A study by netmums.com, a parenting website, says that TV dads are giving real life fathers a bad name.
When they say TV dads, they mean characters like Daddy Pig from pre-school show Peppa Pig, Homer Simpson and Fred Flintstone.
Apparently shows like The Simpsons and The Flintstones, along with how fathers are represented in books and adverts, are damaging
children’s perceptions of dads by showing them as lazy, childish and stupid.
According to this study, almost a third of parents (28 per cent) surveyed see this as a form of subtle discrimination, while a further 18 per cent
see it as a more serious problem, making children think all fathers are useless.
So let’s look closer at this terrible TV dad called Homer Simpson, who is giving all of us a bad name.
Firstly let me say it has never entered my mind while watching The Simpsons that this fictional cartoon character could be influencing
what my children think of me as a father.
Homer has a rather confused and complicated relationship with his children.
He often reprimands his son Bart but in a lot of episodes the two are seen to be allies, sharing an adventure together.
Homer’s daughter Lisa is a talented girl, often overlooked by her father but when it is pointed out to him he makes up for it and shows himself to be a caring parent.
Like when he gave up his ride on the Duff blimp and used the money to enter Lisa in a beauty pageant just so she could feel better about herself and improve her self-esteem.
Homer loves doughnuts and is a slave to his stomach.
He also loves beer and can often be seen at Moe’s Tavern.
He is often seen as lazy and stupid but ultimately with his heart in the right place and someone who would
do just about anything for his much-loved family.
My view of Homer Simpson is that he is one of the funniest characters on television and just writing about him makes me want to turn on the TV and watch an episode.
Note I used the word character – he isn’t real.
We as adults may look into the character and analyse his traits, good and bad, but I believe that children do not do this.
They will see it for what it is, a TV character on a TV show.
A child’s perception of fatherhood is never going to be moulded by the likes of Homer Simpson or Daddy Pig no matter how many times they are seen on TV.
It will be shaped by one person only and that is the child’s actual father.