Father Knows Best
Father Knows Best was famous for its idyllic depiction of family life when created by Robert Young, Gene Rodney, and others in 1979 – it defied stereotypical depictions of fatherhood at that time, featuring non-bumbling idiot fathers rather than stereotypes like other shows aired at that time. Today, it remains popular.
The Anderson family resides in a house that also served as Mr. Wilson’s residence on Dennis the Menace and, later, Captain Nelson’s home on I Dream of Jeannie.
1. Keep Your Voice Down
Fathers may believe they can get away with shouting at their children occasionally, but they must keep their voices down. Shouting only scares them further and makes them defensive about listening to you – perhaps even leading them to dislike you as an authoritative figure altogether.
One of the critical lessons a father must learn is this one. Showing them love will invariably result in them loving you back without raising your voice in confrontations. Although this might seem trite, it holds.
Robert Young played insurance salesman Jim Anderson in the television series Father Knows Best from 1954 to 1960. This idyllic family life comedy ran on radio with an implied question mark in its title that implied dad might not always reign supreme; when it shifted over to television, it dropped it and quickly became a household favorite, winning six Emmy awards in its final year as the sixth most watched program on television and even inspiring Mother Knows Best and Marcus Welby M.D spinoffs; plus two reunion specials were even created! Vivi Janiss, who played Myrtle Davis, made appearances between 1954 and 1959 as she appeared 11 times between 1954 and 1959!
2. Be a Good Listener
As parents, you must teach your children the art of listening – a skill that will serve them throughout life. Listening well requires concentration, attentiveness, and empathy – skills that take time and patience to master. However, they will undoubtedly pay dividends when their interpersonal relationships improve significantly throughout their careers and personal lives, furthering friendships or deepening family ties.
Attentive listening requires you to avoid distractions. This includes both external noise and interruptions as well as internal ones. If something else takes over your attention, try redirecting your gaze onto what the speaker is saying or ask them to repeat themselves.
Being an effective listener means respecting others while avoiding judgment and criticism. For instance, if someone tells you about an incredible rock climbing trip they had with Beth, don’t interrupt with stories about your recent hike and interrupt with information that will take away from their account and ruin their enjoyment of what they just told you about themselves. Doing this may appear respectful but will likely disrupt their story and ruin their fun.
Becoming a good listener is essential for both personal and professional growth. Being an attentive listener will make you more popular at work by showing interest in other’s thoughts, feelings, and experiences and earning their trust to share sensitive data. Being an attentive listener also deepens friendships while increasing empathy – the Center for Creative Leadership defines it as being “able to see another’s situation through their eyes while responding with kindness first.”
3. Be a Good Communicator
Father Knows Best was a popular middle-class family sitcom of the 1950s and 60s, representing stereotypical gender roles of that era, with Robert Young (as Jim Anderson) playing an insurance salesman. At the same time, Margaret Anderson (Jane Wyatt) stayed home caring for three well-behaved children. The series was developed by Young and Eugene Rodney, who also created Marcus Welby, M.D., for television.
However, viewers quickly realized that this idyllic presentation of family life wasn’t quite what it seemed – Dad could lose his temper and do things wrong while his wife sometimes outwitted him. Young and Wyatt ran from 1954-60 before coming back together for two reunion specials in 1977.
4. Get Involved
Father Knows Best was an iconic 1950s television series featuring Robert Young as insurance salesman Jim Anderson, his wife Margaret, and their children Bud, Princess, and Kitten, who played out an idyllic picture of middle-class family life. So pervasive was its impact that even the Department of Treasury commissioned an episode not aired to promote savings bonds! However, closer examination reveals that Dad wasn’t always right – Margaret often proved herself more effective as a parent than him!
Therefore, while fathers must participate in their children’s lives, be careful not to take the “father knows best” mantra too literally.
5. Be a Good Role Model
A good role model strives to inspire others to be their best selves. They should be flexible, self-controlled, tolerant of criticism, dedicated, focused, and humorous while willing to learn new things and pass along what knowledge is useful.
A father would likely take immediate and appropriate action upon seeing an unfamiliar male stranger flirt with his daughter through the living room window, such as shouting for him to go away or physically protecting her from this possible aggressor by showing his children how to protect themselves and respect authority as necessary for development.
Being an effective role model isn’t easy. Mistakes will happen, and how a parent reacts will have a lasting effect on their children – for instance, if he loses his temper and shouts at one of his kids, they are less likely to take him seriously as an example. Therefore, they must assess themselves after mistakes to develop better response methods.
Parents should strive to select role models who aren’t self-centered; those pursuing money instead of adding value to the community will have difficulty motivating their children to behave well. Parents should select people known for being honest and fair as role models, with flexibility enough to switch strategies depending on the situation while continuously communicating positively.