A Day for Dad

Fathers enjoy their holiday more than Moms do on Mother's Day.

By Colin Allen, published on June 1, 2003 - last reviewed on January 23, 2015

While Moms may get more attention on Mother's Day, Dads tend to
enjoy their holiday more, according to a recent study. "Even though
fathers celebrate less, and with fewer people, they're happier," says
study author Nicole Gilbert, who recently received a master's degree in
psychology at Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts.

In a study of 53 families, Gilbert found that mothers rated their
holiday as less enjoyable than fathers do. On a scale from one to five,
mom's rated their holiday at 4.27, and dads rated theirs at 4.6.

On average, families spend 3.5 hours celebrating Father's Day, two
hours less than they do on Mother's Day. They are less likely to receive
a present or be taken out for dinner. "Dads don't seem to make a big deal
of the day," suggests Gilbert. Also, she notes, mothers often have higher
expectations for their holiday, so they feel let down if the day goes
awry. Or dads may feel that getting time off may be enough reward.

Gilbert also suggests that we should avoid getting flowers for mom
and a tie for dad. "What would your father enjoy as an individual?" she
asks. Gilbert is giving her father, who happens to have a green thumb, a
Hibiscus plant.