Friday, June 26, 2015

As seen on TV: Doofus Dads

I know a lot of sitcoms from the 1980s: The Cosby Show, Growing Pains, Webster, Small Wonder, Whose the Boss?, My Two Dads, Diff'rent Strokes, Family Ties, The Wonder Years...there are a lot of them. Their theme songs get stuck in my head sometimes and I can recall a fair amount of the plot lines. I can also recall that they were fun for the whole family to watch.

Today, my husband and I have only a handful of television shows that we watch together. And of those shows, I have found that there are very few that portray Dads in a positive light. (But in fairness, I don't think anyone should look to the characters of Game of Thrones for parenting advice.) But this isn't just because my husband and I have a particular taste in shows. No, the issue of doofus dads has become an epidemic.

The study in the above link monitored more than a dozen shows for the interactions between the father and his children and found that most TV dads were portrayed as an aimless character who gets outsmarted by family. The TV fathers often said hurtful things to their children and were incapable of looking after their family.

Not a great set of role models for today's children.

I don't have the answer, but maybe it's time to turn off the doofus dads, open up the TV vault and haul out one of those classic television sitcoms where fathers were respected just as much as moms.

What was your favorite television Dad growing up? Let me know in the comments.

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