A couple of episodes ago (I’m not sure which one it was) when Regina gave Henry a video game to replace the loss of his book, he didn’t seem all that excited. When she asks what’s wrong, Henry says that he wants to see Emma again, and you can tell from the look on her face that she’s hurt. I think that Regina is mostly familiar with going through the motions of being a parent, taking him to school, feeding him when he’s hungry, checking his temperature when he’s sick, tucking him into bed when he’s sleepy, giving him presents, etc. As far as emotional love, I think Regina might be lacking in that department.
This is an example of where I think they might be setting us up in making us assume that Regina isn’t much of a parent. I think they tried to make us think that Regina took Henry’s book and then gave him a video game to make up for the fact that she took it. At this point, it doesn’t appear that was the case at all. It actually seems that Regina felt bad that Henry was upset about the loss of his book and gave him the video game in the hopes that it would cheer him up – she actually had nothing to do with the book’s disappearance at all. To me I saw her making an effort with Henry but I saw Henry rebuking her effort.
I guess what I am saying is that I made the assumption that Regina isn’t a good parent but when I look back at episodes I can’t really find a situation where I have seen Regina be a bad parent, yet I can find situations where Henry is purposely not accepting Regina’s attention and affection while purposely seeking out Emma’s attention and affection. I would like to see some of Regina and Henry’s backstory and what their relationship was like before Henry got the book.