An issue that arises in the context of children's stories, where the main character(s) is a child, is that of the parents. One reason you see so many orphans in children's stories is that it's an easy way to free the character from the control of the parents. You can have the character going off to do whatever you need them to do without the reader asking "where are the parents during all this?" My current children's story, the MC is a 12-year old girl, and she is about to set off on a grand adventure across the world. I do not want to make her an orphan. Among the alternatives are: 1) she sneaks away; and 2) her parents give their blessing. I don't like option #1. Her parents would be looking for her the whole time, plus I don't feel that it is in line with my vision of the character. #2 is what I'm leaning toward. This is SF/F, and not set in the real world. I'm thinking of having her leave home to pursue her dreams, and her parents, though sad to see her go, supporting her going out into the world like this. What ways do you guys handle this, and do you think option #2 would work for you as a reader?