I blog about things. Usually things that happen to me and the stuff I can feel and touch. Not all happy sometimes. I don’t really blog about issues and/or things in the news, stuff like that. Not that I’m scared to, it’s just not how I do this and I know there are other bloggers out there who can do these things so much better than I.
But I read this piece today, retweeted it, and the frankly terrifying but utterly beautiful @cathjanes suggested I ‘blog the living shit out of it’ and so here I am. If I don’t then Cath might leave a horses head in my bed.
This article pricked my interest as I’ve recently been asked to be on the Advisory Board for OnlyDads but, also, because I happen to be a dad which I happen to think is my most important role on this planet.
It contains the line ‘[TV] programmes including The Simpsons, Peppa Pig, My Family, Outnumbered and Shameless were all highlighted as failing to promote suitable role models for children or fathers themselves.’
Forgive me, I didn’t realise Peppa Pig was a documentary. The others, obviously are of course. That’s what we dads are all like. We’re all bloated, devious, beer swilling, drug taking, dentists that look like Hugh Dennis.
These ‘role models’ in the media aren’t. They’re stereotypes. Oversimplified examples. In all the above cases, there for comedy purposes only. I don’t think we should look at them too deeply. Without sounding all Yoda about this we should look inside before we look outside. Unless you’re a window cleaner of course. Then that just makes you a pervert.
Ross Jones, policy and communications manager for campaign group Families Need Fathers said poor media representation was a big issue for dads. ‘It comes up with our members who may be struggling see their children or to keep meaningful relationship with them. When they see these negative representations it makes them feel the role of father is being devalued” said Rossy.
Hold on a moment. Yellow Card! Blaming Daddy Pig or Frank Gallagher because you can’t, won’t, don’t and will not man the fuck up and do the right thing is possibly the most pathetic thing I’ve ever heard.
If you need a good role model then look to your children. They’ll guide you. You’ll learn from them. Spend time with them and they’ll tell you exactly what they want from you without saying a word. I’ve asked my son numerous times what he wants to be when he grows up and his answer is always the same. ‘I want to be a daddy. Like you.’ This isn’t me doing anything other than loving my children beyond all things. My ex and I don’t have the best of relationships at times but we are the best parents our children could ever have. We love them, support them, praise them, discipline them and are always there for them. No matter how things are between her and I.
Things go on. People separate, divorce and life does become hard for separated fathers, but it’s ALSO hard for separated mums. There are two sides to each coin. Quit moaning down the pub about how bad things are. Look at a photo of your children and remember that with them in the world, and you doing the right thing, it ain’t all that bad. But I’m digressing.
In a survey I undertook, of all the dads in this room, all of them said we should stop looking at the above examples and maybe concentrate on our own thing. It’s like anything in parenting. It’s all about the gut instinct. If you can feel it there and know it there then it’s probably the right thing to do.
Plus, our survey said that My Family was actually shite.
Role models for dads. Who are they? Who are the best? Who aren’t so good? It matters not to me.
And I don’t think this little chap is too busy looking to the TV to work out who he wants in his life. The caption that went with this photo reads ‘His mom caught him spending time with his daddy… He lost daddy in Afghanistan.’
Thanks for reading, and if you have any thoughts on this then please pop them in my comments hole. ‘Modern dads? They’re just useless, beer-drinking, DIY disasters’ Discuss.