Great Parenting Advice I Learned from Full House

I’m one of the first people to complain about how there aren’t any new ideas in movies and television. I whine about how everything is recycled or an adaptation. I sit on my high horse and preach how creativity and innovation take a back seat to profits and ratings. All that being said, the announcement of Fuller House shut me right up. As much as I celebrate a TV show or a movie that’s completely original, I’m ecstatic for the return of the show that gave me great parenting advice. 1

I don’t mean to sound like a self-obsessed millennial, but this show was made for people like me. Young adults who loved the original show who are now raising their own families.

As curious as I am to see how Fuller House tackles issues that face parents today, I thought it was appropriate to pay homage to the original series. To prepare my Fuller House binge on Netflix this weekend, I’ve been watching the original episodes.

Now that I’m a father, raising a daughter of my own, I react differently to the lessons on the show. I’m haunted by the heartbroken face that Danny makes when Michelle tells him that she’s not a little girl anymore. I want to to back in time to destroy the printing press so that DJ doesn’t go on a crash diet because of the unrealistic body images in fashion magazines. These episodes are great for getting parenting advice, but there’s one episode that stuck with me the most.

Michelle was being teased by an obnoxious boy who told her that she can’t participate in a soapbox car race because she’s a girl. Becky volunteers to build the car with Michelle to prove her classmate wrong. Their car falls apart as they take it out for a test ride in front of the pint-sized villain who antagonizes her even more. Michelle then decides to quit.

The teasing from the boy provides the tipping point for Michelle, but before she quits the most harm to her was caused by Danny, Uncle Jesse and Becky. They joked about not knowing where the steering wheel goes and teased Becky about where to put the flowers. They reinforced the bully’s message that girls don’t know anything about building cars. Michelle could distance herself from the bully, but she can’t distance herself from the messages of her father and uncle.

This struck me because I like to joke around like Danny, Jesse and Becky. This is something that I would do! My daughter doesn’t talk yet, but I already need to watch what I say and do. She absorbs all of the information around her. She understands so much and she’s only getting smarter.

This episode showed me how I need to watch what I say – even if it’s a joke. I would never want my daughter boxed in by gender stereotypes 2. I want her to believe that she can do anything. Most importantly, I would never want my daughter to lose that belief in herself because of me and stupid things I say for a laugh.

Man, parenting’s made me so serious sometimes. I hope I haven’t put a serious parenting filter on your binge watching this weekend. Full House, more than anything, should be fun. If it has, just remember that this outfit elicited saucy hollering from the audience. Happy binging!

  1. I’m also psyched about catchphrases. Delicious delicious catchphrases.
  2. Especially out of date stereotypes

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