Busting The Super Dad Myth

There is a growing trend among advertisers. That trend is to appeal to dads.

Sometimes those ads show the gentle, caring side of dads. One shows a stay at home dad who can’t call in sick (I’m sure many of you moms out there can relate). One from last year appealed to the awesomeness of being a dad.

Dad blogs and dad podcasts are showing up everywhere. It makes sense that companies want to target their advertising towards dads. But I think this is leading to a problem we’ve seen among moms for a long time.

The Super Dad Myth

Homeschool moms have struggled for years comparing themselves to “perfect” homeschool moms they see online. I must admit that I’m starting to compare myself to dads I’m seeing online and in commercials.

You can find listicles all over with titles like, “12 Things Every Dad Should Do” or “7 Things Dads Aren’t Doing”. It’s easy to look at these lists and think, “What am I doing wrong? Why can’t I be more like that?”

If you’re a homeschool dad and you pay attention to these articles you’re supposed to have a home-based business, hunt for all of your meat, coach all your kids’ sports teams, date your wife and your daughters once a week, do 50 burpees in 10 minutes, and rebuild the engine in your ailing minivan while diapering your child.

Dads have been telling their wives and their daughters for years to avoid comparing themselves to what they see on TV and in magazines. Now dads are doing the opposite. They’re writing articles telling all the other dads how they should parent.

I’m not talking about advice like loving your wife and kids, not yelling at everyone when you walk in the door, or don’t stay out late every night with your buddies. We’re now being told how to love our wives and kids.

These articles imply that if you don’t to X you’re not a good dad. We need to avoid this, dads. We need to stop comparing ourselves to the “sports dad” or the “romantic dad” and be the “dad dad”. We’re not all cut from the same cloth.

Let’s see more dads write about the tough times. The times we don’t get it right or the times when we feel like utter failures. I don’t know about you, but my cape is tattered and torn. It’s dirty. There are tears and blood stains on it. I’m not that perfect dad. I can’t be that perfect dad but I can be the dad that God has called me to be.

What kind of dad are you?

  • Great post, John! Guilt as charged. I often compare myself to other dads out there who seem to have it more together and it’s discouraging.

    Interestingly enough, in the last few days, I’ve gone back through some of my old blog posts and gotten encouragement from commenters, including you.

    • It’s hard not to compare ourselves to others. Tell you what, you can compare yourself to me and you feel awesome!

    • I appreciate your comments too, Devin. Thanks for being a fan.

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