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What Dads Really Want Is Your Time

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Do a Google search for Father’s Day, and most stories will be centered upon buying the right gift.

For weeks marketers have exhorted families to purchase anything and everything – and everywhere.

But most dads don’t want gifts. They want your time.

A loving family is the best way to help kids find happiness and love in their lives. The families America strives for provide nurturing, support, unconditional love, faith, stability, and mentorship. We must support parents in their mission of selflessly loving their children and raising them to live American values.

Yet for dads, sometimes that’s harder to achieve. So often, dad is the forgotten, misunderstood, or devalued parent. The entertainment and media industry are frequently responsible for this misrepresentation of fatherhood. Even today, a dad who takes care of the children alone or handles household chores is referred to as Mr. Mom.

He’s not a mom, nor a replacement for mom. He’s an equal, competent parent who’s simply a dad.

I recently a noticed a news story titled, “Dads are wired to ‘mother’ too.” The awkward and inappropriate headline left me both laughing and furious. No, I thought, dads are not wired to ‘mother’; they’re wired to ‘father.’

The truth is, dads have always been overlooked – right down to the holiday. In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson wanted to make Father’s Day an officially recognized federal holiday as he did for Mother’s Day two years prior. However, Congress resisted, fearing it would become too commercialized.

A decade later, President Calvin Coolidge recommended Father’s Day be observed in America, but nothing came of it. In 1957, a female U.S. Senator accused Congress of ignoring fathers for 40 years while only honoring mothers – few listened. In 1966, President Lyndon Johnson finally released the first presidential proclamation honoring fathers. Then at last, President Richard Nixon made Father’s Day a permanent national holiday in 1972 – exactly 58 years after Mother’s Day was established.

Dads never complained about the slight. They never will.

They just keep silently, mightily doing the same thing they’ve always been doing. Yet it doesn’t hurt to make them feel incredibly special.

National retailer Brad’s Deals, who surveyed over 700 of its shoppers in 2016, found the number one gift customers wanted to give their dad was simply spending time with him.

Still, there’s nothing wrong with bringing your dad a gift today. It’s a surefire, appropriate way to show tangible evidence of your love. Deep down, who doesn’t love a gift?

Even if distance keeps you apart, let him know how much you care and how he made an impact on your life via a call or card. He may not have been perfect, but his lofty title and grand connection to being half of the duo that brought you into this world deserves your attention and respect.

The real secret to happiness on Father’s Day is time – give dad plenty of it.

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