The Junk Drawer

Time Warner Cable totally doesn’t get parenting


We like to keep the parenting discussion pretty positive here on the blog. But every now and then, we feel the need to do a little ranting – about our kids’ most terrible toys, or a paper towel ad that completely misrepresents parenthood.

Well today we’re adding another crappy commercial to our list of parenting peeves. This one comes from nobody’s favorite media provider, Time Warner Cable, for their TWC TV app ad titled “Pillow Fort.”

It goes a little something like this:

A woman walks into her living room to find a giant fort made out of sheets, blankets and couch cushions. Her son’s head pops up in the middle of everything, followed by her husband, who is pretending to be a monster. Everybody seems to be having a really fun time.

Except Mom.

She is clearly disgusted, responding with an exasperated eye roll and a holier-than-thou, “Oh. Lovely.”

And as she leaves the room to go watch a mindless cooking competition show on her iPad all by herself, the voiceover confirms our suspicions that this woman was pissed off at her husband because his father-son playtime was blocking her view of the television set.

Are you freaking kidding us?

First of all, what parent, in the middle of the day, while the kids are at home and awake, actually has the luxury of sitting down to watch “Chopped” anyway?

Second of all, if one parent did have some downtime because her partner was on kid patrol, why in the world would she complain about it? It’s only because the kids are otherwise entertained by the dad that this mom can sit and watch her shows at all.

Third and most importantly, that dad is seriously rocking it parenting-wise, and it drives us crazy that he’s getting flack for it. Not only is he playing with the kids, but the dude is not half-assing it at all. Any parent knows that planning a building project the scale of the fort in this commercial is quite an undertaking. Not to mention the energy that playing enthusiastic pretend games inside of it afterward would require!

It makes us tired just thinking about it.

But this guy is going for it, and his kid will totally benefit from it. Construction projects like building a fort can promote children’s cognitive development by boosting kids’ planning and spatial skills. Playing pretend role-playing games can promote children’s social development by giving them insight into how others might think and teaching them how to cooperate with others to build a story. All of this on top of the basic benefits that kids get from having supportive, involved parents that take the time to interact with them in the first place!

So, to the fictitious Mom character in this commercial, you are despicable.

And to the all-too-real cable company that airs this thirty seconds of trash incessantly on our TV, perhaps you should change your slogan to something more in line with what your commercial is really saying:

Time Warner Cable. Enjoy better. Parent worse.

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