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Let dads know they count

Original post made by Nancy McGaraghan, Palo Alto Weekly contributor, on Jun 14, 2006

On a recent sunny morning, I sat with hundreds of men and women at the Dads Count Fifth Annual Fatherhood Breakfast and Awards Ceremony.

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Comments (2)

Like this comment
Posted by Glenn Lawrence,
a resident of another community
on Jun 15, 2006 at 2:42 pm

Why isn’t Father’s Day celebrated like Mother’s Day?

It seems the world rolls out the red carpet for mothers, but does very little in comparison for fathers.

And it’s not just me feeling like this.

Most dads believe moms get better treatment on Mother's Day than they receive on Father's Day, according to a new poll.

The survey by, the free online magazine for fathers, shows a whopping 84 percent of fathers say moms are given more attention on Mother's Day than they get on Father's Day.

Just 17 percent of fathers believe they're treated as well as moms on their special day.

"It does not surprise me," says W. Bradford Wilcox, Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Virginia. "Our society is much more likely to focus on the role that mothers play in the lives of their children than the role that fathers play."

And although Wilcox says today's married fathers are more involved in parenting their children than they were generations ago, there's been little or no improvement by unmarried dads.

Wilcox says it would be a good idea for society to acknowledge what father's do throughout the year--not just on Father's Day.

"I think it would be good if we could do more to celebrate fathers and to publicly identify the distinctive contributions they make to their families," he says.

Is The Proof In The Spending?
The average person is expected to spend $90 on a Father's Day present, about the same as last year, according to the National Retail Federation.

But going into Mother's Day, the average person planned to spend $122, up $15 from last year.

Yes, I know, money isn’t everything. But money is a good indicator of where dads rate. And that’s not happening yet.

Fathers Want More, Poll Finds
An overwhelming majority of dads surveyed for the poll believe Father's Day is just as important Mother's Day.

Nearly 79 percent of fathers said Father's Day is as important as Mother's Day; 21 percent believed that it's perfectly appropriate for Father's Day to take a backseat to Mother's Day.

We dads do a lot.

Yes, we don’t give birth.

But after labor and delivery, in many homes, dads do just as much. In some cases more.

And dads deserve their due.

Like this comment
Posted by Nancy McGaraghan
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jun 17, 2006 at 7:35 am

Dear Glen, I agree completely. Besides having a husband and four sons, I also have four brothers. The ones who have children are really involved with them. I think men deserve to enjoy that part of their lives, and to feel appreciated for all they do. You are correct in saying that Mother's day gets more hype. Maybe that will change as dads are more and more out there with the kids. (Check out, June 16)

If it's any consolation, I think moms also feel unappreciated from time to time--just like dads. We could all be better at saying "thank you." However, the most important thing is not that someone else formally recognizes your contribution, but that you enjoy your time with your children, and know how valuable your relationship is now and for the rest of their lives.

Happy Father's Day

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