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The answer to this question is described in detail in Gradesaver's analysis for Chapter Two. I have provided the direct link below.
Short answer, the Walls are unloke most parents you'll meet. They leave their children to fend for themselves, perform tasks to difficult and dangerous for young children, and teach them that it's alright to shirk responsibilites and run out on the bills. Rex and Rose Mary also put parenting second, placing themselves first and foremost above the needs of the children.