13 Parenting Lessons To Take From Danny Tanner, The Best Dad To Come Out Of the '90s
As a child of the '90s, there are certain sitcom families I know better than my own, and that includes Full House. The show was wholesome, fun, and featured a very sexy John Stamos, but it was also full of some great life advice. Whether you were hearing Joey retell a story from his childhood or witnessing the great parenting lessons from Danny Tanner, you knew you were in for some good TV.
Apparently the rest of the world thought we could use some more of Mr. Tannerito, too. The show's spinoff series, Fuller House, premieres Feb. 26 on Netflix and I am majorly stoked to see my favorite family of nerd-bombers again. Didn't we all want to be as smart as D.J. Tanner? Or kill a dance routine like Stephanie or be as sassy as Michelle? But the men of Full House were just as great. I mean, there was no one as cool as Uncle Jesse and Joey did the best impressions. But the greatest character of Full House was most definitely Danny Ernest Tanner, the man who once had a talking washcloth named Terry as his best friend. He was a neat freak, a hug enthusiast, and an incredible dad to his three young girls. Sitcoms are known for their perfect families, but even Danny Tanner showed his human side with these 13 parenting lessons, and they are ones I'd be proud to implement in my own role as a mother.
1. Turn Spring Cleaning Into A Holiday
Will your kids enjoy it? Probably not. But they'll know it's happening, regardless of how much they dislike it.
2. Sometimes You Just Have To Hug It Out
It doesn't matter how you're feeling or why you're angry — sometimes a hug is all you need to let someone know you're there for them and that you love them.
3. Apologize When You're Wrong
Danny Tanner is human and not a perfect parent, but one of the best lessons he teaches is to always apologize and admit your faults. Watch any episode where he messes up, like forbidding D.J. from seeing Steve and arguing that she doesn't know what love is. Once he realizes he's done something wrong, he's quick to fix his mistakes.
4. Always Be There To Help
Remember the episode where D.J. has to babysit Brian and he gets his head stuck between the stair banister rails? Danny leaves the poker game he's hosting to come save the day. Now that's a dad right there.
5. Let Your Kids Know You're Proud Of Them
In almost any episode where you think one of those girls is going to get sent off to Siberia at any moment (hello, D.J. bringing a damn horse into your cleaning obsessed father's living room), Danny finds something good to pat them on the back about. Like that episode where Stephanie sneaks off to the make-out party and calls D.J. (but it's actually Danny on the phone) to bail her out. Sure, Danny grounds her, but he also tells her how proud he is of her for calling someone to help her.
6. Never Be Ashamed Of Who You Are
Danny Tanner has been a dork since birth, and you know what? He accepts it. Actually, he does more than just accept it. He thrives in it. And he makes sure to teach his girls that it doesn't matter what anyone thinks of you, as long as you're happy.
7. Break Down Gender Stereotypes
There's an episode where Michelle and Aunt Becky build a race car, despite a neighborhood boy telling them they can't win since they're girls. Michelle gets super down about being a girl and feeling like she can't accomplish the car build when Danny steps in. He quickly breaks down the gender stereotypes and tells her she can build cars just like Joey can do ballet, that there is no "boy" or "girl" thing.
8. Love Fixes All
In that episode where Stephanie sneaks off to the make-out party, Danny offers this bit of wisdom to the mother of the party hostess as she goes to dole out punishments to her daughter. "Just remember, when children seem the least loveable, it means they need love the most."
9. Teach Your Kids That Bodies Come In All Shapes And Sizes
One of the hardest episodes of Full House to watch is the one where D.J. is developing an eating disorder. But Danny puts a stop to it with a speech on how all bodies come in different shapes and sizes, and that even those who are tall and thin (like Mr. Tanner himself) yearn for a body change.
10. It's OK For Kids To Go Through Phases
One of the best things I think we can all learn as parents is that everything our kids do is not necessarily important. Like the episode where Michelle gives up her girly attire for jeans, a leather jacket, and a backwards hat so the boys in her class will play with her. Danny starts to panic that she needs some kind of help, but quickly remembers that he once went as Julie Andrews for Halloween, simply because he liked Julie Andrews. Not everything your children do is a cry for help or a life change -—sometimes it's literally just a phase.
11. Pick Your Battles
Do you remember the episode where D.J. and Stephanie put a hole in Danny's bedroom wall and they patch it up in a terrible way? They distract Danny from noticing that they've moved his dresser with a little song and dance routine, which of course Mr. Tanner-rito loves. But he does mention that he thinks something's going on or the girls are hiding something, but since he can't figure it out just yet, he's not going to worry about it. This is one parenting lesson I seriously need to take to heart.
12. Let Your Kids Feel Safe Talking To You
There's a Valentine's Day episode where D.J. receives a super expensive blue sweater (seriously, it's like $80 and it's just plain blue and D.J. is like 12) from Danny and the crew. She ruins it at school, so she hopes to buy a new one at the store to replace it, but realizes she's broke (been there, kid) and Stephanie ends up swiping it. At the end, the two are caught returning the sweater and Danny is called by the store. He gives the girls a talk at the end about how, instead of wasting energy and anxiety on planning some big scheme, they should always just come and talk to him about whatever they've done. You don't ever want your children to be scared of you.
13. Sometimes Your Kid's Regret Is Punishment Enough
Danny has been known to punish the girls for messing up, but he also realizes that sometimes, they make their own punishment. Like the time Stephanie had Kimmie Gibbler pierce her ears and they became infected. Danny does lecture her on ignoring his rules, but then he takes her to the doctor to get her ears checked out. No need for an extra punishment — Stephanie covered that one herself.