Last week’s Dad 2.0 Summit included panel discussions with some of the biggest names in blogging, parenting, and journalism. During one of the sessions, the editor of a national parenting publication talked about his efforts to respect and represent dads in the magazine. Where they might have said mom before, they now say parent. Where an entire issue might have been written by moms before, they now have a monthly dad-focused column and the entire June issue will be focused on Dads. All steps in the right direction, and we told him so.
That said, we pushed him a little further and suggested that parenting magazines and parenting advertisers need to consider us as parents all year long. We understand that most readers of these magazines are women. We understand that the products advertised are purchased largely by women. Pick up any parenting magazine and they’ll be advice columns, product reviews, confessionals, etc. For the most part, these articles will be written by moms, moms with their kids will be featured in the pictures, and (previously mentioned publication excluded) the content will be written to moms.
We don’t think it’s good for moms or dads to place all of the parenting pressure on moms alone.
We see an opportunity in these publications to change the dynamic of the household with a change in the tone and presentation of the content. What would happen if moms and dads are contributing parent-centric content? What would happen if moms and dads were featured in the pictures? What if advice was given to moms and dads in equal measure? We think dads will feel more included in the parenting world. We think moms would be relieved to see that dads are engaged rather than feeling all the pressure themselves. We think moms and dads will look at these magazines together, and we think the dynamic between parents will change from a master and apprentice arrangement to a partnership where moms and dads are talking to each other from a point of more equal footing.
If you don’t believe us, take a look at the March issue of New York Family where you’ll find our article, Keys to Creating a Great Parenting Partnership. We hope this article is an example of what we are talking about. It was written by dads, but could have been written by moms. The picture features two caring parents. The content and advice is written to parents, and we’re hoping partners will read the article together.
What do you think?