Parents Magazine Guilty of Copyshaming

Recently, my daughter has had a little trouble with bedtimes and naps. It’s a phase, I’m sure, something she’s gone through before, but it’s always nice to see what advice others have on the subject.

After googling “How to help nap time go smoothly”, I was presented an article on Parents.com. After a few seconds, a full-screen popover took away all the content and showed me their newsletter signup form…and this horrible example of copyshaming.

The ad in question: the arrow and the middle finger were added by me.

In case you can’t see it, it says “No Thanks – I’m the Perfect Parent.”

That’s absolute bullshit. This is awful.

It’s hard enough being a parent, especially in “These Unprecedented Times”. Finding credible resources that can help you check your judgement calls and give you some insight? That’s even harder. Advice abounds online for parents, but some of it is just complete drivel. You would imagine Parents magazine would strive to be a beacon, but this just makes them seem like absolute assholes. I know someone in their marketing department said “Oh, it’s just some tongue-in-cheek fun,” but clearly this is designed to evoke an emotion. It didn’t make me laugh. It made me feel worse at a time when I already felt bad about my own shortcomings as a parent.

There isn’t a parent I’ve ever met who hasn’t felt insecure and awful some days…can you imagine someone seeing this and thinking, “Well, I guess I AM a bad parent,” all because they didn’t want another email marketing campaign thrust upon them? This sarcastic little dark pattern is doing more harm than good.

Shame on you, Parents magazine. This is horrible. Do better.