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Parenting tips to learn and unlearn from onscreen fathers!

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Sakshi Sharma
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Onscreen fathers do much more than just being a bane in the life of their kids, sometimes they teach a valuable lesson in what to do and not do as fathers!

Parenting is a hard job in itself because by being responsible for yourself you are responsible for someone else too. It's an equally difficult job for both fathers and mothers because apart from being that they are also humans existing in this world. And just like IRL, we also forget this about fathers onscreen. We've seen them as either villains in their kids' lives or strict dominant figures but there are many lessons that we can learn from these fictional fathers that apply to real life.

Onscreen fathers from Hollywood like Jack Pearson or Randal Pearson from This Is Us, Ted Lasso from Ted Lasso, Mitchell, Cameron, Jay, and Phil from Modern Family teach us the art of parenting. Where you share the parenting load with your partner and be present and show up for them at all times, it doesn't mean that they will never be afraid, or they won't falter. It just means that as kids, we'll be able to cope with problems easier, knowing that someone has our back. Whereas Don Draper from Madmen or Logan Roy from Succession are classic case studies of absentee fathers who love to just show up when it's really necessary, and be there to scold and discipline them but take no responsibility for them at least emotionally. They both undermine and hide from their children so much that these children tend to grow up with many mental health issues. But all of these fathers represent American society and fatherhood there.

Also Read: 5 supportive dads in queer films and shows that show you what queer parenting should look like!

Similarly, there are many onscreen Indian fathers who we can learn and unlearn a thing or two from about how to be an amazing father to children! From Alok Nath's idealistic fatherhood, Anupam Kher's cool dad essence, Amitabh Bachchan's strict disciplinarian fatheresque style to SRK's various shades of fatherhood and Jameel Khan's middle-class dad vibe in Gullak, We have seen a lot of fathers onscreen but here are some that left something with us!

Things to Learn-

Bhaskor Banerjee - Piku

He is a real depiction of an aged father - irritating, frustrating yet so cute and sweet. He also teaches a valuable lesson about being a girl's father and how important it is to make women independent so that they can be liberated.

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Sachin Sandhu - Thappad

He is a poetic, artsy sort of father who gives the best advice. He teaches a valuable lesson in how a father of a married daughter never judged her for coming back home and filing for divorce. Rather, he stood strongly by her side in her decisions and gave her hope even when she felt like losing it.

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Devi Singh - Dahaad

He is a police officer struggling and fighting his own battles in this regressive world. He teaches a valuable lesson in not just parenting a girl child by fighting for her studies but also parenting a male child because if we don't teach our sons differently, how do we ever work towards women's liberation?

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Also Read: On-screen dads from OTT shows that will make you go, “OMG! My dad’s the same”

Narottam Mishra - Bareily ki Barfi and Anup Saxena - Gunjan Saxena

They show you what uber urban cool dads look like. These two teach us valuable lessons in how as fathers, who in spite of living in a small town, raise their daughters like their friends; sometimes even becoming their mothers to provide that comfort and care.

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Raj Batra - Hindi Medium and Champak Bansal - English Medium

These fathers fight for their kids and want to give them everything that they couldn't have but also they never want their kids to forget where they come from, their roots. They teach us a valuable lesson about the length to which a father goes for his children.

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Things to unlearn-

Chaudhry Baldev Singh - Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge

He is a toxic father who puts the burden of his own insecurities on his children and takes a decision on their behalf without asking for their choice. To retain your values and stay attached to your roots even if you are an NRI doesn't mean that you have to forcefully marry an Indian man and live behind closed doors. The only thing he does is sideline his children because he's stubborn.

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Bhairav Singh - Udaan

He is the perfect example of a classic toxic father who has two sons from two different marriages but they both run away from home. To discipline someone, you don't have to violently beat them up and make them into a man rather, you need to give them the freedom to be whoever they want to be.

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Also Read: 9 onscreen fathers who changed the way fathers are portrayed in pop culture

Dev Saran - Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna

Even though Shah Rukh Khan has played a cool understanding father many times, but as Dev, he is one of those fathers who put the burden of fulfilling their dreams on their children irrespective of whether their child wants to or not. This only creates distance and makes the child resent you eventually.

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Nandkishore - Taare Zameen Par

He is your next-door father who you will find in every other home who runs behind only one thing - getting good grades without understanding why your child is struggling. He is a product of society conditioned by the fact that merit is the only way to success.

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Virus - 3 Idiots

Following a very similar suit of Narayan Shankar from Mohabbatein, he behaves exactly the same at home and work and cannot differentiate between dreams and gender. He runs on a similar path to most fathers in that if a son is born, he will do engineering and ends up losing his son in the process.

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What are you taking away from these onscreen fathers? Tell us in the comments below!

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