Beyond words

Parent-type magazines seem to regularly flub up the whole dad thing. Whether it involves headlines, photos, stories, or ads, these magazines seem to consistently fail in execution. Our latest discovery is no exception.parenting

At parenting.com you’ll find a “Just for Dad” section, along with a “Just for Mom” section. There’s no denying that dads and moms are different people and can operate as parents differently, so each section seems reasonable in terms of need.

Our problem comes in their description of each section. Let’s take a closer look at what you can actually find posted for real at parenting.com under the menu tab “parenting advice”:

  • Just for Mom: Mom is supposed to know it all, all the time. But what if you don’t? With some tips from experts and the wisdom of other moms, we can figure it out together.
  • Just for Dad: Guys, need guidance on dad issues like out of control diapers and surviving a trip to the store with kids? When your partner isn’t around, let us be a resource for all your parenting questions.

Here at dadmarketing, we decided to translate this hidden, marketing-driven-speak so we can all compare apples to apples. Here’s what each description really says:

  • Just for Mom: Mom isn’t just supposed to know it all, all the time; she does know it all, all the time – and dad is not expected to, because mom usually does the parenting. That’s right, don’t trouble asking the dad in your household, because he simply doesn’t know what to do. Ever. That’s why we have tips from experts and wisdom from other moms available here, because dad doesn’t handle the kids as much as mom. He cares too much about his job. We’ll figure it out together without the help of dad, who doesn’t bother to help you anyway. Even when he’s not at work, that lazy, bumbling guy is too busy watching sports in his man cave, anyway, right?
  • Just for Dad: Guys, need guidance on dad issues like out of control diapers, because we all know dads don’t know how to change diapers. Dads usually let moms handle that stinky stuff. Even if they handle a rare diaper change, most dads dry babies’ bottoms with automatic hair dryers in bathrooms, so that says something about their parenting skills. They don’t even know how to do those pull-tab things or clean up when the dirty work is done. And dads, don’t even attempt to take your kids to stores, because you won’t survive it. Note that we don’t say you won’t be able to endure it – you simply won’t survive it. It’s truly a matter of life and death that you don’t go to the store with your kids. So, turn to this section for resources when mom (swallow hard) actually grants you permission to be home with the kids alone.

How about that original word choice by parenting.com? Who says mom is supposed to know it all? We know who: only those saddled by old-fashioned stereotypes which parenting.com continues to perpetuate. An informal dadmarketing office poll found that no one in our circle of friends or family thinks like that.

And dads needing guidance to survive a trip to the store? Would anyone ever dare say that to a mother? Ever? Then why say it to a father? It’s demeaning. It’s belittling. It’s condescending.

The irony in all this is that parenting.com’s tagline is: Modern families + fresh ideas. We don’t see anything modern or fresh about their choice of words.

Remember parenting.com: words are your business. Without them, you don’t have a magazine or a website.

Let’s hope for a revision soon.

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