When it comes to TV dads, there are a LOT of examples of what not to do.
But more and more, we’re seeing great dads on TV that men can look up to. And that’s incredibly encouraging.
One of those great TV dads? Jack Pearson, the loving and loyal father from This Is Us.
Let’s take a look at some parenting lessons every father can learn from the dad from This Is Us, Jack Pearson.
What can real-life fathers learn from the This Is Us dad?
- Put your partner first
- Your family is your purpose
- You don’t have to parent like your father
- Know when you’re doing too much
- Honest is the best policy
Let’s take a closer look at each of these lessons, with examples from the show!
What is “This Is Us” and Who Is Jack Pearson?
This Is Us is a hit show from NBC that follows the life of a family of five from the very beginning, even into the behind-the-scenes details of the extended family members.
We are taken on a journey in this show through the present day, flashbacks, and flash forwards of many of the main characters, and what these things reveal about their personalities, struggles, and familial relationships.
The show is known to tug at the viewers’ heartstrings and often has tearjerker moments.
That’s because the plot points hit home for us, as we all either come from a family or have a family of our own.
Jack Pearson, played my Milo Ventimiglia, is arguably the most important character of the show, especially for the first few seasons.
He’s the dad of the “Big 3” (Kevin, Kate, and Randall), Rebecca’s husband, and brother of Nicky.
He comes from a troubled home, but has a fierce loyalty that makes him a superhero in the eyes of his family.
Even though we find out that he passes away while the kids are teenagers, his influence and legacy lives on in the memories of Rebecca and the kids throughout the show.
Fathers IRL can learn a lot from Jack. Let’s go through 5 major lessons dads can learn from Jack Pearson.
1. Put Your Partner First
The strength of the parents’ relationship is truly the glue that holds a family together, and Jack did an amazing job at making his wife a priority.
Their love for each other remained passionate and true up until the very end.
Not only that, but they were genuine friends, too.
When an office secretary tried to schmooze up to Jack, he remained faithful to his wife and turned the woman down.
Even when on a golf outing with guy friends dissing their wives (a somewhat more socially acceptable situation), he stood up for his wife and said he wanted to get back home to her, even though she was at the worst point in her pregnancy.
Most importantly, he was openly supportive of Rebecca in front of the kids.
In the season 5 finale, the couple fights about something petty, and the kids ask if they still love each other.
To prove their love, they stage a family wedding in their living room and have a lot of fun doing so.
Keeping a family healthy means that a father must continue to love and support his significant other throughout their lives, and we can see that Jack does this so well.
2. Your Family Is Your Purpose
Jack’s son Kevin has a moment with the ghost of Jack after his twins are born in season 5.
Kevin asks him how his mom and dad raised the Big 3 all by themselves, and Jack’s response says it all:
“You kids, and your mom…that’s all I ever wanted. It’s easy when you look at it like that.”
One thing we just love about Jack is how easy fatherhood seems to be for him.
As the show progresses, we notice that there are difficulties for him, but there’s no doubt that family is number 1 for Jack Pearson.
Before Jack met Rebecca, he didn’t have a lot of purpose in his life.
But when they form a family, he makes it his personal mission to be there and present for every single member of the family through all of their ups and downs.
Fathers are an essential piece of the family puzzle, and everyone depends on and needs the dad.
Jack shows us that when a father’s top priority is the family (not work or success), the family is healthy and thrives.
3. You Don’t Have to Parent Like Your Father
This Is Us reveals throughout the show’s episodes that Jack didn’t grow up in a perfect home, like the one he is trying to create.
Jack had an abusive and alcoholic father that negatively affected his childhood.
He often had to step in as a father-figure to his little brother Nicky, trying to protect him from the brunt of his father.
Jack was determined to not be like his dad.
In his ghost-form to Kevin, he mentions regretting his intensity in this, that Kevin was living terrified that he would not live up to Jack’s good example, similar to how Jack himself was living terrified that he would end up like his bad father.
As we were able to see, Jack ended up nothing like his father in his parenting role.
Dads can be aware of how their fathers parented, decide what they do or don’t want to replicate, and move forward, just like Jack did.
4. Know When You’re Doing Too Much
Like with most people, our greatest strength tends to also be our weakest point.
The same is true even for Jack Pearson, the superdad.
Perhaps Jack’s only flaw was taking on too much for his family and their problems.
It comes out later that he was drinking in order to cope with this weight he put on himself, and this superhero trait was arguably the thing that led to his death.
When Jack got the family out of their burning house safely, he went back for Kate’s dog, knowing how much she loved the pet.
Later, we find out he passed away from inhaling too much smoke from the fire.
One thing Jack maybe could have done better was this: reach out for help when you need it.
If the weight of all that’s going on is too much for a dad to handle, it can be tempting to try to cope with it yourself by turning to drinking, drugs, or other addictions.
But dads don’t have to do it all alone.
Setting boundaries for what you can and can’t do can be really helpful, and when it all feels like too much, reach out to someone who cares.
Even though dads are legendary for being bad at asking for help, support is out there if you want it!
5. Honesty is The Best Policy
When his drinking became an evident problem, Jack eventually came clean with his family about his struggles.
Even though there was a threat of rejection there, he still decided that it was best to be open and honest about where he was at.
He also was open with his kids about his love for them and how far it really went.
For example, he told Randall once (when he was concerned about not being like his siblings) that he wanted each of them to be as different as they can possibly be in all the best ways, and that he was an exceptional young man.
He was forthright with all of his children about how devoted to them he was.
If fathers can do anything to make their kids confident and assured of themselves, this is it!
Jack was also honest about his emotions and was not afraid to show them — something a lot of men, and dads, struggle with.
Most people find it easy to show annoyance, disappointment, or frustration with kids, but they really need to see us proud of and confident in them, too.
So, dads, make sure to voice your approval of your children when you feel it.
They need to hear the words from your mouth. And, hopefully, Jack’s famous speeches can inspire you to do it in your own way.
We know that Jack Pearson is not a real person, just a character from a TV show.
It’s not realistic for us to try to measure ourselves up in every way to him as an example.
But we can take away some valuable lessons from the story of This Is Us and try our best to apply them in an effort to be a better dad.
Hopefully, we will find our family bonds strengthened and better for it.
Fore more lessons from amazing TV and movie dads, check out:
Hope this helps!