What do dads want?

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According to an article on the History Channel, there are more than 70 million fathers in the United States and more than $1 billion is spent on Father’s Day, on average, each year.

But what do dads really want for Father’s Day? Do they really want elaborate gifts? When fathers of BYU students were asked what their ideal Father’s Day would be, they gave the following responses:

“An ideal Father’s Day for me is time spent with my wife, children and grandchildren. I don’t like presents bought at a store. A simple card with a heartfelt note from my children is the best of any gifts I ever receive,” said Dennis Carver, father of BYU student Michelle Carver.

Mel Busby, father of student Britania Busby, said being surrounded by his family eating spagetti and homemade ice cream, just talking and having a good time was what he looked forward to.

Ron Fitt, father of student Lauren Fitt, said his ideal Father’s Day would include “Breakfast in bed, church, a nap, good dinner, talk with Lauren over Skype and relax(ing) with the whole family.”

Kami and dad
Terry Slezak with his girls Lacey, Kami, Anna, and Jessi.

“Having a relaxing day at home (with no additional meetings), talking with, eating together, playing games with, and enjoying the company of my wife and children. Also communicating with my other children and their families that are away,” said Terry Slezak, father of student Kami Slezak.

The majority of fathers also said they enjoy receiving a phone call or a handmade card from their child when they are away at school. Rick Schroedter, father of Taylor and Marissa Schroedter, summed up well what all the fathers interviewed said:

“Gifts and substances fade, but kind words and good memories remain a lifetime,” said Schroedter. “Reflective memories of joy and fun are the best gifts to me.”

“I would like for them to Skype with me, but mostly I would like each of them to go to the temple that week and ponder the blessings they have in their lives,” said Slezak.

Carver explained that he just loves being with his family but he would love a phone call if they can’t be with them.

Busby said, “I would like a phone or Skype call, because I miss my children and I love to hear from them.”

Fitt explained he would like a phone call, Skype call or a card.

All of the fathers interviewed had one thing in common: they all wanted to hear from their children and feel their love and appreciation. Not one of the six fathers interviewed said they wanted a material gift.

And what is most memorable to fathers about Father’s Day?

“I don’t have any single Father’s Day memory to share. But I have learned more from my children than I ever taught them. That’s why Heavenly Father wants young men to become temple-worthy fathers. Happiness doesn’t come from things. It comes from spending time with our families. My father gave his whole life to being with his kids. The saying is true: ‘Family. Isn’t it about time,'” Carver said.

Busby said his second child was born on Father’s Day and that was one of his happiest Father’s Day memories. He explained his favorite memory of being a dad so far was attending the temple with all of his children. Busby said this happened for the first time a few weeks ago when his daughter Britania was sealed in the temple to her husband.

So what do dads want most?

To hear from their children, to know that their children are being faithful and to create lasting memories with them.

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