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4 Movies that Teach You a Thing or Two about Parenting

Updated on October 30, 2015

Parenting is always a challenge no matter how many kids you have. With each child having different personalities, there is also a need to handle each situation differently.

Because of this, parents are prone to mistakes like any other human being. The challenges that pile up one after another do not always help, but they can bring more experiences that make everything a part of the endless learning process.

If you are a parent who feels like they need a tip or two, here are a few movies that you could watch and learn a few pointers from:

Finding Nemo (2003)

Yes, the list starts off with a cartoon.

If you’ve watched it before, then you could probably remember how overprotective Marlin was of his son Nemo and how he would restrict Nemo’s every move. Of course, this is understandable considering that he almost lost Nemo when his wife and other kids fell victim to an attack from a much bigger predator. Nemo’s egg was also damaged a bit when this happened, which is why he grew up with a small right fin.

The only problem was, Marlin was too caught up in protecting Nemo that he hindered Nemo from learning a thing or two on his own. He also kept concentrating on Nemo’s weakness, which caused him to lack confidence in his son’s ability to do things on his own.

A lot of parents have a tendency to do the same thing to their kids, mostly because they don’t want anything bad to happen to their kids. However, you should also remember that having confidence in what your kids can do will help them develop abilities that would allow them to survive in the real world. Too much protection will only hold them back and would only leave them feeling dejected and repressed.

I Am Sam (2001)

A real tearjerker, I Am Sam has truly left parents everywhere contemplating about their own relationships with their children.

Considering the fact that Sam has a developmental disability and has a mental capacity of a 7-year old, he has managed to create a loving environment for his smart daughter Lucy. With problems arising when it became evident that Lucy was quickly surpassing his mental capabilities, she was taken away from him, leaving him with only a couple of visits to her each week. This shatters Sam.

The movie also features Sam’s lawyer Rita, who has been having difficulties connecting with her son as well. This was mostly because she and her husband have a strained relationship, with both of them spending too much time out of the house.

With Sam having all the time in the world to take care of his daughter but being deprived of the chance, and Rita living together with his son but never having the time, the movie shows parents a thing or two about setting priorities and appreciating what they have. It also shows the amazing power of a parent’s love regardless of social status, mental capacity and other factors.

The Blind Side (2009)

Leigh Anne and her family were living more than comfortable lives, belonging to rich circles and having the ability to give their kids anything they wanted.

When she takes interest on Michael Oher, a teenage foster kid who has been separated from his mother since he was seven because of her drug problem, she shocks all her rich friends by taking on the full role of a guardian and parent for him.

The movie is a great example of how a parent, despite her affluence, is able to control the values that her children have, showing them a level of compassion that has become rare in high social circles. It also shows how big of an influence parents truly are on their kids and the rest of the family, with Leigh Anne’s dedication to accept Michael and make him feel welcome also rubbing off on her kids and husband. The intensity at which Leigh Anne showed Michael that he deserved to be part of something bigger than what he initially expected is something that the entire family shared, a sign that the entire family knew what is truly important.

Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood (2002)

Vivianne Abbott was part of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood along with her three best friends. Siddallee Walker is her daughter, whose unhappy childhood is seen as her source of inspiration in her feats as a playwright.

As Sidda and Vivi fight over the comments that Sidda gave about her childhood in an interview, Vivi’s friends step in and try to set things straight. Vivi had a lot of secrets that Sidda did not know, having had a nervous breakdown when Sidda was still a child and usually pouring all her frustrations on her children.

Although Sidda eventually understands how deeply rooted her mother’s sufferings were, the process of forgiveness and understanding is long and complicated. It has caused Sidda to have more questions, but she is not getting as much answers.

The movie may be focused a lot about friendship, but it does show a lot about parenting as well. It shows how every move that parents make can affect their children on a long-term scale. The memories that people have of their childhood can shape the way they look at the world even as they grow older, so parents should be more responsible on how they handle their problems and how much exposure to these challenges they would burden their children with.

Although honesty is important and the need to make your kids aware about the real situation is always there, the need to explain also comes with it. Simply letting them know will only lead to misunderstanding, so a proper explanation should always come with every difficult situation.

Stepmom (1998)

Although it is sad to think so, the scenario where parents live separately and live their own lives is more common that you would want it to be. Custody of the children is often shared, which could sometimes complicate things.

In the case of Stepmom, Luke already has a new girlfriend he is living with, much to the annoyance of Jackie, his ex-wife. As they try to keep everything balanced and help their kids adjust to their situation, the fact that Jackie is openly antagonistic towards Isabel, the new girlfriend, does not make things easier.

Jackie and Isabel have very different parenting styles, with Jackie being more conservative and Isabel being on the more liberated side. Of course, the entire drama affects the kids even worse, making things even more difficult for all of them to handle.

When they found out that Jackie was dying, Jackie and Isabel eventually realize that they only want the same thing: to keep the kids happy. Regardless of their differences, they agree on putting the children’s best interests as top priority.

Sometimes, couples have conflicts that strain their relationship with each other. What you as parents should always remember is that the kids still come first over any conflict you may have. In everything you do, think about how it would affect the children, instead of concentrating on how the situation would affect you. Although it is not bad for a parent to think of their own interests every so often, being a parent also means that your priorities have changed and the kids always come first.

How about you? Of all the movies that you’ve seen, have any of them taught you a thing or two about parenting?

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