Parental Influence In The Movie “42”

There is a fantastic scene in the movie 42, where a father and son are at the ball park. The father is yelling all kinds of racial slurs at Jackie Robinson and the little boy kept looking at his dad funny, and then all of the sudden, the boy started to yell the same hateful things his father was screaming. I was a fantastic scene of how fast and easy it is for a parent to teach a child to hate.

I hear people in the legal and therapeutic community, say all the time that,  “a parent can’t turn a child against the other parent.” or that, “a parent does not have that kind of influence over their child” and this simply is a fallacy. A parent has the greatest influence over their children, as children trust their parents more then they do any other people on the planet. It does not take long for a child to parrot what they hear their parents saying or doing. If one of their parents turn their anger and hurt toward the other parent, a child will very quickly align themselves with one parent, especially if they perceive that the other parent is bad based on what the favored parent has said or they are in fear of upsetting the favored parent.

I was amazed to see how this was depicted in the movie 42, and then what was even more amazing, was when the boy’s hero put his arm around Jackie Robinson, to show the world that this was his friend, and teammate and he accepted him, his father went silent and the little boy fell silent watching the phenomenon take place. BRILLIANT!!!!

I wonder how many people, watching this movie, were aware of the message being portrayed in this scene, I wonder how many people in the family legal system and the therapeutic that say, “a parent does not influence their child” picked this up and was influenced to change their mindset about this fallacy? I wonder?????

Please leave a comment. XOXO…Dorcy

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  1. Michael
    4 months ago

    In my work as a clinical social worker, my experience with children has taught me parents are like God’s to their children, both postive and negative . Nice work being done with your approach.

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