• Time to Stop Denigrating Dads on TV

    by  • June 13, 2013 • Family Friendly, Television • 7 Comments

    Young Boy Pretending to Fly

    Children fare much better in life if they have a loving and involved father. They are better able to cope with setbacks, less likely to run away from home or have discipline problems in school, they are more likely to have high self-esteem, are less prone to depression and suicide. Boys have been shown to be less aggressive and girls less likely to engage in sex. So why then does television routinely denigrate Dad? Especially when audiences are turned-off by TV’s dismissive attitude toward fathers?

    A new survey by Netmums, a UK-based parenting site, found that viewers are increasingly unhappy with “Homer Simpson Syndrome,” especially on programs aimed at children. 

    Survey respondents singled out characters like Daddy Pig on Peppa Pig (which airs on NickJr in the US), Fred Flintstone of The Flintstones (which can be seen on Boomerang), and Homer Simpson of The Simpsons.

    Overwhelmingly, parents who participated in the survey (93%) said that the way fathers appear on television, as well as in books and advertisements, bears no relation to their real-life contribution to families.

    More than half of respondents felt that society is becoming “more appreciative of how important a dad’s role is” and that fathers are “much closer to their kids than in the past,” while 90% of fathers felt they were “working harder than their own fathers to be a good parent.”

    Yet this reality is still not reflected on the small screen, where dad is usually depicted as a fumbling, bumbling loser, completely disengaged, or absent altogether.

    Instead of supporting the institution of family, and fatherhood in particular, fathers are routinely undermined on television — which ultimately undermines the family unit. Why should a child show respect for his father when television teaches him that dad is a dunce, unworthy of respect? Why should boys want to become loving and involved fathers themselves, when television teaches them they are superfluous?

    Not all TV dads need to be Ward Cleaver or Cliff Huxtable — but maybe one or two here and there wouldn’t hurt?

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    7 Responses to Time to Stop Denigrating Dads on TV

    1. Stephen D. Goodrick
      June 14, 2013 at 3:07 am

      What your message is telling me is this: We have spent too much time being taught by outsiders to our family how to think, what to eat, where to live, what to drive, and how to live. We have been seduced. We’ve listened to shrill voices protest what we know and feel to be right; we’ve listened to subtle voices charm us into dishonorable behavior; we’ve listened to intelligent voices explain away our need for freedom, choice, and accountability. Coupled with images of these ‘teachers’, it has become most compelling. And now, late in the game, we discover that our team doesn’t have the will nor the understanding of the sport to win. We’ve been dupped, snookered, deceived, and enslaved by those who love money more than truth, fame more than family, order more than freedom, handouts more than integrity. What do we do now? Return to Father, our Eternal Father. Think of Him as our role model. Consider His Plan of Happiness. Do this and the voices will sound as hollow as the motivations and hopes of the owners of those voices, finally. Then truth will prevail again.

    2. Jack Peterson
      June 14, 2013 at 7:14 am

      Fathers are denigrated as part of the whole feminization of society. If you make the woman stronger and smarter then the father can be a complete idiot. This makes mom the hero and dad the zero. Having strong fatherly roles would be less watchable to the current group of TV watchers (in my opinion). The last positive father I saw in any show was “The Incredibles”.

    3. I.G. Romov
      June 14, 2013 at 1:10 pm

      Not particularly surprising as it is simply part of the left’s war on men – especially white men – which has been in full swing for quite a while. The “entertainment” industry, already notorious for pushing sex, drugs, divorce, and any and all manner of immoral behavior, isn’t about to be left (pun intended) behind on any lefty goofyism. I’m not sure having strong fatherly roles would necessarily cut the TV watchers; I could be wrong, but I think the bulk of them just uncritically (as long as we discount certain “traits”) watch what they’re presented. Without organizations like PTC, we all might fall into this category.

    4. C Gemm
      June 14, 2013 at 6:40 pm

      Unfortunately this Male Bashing / Dad Destruction began in the 1970′s in response to the feminist movement. The single mom was elevated and held up as the ideal – see One Day at a Time and Good Times among others. The Dad was absent in these sitcoms and the writers ultimately took “sniper shots” at any male in the cast. A clear example of the long suffering Dad as Doofus was the program Married With Children which the Simpsons continue to popularize. These programs combined to have an effect that all problems in families were the fault of the males. Many well deserving adult fathers were denied custody or even access to their children as a side effect of this malicious programming. This forty year travesty will be questioned by future generations as “what were they thinking” when fathers were intentionally unseated from a position of respect to one of ridicule, doubt and ineptitude. Broadcast network executives and movie studio leadership should shoulder much of the blame for divorce rates skyrocketing because of the way fathers were depicted in the programs they offered the public.

    5. Michelle Simon
      June 14, 2013 at 8:51 pm

      I completely agree! There should be TV channels that have realistic views of people in general!

    6. Zork
      June 15, 2013 at 5:51 pm

      The TV series “Blue Bloods” is about the only current TV show that I am aware of that shows a family acting like a traditional family. They are an Irish Catholic family of policemen who are people of great courage and integrity. They love their families and contribute to society honestly. It is also a great series. We should all watch it and support it.

      • Christopher Gildemeister
        June 17, 2013 at 9:01 am

        Blue Bloods is a favorite of ours, too. We’ve even made it the Best TV Show of the Week on occasion.

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