3 Family Movies That Gently Explain Single ParenthoodChristine Coppa
JD asks about his father a lot. A few years ago a child psychologist told me to answer swiftly and change the subject, but now that he’s approaching 6—OMG—I think I owe it to him to say more than, “Your dad lives far away. I love you. Let’s color now.”
But I know he’s not ready for an extended version either. Instead, I’ve been using media to help pave the way. Here are 3 awesome movies that helped me explain our modern family to my son. JD loves them all!
JD is all signed up for Little League and can’t wait to hit the diamond. This past weekend we curled up on the couch and watched Rookie of the Year for the first time. I knew JD would be jazzed because it’s a baseball movie, but it’s also a movie about a boy, Henry, living with his single mom, Mary.
Mary told Henry his absent dad was a great baseball player and that’s about it. Henry told people this story, but he really knew the truth. “I know my dad left you when you were pregnant, mom” he tells Mary. When this scene finished, I looked at my son and said, “This is what happened to mommy and we’re OK. Just like Mary takes care of Henry, I take care of you!” “And you play catch with me!” he said.
The real silver lining of this movie is that this absent dad wasn’t the great baseball player—Mary, the mom is and she is the one that saves the day when Henry needs help with baseball.
I could watch this movie over and over and over again with JD. I dig that the single parent family includes a dad fish, Marlin, and kiddo fish, Nemo. I want JD to know that single dads exist too. I told JD that just like Nemo’s dad, I will always take care of him, always be there, and never give up on our family. I also explained our family is a lot like Nemo’s, only Nemo lives with his daddy and JD lives with his mommy. But we both have something in common: We … just keep swimming, just keep swimming!
Scotty smalls lives with his mom and stepdad. His bio dad died and his mom remarried. This was a great conversation starter for JD and me. I told him that sometimes single moms get married and that person becomes like a dad to the child, just like Scotty and his stepdad. I also loved explaining to JD that we can decide who our family is. Scotty and his sandlot buddies became like brothers that summer and there is no one definition of family.
I encourage you to watch these movies with your kids. They really helped JD understand more about our family.
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What movies help you explain single parenthood to your kids? Pls share.
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Photo credit: IMDb.com