In Jeannette Walls's memoir The Glass Castle, Rex and Rosemary Walls are not "traditional" parents. Rex is an alcoholic, always moving his family to different towns trying to run away from bill and tax collectors. Rosemary neglects her responsibilities as a mother, focusing more on her paintings than her own children. Rex and Rosemary also leads the Walls family into poverty because the parents cannot spend their money wisely, or cannot hold a job. The children are forced to teach themselves how to do tasks and to take care of themselves. Their parenting skills are both a curse and salvation for the four children. However, Jeannette has unconventional love for both her parents and never pitied them. Rex and Rosemary Wall's poor parenting style's leads to Jeannette's success later in her life. .
The children learn from Rex and Rosemary's abnormal parenting mistakes. Rex and Rosemary are not the best at saving money, as soon as they get money they do not spend it on necessities like food; they rather spend it on things that are in their interest. However, the children start to figure out the difference between right and wrong as they grow older. They start to care about money more than their own parents do. For example, when Jeannette and Brian find a two carat diamond ring, they bring it to Rosemary to try and get her to sell it: "We figured we could sell it and buy food, pay off the house-Mom and Dad kept missing the monthly payments" (Walls 186). However, Rosemary refuses to sell it when the children bring it to her suggesting the money will get the family food, she wants to keep it to improve her 'self-esteem'. The children continue to think of ways to receive money: Jeannette tells Rosemary that she needs to leave Rex so that the family can qualify for welfare. Rosemary refuses and yells at Jeannette for losing hope in him. Their parenting also leads Jeannette and Lori to save up all the money they get to try and escape Welch.