There are plenty of movies out there that just aren’t realistic when it comes to parenting—superhero parents who can do it all while raising perfect kids. But there are plenty of other movies that hit the nail on the head! Here’s a look at 8 films that are sure to resonate with parents who have been there, done that and seen it all:
- Mrs. Doubtfire (1993): What lengths would you go to in order to spend time with your kids? As a single parent, you might hate dropping them off at your ex’s house… but have you ever considered disguising yourself and taking up a job as a nanny just to be closer to them? The immortal Robin Williams shows us just how crazy love can make us act!
- Cheaper by the Dozen (2003): Few movies portray the realistic chaos of a household with more than two kids. If you’re a parent who has three or more, this film will speak to your soul. While the antics get a little zany, you’ll absolutely relate to the idea of trying to keep a dozen plates spinning as you tackle parenting in an ever-buzzing household.
- Matilda (1996): This movie is a wonderful example of both good parenting and horrible parenting! Matilda’s family is completely dismissive of her and actively holds her back, but her teacher, Miss Honey, wants to shower her with all the love in the world. As parents, we can only hope to be as loving and understanding as Miss Honey!
- Big Daddy (1999): Single dads love this movie! Not only because Adam Sandler is a comedic genius, but because it’ll remind you of how lost and clueless you were as a new dad. The movie teaches us a great lesson: just figure it out! You’re not going to be perfect and that’s okay—all you need to be is someone your kid can rely on to care for them.
- How to Train Your Dragon (2010): If your child is under the age of 15, you’ve probably seen this one. It teaches us a great lesson about acceptance and reminds us that our kids have their own identity. They’re going to spend a long time figuring it out—it’s up to us to support them. As a bonus, it offers a great single parent perspective!
- Mr. Mom (1983): In a time when gender roles were still stereotyped by society, this movie flipped the script! It put dad in charge of caring for the kids, with hilarious antics to follow. But the meaningful message in this movie is that family comes first, no matter what role you play as a parent.
- The Pursuit of Happyness (2006): Keep your tissues handy for this movie—it’s an emotional powerhouse. It follows a homeless dad and son as they try to get back on their feet. We promise you’ll feel an overwhelming love for your child after this movie, as it reaffirms that you’d do anything to make sure they’re cared for.
- Parenthood (1989): This movie has it all—hijinks, tender moments, frustrating situations and a little bit of romance. Plus, there are no shortage of all-too-relatable moments for parents. The theme is simple: families are weird and unpredictable, and the best you can do is be a good parent.
What are some of your favorite movies that get parenting right? Any we left off this short list that you think should be on it instead?