Originally Posted by xg4bx
Maybe its just the books I read but why do children in fiction seemingly exist purely to do something stupid? I can't even count how many times I've seen a kid used as nothing more than a catalyst for action. Ooops, Billy did something stupid, he wanted to see the kitty and ended up letting the monsters in. D'oh! Nothing else going on and you've gotta move the story along? Have Billy exercise the brains God gave a turnip and endanger everyone. Which inevitably ends in a character dying trying to save the kid. Even in horror fiction, very few authors will have harm befall a child despite it happening in the real world a zillion times a day. It still seems like a "taboo". But I digress...
I don't hate kids, I don't mind kids in books. But inwardly I groan when a point is made to introduce one because I know at some point they'll do something dopey. Seen and not heard, thats my motto lol.
Authors should actually have some insight into, say a 13 year olds, thought process and not have them make decisions that a paste eating 5 year old would question if they need to have a child character.The same goes for authors who try to write an ethnic or minority character but thats a whole 'nother discussion....
Stories, be it in books, movies, or other, are escapes for most people. Kids get harmed in real life, and people want to get away from real life. Plus, kids are easy fodder for catalysts, since they are not fully developed mentally or emotionally, and thus prone to causing issues. That is something that does happen in real life, but often isn't overly problematic, so authors have no problem borrowing from those experiences. Plus, if you need something to happen and all seems good leading up to the event, which is easier to explain, the inexperienced kid doing something stupid, or the mature adult doing something stupid despite their experience telling them better.