Thursday, June 6, 2013

Guest Post: Do Dad's Get a Raw Deal on Father's Day?

Mother's Day is an international institution, a universally accepted day of celebration, gift-giving and appreciation. So what about Father's Day?

K&Co have conducted a survey that asked a hundred dads about the importance of gifts and what they expect to receive on Father's Day, and the results suggest that the two celebrations have been created far from equal. Mothers, it seems, are getting preferential treatment, with almost two thirds of UK dads feeling that children make more of an effort on Mother's Day than on Father's Day. Historically, Father's Day was created in response to the Mother's Day holiday in the early twentieth century and has much less of a cultural precedent in most countries, so maybe it's not surprising it still has some catching up to do.

Although UK children still buy Father's Day gifts, they're often disappointingly unoriginal and impersonal. Nearly half of all the survey respondents had received socks as a present, and even more had been given a novelty mug. Thankfully though, our talent for choosing interesting and personalized gifts for our dads doesn't seem to affect how loved they feel, with almost all dads responding positively when asked if their kids make them feel appreciated.

It could be that the parental gender gap can be blamed on the original organizers choosing an unfortunate date for many modern kids. The third Sunday in June is often fraught with exam revision for a good percentage of the UK population under the age of 18, pushing parental appreciation to the back seat. The March date of Mother's Day is blissfully free from those sorts of commitments, leaving children with the time, energy and inclination to make, bake or buy inventive and unique presents for their mums.

Besides, do dads really want gifts, or are they actually fairly indifferent to receiving them? Only one in five dads think that Father's Day is really important, and just over half said it was, 'a bit.' This noncommittal attitude suggests that although their feelings might be hurt if we forgot altogether, for most Dads it honestly is just the thought that counts. Maybe that's what dissuades kids from making the effort: it turns out that even US celebrities with money to burn make some pretty conventional choices when it comes to thanking their fathers.

In America this year, between $17.1 billion and $20.7 billion was predicted to have been spent on Mother's Day. With nearly half the dads in K&Co's survey expecting their kids to spend less than £5 on them; it's clear that at the moment, the lavish spoiling is saved for Mum, while Dad makes do with a homemade card. 


  1. My husband is not a big fan of useless gifts (like coffee cups, socks, ties) so this year I just went up to him and told him to get whatever he wanted: the holster he has been wanting for a while now, or a new putter club. And he did, he already got himself a nice pair of sunglasses. We are still celebrating on Father's Day with brunch.


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