The film Rebel Without a Cause teaches the importance of the relationship between parents and their children. The relationship between Jim Stark (James Dean) and his parents helps the viewers understand why he has so many problems. Jim tries to find a father figure in his father, but his overbearing mother always takes control of his father. Jim wants to see his father stand up for himself. Rebel Without a Cause exemplifies the incompetence of Jim's parents to act as responsible adults, and their unwillingness to help their child become an adult.
In the police station at the beginning, Jim's parents argue, and he interrupts them by exclaiming, "You"re tearing me apart! You say one thing, he says another, and everybody changes back again." This causes Jim to release the anger and frustration that he holds inside of him. His father states what he really feels, but his mother forces him to side with her. Love and affection are not the only things that Jim need, but also guidance. Jim blames his parents for the misery in his family.
Jim takes control of the arguments he has between his parents. While Jim was arguing with his mother, Jim turns to his father for support. Jim's father replies, "This is all going to fast for me." Jim snaps back at his father, "You better give me something. You better give me something fast." His father does not help Jim out, and in such a rage Jim begins to choke his father. All Jim wants is his father's advice, but he never receives it because his mother always speaks for him. In a conversation with Ray (a detective) Jim says his father, "always wants to be my pal. If he had the guts to knock my mom cold, then she"d be happy and she wouldn't bother him." Jim wants to confront his parents about his problems that he has and he wants to fix them. His parents want to run away from his problems, but he wants to face those problems with his parents at his side.