What Can We Learn from Mary Poppins? The Impact of Popular Movies on Parenting

What can we learn from Mary Poppins? Do movies influence how we parent?

Parenting is one of the most challenging and rewarding tasks an adult may face. Many parents often wonder if they said the right thing or did the right thing while teaching their child life lessons. We are faced with so many decisions as to what school to put our child in, what extracurricular activities to become involved with, along with learning skills that will make children successful, happy adults.

We all have our favorite movie to which we can relate and feel a little more “normal” after watching, whether it depicts dysfunction, humor, or day-to-day living within a family. Lucy Townsend from bbc.com wrote an article called “The Parenting Lessons to be Taken from Movies,” which can be found here.

The article boasts popular movies that are box office smashes due to their vision of the American family and their relatability. “Mary Poppins taught parents many things. Bedrooms are better tidied, every chore has its fun side and an organized day is a happy day. Poppins’s strict-but-saccharine manner brought the unruly Jane and Michael Banks under control – she succeeded where their parents and numerous lesser nannies could not” an excerpt of the article by Townsend.

As humans, we tend to look to others and compare our parenting skills with those around us — it could be our sibling, parents, neighbors, or friends. We wonder if we are doing the “right thing” for our children. We often laugh at terms that hold stereotypes regarding parenting, such as the “helicopter parent” because we either relate to it ourselves or know someone who may define this. An example of a so-called overprotective parent can be seen in Finding Nemo; perhaps this may teach us a thing or two about giving ourselves compassion as parents. The clown fish with the so-called “overprotective parent” turned out to have curiosity about the world, confidence, and compassion. Nemo’s parent exuded love with firm boundaries, and he turned out just fine – no, more than fine.

Do you have concerns about your relationship with your child or their well-being? At Georgetown Psychology Associates, we offer a broad range of services aimed to support you and your family.

Contact us today to schedule an appointment with a therapist or evaluator. We look forward to providing you with individualized and high-quality care.