way the story wouldn’t have worked out the way it did and it’s a fictional story so who cares?

    • I agree. Like my dad likes to leave me to it and doesn’t bother asking me about my life because it’d just freak him out, but I suppose the whole Bella – Charlie situation is a bit more extreme..
      As for Renee she fails epicly at mothering :D.

  16. Charlie and Renee were both a little, um..lacking in their parenting skills. Hi Mom, I’m ok, I just fell down a flight of stairs and went through a window?? Suuure. Carlisle telling Charlie he couldn’t see his own daughter, who was recovering from a tropical disease at the CDC? No way. My parents would have never put up with that. And Charlie bought into the werewolf/ vamp thing way too easily. Realistically Bella should have never been able to see her parents again. Her parents believing all the crazy stories they were told didn’t make any sense to me, even though SM stressed that neither Charlie nor Renee were particularly involved in Bella’s life. My parents kept a pretty close watch on me and were nothing like Charlie and Renee.

  17. Charlie and Renee may be on the extreme end of “hands-off” parenting, but I don’t think that their style is that unrealistic. Their “need-to-know” approach actually reminds me a lot of my in-laws. My husband is an only child, so it’s kind of surprising that his parents are so hands-off, but they don’t like to talk about or face anything that may make them feel uncomfortable. So they resort to only talking to us about sports and weather. They don’t ask questions. They don’t hover. If they think that something that we say or do may upset them, they don’t want to know about it, so they don’t bring it up. If we bring up a deeper topic of conversation, they will go to great lengths to steer the conversation back to sports or weather. It’s unreal sometimes, but that’s why I could totally identify with Charlie and Renee in the books.

  18. When I was a teenager, my mom would say the same thing to me every time I went out or to a party. “Don’t put yourself in compromising situations”. I think this entire book series would qualify as one giant compromising situation! For a cop, Charlie sure drops the ball.

  19. I agree that Charlie’s character had the possibility to bloom into a really great male role-model, but that SMeyers never allowed him to. I mean, no wonder Bella’s having strange boys sneak into her room at night! She get’s no attention from her father! Classic daddy-problems.

    I had a kind of similar relationship with a boy in high school (similar in intensity- not in immortality 🙂 ) and when he broke my heart and I was zombie-like for months, my step-dad (who entered my life when I was a teen and never had any daughters) was the first one to call the kid’s parents and have a “dinner discussion.” When the kid came around again- he threatened to get a restraining order, then told him he would tie his #$%& in knots if he ever came near me. The guy was just an 18 year old kid, harmless and confused- but that didn’t stop my dad from fiercely defending me from him. It wouldn’t have mattered if I was 12 or 35, if I loved the kid (which I did) or not, a parent does what they feel is healthiest for their kid, not just what is going to make them happy in the short term.

    A father’s love for his daughter (even his step-daughter) is a love that SMeyers did not even begin to touch in Twilight, which is a shame because I think it would have been welcomed.
    And that’s just Charlie- I didn’t even comment on Renee!

    • Wish I could give you (and your step-dad) 10 thumbs up! My dad would have been all over that shizz like a spidermonkey. I get that Charlie was stunned when Bella throws her mother’s words in his face, but what parent is going to let their teenager drive hundreds of miles in the middle of the night by themselves?!?!? I’m no parent of the year myself (my 5 year old knows that the beer with the green and yellow label is Mommy’s favorite), but come on!!!

      And Renee….what teenage girl actually gets along with her mom, anyway? That’s an epic fail!!!

  20. I LOVE Twilosophy Day! Admittedly, I haven’t reread the books in a while, so feel free to correct (or thumbsdown) me if I am off base.

    I thought Charlie and Renee were kind of lame parents. I had great parents, who were strict in the right ways and allowed me freedom in the right ways, too. I am also a pretty strict parent, myself, my daughter will NEVER get away with the shizz that Bella pulled. Though I am sympathetic to Renee being a single mom, and probably having to work full time, where my kids live in a two parent house and I am home all the damn time. It is a lot easier for me to keep track of what is going on, I realize that.

    I found myself saying ‘Well, isn’t that CONVENIENT?’ a lot while reading these books. Like isn’t it convenient that Charlie is a cop and loves to go out fishing ALL DAY on his days off, so he is basically gone all the time? Then again, he had not been living with a child in his house all that time, so was not really used to having to be home…and Bella was clear that she did not want to disrupt his life, if I rightly recollect…

    Also, at one point, when Bella is 18, doesn’t she threaten to move out if Charlie doesnt let her do something she wanted? I think she kind of backed him into a corner and called his bluff, and he didn’t really know what to do. I was cheering for him to stand up to her, and he totally caved. I think he just didn’t really have the parenting skills to manage a raging-hormonal emo teenage girl. Who knows any men who do?

    • Very true. Charlie was never very hands-on parenting, and then by the time he tries it is too late and Bella threatens him with leaving. I think that is one of the reasons that movie-Charlie (sorry if I am mixing the two) had to do a great job of showing how much he cared so that we could see that blow. From that point on, pretty much any time he tries anything Bella says, “Oh, I can’t do what I want? Then see ya.” Not that this excuses his actions before her eighteenth birthday, but anything afterward can be laid at Bella’s feet.

    • When Bella gets back from Volterra, he grounds her “for life” and forbids her from seeing Edward, and that’s when she says, “Okay.” and he goes, “Oh, I didn’t think you’d agree so easily” and she says, “No, Okay, I’ll just move out then.” Then she gets all, “I mean, I don’t want to move out. But I will. Edward and I are sort of a package deal.”

      Or… you’re still in high school and he’s your dad.

      Plus, who did she think she was going to go to with that 18 yo crap? The police?

    • also Bella is very responsible and her parents trust her completely. It’s like there is no way the loney nerdy new kid in town (Bella) is ever going to shake it up and give anyone trouble. She gives her parents no cause to doubt her. just saying..

    • Talking of things that were CONVENIENT,

      I always say that outloud at the end of Twilight, at the prom scene, while they’re dancing in the marguee thingy. (sorry, word wont come to mind.) E & B are, y’know, talking about immortality and shizz, and there are 2 more couple swirling around. (One chick with incred. long hair. Did you see that?)
      And then, the 2 other couples decide to leave CONVENIENTLY at the same time, in the middle of a song. Who does that. Then E & B start on the heavy stuff, and get ready for all the neck a-licking. CONVENIENT much.

      • Gazebo

        and yes, very convenient. And now i’ll have to watch out for the incred long haired girl! Another reason to rewatch twilight 🙂

  21. Ah, Moon. I love when we don’t talk (actually hate that) and I have NO idea what you’re going to pull out of your bag o’ tricks. LOVED THIS ONE.
    Seriously.. What the EFF was up with Charlie & Renee? Worst parents of the year award!!

  22. My dad is a bit of a recluse so I can more or less buy the need-to-know basis of Charlie… that is, up until Breaking Dawn. If I was sick in a hospital with a weird tropical flu my dad would have beat me there, too, and then if I suddenly looked drasitically different after ‘recovering’ from the flu he would definitely have a problem with it and want to know why rather than just shrug and say, ‘no need to explain.” And I don’t even want to get into Renesmee. He either would demand more information OR, at the very least, run VERY far away from his psycho daughter and zombie granddaughter and never want to have anything to do with us again.

    SMeyer was on to something by stating from the beginning that Renee was a ditz, but still. A mom who loves her high school aged daughter would definitely come to visit – and probably drag her home – within a week of a dreadful breakup and months-long depression period. Either Renee was psycho for not being more involved, or not the otherwise good mother SMeyer made her out to be.

    However, just to look at this from the author’s point of view. The main problem with any work of fiction where a kid who is otherwise normal and suddenly figures out they’re supernatural, gifted, or in the case of Twilight, become involved in a supernatural world, is that the author has to figure out what to do with the parents. The author can let the parents in on the secret (example: the City of Bones books) which makes the story far less dramatic and not as easy for the reader to relate to the main character (it’s relatively easy to imagine yourself suddenly getting wrapped up in a new world but imagining your parents being let in on the mix? Hm, boring and suddenly somehow less realistic.) Or, the author can make the main character an orphan (Harry Potter) to take care of that problem, although this is done so often especially in a day in age where it’s rare for anyone of a young age to have two deceased parents. Or, the author, like SM, can attempt to plow through the story, keeping the main character’s parents in tact while trying to leave them in the dark. I think this is the riskiest scenario. Did SMeyer succeed? Well, in a way she did because people loved the books anyways. She also didn’t bog down the stories too much with lengthy descriptions and scenarios of how to keep the rents in the dark, to her credit. However, we wouldn’t be talking about this if it had completely worked. In the end, props to her for trying and more or less making it work. I’m not sure there is anything that she could have done differently other than have had Renee/Charlie killed off at the beginning or during some point in the book, but that would have been a major downer and possibly made Bella more difficult to relate to.

  23. I definitely think Charlie and Renee would not be nominated for Parents of the Year in RL…but it’s probably not totally off base that some parents can be that oblivious to what’s going on in their kid’s lives. I overlooked a lot with Charlie when reading because of that. What I do have a problem with is how absent Renee was. It’s almost like once Bella moved to Forks she kind of ceased to exist in Renee’s world. That’s not normal!

    I’m reading Breaking Dawn right now and was once again struck by how Charlie knew for a week that Bella was back from the honeymoon “sick” at the Cullen home when he told Billy about it. And he didn’t at least go over there to demand more information! I know Charlies doesn’t hover, but come on!

    Many times while reading I have said to myself, “Yeah, that would never happen.” But that being said, it is a fantasy, after all. 🙂

    • I totally understand what your saying Ang…I don’t know how the characters play out in the other books, but if what I keep reading about Charlie and Renee (who I find myself dismissing as a parent at all) react in BD then again I blame SM…I have always felt that it is the responsibilty of an author, especially in a series of books, to give all the main characters the attention they deserve. Charlie is a beloved character and therfore should have been given more as much attention to detail as say Carlise…it sounds like to me that she just didn’t know how to work him into a plausible character and so she just kinda shrugged him off…. 😦

  24. My dad is a pastor, and surprisingly hands off. I got away with murder. Some parents just assume that because they raised you right you will make wise choices.

    Bella seemed to have a good head on her shoulders, and I think they assumed she would make the right choices. Don’t forget the restriction that Charlie put Bella on in Eclipse. He was like the Edward-Nazi. I think he even went a little overboard. Renee, the consummate cougar, is the one that baffles me. Lady was way too oblivious.

    • PKs are the wildest! Seriously, you are right about book Charlie being really tough and anti-Edward by the end of New Moon and in Eclipse.

    • I hope you weren’t being literal about that murder thing, cuz you know UC&Moon can see you IP address and you sort of just confessed… Great, are we all going to end up in an FBI room like in some lame TV show? 😉

  25. I think if you break it down, of course Charlie and Renee are cop-out parents, but the story isn’t about Charlie and Renee. Its about Edward and Bella and maybe that Jacob guy…. Having the parents be absent a lot allows the core characters contact. I think it was just to facilitate the love story where the main character is a 17 year old. It can’t all be true to reality. It would be way harder for Edward and Bella’s relationship to get to the level of intensity that it does with her parents in the way all the time.

  26. I totally related to Bella’s relationship with her parents. As a teen, my dad didn’t want to know what I was up to, and my mom didn’t know how to be involved. As long as I wasn’t arrested, they stayed out of it. My mom is a loving person, but we just couldn’t talk about the really important stuff. When I was in the hospital, she visited during visiting hours. I know they love me and I love them. I wouldn’t want to raise my kids that way, but it happens and it happens a lot more than some of you would believe.

  27. Is Charlie’s (and for that matter Renee’s) parenting style a cop out?

    was that a pure coincidence of wording, or are you just simply THAT brilliant, Moon? “cop…OUT”. My guess is you’re a literary genius.

  28. I didn’t get along with my Mom growing up so I couldn’t relate to Bella’s relationship with Renee at all. I guess I’m not the only one. Oh, to have been able to move 1,000 miles away from my mother while in high school! (I did but after college.)

    I really liked Charlie in the books and absolutely loved Billy Burke playing him in the movies. I do not like how SM made it seem like Bella would get beaten if she didn’t have supper on the table for her old man when he got home from work. And what about waiting til Eclipse to have the sex talk? Charlie, your daughter has already had 2 overnight disappearances with her drop dead gorgeous boyfriend and you’re just bringing this up NOW?

  29. Twilight. -Charlie did call Renee when Bella is almost hit by the van. Bella gives him grief and he’s all apologetic. Shutup Bella. She is your mother. It’s not like she is leaving her baseball boy to come up there. But she should be informed that you almost were flattened by a driving-too-fast-on-an-icy-day Tyler.

    New Moon. -Charlie did ground Bella after she returned from Italy. But it was a pretty tame grounding if you ask me.
    I know he supposedly has no idea that Edward is sneaking in through the bedroom window, but COME ON!
    We all know that even HUMAN teenage boys find a way in through the window of their girlfriend’s bedroom. I don’t care what floor you live on. Horniness does that to a fella.
    At least board up the windows or make her leave her door open.

    Eclipse. -Charlie just laughs off the fact that Bella broke her hand facepunching Jacob when he kissed her. He basically tells her, “well you shouldn’t have punched him. Give it up when he wants some.”
    Again…I don’t care how much you want to see your daughter with a certain boy, if he tries to force himself on her, you shoot him.

    Breaking Dawn. -Take note, Charlie and Renee. If your daughter has a life threatening rare tropical disease and you believe she is at the CDC. You get your ASSES down to Atlanta and camp outside her room and don’t move until she is recovered. I don’t care what her new doctor father-in-law says! duh!

    just sayin.

    • These are all great points.
      I hated that part in Eclipse when Charlie is practically patting Jacob on the back for force-kissing his daughter.

      I really hope they fix that for the movie.

      Movie Charlie is a lot better (IMO) than book Charlie.

  30. There’s no way I’d be able to keep something like that from my mom because my mom is one of my best friends and I tell her everything. “Lit’rally”. I never lie to her and would feel awful doing so, I just couldn’t keep quiet about it. I’d go insane, LOL!

    • I’m the same with my mom!!!

      My mom has read all of the books and made it clear to me that Bella was a really bad daughter. LOL. I guess I could tell her I thought the same about Renee!

  31. Wow, we’re really getting into the post-graduate Twilosophy today! The plot and characterization issues in the books (and the Isle Esme missing scene) are why Fanfiction exists! There are some stories out there that really explore this Charlie-and-Renee parenting issue. The first one I can think of off the bat is “Irritable Grizzly Adams”.

    • I was going to comment about Irritable Grizzly Adams as I just finished the last posted chapter yesterday. The author of that fanfic presents the theory that had Bella had more involved parents she may not have sunk into such a deep depression when Edward left. That their “hands-off” approach to parenting caused her to feel like she was their mistake that they would rather not have to deal with. This fed her insecurities with Edward, explaining why she put him on a pedestal and never felt herself worthy of him. Also explaining why she so easily accepted his lie that he didn’t love her anymore.
      I found that to be an interesting take, but definitely felt like SM wrote Charlie as a loving father who was just emotionally backward. Renee, on the other hand, seemed pretty selfish and self involved….although I guess we don’t hear too much about the 17 years while Bella was living with her.

      • Thanks for that very to-the-point summary. Everyone should go now and read Irritable Grizzly Adams. It’s one of the best for all kinds of reasons!

  32. Mind you this is just a fiction story from a housewife, based on a dream.

    There are alot of Parents out there that are just like Renee and Charlie when it comes to their kids. I could related to Bella in the sense that she had to take care of herself and be the grown-up. I’ve been there.

    My mother could be Renee, she was more interested in her boyfriends and her interests than anything that was going on with me. I could have done anything as a teenager because she wasnt around. She was a Bartender working until 3 -4 am and sleeping when she was home.

    I was left home alone alot (starting at age 5) was a had a key to the apartment by 2nd grade. I had to address her by her first name since I could talk. She didnt like to be addressed as “mom”. She counted down the days until I turned 18 – and I caught her – telling her girlfriend on the phone “….. only 28 more days”.

    I didnt get kicked out of the house, but knowing that your mother is looking at the calander and tracking the days until her “freedom” doesnt make you want to stay — now does it?

    Now? We speak, 6 times a year (Imma only child) and I wouldnt consider us close – by any means. She only speaks to three members of my family, well, now two since her father died in October. Me and her brother who lives out of the country.

    She has no friends and no man in her life (that I know of) she has taken to collecting/rescusing cats. She has seven currently.

    She stopped speaking to her mother and sister because of an arguement about/over me. Not to get to deep into details and since Im not laying on a couch right now. I was/am a good kid the fights were about how she treated/regarded me.

    I have two girls now and when I think back to what I experienced as a kid at their age I am…..appalled.

    Okay. well. that was depressing. Sorry about that.

    Send some Robporn STAT!!! Need to go to my happy place!!!!

    • aww… tigerkitten, if you really were a kitten i’d cuddle you in my lap a scratch you under your chin til you purred, but since you are a person, i offer you a hug. a big one, w/ a shoulder pat. (incert hug here) i’m sorry you had to grow up like that. but if it matters, i’m proud of you for not becoming scarred by the experience and for not repeating the cycle. my mom was raised a bit like that, w/o feeling really loved, not hugs and was never told that she was loved by her mom, she never made that mistake w/ me (no mistakes there).

      Twilosophy Days sure do bring out the contemplative nature in all of us, ehh?


    • Seconding the offer for a hug to you!

      Thanks for reminding us that kids certainly grow up with a lot of different parental situations. It’s nice that you were strong enough to learn from that experience, rather than repeating it, as ambushed wrote!

  33. Long post warning:

    First of all I definately qualify to wear the “wrinkly crown”

    Finally a topic I feel safe in discussing after my major fail yesterday! I thought about my parents whom I miss more than anything (which as pointed out in a previous post, I always think the same thing when I reread/watch Twilight, I could never deal with losing all those I love, if I was an immortal) anyway, my parents were sort of like Renee & Charlie (which weirdly was my dad’s real name) He was so easy going and never really the typical parent, he was the go-to guy…whenever we were in trouble with my Mom, who was WAY strict but only when we were caught doing something wrong. YOU NEVER crossed her, but she was happy to kind of oblivious to our everyday lives. Don’t get me wrong she was terrific, but she worked full-time as did my Dad and because she ruled with an iron fist, she always assumed we would be smart enough to stick to the rules..not!
    Now, from another perspective, being the Mom of 4 I was totally the opposite of my Mom, I was involved in everything my kids did. Sometimes to a fault. I could never have been like Renee’ and actually resented her from the start in Twilight. I did however “create” a kind of Charlie with my hubs…I chose to deal with all major parenting issues with the kids as they grew up, until it was something serious and then would involve him. Unlike Charlie though, the hubs was very reactive especially with the girls, none of them would have made it out the door to drive somewhere especially if upset..(luckily he is a mechanic and if they even tried inexplicably the car wouldn’t run!.) so no trips to Arizona ever…and as far as the “boys” they went out with…Vampire our not, if an Edward had “hurt” one of “his” girls, there would have been no need to involve the the older we get the more protective we are I think!…so NO I could never really understand the whole Renee thing. Charlie on the other hand seemed to me to be Collateral damage. Renee took Bella away from him (selfishly I might add) and was only allowed limited visits..its hard enough for Dad’s to “figure out” their daughters even when they are with them daily never mind when they only get to see them so little. To me Charlie really wants to “get closer” to Bella but neither of them “know each other” making it very difficult. Bella having had to grow up “on her own” would have a hard time adjusting to a parent that actually cared about her and would probably be resistant and maybe even resentful feeling like Its a little late isn’t it?
    I don’t know much about the relationships in the future books but from what I read here it seems as though SM took a major shortcut with Charlie. Having Bella live with him finally gives Charlie the chance to develop a real father/daughter relationship. I think he really steps it up as a Dad as seen in his concern for her especially in New Moon. To me it appears that SM sells Charlie out by then making it appear as though he rather not know what is going on with Bella in the future. Parenting is not something you can turn on and off like that! Its too bad that SM didn’t spend the same amount of time developing Charlie’s character as she did the others so that he could remain a loving/caring dad. She shortchanged us readers as well b/c we love Charlie!
    Sorry, I warned ya it was long…. 🙂

    • MidCyn – Well said! Charlie does step it up in many ways as the series progresses. And I do think his reactions are more “to be expected” in most situations. Renee…not so much.

    • Wow, couldn’t have said it better myself. Really. But all this thinking about Bella’s parenting, or lack thereof, also makes it easier to understand why an 18 year old girl would date a 109 year old dead man, and instead of coveting his money, his fast cars and his cool clothes, she desperately envies his……death basically. Hmmm, I want to be dead like you – FOREVER is not what most teen girls long for.

  34. I thought Renee did visit when Bella was all emo after Edward left. Not in the movie but the book. Am I nuts?

  35. What a wonderful and touching discussion! My parents have definitely left some serious scars, but neither would have let me do any of this shiz. And Breaking Dawn? My mom would be like, “How did you get SO WHITE?! ”
    But mainly I think the parental failings are a plot device, because, as we’ve all pointed out, this wouldn’t fly in the real world. I find it quite interesting that SM, being a religious person from a strong family background with two parents, creates weak and divorced human parents, but the Cullens are basically modeled after her own family and they are VAMPIRES. She also lovingly portrays family bonds amongst the Quileutes. So it is interesting that the human parents are an epic fail, unless it is merely for the sake of advancing the story. Which is a little cheap.
    Charlie is a still a major DILF though.

    • Interesting observation about the broken human family vs. the solid, strong, loving Vampire family.

      • Hmm…maybe there is something here about making your own family–the Cullens and Wolf Pack don’t exactly choose to be what they are, but they choose to be together like a family. Maybe the best family is the one you choose/make yourself?

    • Maybe she’s trying to paint out the “monsters” to be good by giving them strong families.
      In the Cullen family though, a lot of them come from crappy human families. Carlisle’s dad would’ve killed him for being a vamp, Alice’s parents locked her away in an asylum cuz she could predict the future and deemed her dead to the outside world, Rosalie’s parents more or less forced her into a marriage w/a total jerk who ended up gang raping/beating her to death. I can’t remember Esme’s family except that her child dies in infancy or before the birth or something like that. Emmett’s past isn’t really explained, is it? Jasper is just a good general in the army, so that’s not a bad family background really. Edward’s parents seem to be described as good.

      Hm, so I guess half of them have bad fam histories… then bella would fit into that half. Interesting.

      • Emmett was attacked by a Bear and Rosalie rescued him and carried him miles to Carlisle’s to “save” him.

        His face reminded her of the little boy her girlfriend had. All Rosalie wanted was to be married to Royce and have babies. Until he did what he did.

        After she was changed, she seeked revenge on Royce and his pals —- Saving Royce for last.

        • I remembered Rosalie’s past. But is the Emmett thing the only past we get of him? Are we supposed to think that he’s actually the kid of her friends (the ones she’s visiting before her fateful unchaperoned walk home)?

  36. One of the big issues that I have is the inconsistency in Renee’s character. Renee is supposedly self-absorbed, ‘childlike’, and ‘hair-brained’… so I have a difficult time trying to understand why would she have taken Baby Bella away with her in the first place??? Wouldn’t it seem more logical, given her personality, to have left Bella with Charlie? Of course, that story line would have Bella growing up with Jacob, with *Edward* then being the 3rd wheel…. hmmmm

  37. I’m sure it’s been mentioned already by now, but I haven’t read through all the comments yet. But Renee did come to Forks in New Moon. It was within the first few weeks, early October, when Bella wasn’t coming out of it. Charlie called her and she flew up.
    They started packing up Bella’s room and then Bella threw a huge tantrum saying she wasn’t leaving Forks. So, they thought that that was her big break through and she’d start to recover. Renee left and then November and December happened all Lykke Li style. Then the chapter Waking Up begins with the conversation w/ Charlie at the breakfast table (which is in a completely different spot in the movie than I imagine it to be in the books) about how he’s shipping her back to Florida. She says no way and he suggests therapy might help and she replies, “Or it won’t help one bit!” (I really wanted to see KStew deliver that line. Oh well)

    But on the whole, their parenting leaves some things to be desired. At least they both make it to her wedding, right?

    • i heart you… whole heartedly. (and i’m proud of you too, that’s b/c i just updated myself by reading all your blog/web-site entries… yea!) and i know what you mean… there were some lines that i missed hearing in the movie that really “spoke” out from the book. What was screenwriter Melissa thinking? Steph already wrote some really compelling dialoge in the book… ahem, “cut ‘n’ paste” anyone?

      • Yay! Glad you read my entries. New post coming today…it should be long, so get your hot chocolate and snuggie ready before sitting down to it. 😉

        M-Burg wasn’t thinking…in that break up scene?! I mean come on, it’s like 4 pages of the book, most of that is bella thinking. So, really maybe 20 lines of dialogue. Can we not just get that exactly as it is in the book? Because every time I read it in the book, I cry. Even when reading in public. In the movie, nada. And I can’t stand how she says “Don’t” in the movie. grumble.

        That said, Melissa did bring us AMAZING lines like:
        “Chillax” “Movie night with Bell-a” “Animal attack” “Kids love the little bottles” “Age is just a number, baby” “It’s the fluorescents” “Steak and cobbler every night? That’s you dad, that’s not me” “I’m down with the kids” “My cousin had leprosy and it is not funny” “Zero weirdness” “It’s La Push baby, La Push!” “I’m not really into that whole cougar thing” “Well, she coordinated [with] me” “Gotta get that protein in there” “Let’s Do This!” “My kung fu is strong” “I’m still dancin'” and my favorite, that also ties in to today’s post, “What do I know? I’m just a perpetual bachelor. Famous Ladies’ Man.”
        And lest we forget, Melissa writes Dexter.

    • But I love it how S.M. writes Renee missing Bella’s graduation as no big deal. WTF?!? Yeah, yeah, I know Bella is supposed to be glad that there aren’t more of her loved ones around to get attacked by an army of newborn vampires, but I’d be a little bitter!

      • Nah, bella hates attention, and she probably doesn’t care about the graduation anyway. I didn’t care about mine.

    • “At least they made it to her wedding, right?” – and I bet you were just kidding – but it happens in real life! My husband’s parents didn’t make it to our wedding and it was only a couple miles from where they lived. My Dad didn’t come either even though I sent him an airline ticket. Both our families had hands-off parents and we basically had to parent ourselves. BTW: We still talk and have a relationship with our parents as adults.

      Some of the siblings in our family went down the wrong path and others went down the right path. In that sense I could identify with Bella. I was one of the “good kids” even tho’ I was basically on my own since my mom worked 3 jobs and was divorced from my Dad. In my situation, tho’ my mom covered the basics “i.e. cooking, made sure I had toothpaste, etc.”, that was all the capacity she had – no emotional support or “life decisions” support. So, something like driving to Arizona alone at age 17 without parents batting an eye or just taking at face value any of the strange explanations doesn’t seem at all out of the ordinary to me.

      And as to the person who commented that Charlie expected his dinner on the table – I didn’t see it at all that way. Bella was used to doing it for herselft and she preferred to keep doing it rather than deal with Charlie’s burnt spaghetti crap every night. It always seemed to me that Charlie just kind of let Bella fall into what was comfortable for her without really expecting anything from her.

      Finally – I still agree with everyone that neither Charlie nor Renee deserve parent of the year, but I do see it as a completely plausible part of the story based on my personal experience. Of course, as with lots of people, my style is completely opposite of my parents since they pretty much failed miserably.

  38. Ohhh! I love this twilosophy topic! I could totally relate to Bella having the crapiest parents around! My mom is totally like Renee. She would rather be my fun, hot aunt than my mother. She has been married several times and once to a way younger man, gross! She left us (my sis, bro, and myself) when I was in 4th grade, so she could party. My poor dad was not sure what to make of it, so he went fishing every weekend, just like Charlie! He even went to Mexico fishing when I was in 9th grade and left us home to basically fend for ourselves. (We had a large party). My parents basically sucked. I love them both, but they sucked as parents. Total “COP” out! Now when raising my kids, I just think of what my parents would do and do the opposite! See they did teach me something! Love the post Moon! Thanks for bringing up how much my childhood sucked! 😉

  39. at the end of the day we love the series but we all know deep down BD has huge cringe/2nd hand embarassment factor. I remember reading it for the first time and reacting to how implausible it all was..OUT LOUD..i’m really nervous about them making it into a movie.

  40. i have always had a problem with the “bad parenting” and cluelessness of Renee and Charlie…Charlie i can SORT of understand since he wasn’t a huge part of her life but in Breaking Dawn he’s just one big fail…the mom has always made me cringe…i mean, i’m a mom. if my daughter was suddenly in danger from other vampires, i’d become a vampire first so i could save her…and with that statement i’ve jumped the tracks of sanity…

    oh and also, this part…“there’s something up with that Cullen kid” – i would have figured that out upon meeting and shaking his ice cold hand…one of the many twi-flaws and yet…(i still love it)

  41. “…i mean, i’m a mom. if my daughter was suddenly in danger from other vampires, i’d become a vampire first so i could save her…and with that statement i’ve jumped the tracks of sanity…”

    Luvs! Hahaha! Welcome to the wrong side of the track!

  42. I’m super amazed at all the women out there with good moms!
    My mom would freak, but my SF’s mom would never notice. A lot of my friends moms are too busy/detached/messed up in their own heads to notice a. who they are dating – and b. what’s going on in the relationship. My SF’s mom still asks about his x, and it’s been 6 years! She would never notice if he had a horrid disease!

  43. The weird and ironic thing about this is that my dad is JUST like Charlie… a need to know kind of guy while my mom is hair-brained and does off the wall things all the time. No she’s not chasing young baseball players around the country, but they both did the same thing with me. I guess I turned out ok (I’m not dating a hottie 108 year old vampire if that is turning out ok) but at the same time, I can relate to Bella’s parenting. I was in her shoes and trust me, my parents would have been oblivious if I brought home a really cold skinned boyfriend or a guy who was burning up with fever. My dad would have nodded at him from his recliner while he sipped on his ice tea and flipped through the channels of his flat screen while moms was in the kitchen deciding if she wanted to paint the walls blue or pink and the floor silver or gold. That’s just my parents….

  44. I have been gone too long! I just got caught up on all the posts I’ve missed over the holidays. If my in laws never come back to stay, it will be too soon. I can’t add anything to today’s comments that hasn’t already been said. BTW, has anyone read the LEAKED ECLIPSE SCRIPT? I just read it. Thought I’d throw that out there. I am NOT a happy camper and I sincerely hope there were rewrites. That’s all I’ll say.

  45. It’s 2 a.m. Do you know where your children are..(Charlie/Renee ??

  46. I don’t think her parents are that weird, except for maybe in BD. I talk very little with my parents (I live with them), and I almost think Bella talks a lot with them (compared to me). And I don’t think my parents would find out about some vampire boyfriend, ‘cuz I would never tell them something like that. Bella seems to have a more friend-relationship, with her mother at least, I would like that with my mother. I barely speak to them at all if I can help it… Yeah, I’m that nice.

  47. […] Twilosophy: Charlie & Renee – a parenting cop out? Dear Twilosophy Majors, My good pal nopaperkg has just recently begun reading Breaking Dawn and on our road trip back […] […]

  48. […] notes “I feel Renee is a cougar…nothing wrong with that.” Similarly, in a comment thread at Letters to Twilight, a discussion thread of Charlie and Renee as parents garners this response: “Renee, the […]

  49. Renee always annoyed me for the same reasons everyone else said; for someone who has single handedly brought up a daughter for pretty much 17 years, to just let her go live somewhere else and hardly ever see or actually speak to her? It wouldn’t happen. If I decided I was gonna go live at the other end of the country, my mum would have a fit, and I’m english, the other side of the country is 4 hours drive away! Even an immature mum like Renee has gotta have some kinda problem with that.

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