Mommying Will Hunting

Blog Will Hunting welcomes guest contributor Claire, mother of two, and a contributor to the blog Rants from MommyLand.


Have you ever noticed that there are no parents in Good Will Hunting?

"That's a good takedown."

There are brief references to Will’s biological and foster parents, Skylar’s wealthy father, Sean’s abusive dad, and Chuckie’s Ma (and her VCR…). Certainly, Sean and Lambeau become a type of hybrid father figure to Will, together tumultuously strengthening Will’s ability to form healthy emotional attachment. But there are no actual moms or dads written into the script and we never witness any authentic parenting in the movie.

As a mother to two young children I sometimes find myself thinking back to this film and wondering, what about the parents? What’s their deal? What parenting successes led to Chuckie’s unabashed confidence? What drove the horrific foster parents to utterly ignore Will’s obvious genius?

Despite the lack of parental presence in the film there is still a lot of child-rearing wisdom to be reaped. In fact, I’ve managed to successfully incorporate several brilliant GWH one-liners into my own mothering repertoire.

Bill takes down Morgan

For example, the baby hates to don his snow suit. By the time I stuff all four extremities into the ball of down fluff he is sobbing as if I’ve submitted him to some kind of torture device. But then once he’s strapped in the backpack or the stroller and he’s outside in the fresh air he is hands-down the happiest kid in the world. At this point I get right up in his face and declare, “How do you like me NOW?!

A selection of various lego bricks via The Morning News | A Common Nomenclature for Lego FamiliesNext example: My 2.5 year-old decides to dump out every single Lego, block and puzzle piece we own about 35 seconds before we’re supposed to leave for preschool. My response? “Jane! No more shenanigans. No more tomfoolery. No more ballyhoo. Put. On. Your. Shoes.” If my request is subsequently ignored I have been known to take a deep breath and mutter, “Keep antagonizing me, watch what happens.”

And my personal favorite: as I break up a scrum between my son and daughter a sudden stench makes my eyes sting. I ask, “OK, who made a poop?” <They both look innocent.> I point to the guiltiest-looking child and announce, “Ya suspect!

Ya suspect!

Thank you, Good Will Hunting, for allowing me to share these truly awesome parenting gems with my kids, especially the most graceful way to exit an awkward social encounter: “I swallowed a bug.


Legos image via The Morning News, “A Common Nomenclature for Lego Families.”

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