alec being a supportive big bro in 2x11 makes me emotional. he does it so naturally with taking care of izzy and comforting jace. why do i get the impression he took over those roles for maryse and robert?
Oh man, I definitely think Alec grew up being the primary caregiver for his siblings. Maryse and Robert may be the actual parents, but Alec did the real parenting.
And while we know Maryse and Robert are strict at best and fucking awful at worst, I honestly doubt that their style of parenting is unusual in nephilim society. After all, none of the Lightwood kids seem particularly surprised by the lack of affection from their parents. They may be disappointed or upset about it, but it doesn’t really seem like they realistically expect it to be any different. I get the feeling that shadowhunter parents in general are more like bosses than anything else. They don’t seem to consider affection or support as a parental responsibility. They just need to raise good, strong shadowhunters.
And in addition to that, there’s the societal expectation for shadowhunters to get married and have multiple children so they can do their duty and contribute to strengthening the shadowhunter force. So with more business-like parents, and a tendency for multiple children, I think it’s common for older nephilim children to have a larger-than-average role in helping with their younger siblings. I think with Maryse and Robert both heavily involved in their duties as shadowhunters (particularly since they’ve had to work their asses off to restore their name after the Circle), Alec was expected to take care of Izzy as soon as he was old enough to do so - maybe even a few years before he could realistically do so. More than just ‘Alec tries to take care of his siblings because Robert and Maryse aren’t affectionate’, I think Alec was the one actually raising them.