Everybody asks themselves at least once in life, "do I want kids?" In regards to having children, many people have different standards and views on how children should be raised. And, I think most parents can agree that children should live in a healthy environment. However, these standards are opposed in The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls. Rose Mary and Rex Walls, Jeannette's parents, have a very unique and somewhat dangerous approach on how to raise their children, which makes people question their capability to be "fit parents." Except, I don't give a hoot about what other people think. Rex and Rose Mary have proven themselves to be excellent parents and it was in the children's best interest to grow up with them. I believe that no matter what, the Walls children would not be as knowledgable, strong, and forgiving as they are without being raised the way they were.
Initially, it was in the best interest for the walls children to be raised by their parents, because throughout their experiences and various lifestyles, they gained a lot of knowledge and intelligence that could later be used in life. One of the most important things that they learned were simple life skills like swimming. In contrast, these are quite useless to some people but, it wasn't material lessons they learned, they were actually life lessons they could always remember. Rex teaches Jeannette a life lesson when he says, "If you don't want to sink, you better figure out how to swim" (Walls 66). Rex literally forces Jeannette to sink or swim, when he repeatedly throws her into a sulfur spring and saves her when she sinks only to throw her back to try again. Using this system, Rex is able to train Jeannette to swim and avoid being thrown back in the water. In addition, this can be seen as a life lesson or an approach to parenting. Rose Mary and Rex prefer to present them with sometimes life threatening challenges, rather than pampering them.