7 Best Parenting Lessons From Hollywood Movies

Spring is finally here. The flowers are budding. The air's getting warmer. And soon little baby animals will be making women go, "awwwwww, how cute!"

It's the season of birth, as nature wakes up from its long winter. To help celebrate this momentous occasion, I thought now would be the perfect time to share some of the biggest parenting lessons I've learned. Where'd I learn them you may ask? Go ahead, ask. Well, I learned them from the most reliable, believable, influential source around: the movies.

Yes, movies about being a parent are generally hilarious and educational. So what if they're not completely based on fact, or even partially. Don't let that stop you from learning! Read on for the 7 Best Parenting Lessons You Can Gleam From the Movies!


The movie: Mr. Mom
The set-up: When regular guy Jack loses his job, he has a tough time finding another. After his wife Caroline lands a gig at an advertising agency, Jack stays home to raise the kids. Wackiness ensues.
The parenting lesson: No matter who's the breadwinner in the family, spouses need to work together as a team to make things work. Oh, and never, ever feed chili to a baby.

The movie: Parenthood
The set-up: The Buckmans are just a typical suburban family living in St. Louis. Watch the family laugh, cry, and almost fall apart as they deal with sex, pregnancy, adolescence, divorce, and everything else a "normal" family puts up with. 
The parenting lesson: Life is very much like a roller coaster. There are ups, downs, and lots of vomiting.

The movie: Finding Nemo
The set-up: When clownfish Nemo is captured by a SCUBA diver, over-protective poppa Marlin heads out on the adventure of a lifetime to find and rescue his son. 
The parenting lesson: Keep your eyes on your kid but give them space to grow. Oh, and dentists truly are evil.

The movie: 3 Men and a Baby
The set-up: When a trio of guys take in a baby that one of them unknowingly fathered, they accidentally find themselves smack in the middle of a huge drug bust. Suddenly changing dirty diapers is the most pleasant part of the day.
The parenting lesson: Take responsibility for your actions and never give your baby away to drug dealers. Even by accident.

The movie: Mrs. Doubtfire
The set-up: Daniel Hillard loves his kids to death, but after a messy divorce, he barely gets to spend any time with them. That is, until he dresses up as the wise and lovable Scottish nanny Mrs. Doubtfire to take care of them.
The parenting lesson: If something isn't working, try a completely different approach. And always do a thorough background check on your nannies!

The movie: Knocked Up
The set-up: Ben Stone is a slacker who has a one heckuva one-night-stand with the responsible career-minded Alison Scott. Eight weeks later, Alison shows up at Ben's door to break the news to him: She's pregnant.
The parenting lesson: A relationship needs to be built on honesty, trust, and respect. Plus, wear a condom for crying out loud.

The movie: Father of the Bride (1991)
The set-up: A remake of the classic film starring Spencer Tracy, Steve Martin takes up the role of the nervous dad who just can't come to terms with the fact that his 21-year-old daughter Annie is about to get married.
The parenting lesson: The toughest thing a parent has to do is watch their kids grow up. And if Martin Short ever shows up at your house to help plan the wedding, don't let him in!

What are your favorite parenting movies?

Photo via Sarah_Ackerman/Flickr

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