This article considers qualitative data collected from 78 parents in an Irish study on the commercialisation and sexualisation of children. It makes a distinctive contribution in showing that the framework of family display (Finch, 2007) can be productively applied to the entire field of family consumption. It shows that consumption narratives can be viewed as a tool that is used to display family – in other words, showing how family is done – to internal family members and to outsiders. While family display has been more often applied empirically with non-conventional families, its relevance for all families is reasserted by our data. Our application of the family display framework shows that middle-class parenting ideals are stretched and can become unstuck when displayed by middle-class parents, the constituency most associated with their production and propagation.