Top Five Movie Parenting Moments

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As any mom or dad knows, there’s nothing a parent won’t do for their kids. Of course, that doesn’t mean parenthood is always easy. It can be confusing, frustrating and let’s face it, downright exhausting—but it’s also one of the most rewarding and life-changing experiences out there. And perhaps it’s that very combination that makes it such a universally powerful and engaging movie topic! We noticed that many big screen moments that ring truest, or are the most heartfelt, funny, or relatable, center on parenthood. And we’ve compiled our top five parenting moments on this blog! Let us know what you think—or if there are any of your favorites you can’t believe we missed. 😉

1. Mrs. Doubtfire

This movie is a family favorite for a reason—it engages both kids and parents by tackling serious issues with a lighthearted touch. Not to mention, it redefines how far a father will go for his kids. Both touching and, well, hilarious, these Mrs. Doubtfire moments—as Dude Looks Like a Lady plays in the background—proves why this movie was an instant classic when it came out in 1993.

2. The Blind Side

The Blind Side, the movie based on the real-life story of a young boy’s rise from poverty to football stardom, charmed movie audiences and critics alike in 2009 (not to mention garnered its lead actress Sandra Bullock an Oscar!). At its core, though, this movie is as much a sports film as it is a moving depiction of Michael’s adoption by the Tuohy family—and particularly, his evolving relationship with his new mother, feisty LeAnn. This moment at the film’s end features Michael getting LeAnn to let down her tough façade, revealing how far each of the characters has evolved since the beginning of the film.

3. One Fine Day

If we had to pick one movie that perfectly captures the dizzying day in the life of a harried single parent struggling to juggle work, kids, and maybe even romance, One Fine Day might just get our vote. Anger—and then sparks—fly when two single parents quite literally miss the boat (for their kids’ field trip) and are forced to take turns baby-sitting during a high stakes workday. Sure, there’s an element of wish-fulfillment—what parent wouldn’t love to imagine themselves as Michelle Pfeiffer or George Clooney? But it’s really their mutual dedication to their kids that makes this sweet movie a must-see.

4. Mr. Mom

We’ve all experienced those frustrating moments when our kid will just not give it up—whether the “it” in question is thumb-sucking, bed-wetting, or a tight grip on their favorite candy bar. That’s when the time comes to get creative in our convincing tactics, lest—worst case scenario here—negotiations break down. It’s for that reason that we love this scene from 1983’s Mr. Mom, where Michael Keaton expertly commandeers his son’s blankie. Keaton’s speech is hilarious and parents, take note: it’s downright masterful, too.

5. The Sound of Music

Over forty years after it was first released, The Sound of Music is still a family favorite. Let’s face it, who couldn’t love a film that begins with Julie Andrews belting it out on the top of a mountain? But Music resonates to this day because it’s about more than just catchy music—the film is anchored by the moving story of a single father trying to figure out how to let his kids back into his life. This scene of Captain Von Trapp singing Edelweiss with his children movingly marks the beginning of that journey.

6. Bonus: Stepmom

As far as parenting moments go, Stepmom—about a mother, Jackie, jockeying for control over her children’s relationship with their new stepmother—is full of some pretty heavy ones. Things only get heavier when—SPOILER ALERT—half way through the movie, Jackie gets diagnosed with terminal cancer. In short, a bonding scene of Jackie and her kids provides a much-needed dose of good cheer. But the truth is, you don’t even have to know the context: we bet you’ll crack a smile at the image of a mom and her kids getting down to Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell, engaging in some good old fashioned hairbrush singing, and jubilantly breaking a few little rules along the way!

Tell us which of these is your favorite! And which one do you think most accurately depicts the rollercoaster ride that is parenthood?