Here are some straight up parenting truths from Mary Poppins. Post contains affiliate links.
Last night I went into the kids’ bathroom and there I saw one of my boys at the toilet…
He was going #1 – with his pants at his ankles – playing a recorder.
I was shocked.
I honestly didn’t know men could do more than one thing at a time. (kidding kidding)
So my husband and I had a good laugh at this little musician in the making. And honestly, we laugh a lot. I think it’s one of the most important parts of parenting. Finding the funny in a situation that’d otherwise make you run out of the house screaming.
Before drifting off to sleep last night Mary Poppins popped into my mind. Wasn’t her main purpose in working for the Banks family to return Mr. Banks’ heart to his children? I think so.
Clearly, MP has a lot to teach us.
4 Parenting Truths from Mary Poppins
These are direct quotes from this classic children’s movie.
Mary Poppins: “Enough is as good as a feast.”
When our culture says more, more, more, and the credit card limits keep getting higher and higher, it’s a rare person who can say enough is just right. Too many and things go to waste. Too few and there’s just not enough.
Just right is about as good as it gets.
Children who learn to use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without are able to find contentment in seasons of much and seasons of lack. .
Mary Poppins: “I am kind, but extremely firm.”
Nurture Shock says the most effective parents are those who are firm with limits and kind at the same time. Being firm on family boundaries can be done with a loving and nurturing disposition. Children who learn their parents mean business have respect for authority. Children who learn their parents are pushovers become resentful and defiant.
Mary Poppins: “You’re not quite as turned out as I’d like, but there’s time.“
There is something refreshing and comforting about the truth.
“An honest answer is like a kiss on the lips.” Prov. 24:26
We’re scared to say the truth for fear of hurting our children’s feelings and crippling their self-esteem. We tell them they are good at something when they aren’t. We tell them they have skills they don’t have. We pretend they’re destined for success just because they’re alive.
A wise and loving mother balances truth and encouragement. She can say you are “not there yet” but that “practice makes progress” (our family motto).
Children don’t want flattery, they want you to believe in and support them where they’re at.
Mary Poppins: “People who get their feet wet must learn to take their medicine.”
Let’s be clear: Mary Poppins wasn’t raising victims.
It’s harder than it seems to let your kids learn their own lessons. It’s hard to watch your kids fall, fail, and flounder even when you know it’ll be better for them in the long run.
The truth is, kids don’t need us to protect them from life. Kids need us to prepare them for life.
Thanks, Mary Poppins, your wisdom is as timely as ever.