New Study: Kids Say They’re Ashamed of their Dads

Posted July 18, 2012 by Neil Hedley in Better Life
Flickr image by Alex E. Proimos

If you’re new to Dadditudes, welcome.  Some others may know me from one of my other gigs, as parenting columnist and resident Dad for the Canadian website, Sympatico.ca.  As part of a semi-monthly debate column I write with esteemed author and parenting expert Kathy Buckworth (note the difference between her title and mine), we were presented with a new study out of Britain that suggests kids are ashamed of their fathers.

The “study” was done as part of a promotion, where teens and young adults were encouraged to portray their Dads in an unflattering light, to try and win them some kind of fashion overhaul.

You’ll see the debate piece after the jump.  What concerns me more than the “fun and games” aspect of it, which I’m sure was done as good-natured fun, is that Dads have fallen into a category that is unique in the world.  Dads are the one group of people it’s okay to make fun of.

I don’t want to be a wet blanket here, but with the exception of politicians (who more often than not, earn their denigration) and white men, there’s no other group you can think of where ridicule and stigmatization isn’t just accepted, it’s encouraged.  It happens in television commercials, in sitcoms, and in most of the rest of pop culture.  Were you to take the Dad out of the situation and replace the person being made fun of with a member of a particular religious group, race, or sexual preference, there would rightly be outrage in the streets, and the person who created the “entertainment” would be fired.

Imagine, if the survey instead revealed that kids are ashamed of their Muslim parents.  Or if the survey asked kids to make fun of their same-sex parents.  Or how embarrassed they are by Mom’s wheelchair.  I’m cringing even as I type it.  But for some reason, when it’s Dad, it’s okay.  I’m fascinated when I watch the people who campaign so hard against bullying, and preach tolerance and respect for others, engage in this kind of stuff.  And none of them have successfully explained to me why this one exception is okay.

Am I saying that my own father always made brilliant fashion choices?  Far from it.  But we made fun of my Dad’s clothes back in the 1970′s and 1980′s, long before that kind of “fun” became politically incorrect.  Would I still make fun of my Dad’s lavender cut-offs?  Absolutely.  Then again, so would he.  I mean, you should have seen them.

I have a sense of humor on this issue too, though – follow the jump and you’ll see.

Dads More Embarrassing Than Moms? – from Sympatico.ca

(Flickr image by Alex E. Proimos)




About the Author

Neil Hedley