To many people, Andy Griffith was an ideal father figure as the lead role in The Andy Griffith Show.
Sheriff Andy Taylor was patient, kind, wise, funny yet authoritative. He seemed comfortable leading his family and community. Barney’s blunders and Aunt Bee’s ill-informed perspectives caused him trouble, but it was little Opie who tested his leadership and boundaries season after season.
Now contrast that with today’s modern TV dad. Many shows portray fathers as blundering, lazy, inept couch potatoes. (Thanks Al Bundy.)
But research shows this isn’t the case at all.
The Pew Forum study, A Tale of Two Fathers, reveals that dads who are involved in their kids’ lives are really involved with their children. The data also points out that many more dads are spending significant amounts of time raising their children. On the other hand, dads who live apart from their children are much less involved in their children’s lives. (I’ll talk more about this research in future blog posts.)
But my point is this…if you are reading this blog or other sites about fatherhood, then you are probably in the first group. You are probably a good guy, trying his hardest to raise great kids like the level-headed sheriff on TV.
Below is an entire episode of The Andy Griffith Show condensed into a 5-minute YouTube clip. This episode shows Opie attempting a new manipulation technique in order to get what he wants. May we be as shrewd as Sheriff Taylor.
RIP Andy Griffith.