I'm one of those old fashioned fathers. I grew up in a household in the country and we could only get two clear TV stations. One was CBS and the other was PBS. So, unless you are talking about John Walton or Archie Bunker, I wasn't able to watch too many TV shows with dad's in them.
Recently I was invited to take part and blog about a neat contest hosted by Man of the House that is going on right now called "The World's Greatest TV Dad Contest". Unfortunately all of my TV dad roll models all came from after we got cable in my later teen years or from watching re-runs. Still, I've watched enough Waltons, Little House and Cosby that I think I've got a pretty good handle on how to be a good dad - at least a good TV dad.
I'm a big history buff, so I would have to say that my most memorable television fathers would have to be ones that portrayed a father from the past. One show that we never missed was The Waltons. I loved the way that a large family, living in hard times, could still be close and relate to each other so well. Pa Walton seemed to be the perfect dad. He wasn't perfect, but he was a good listener and always seemed to come through at the end.
But, alas, John Walton did not make the cut for "The World's Greatest TV Dad Contest". So, I'm going to have to look at the list and decide which TV Dad that made the top 32. Some of them I have never heard of. Some I know about but didn't watch the show enough to be able to comment. Some I would never in my life vote for. And some - the top ones in my book - I will have to think about before I pick my winner.
Hmmm. What qualities would I want a TV dad to exemplify? Well, I would want him to be a good moral figure - nothing drives me up the wall more than a bad example on TV. I would want my father figure to be caring and understanding - a good listener who thinks before he speaks. I love fathers who do things with their families - that's what my father did and I strive to do the same with my wife and children. Dads that have a good sense of humor - not too silly, but not too serious - are tops in my opinion. Finally, probably the most important for me, is that I like TV fathers to be religious - unfortunately, those type fathers are not found to often on TV anymore.
So, what father from the "The World's Greatest TV Dad Contest" would I pick? What father has all of the above qualities. Well, my winner would be (drum roll please)...
Charles Ingalls from Little House on the Prairie
Call me corny, I know, but really Laura's dad has all of the good characteristics that my wife and I like. He's hard working, religious, loves his family, cares for and helps others, good listener, fights for things he believes in...he's like Mary Poppins - practically perfect in every way. To perfect? Perhaps. Fathers that are like that are few and far between, but it is something to strive for.
It's going to be interesting to see which father ends up being The World's Greatest TV Dad! Why don't you head on over to the contest website (by clicking here or on any one of the hi-lighted links above) and vote. They've already completed the first two round and narrowed it down to the top eight, but there's still a lot of voting to be done. Charles Ingalls is still there. Go see if you're top TV dad is still in the running.
While your at it, check out Man of the House - the great website that is sponsoring this contest. Man of the House is a site written by and geared toward...well...the Man of the House! I love the articles - one recent one about potty training boys really hit home. It has sections on Food and Cooking, Money and Career, Family and Parenting, and Relationships among many other things. And these aren't flippant articles, they have some serious good advice. Check it out by clicking here. You won't be disappointed!
I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Dad Central Consulting on behalf of Man of the House and received a mini digital video camera and a $25 Amazon gift card to thank me for taking the time to participate.