Not many of you will agree with me and that's okay. This kind of topic has always been on my mind and I finally had the chance to write about it.
Honestly in my opinion, parents in young adult novels, especially when the characters are still in high school are important. Unless the parents are absent due to some complication in the story.
It just makes the story more realistic and the audience can relate. There were a few times when I read book reviews and multiple times they'd mention the absence of the parents when their children did reckless things. I admit I am guilty too of it but it actually strengthens the relationship between the parent and child.
There are cases where one parent is absent or there's a divorce but it's actually good to include that information to depict on what kind of character the parent and child are.
For example, Carter Halls in my soon to be published novel, Caught by the Bad Boys is described as a hot yet smart blonde who loves to get with girls. His relationship with his parents aren't so good because since he looks a lot his father, his mother neglects him. In all honesty she just sees through pain and thinks Carter will do the same mistake as his father and cheat. His relationship toward his mother motivates him to study hard and get away from her. Readers are shown both sides to Carter, his flirtatious ways and dedication to getting what he wants.
Many of my characters aren't perfect and it's shown through their upbringing at home. Liam Sanchez, Blake Gunner, Miranda Stevens and Keene Stoner who I'll go into further detail in other post.
It's good to mention parents/guardians with under eighteen characters. It'll help you more in your story than you can ever think.