Are we teaching our kids that Dad is not around?

I watching two DRASTICALLY different programs this weekend and maybe I’m making a mountain out of a molehill here, but I was so taken back by the drastic difference in how it was represented parenting, that I just though it was worthy of comment.  Yeah, maybe I’m reading in to this, but aren’t most blogs?

The first thing I watched was the movie Courageous.  What can I say?  It was moving.  It was about fatherhood at its very core and did NOT sugarcoat it.  It dealt with issues that far too many fathers have faced: angry teens, single parenting, even death (I won’t throw spoilers).  The whole film was driving home what you and I already know: Dads are critical and important.

See, dads are important as recliner fillers and having conversations with sweaty people.

The second program was the Cat in the Hat.  Yes, THAT Cat in the Hat.  PBS.  Now, you’re probably thinking, “Oh great, here we go.”, but hear me out.  Nick and Sally start off on an adventure with a 6 ½ foot tabby cat, with the only reference to the parents of “Mom, can we go to ________ with a  6 ½ foot tabby cat ________” Mom’s response, “Sure.”  Before we get to the obvious, I’ll suspend belief about the cartoonish nature of the show, but why doesn’t the mom care?  Where is the dad?  A kid watching this thinks, “Hey, Dads aren’t there on TV, so I shouldn’t be upset if mine isn’t either.”

If a Dad was present, THIS would never have been released

So, two very different representations of fatherhood.  Two very different views.  Yes, one was specifically designed to promote fatherhood and one is designed to teach kids about the world around them.  But shouldn’t their dad be a part of the world around them?  Should we not have to have a fatherhood movie being the only thing that shows kids that dads want to be involved?

A better question: does your daughter know you’re involved?  Does she get excited when she hears that you’re around?  Does she involve you with her world?

Rock on

Look, media wants to downplay dads.  Especially the important of dads of daughters.  But I know better.  Our daughters know better.  They have dads that are around.  They have dads that are involved.  That’s why no matter what the media shows, dads are getting involved and it should be celebrated.  If no one else will, I’ll do it.

Thanks for being a dad…



2 thoughts on “Are we teaching our kids that Dad is not around?

  1. We also watched the movie Courageous and besides the religious aspect, it did have a great message about the relationships fathers should have with their children. My daughter who is only thirteen months calls her dad by his first name (my fault), gets upset when he leaves, and gets excited when he comes back from running errands. I think there are many movies and cartoons that only show mom and no dad. I come from a place and family where many of my uncles were absent because of drugs. So many of my cousins saw their dads through prison bars and on drugs. As adults they are continuously play major roles in the lives of their children. Everyone tells me that my daughter will have a special bond with her dad and I see it already.

    • It is difficult, sometimes, for men to see how their actions will impact others. I agree that in far too many communities we see men make the wrong choices and end up walking away from forging those incredible bonds with their girls.

      Thank you so much, Lucilla, for being aware of your daughter’s opportunity to connect with her dad and encouraging that.


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