Some Stranger Things fans are saying that Joyce Byers has not been a good mother to her children.
In Stranger Things, Winona Ryder is a single mother struggling to make ends meet as she raises her two sons, Jonathan (Charlie Heaton) and Will (Noah Schnapp). The series is based on the disappearance of Will in the first season, which forces her to navigate the unimaginable stress of a family crisis with few resources.
A fan parzi_3 recognized Joyce's affection for her boys but had some issues with her treatment of her eldest son Jonathan. In a thread in the Stranger Things subreddit, they claimed that Jonathan has been placed in a care-taking, parental role by his mother and emotionally neglected.
They also argued that Joyce tends to prioritize the needs of Will and other people, like Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown), and takes advantage of Jonathan by pressuring him to give up his happiness so he can support his family. The post further says that in season 4, Jonathan is extremely torn between choosing to go to a college with the love of his life where he can continue with his ambitions and career, or to the college closer to him so he can still provide for his family.
The user wessellcarr responded by saying not to judge Joyce’s parenting skills by today’s standards because it was common for parents to place adult responsibilities on their older children at the end of the last century.
ThoughtsMadeManifest said that it was a very accurate portrayal of many single-parent families, adding that when one parent is irresponsible, a child is often put in a position to fill in the gap.
peeba83 said that their first interaction is her scolding him for not taking a more active role in his little brother’s care.
While Straight_Entrance_44 claimed that Jonathon is not a boring character.
Do you think Joyce has been a good mother? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.