Worst problem parents in girls serials

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Tammyfan
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Worst problem parents in girls serials

Post by Tammyfan »

We have had loads of girls serials about problem parents. By this I mean parents who are useless, have bad hangups and make others suffer for it, take strictness or overprotectiveness to ridiculous levels, don’t listen, let their daughter down, are neglectful, too busy or bigoted. I don’t mean the ones who are outright cruel or abusive. But which ones, in your opinion, are the worst offenders and why?

I have some in mind, but I would like to hear your thoughts.

Goof
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Re: Worst problem parents in girls serials

Post by Goof »

I’m still not familiar with all that many serials, but I’d like to put a word in for Jinty’s Ping-Pong Paula, who is saddled with a mother whose snobbery, greed, jealousy and obstinate blinkered stupidity must be exceptional even in a very crowded field. For those who don’t know the story, there's a very good summary on the Jinty website.

https://jintycomic.wordpress.com/2017/0 ... 1975-1976/

There are also plenty of examples among the picture libraries. One which I particularly like is Judy #218 No Peace in Battle Road, which is about a girl and boy who are next door neighbours, and are trying to win a gymnastics contest in order to save their local club, but have to do so in secret because of a feud between their families. Their chances of entering are apparently killed off when their parents find out what’s going on, until somebody asks the parents what the feud is about – only to find that they can’t remember.

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peace355
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Re: Worst problem parents in girls serials

Post by peace355 »

I can think of a couple for each of those categories mentioned.

Overbearing Parents
No Friends for Fran (Suzy) - where a mother is so overprotective of her daughter she doesn't allow her to leave the house in case she gets ill. Then she nearly kills them when she burns some "contaminated" clothes and accidentally sets the house on fire.

There are plenty of Parents who don't allow their children to be friends with someone because the have fallen out with the other family. Love Thy Neighbour (Mandy) Sisters in Secret (M&J) Model Friends (M&J) , spring to mind.

New Step-parents can also be a problem, even when everyone is nice, but they don't give a chance for the new family dynamics.
The Trouble with Mum (M&J) - things keep going wrong for Morna unfortunate events make it seem like she is against her stepmother, but parents don't help things by not actually trusting her when she tries to explain.
"I Hate Him!" (Nikki) is another case where Sue's mother is getting remarried and while they want Sue to get on with her new father, they go about it all wrong bombarding her with changes without asking her how she feels about things. Such as when they go on honeymoon they decide she should get to know her new gran and stay with her,even though Sue would be more comfortable staying with someone she knows and deciding she should start calling him dad right away. Sue can act bratty at times but a lot of things could have been resolved if they actually sat down and asked her how she felt about things.

While not as bad as others Penny's mother from Penny's Place (M&J) her snobbery and attitude towards Penny's friend Donna was trying at times.

Tammyfan
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Re: Worst problem parents in girls serials

Post by Tammyfan »

peace355 wrote:I can think of a couple for each of those categories mentioned.

Overbearing Parents
No Friends for Fran (Suzy) - where a mother is so overprotective of her daughter she doesn't allow her to leave the house in case she gets ill. Then she nearly kills them when she burns some "contaminated" clothes and accidentally sets the house on fire.

There are plenty of Parents who don't allow their children to be friends with someone because the have fallen out with the other family. Love Thy Neighbour (Mandy) Sisters in Secret (M&J) Model Friends (M&J) , spring to mind.

New Step-parents can also be a problem, even when everyone is nice, but they don't give a chance for the new family dynamics.
The Trouble with Mum (M&J) - things keep going wrong for Morna unfortunate events make it seem like she is against her stepmother, but parents don't help things by not actually trusting her when she tries to explain.
"I Hate Him!" (Nikki) is another case where Sue's mother is getting remarried and while they want Sue to get on with her new father, they go about it all wrong bombarding her with changes without asking her how she feels about things. Such as when they go on honeymoon they decide she should get to know her new gran and stay with her,even though Sue would be more comfortable staying with someone she knows and deciding she should start calling him dad right away. Sue can act bratty at times but a lot of things could have been resolved if they actually sat down and asked her how she felt about things.


While not as bad as others Penny's mother from Penny's Place (M&J) her snobbery and attitude towards Penny's friend Donna was trying at times.
I remember that PSL. It was drawn by Ron Lumsden.

Tammyfan
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Re: Worst problem parents in girls serials

Post by Tammyfan »

Thank you for the suggestions so far. Now I will share the ones I have been thinking of (long):

The Baxter parents from "Be Nice to Nancy!" aka "Be Nice to Nikki" (Judy and M&J respectively). Not only do these parents refuse to listen when Yvonne tries to tell them Nancy Norden is a nasty piece of work who is giving her life a misery but they are also unwitting parties to the bullying in the way they keep pushing Yvonne towards Nancy, which makes Yvonne open to Nancy's bullying in her own home as well as school. I think Mr Norden should also be mentioned as a bad parent for that idiotic suggestion that Yvonne be friends with his bully daughter in the first place. Did he seriously think it would change her ways? It doesn't say much for his own parenting skills or brains.
http://girlscomicsofyesterday.com/?s=Be+Nice+to+Nancy

Mr Rawlings from the Sandy trilogy (Tammy). A father who still treats his daughter like a little girl. Okay, so that's a common one. But he compounds the problem by having very narrow views on who should be Sandy's boyfriend, and his choices are guided more by his snobbish attitudes and business connections than Sandy's tastes or wishes. He doesn't listen when Sandy tells him she doesn't agree with his choices, saying she's too young to know her own mind (she's 13!). He is also a snob and political type who shows little empathy for others. For example, when he becomes education officer at Birchborough his first act is to close the schools to after-hour activities, just to save money. He does not care how this will affect people - including Sandy, who finds nobody wants to know her at Birchborough High because of it. In the end he loses that job, gets a long-overdue humbling, and Sandy finally gets a boyfriend both she and her father are happy with.

The Street parents from “Cora Can’t Lose” (Tammy) https://jintycomic.wordpress.com/2017/0 ... lose-1984/
They put their daughter Cora down and bully her with nasty, sneering remarks because she is not winning sports trophies as they did. This sends Cora into a crazed drive to win as many trophies as she can, which makes her unpopular and even endangers her life.

Mrs Shaw from "Hard Times for Helen" (Judy) http://girlscomicsofyesterday.com/2016/ ... n-1984-85/
Mrs Moore from "No Haven for Hayley" (Tammy) https://jintycomic.wordpress.com/2017/0 ... yley-1981/
These two serials have been put together because they are similar in concept: a widowed mother who neglects her daughter, takes her for granted, and uses her as a dumping ground because she is too busy with charity work. The ways in which the mothers are too busy are a bit different. The former is a slave to duty and can't say no, has been lumbered with a charity job that is too demanding. The latter is a workaholic and often gets big ideas that are more stupid than realistic.

Mrs Noble from "The Goose Girl" (Jinty) https://jintycomic.wordpress.com/2015/0 ... girl-1977/
Mrs Marshall from "The Four-Footed Friends" (Jinty) https://jintycomic.wordpress.com/2014/0 ... ends-1979/
Again these two serials have been put together because they feature mothers who have reacted badly to grief and developed hangups that cause everyone around them to suffer, including their own daughters of course. With the former it is a pathological hatred of birds, stifling her daughter's talent for ornithology, and constantly pushing her into fashion design against her wishes. With the latter it is getting too overprotective of her daughter against germs and "common" people, and hating common people to the point of trying to drive them out of their new housing and into the slums they came from.

There was also a story in Suzy, the title of which I do not remember, where a mother reacts badly when her daughter Sheila dies of an illness contracted while swimming. She starts hating swimming, bans it in her household, and keep lashing out at her two remaining children. The remaining daughter, Jenny, is constantly picking up after her mother, who constantly leaves the place as a tip and doesn't pay the bills. Jenny starts secretly swimming for the championship her late sister was going for, on top of all her other work in picking up after Mum. No wonder she collapses from exhaustion in the final episode!

Mr Simons from "Daddy's Darling" (Jinty) https://jintycomic.wordpress.com/2017/0 ... ling-1975/
Mr Simons loves his daughter Lee. The trouble is, his love is totally selfish and excludes all others, including friends Lee wants to make.


Mr Graves from "Dracula's Daughter" (Jinty). https://jintycomic.wordpress.com/2014/0 ... hter-1981/
A fanatical grammar school disciplinarian who believes there is only one way to run schools - his way. When he becomes headmaster of Castlegate Comp he forces his views right down its throat, even going as far as butting in on classes and ordering teachers to run lessons the way he wants. His daughter Lydia is most embarrassed and it is causing a lot of problems for her, but Dad refuses to listen or slow down his drive.

The Grey parents from "The Black and White World of Shirley Grey" (Tammy). https://jintycomic.wordpress.com/?s=shirley+grey
When you believe your daughter has been wrongly charged with a crime, you are totally supportive and worried about what is going to happen to her, right? Well, not these parents. They treat her harshly and don't lend any support or sympathy at all. All Mum cares about is herself and "the shame of it all", and Dad isn't much better.

Sir Edgar Whitland from "The Fairground of Fear" (Tammy). https://jintycomic.wordpress.com/2018/0 ... fear-1976/
Purportedly Julie Whitland's adoptive father (actually her grandfather). A super-snob who stifles Julie's life and who she mixes with because he doesn't want Whitlands mixing with common types. At first Julie thinks his bigoted, snobby attitude is just misguided - but then she finds out the real reason for it and the monster he truly is!

Now for my number 2 "worst":

The Harvey parents from "Waves of Fear" (Jinty). https://jintycomic.wordpress.com/2014/0 ... fear-1979/
This must rank as the worst emotional reaction from parents in girls' comics in history. These hitherto loving parents turn into the worst pair of ogres I have ever seen in girls' comics.

Now, you're probably wondering: What is my number 1 "worst"? Okay, drumroll please...

The Petty parents from "Bad Luck Barbara" (Mandy) http://girlscomicsofyesterday.com/2016/ ... itch-1991/
Not only do these parents constantly let their daughter Barbara down when she tries to tell them the villagers of Wavertree are harassing her because they think she's a witch but they never find out their mistake and learn from it either. The problem just doesn't sink in, even when it is staring at them in the face. When Barbara tries to tell them, they just laugh at it, belittle it, tell her she's being too sensitive, the villagers are just teasing her, etc, etc. Above all, they tell her they can't leave because of Dad's job, so stop it, the job means a lot to him. It sounds like they are putting Dad's job before their daughter's welfare - or even her life!

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peace355
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Re: Worst problem parents in girls serials

Post by peace355 »

Nice list.

The Suzy story that you are thinking of is "In Sheena's Shadow" (the sister that died was called Sheena not Sheila) it appeared #182 (1 March 1986) – #192 (10 May 1986)

The Farmers from "No Place Like Home" are more parents whose priorities are all wrong, they put money and snobbery before their daughters actual feelings. They left her after Mr Farmer got in trouble for fraud, then didn't come back for her until they were more wealthy and then just tried to buy her affection, tried to distance themselves from her foster family, and pushed a friendship with the daughter of Mr Farmers boss and she turned out to be quite unpleasant.

Tammyfan
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Re: Worst problem parents in girls serials

Post by Tammyfan »

peace355 wrote:Nice list.

The Suzy story that you are thinking of is "In Sheena's Shadow" (the sister that died was called Sheena not Sheila) it appeared #182 (1 March 1986) – #192 (10 May 1986)

The Farmers from "No Place Like Home" are more parents whose priorities are all wrong, they put money and snobbery before their daughters actual feelings. They left her after Mr Farmer got in trouble for fraud, then didn't come back for her until they were more wealthy and then just tried to buy her affection, tried to distance themselves from her foster family, and pushed a friendship with the daughter of Mr Farmers boss and she turned out to be quite unpleasant.
Thank you.

Where did “No Place Like Home” appear?

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peace355
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Re: Worst problem parents in girls serials

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Tammyfan wrote:
Where did “No Place Like Home” appear?
It appeared in Bunty #1721 (05 January 1991) – #1731 (16 March 1991)

Goof
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Re: Worst problem parents in girls serials

Post by Goof »

Tammyfan wrote:I remember that PSL. It was drawn by Ron Lumsden.
Yes, and he was on brilliant form. Probably because he was so good at facial expression and body language, Lumsden seems mostly to have been given "relationship" stories (betrayal, jealousy, prejudice etc plus soaps), and did comparatively few sports/action stories. But when he did get one, he could match anybody. The gym sequences in this story are in John Armstrong's league.

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Re: Worst problem parents in girls serials

Post by Tammyfan »

peace355 wrote:
Tammyfan wrote:
Where did “No Place Like Home” appear?
It appeared in Bunty #1721 (05 January 1991) – #1731 (16 March 1991)
Thank you.

Tammyfan
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Re: Worst problem parents in girls serials

Post by Tammyfan »

“Just the Two of Us” from Nikki has two sets of problem parents, and they are problem parents for the same reason: they push their kids into what they want and don’t listen to what the kids want. It gets to the point where one runs away and the other goes in search of him. http://girlscomicsofyesterday.com/2014/ ... two-of-us/

Parental kidnapping, forced marriage and international custody disputes are pretty radical in girls comics, but that is what happens in this problem parent story: “Mouse” (Tammy). Mind you, the root cause is the parents having their own problem parents. https://jintycomic.wordpress.com/2018/05/29/mouse-1979/

Tammyfan
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Re: Worst problem parents in girls serials

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Antagonists in girls’ serials can have problem parents too. For example, they tend to get the parents who are too demanding and drive them too hard. This in turn drives them to make trouble for the protagonist. Examples of this are “Rosie at the Royalty” (Tammy) and “The Silver Racer-back” (Misty). Still, the protagonist can get over-demanding parents too. This happened at one point in Bunty’s “School’s Out!”

“Down with St Desmond’s!” (Bunty) is a very bad case of problem parents turning their daughter into a monster, with the mother being a nasty piece of work and Dad feeding his daughter lies about her mother dying of a broken heart after being wrongly expelled (actually, she abandoned her daughter and the expulsion was right), which turns her into a monster determined to wreck the school. Dad realises what is happening, but is too gutless to stop it because he is afraid of losing his daughter if she finds out the truth. He himself admits he is a weak man when it comes to his daughter (despite being in the military and having bomb experience). http://girlscomicsofyesterday.com/2013/ ... -desmonds/

Weak parents are often why an antagonist is the way she is too. In “Alison’s Uncles” (Mandy), Alison finds this out with her second uncle and aunt. They are weak, indulgent parents, and as a result Alison’s cousin Jane has become a nasty schemer who takes advantage of their weakness. When Jane is caught out, the parents are advised to take a much firmer line with her. Good luck to them. Judging from the way they reacted when Jane was caught out, they have a way to go on backbone and learning how to administer discipline.

There was a story in an annual somewhere called “Jumping Jo”, where Dad is pushing Jo into being an air stewardess while she wants to go into athletics. She strikes out on her own and wins lots of medals. But in the end she bows to her father’s wishes. I was very disappointed there.

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Re: Worst problem parents in girls serials

Post by Goof »

Tammyfan wrote:There was a story in an annual somewhere called “Jumping Jo”, where Dad is pushing Jo into being an air stewardess while she wants to go into athletics. She strikes out on her own and wins lots of medals. But in the end she bows to her father’s wishes. I was very disappointed there.
The story was in Girls' Crystal Annual 1976, but I think it was originally published in Sally in 1970.

Tammyfan
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Re: Worst problem parents in girls serials

Post by Tammyfan »

Goof wrote:
Tammyfan wrote:There was a story in an annual somewhere called “Jumping Jo”, where Dad is pushing Jo into being an air stewardess while she wants to go into athletics. She strikes out on her own and wins lots of medals. But in the end she bows to her father’s wishes. I was very disappointed there.
The story was in Girls' Crystal Annual 1976, but I think it was originally published in Sally in 1970.
Thank you. I thought it must be a reprint from somewhere.

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Re: Worst problem parents in girls serials

Post by Tammyfan »

"No Fun for Fiona" from Suzy. http://girlscomicsofyesterday.com/2018/ ... for-fiona/
Would you believe Mum only allows Fiona on a school trip on condition she stays with the teacher every single minute? As if that weren't bad enough, Mum makes this demand to the teacher in front of the whole class, which is a real embarrassment for poor Fiona.

"Mum Knows Best!" (Bunty) was another case of parents being too overprotective their daughter (Jasmine) in reaction to the death of a sibling. To Mum's credit, she actually listens when Jasmine finally decides to speak to her about how overprotective she is and the problems it is causing. For this reason I would not put these problem parents in a list of worst offending problem parents. http://girlscomicsofyesterday.com/2015/ ... nows-best/

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