Did you see the article by Madhukar Sabnavis in Agency FAQs titled "Of parenting and children"? If not, do read it. Very interesting and insightful.
I have a few related points to make.
There are a bunch of human relationships that exist all around us that we never reflect in advertising. One example that I have spoken of to my colleagues is the relationship between a married woman and her mother. Now Madhukar has raised the point about a father and his children.
All father-kid interactions are meant to be about playing. Presumably that is all he does, while the mother focuses on the kid's homework, discipline and other essentials. Hard to believe this. Especially since I am a teaching parent and I know a few others who are.
Conversely I know a few indulgent mothers too. So why do we propagate this myth?
And how many other types of relationships can we think of that are not reflected in advertising?
Talking of myths, I also like the way that Madhukar has spoken of the four types of mothers using characters from Indian mythology. Isn't it amazing that we can neatly capture the most modern and latest trends using characters from an epic written a few thousand years ago? Shows the importance of mythology in our lives. We learn it while we were babies and so never quite forget it.
So are there good stereotypes for fathers in our mythology? It seems difficult to think of any young fathers. It seems that men are too busy being heroes while they are in their youth or middle age. Only when they become old do they become proud fathers. Can any of you think of a good role model of younger fathers?