How To Write About Parenthood

Parenthood is a tragicomedy by Ron Howard. The film has received numerous positive and favorable reviews from critics. It was nominated for the Golden Globe Award and the Academy Awards. Parenthood is about the difficult relations between parents and children. Despite the fact that it can be considered as a common topic that has been depicted in many films and books, the film, Parenthood, shows the real life with tears, laughter, joy, sorrow, quarrels, and love confessions. The purpose of the paper is to define the notion of family relations represented in the film.

The movie tells the viewers a story of two brothers, two sisters, and the problems which their families face. The film covers the life of three generations. The director depicts three generations to make the viewer look for the analogies between them. It is a very interesting process. This film shows the real life and relationships of a huge family. As in every family, there are moments in of sincere laughter and nervous tension. Ron Howard, a director and a screenwriter of this movie, vividly shows the true meaning of the word ‘family,’ which only some realize today. According to the director, the family is a union of people who are sometimes radically different from each other, but in spite of this are able to compromise and find common ground.

Communication in the family is the main element of the film. As it was already mentioned, there are several parents in the movie. All of them represent a certain parenting style to their children. For example, Karen and Gil use an authoritative style. Being the authoritative parents, they are very demanding and sympathetic at the same time. Nevertheless, this style of communication leads to various quarrels and misunderstandings. I think the authoritative behavior of Karen and Gil is of the greatest concern because they alternate sympathy with demand. In addition to the problems of upbringing and family communication, the movie shows the problems of the middle age, marital loneliness, and life adventures.

This film helped me understand how family communication differs from the interpersonal communication. In family communication, it is important to consider not only the relationship between parents but also the relationship between parents and children and, most importantly, the relationship between the children in the family. The psychological atmosphere of the family is determined by the interaction of these three systems. There is also one extremely important type of relationships – the relationship between parents and children with senior family members – grandparents. This film demonstrates clearly all these types of relations. In contrast to interpersonal communication where a person is mostly focused on himself/herself, family communication is based on every involved member. People should learn to communicate within the family properly to be happy in all three groups of communication mentioned above.

From the beginning till the end of the movie, the director shows the transformation of characters as they perceive their behavior from different angles. At the end of the film, they learn how to accept each other. The message of Parenthood conveys that family life is not simple. It requires hard work and determined attempts by every member.

The film contains psychological theories and principles. It is especially clear in the male part of Gil’s family. To my mind, Gil is the most interesting character in the film. Despite the fact that he is a caring and loving parent, he fails in certain important spheres of parenting. He cannot give enough attention to his children because of his job. Thus, he acts as his father acted when Gil was a child. When Gil finds that something is wrong with his son, he blames himself. Obviously, it is Erikson’s seventh developmental stage. It is generativity versus stagnation. During the movie, Gil wants to help his son with his development.

Parenthood is an excellent instructive family comedy about several generations of fathers and sons. It depicts a classic problem of fathers and children. This topic is important for all generations and age groups. Every viewer can find something about himself/herself because the characters resemble people from daily life.

Philip Cooper, writer at