Have you ever noticed the way fathers are often portrayed on T.V. commercials? In most instances, the pattern is the same no matter what is being sold. It goes something like this: Dad is a bungling idiot and stays that way or he becomes smarter only from the intervention from his wife and/or the kids. And we haven’t even ventured into modern T.V. sitcoms. Think I am wrong? Try watching commercials over the next week and jot down how many times Dad is shown as a goof or the idiot of the family. There are now some marketing campaigns that show the father as caring and sensible but these get notice specifically because that is so unusual! Most of those same marketers were happy to denigrate dads in the past.
In fact, historically only one product has always shown the father as being smart and caring on his own. Can you guess what that product is? Life Insurance. That’s right; he has to die in order to show how smart and caring he was!
Your kids will get literally thousands of messages from T.V. over the years telling them that dads are complete idiots.That is a fact. Although keeping your kids from watching T.V. may be impractical, consider simply having a casual conversation that alerts them to this reality. We don’t expect our kids to believe everything they read on the Internet. Why let them be completely passive consumers of T.V.? Help your kids to be critical consumers of all media. You don’t want to go on a constant rant, but occasionally question commercials and sitcoms that you feel are unjust.
I know this paid off for me when my young daughter came into the dining room all excited exclaiming, “Dad, I just saw a commercial on T.V. and the father was not an idiot!”