Parenting With The Brady Bunch

It started on Skype. I was talking (typing) to my friend Laurie a few months ago, and her twin daughters are within a few weeks of Declan in age.

“The girls are obsessed with The Brady Bunch.”


I have to admit, my maiden name was “Bunch” and I sat next to Sam Brady in elementary school – so the show has always held a not-so-special place in my heart. I’ll give you a minute to think of all the possible combinations. Trust me, there are a ton.

Although, of course, I watched it every single day like every single kid born in 1970 did. It was the law or something, right?

Laurie swore her girls loved it, and that Declan would too since they were all so alike.

So, fine, I ordered the full five-season gift pack complete with a shag carpet box and decided to give it a go.

One month later we had watched and re-watched every single episode of the Brady Bunch, from beginning to end. From the wedding all the way to that crazy Brady Variety Show. We followed the kids from adorable mop-heads to tweens to teens, dealing with every situation –  real and and unreal and downright silly.

Declan loved it all.


The interesting part for us, though, was having a parenting tool in the Brady Bunch. Sure, it is a silly show, but Declan is an only child. He only sees his view of the world, and glimpses of other situations through his friends.

With The Brady Bunch, we explored jealousy, rivalry, loyalty, trust, anger, and the difference between right and wrong. We had many (and I mean many) great talks about how he would handle the things Greg, Marcia and the rest of the kids were going through. Sometimes Declan sided with the kids, sometimes with Mike and Carol.

Sure the show was set in the 70’s but the premises were universal and stand the test of time. In fact, when I mentioned this to my mom, she suggested we should go back even further to “Leave It To Beaver” for the same reasons.

But I liked how The Brady Bunch had a surprisingly modern take on most parenting ideals, and how they really talked to their kids.

With one exception: gender roles. Everything was boy stuff or girls stuff and never the two shall mix. Remember that episode where Marcia forces them all to let her into the Boy Scouts? A rare push for women’s lib in the Brady’s world.

But, even that gave me a conversation starter with Declan. I asked him what he thought of that episode and he was downright confused as to why Marcia wasn’t allowed to join from the begininng.


This article has 6 comments

  1. zipper

    I love the Bradys!!!

  2. Anonymous

    I could totally see how that would be helpful! – m

  3. Meghann

    Another show my kids love? Full House. Watching it all these years later as an adult (I was a kid when it was on tv), I see how dated and hokey some of it is. But my kids LOVE it, and like the Brady Bunch, each episode had its lesson to teach. Remember when prime time shows did that?

  4. L. McG.-E.

    I don’t think we had The Brady Bunch on TV in Britain so I have only know of it through hearing pop culture references and the film from a couple of years ago. It seems like a fun show.

    I, being a little older again, know just what it is like to have clearly defined gender roles set down by parents. My mother in particular was VERY clear on what girls and boys should do and just could not even begin to think why either would want to do anything differently. Thankfully not only have the times changed but so has she.

  5. Everyfann

    Not sure how I missed this one but it is awesome! I loved the Bradys!

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