This time of year we’re all encouraged to think about our parents.  Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are at the forefront of advertising campaigns, but as Kris and I were talking about the other day, there is a huge disparity in the messages.

For Mother’s Day, all the commercials are centered on appreciating Mom and buying her expensive jewelry.  For Father’s Day, the message seems to be centered on buying Dad a grill or making sure that he gets a new tie.

Why the disparity?  Don’t fathers deserve to be appreciated and respected in the same level as mothers?  We are constantly reminded in society today that we have a problem of absentee parents, most particularly fathers.  Why aren’t we addressing the issue as a society then?  Instead of focusing on thanking good parents once a year and buying them things that haves no real meaning, let’s try celebrating the everyday things.

Growing up, I had many arguments with my parents.  But I never doubted that they loved me.  Of course I questioned their choices, I was a kid, and that’s what they do.  But I remember many times where something would have me thinking the world was ending, and Mom or Dad would comfort me and eventually I would realize that they were right and that life does, in fact, go on.

As a parent myself, I now can understand many of the decisions my parents made, and can also hear my parents coming out of my mouth.  Sometimes I feel an overwhelming urge to strangle my son, and Kris will step in to save his life, or vice verse.  There were days when we were in Illinois, and Dru was having all his sleep issues, when I would call my Dad to talk me into a calmer state of mind.

Parenting is not easy solo, I have great respect for those who are single parents for whatever reason.  But why as a society do we not chastise and shun parents who refuse to take an active and caring role in their children’s lives?  Obviously, some people are never meant to be parents, and there are those who shouldn’t be around children.  As for those who have no reason to not be a part of their child’s lives, why aren’t we holding them accountable?  When did it become acceptable to be an absentee parent?

I don’t know how to fix it, but advertising isn’t helping with their unequal messages toward the importance and roles of the parents.  Any suggestions?


2 comments on “Parenting

  1. Nicole says:

    I have no respect for “deadbeat dads” (or moms), and I think they should be held more accountable at least for support payments. But it seems like there’s another story in the news every few days involving some parent abusing, neglecting, or killing a child. Maybe some of those incidents would be avoided if the other parent were more involved, but I think they show the danger of forcing involvement on people who don’t want to be parents. It’s a hard job, and it’s not one anyone can do well if they don’t care. At least the uninvolved parents aren’t actively damaging their kids with bad parenting, which is the only kind of parenting they’re capable of.

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