Parenthood (1989)

Parenthood (1989) Trailer

Parenthood (1989) is a very interesting and enjoyable film. It was interesting how the five siblings who were born under the same roof, raised by the same parents, would administer different parenting styles toward their own children. Although they share the same parents, it does not mean that all children were given the same treatment and attention from them. Alfred Adler’s theory of birth order could be applied in the Buckman family as well. According to Adler, despite being born in the same family, children experience the world differently according to the order in which they were born, and this plays in a role in the development of their personality.

The Buckman Family

Monkey see monkey do?

If a parent is harsh and strict with his/her child, will the child grow up and treat his/her own children the way?

But what if a parent treats his/her child with lots of affection and attention, will the child treat his/her child the same way?

It is interesting to note that the parenting style which was used to an individual while they were young does not mean that he or she will use the same technique when they become parents themselves, even though it might be a good one.

Two clear examples were portrayed in Parenthood (1989):

Example #1

Left:Frank, Right:Gil

Frank used the authoritarian parenting style approach toward Gil, his eldest son,

However… Gil used the authoritative approach toward all his children (Kevin, Taylor & Justin)

Example #2

Left:Frank, Right:Larry

Frank used the permissive parenting style approach toward Larry, his youngest son.

However… Larry used the uninvolved/neglectful approach toward his own son, Cool.

Conflict in Approach

There is so much more in regards to how one develops a particular parenting style. As a marriage involves both the husband and wife to be involved in the upbringing of a child, what happens when both partners are at a disagreement in the way their child should be raised?

Nathan & Susan

As we can see from the case of Susan and Nathan, problems will definitely arise when there’s a conflict parenting styles. There’re only two options: (1) agree to a balance or compromise between the two different approaches, or (2) give in to the more dominant/ persistent one by either using his /her way of doing things, or leave. A clear indicator of such a scenario would be the case between Susan’s and Nathan’s disagreement in raising their child, Patty.

Patty, the cute atypical kid

Phew! NOT Easy!

Seems like being a parent is definitely NOT easy!! Well, let me rephrase that..

Becoming a parent is easy (a.k.a. getting pregnant) but being a good parent who brings up healthy (physically, emotionally & psychologically) kids is NOT easy.

As a conclusion, I just want to end by restating a statement made by Todd (Julie’s boyfriend/husband) which I totally agree on:




Visit the following link for more information about parenting styles:

  • The Four Styles of Parenting

  • Parenting Style in a Collectivist Culture of Malaysia

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