Dads are parents, too

mylicon1We’ve heard more than one SAHD’s story about being left out of the conversation while at the local park amongst a group of SAHMs.  And for a dad to get invited to a SAHMs’ playgroup – that’s even less likely to happen.  It’s hard to say if this is the norm, but it happens.

And, it’s unfortunate and unavoidable.

But when the topic is childcare, and a company purposely creates a moms-only club without a dad counterpart?

That’s blatant sexism.  The featured ad – found in a parents magazine, natch – recently caught our eye.  It doesn’t even bother relinquishing dad to the assistant role, it downright ignores him.

Over at mylicon.com, it only gets worse, where it offers Mylicon Moms, yet no similar club for dads.  Read the language on this page; look how Mylicon completely ignores fathers and makes them feel like outsiders:

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How can a dad feel like one with this kind of treatment?  And all this, from a company that claims to offer an “unparalleled experience for consumers.”

Really?  Dads are consumers, and “unparalleled” means “having no equal.”  Sadly, Mylicon has equals, but for all the wrong reasons – among companies who continue to disregard dad as an equal parent.

It’s another example of exclusionary marketing that screams of old fashioned ignorance and chauvinism, as if dads can’t, don’t, or won’t handle basic family health care.

Mylicon, please do what is right, and include dad as part of your marketing mission – because dads who know, know there’s other options for painful gas.

It’s a good week to start placing trust in dad

trustIf you monitor the advertising, marketing, branding and packaging of products and services as much as we do, you’ll find that one phrase seems to pop up more than any other:  mom-trusted.

Sometimes the term is mom-approved, but either way, it’s there.

Without reading the minds of those marketing departments and having privy to internal documents, let’s carefully discuss why mom-trusted is so often the choice of expression.

Companies often think:

“Mom is smarter”

A perception exists that mom is the smarter parent, or the one instinctually versed to take care of the family.

Much of this is fueled by our entertainment world, who likes to place dad in the role of bumbling comic relief.  We all know those characters who have made dad look less-than-flattering:  Homer Simpson, Al Bundy, Phil Dunphy, Fred Flintstone and Clark Griswald.  You can even find this odd-ball personality in comics like Blondie and Berenstain Bears.  Sure, we can all find the humor in those characters, but beside nearly every one is a mom that’s the voice of reason and the sensibility, while dad needs to be corrected like a child and put down for his absurdity.  This pattern of stereotype has created a perception that pervades societal behavior.

Just look at this video by What’s Up Moms, which, despite its clever dad-ingenuity, is tainted by a terribly degrading title and includes a departing mom asking her husband, “Are you sure you’re going to be okay?”

Would anyone ever create a video titled, “Mom’s First Time Alone With Baby”?

Not in a million years.

“Mom is the one who handles shopping”

Even if mom works – and they do in greater numbers than ever before – there’s still a belief that she predominantly tackles the shopping.  Let’s be real:  dads shop, and companies who believe otherwise are missing out on the realities of dads’ spending power.  We’ve debunked a lot of misconceptions and analyzed why it’s important to market to dad in this post.

“Mom is the decision-maker.”

Parenting is a shared responsibility in today’s world, be it health care, schooling, or sports leagues.  Dads are more involved than ever, and there’s a large, vocal SAHD community with heavy untapped potential.  Do you think those dads like being told they’re not in charge, or at least not equally in charge?

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Seeing repeated use of mom-trusted leaves dads out of the mix, and ignores them as equal parents.  Employing a gender-neutral term like parent-trusted extends equivalent due, and doesn’t make sexist implications in either direction.

A good relationship is based on trust, and if companies want to maximize gains, it’s high time they start letting their mission and principles guide what they do, and embrace everyone equally.