Hopefully I’m not the only person remembering the name, Ward Cleaver. The late actor, Hugh Beaumont, played Ward in the long running TV series, Leave it to Beaver. I viewed Ward as the consummate dad. He was always there for sons Wally and Theodore “Beaver” Cleaver.
The same can’t be said for many fathers these days, both on television and in real life. To put it bluntly, some men prefer the title, ‘sperm donor’ over that of dad.
Leave it to Beaver focused primarily on youngest son Beaver’s childhood escapades. Beaver was constantly up to something, often times getting into situations he couldn’t handle. Ward Cleaver came along offering wholesome fatherly advice along with measured amounts of discipline. Ward’s articulate wife June was the softy, always giving her boys more leeway than ‘the old man’.
Hollywood does not portray fathers like they did in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Father knows Best!, was one of my favorites. Robert Young played Jim Anderson, an almost idyllic dad. You’d never hear obscene language coming from his lips.
In today’s world, it seems more and more men equate using disgusting words in a conversation as manly and macho. Actually it’s just the opposite. Studies prove that such males come across to others as having low IQ’s.
Thinking that you’re coming across as tough by dropping the “F-bomb” every other sentence is pure fantasy. Even in Hollywood movies, the tough guy with the filthiest mouth is generally the fellow going down the hardest.
My Three Sons, starred Fred MacMurray as, Steven Douglas, a widowed father raising 3 boys. Versatile and accomplished actor MacMurray played a loving and upbeat dad in this series.
The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet was another wholesome television show our family watched. Ozzie Nelson was a real life father to sons Ricky and David.
The 1990’s sitcom, Married with Children is a prime example of Hollywood intentionally demeaning the role of father. Although funny at times, the show’s main character, Al Bundy, was as disgusting and loathsome a dad as they come. I won’t even touch the latest movies, soap operas, and sitcoms where children are raised by 2 daddies and no mommy.
It’s truly unfortunate the new crop of television shows do not emulate people like Ward Cleaver and Ozzie Nelson. If anything, they’re highly critical of such characters. Ned Flanders on The Simpson’s cartoon series is another case of such objective stereotyping.
Liberal script writers constantly make Ned out to be a square religious buffoon. I believe that type of ‘created criticism’ penetrates children’s minds, helping fuel the hate towards people of faith.
My father was a strict disciplinarian. He believed children should behave or pay the price. Dad was not a perfect person by any means. I’m thankful to have had him even with the flaws. Hopefully my kids look at me the same way.
Hollywood and secular America can make fun of Ward Cleaver all they want. Last time I checked, Ward and June’s two boys, Wally and Theodore, turned out just fine. Nowhere could I find where they smoked crack, robbed convenience stores, or went to prison for selling drugs.
They definitely weren’t living at home at 35. Ward and June Cleaver, although not a real couple, portrayed loving parents teaching their boys respect along with responsibility. That valuable life-lesson seems to be lacking in many households today.
The only perfect father I know is my heavenly father. Sadly there aren’t more dads striving to be like him. I give Ward Cleaver an A for trying!