Pop Culture Dads

As a kid of the 80s and 90s, the dads on TV were Homer Simpson, Al Bundy and the one who saved the whole lot, Bill Cosby. Now that I’m a dad, I’m a little cynical when I hear about TV shows or movies that focus on dads. I’m usually frustrated because the dads are portrayed as bumbling idiots who don’t know a thing about raising kids. I gravitate toward shows that portray dads as human yet who take their parenting role seriously. It’s one reason I love NBC’s Parenthood. Parenthood even features one of the characters as a stay at home dad who is the main caregiver for the kids and excels at it.

More and more families are deciding that it is best for the dad to stay home with the kids and be the main caregiver. There is even a convention specifically geared for stay at home dads. At our church we have two dads who excel in their roles as stay at home dads. You can read the adventures of one of these dads, Will Culp, in his book “Better Off Dad.” Don’t say these guys have it easy and just get to sit around all day. And don’t call them a babysitter. They are dads who have fully embraced their role as a father.

There are a couple of television shows and movies coming out soon that cast some of their characters as stay at home dads. One of the NBC comedy shows for the fall is called “Guys with Kids” and focuses on a stay at home dad, a working dad and a single dad. We’ll have to see how they portray dads. I hope that even though it’s a comedy that the dads are portrayed as competent and good at what they do. Here’s a preview of the show:

This weekend the new movie “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” opens in theaters. It too focuses on the role of fathers. I don’t have as much hope for this movie in portraying a good image of dads, but we’ll have to watch it first before deciding. Here’s a preview:

We have a long way to go in awareness of the different roles of fathers, especially those of stay at home dads. Even though the pop culture representations of dads might not be perfect at least discussions can happen. Let’s support and watch those shows that do a good job at representing dads as competent and engaged in caring for their kids.

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About joelnewton

I am a husband to Hillary, a father to Anna and Norah

Posted on May 15, 2012, in Fatherhood, Personal and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Okay I watched the trailers and I have to admit, while these might not portray the most sterling role models of fatherhood, they look funny. Also, I will take an involved dad who genuinely cares about his child’s needs than another too-busy-to-notice dad who can barely change his own dirty drawers much less those of his infant. Great blog post, Joel. See you in 2013 when the at-home dads convention comes to Denver!

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