Why some say, “I Hate Father’s Day”, and Tips to Handle It

While every third Sunday of June is a great celebration for many, it’s not the same for everyone out there. In some cases, sending a Father’s Day greeting card may be the worst favor you could do to a friend. But why do some say, “I hate Father’s Day”, and what’s the best way to handle it if you or someone you know feels this way?

Some people say ‘I hate Father’s Day’ because it doesn’t fit their family situation or personal ideals as it’s typically expressed. The traditional way Father’s Day is depicted can be difficult or oft-putting for some, causing them to avoid it altogether.

As a dad to four kids, I’ve enjoyed my fair share of handmade cards, ties, and tools at Father’s Day (like this awesome multi-tool from Amazon my daughter gave me, which is pictured at the end of this article). Even so, I’d just as soon skip the June holiday.

Throughout this article, I’ll explain why some people hate Father’s Day, or prefer to pretend it doesn’t exist (and/or their dads), and how you can cope with Father’s Day if you’re one of them or know someone like this.


Is It Normal to Not Like Your Dad?

According to the latest census, there are over 74 million fathers in the US, which equals about 62 percent of men, aged 15 and over. With this many, it’s not unusual that not everyone is happy or even likes their dad. So is it normal to not like your dad, or for him not to like you?

It is not normal to not like your dad to the point that you have no relationship, and vice versa. Yet, you don’t have to like everything about each other or spend all your time together. With dads and kids together 3x more than previous generations, relationships are generally closer.

This being said, you’re certainly not required to post your dad’s picture with a “world’s best dad” caption on Father’s Day if you genuinely don’t feel that way. In fact, you are allowed to not like your dad, but if so, there are healthy way to deal with that than shouting ‘I hate dad!’

As well, you aren’t required to have a relatable reason why you don’t like your dad, either, but at the same point, your dad doesn’t have to like you. Does this mean it’s a good thing, though? Not really.

So here are some common reasons some people really hate Father’s Day and/or their fathers. And some suggestions along those lines.

  1. Abuse

While the world has come a long way in preventing all forms of household abuse, we still have a long way to go. As disheartening as it may sound, domestic abuse against children isn’t as rare as you think it should be in 2021.

Anyone who grew up with an abusive father may end up hating their dad, and consequently, Father’s Day. This is one of the most widespread reasons why people decide never to celebrate Father’s Day.

  1. Emotional Detachment

When you hear abuse, you think of a father that hits their children every time something goes wrong. However, that isn’t always the case. The lack of emotional connection with one’s father can lead to an immense feeling of dislike or hate for him.

Some fathers spend a lot of time on their careers, providing little time for the necessary emotional bonding between a parent and a child. Some fathers may also be physically present, but don’t bond effectively with their children, leading to the kids having hateful feelings while they grow.

3. Absent Dads

As a household raised by a single mom and sometimes even a single grandmother, I grew up not having a clue about fathers and Father’s Day. My dad and mom divorced when I was around 5 and I only saw him one other time in my life before he died.

Thus, I grew up with mixed emotions about Father’s Day. On one hand, I didn’t have a dad around that made me connect with this day but on the other hand, from the stories about him, it seemed like a good thing he was gone. So Father’s Day never really meant anything to me.

After I married and had my own kids, I encountered this holiday again. And though I love my family and think of fatherhood as one of the most important aspects of my life, I’m not so comfortable with a day set aside to celebrate it the way it typically is.

  1. Differences in Belief/Lifestyle

Most people practice the culture and religion of their parents, as it’s the only choice they have. However, some people rebel against their parent’s beliefs growing up, leading to spite between the parent and the child.

If you’ve chosen a slightly different path from your dad, you may fall out with him. This may slowly degenerate into detestation, depending on how well your father tolerated your rebellion.

So if you haven’t had a good relationship with your dad, Father’s Day can be an unwelcome reminder, causing you to dislike or even detest the holiday.

Tip for Improving Father-Child Relationships: Even if you haven’t experienced a good relationship with your father, it doesn’t mean that has to be replicated with your own child. And there’s research to back me up.

One particular 2019 study about fathers focused on patterns of positive father involvement and whether or not there’s an association with generational relationships. It concluded that early positive father involvement is an indicator of later father-child positive relationships as children age.

As well, fathers who professed positive relationships with their own father is an indicator of positive relationships with their children, showing generational correlation. So you can end the cycle if you wish. I known I try very hard to ensure that the negative father-child cycle isn’t continued with my own kids.

You might also enjoy these related articles:

Why Some Don’t Celebrate Father’s Day

SNL Father’s Day episodes are some of the most popular, but not because they depict loving fathers.

Hate isn’t the only reason why some people decide not to celebrate Father’s Day. Some people love their fathers, but for particular reasons, they hate celebrating Father’s Day. From commercialization to personal ideals, they don’t agree with Father’s Day and just opt out of celebrations for it.

Here are some of the most common reasons why some people don’t celebrate Father’s Day.

  1. Their dad is dead.

Some people once had the father of their dreams who died early. In this case, Father’s Day will be no more than a painful reminder of the possible joyful events they’d have had if he were alive.

If you have a friend who has lost their dad, it’s best to refrain from wishing them a Happy Father’s Day unless they specifically bring it up. For those who don’t have dads, Father’s Day can be particularly painful.

  1. It copies Mother’s Day badly.

If you’ve once been punished for plagiarism in college, you’ll find yourself naturally hating bad copies. Like it or not, Father’s Day is a terrible copy of Mother’s Day that we never asked for.

The gifts are mediocre at best and they aren’t exactly memorable and no ‘good’ dad actually wants their kids to spend hard-earned money on them. The dates also seem to jump around every year, making it nearly impossible to mark them into your calendar and keep up with.

  1. They hate their dads.

While some people try to shy away from this, there’s still a lot of people who don’t like their dads. The reasons for this vary, and I’ve explained some of the most important ones in the previous section.

However, you can still enjoy Father’s Day without necessarily sending cute messages to your dad, and I’ll show you how to do that in the next section.

  1. Fathers should be celebrated daily.

Setting a day aside to celebrate fathers and mothers is quite pointless, especially when you love your parents. If you appreciate your dad, for instance, you’ll gift him stuff on impulse and celebrate him daily and not as a requirement of a special day, and if the reverse is the case, you’ll act indifferently.

My wife frequently makes treats for us and often sets aside some for her dad. This shows she’s thinking about him and wants to make his day enjoyable because she loves him. Having to do this for a specific day doesn’t make sense when she does stuff like this all the time already.

While many of us already hate the idea of celebrating dads on a specific Sunday, some take this hate more seriously, and they don’t celebrate Father’s Day at all. This doesn’t mean they don’t appreciate their dads, but they just don’t want to limit the appreciation to a single day, or succumb to commercialism and pressures to buy silly, useless cards and trinkets.

5. It’s against their religion.

Some don’t celebrate Father’s Day (and other holidays) because it’s against their religious beliefs. My wife has family that practice a certain faith and they don’t celebrate any holidays.

Their kids love their parents and vice versa but they don’t show it because of a holiday. Seemingly, they show their love everyday like the earlier point but it’s primarily connected to their religious leanings.

How to Cope with Hating Father’s Day

Jordan Peterson, renowned psychologist and professor from Canada, has been outspoken about damage from fatherless homes.

You don’t have to follow the trend and pretend that you love your dad when you don’t. And if you love your dad but don’t enjoy holidays like ‘Father’s Day’, you don’t have to do it anyway. So, here are a couple of suggestions to cope with the hustle and bustle around Father’s Day.

  1. Appreciate and acknowledge yourself

If you can come this far without the love of a supportive father, you deserve some acknowledgment. Nobody will do that for you.

Father’s Day is your opportunity to acknowledge yourself for the remarkable achievement of becoming your current ‘you’ against all odds. As renowned speaker/professor/psychologist, Jordan Peterson, expounds, it’s extremely damaging to family and society to have bad dads!

  1. Appreciate “father figures”

Not everyone has the luxury of having a supportive father around at all times. If you’ve lost your dad or never loved him in the first place, you should be grateful for those who served the role of a father for you so far.

It may be your mum, a grandparent or other extended family, a supportive teacher, or even a neighbor. If you fathered yourself without anyone’s support, appreciate yourself too, you deserve it.

Note: Just because you hate Father’s Day, it’s not healthy to hate your father. Even if you have good reasons to not like your dad, hate is not good for you or anyone you actually love and care about. It’s disordered. I had/have real reasons to hate my dad but I don’t. With God’s help, and my supportive ‘other’ family, I can live without my dad in my life and be healthy. I urge you to talk to your priest or someone you trust about this if you hate your father.

What to do Instead of Father’s Day

So what can you do instead of Father’s Day if you hate Father’s Day so much? Here are some ideas that have gotten me through tough holidays.

  • Ignore it. Just go about your day as usual and if you hear anything about Father’s Day, then simply ignore it and move on.
  • Plan a family outing that has nothing to do with roles or the holiday. In this case, skip restaurants because many will be having traditional ‘Father’s Day’ meals and that will not be conducive to your purpose. From seeing a movie or going for a hike, there are lots of things you can do as a family.
  • Celebrate nontraditionally. If you love your dad (or your role as dad) but not the commercialized depiction, you can just spend time together. Toss the football around in the back yard, play chess, eat a meal together…but it doesn’t have to include Hallmark or ties!

Wrapping Up I Hate Father’s Day

My daughter sent me a multi-purpose tool (i.e. fancy hammer) for Father’s Day, but I don’t think she intended for me to use it on her brother, Ethan. Or maybe she did.

To wrap it up, I love being a father, but not Father’s Day so much. It’s not that I don’t think fathers deserve recognition or gifts, but setting aside one day out of the year to show this is not my ideal.

Others may hate Father’s Day for different reasons, like not having a good dad to having lost their dad and it’s a sad reminder.

There are healthy ways to deal with hating Father’s Day, so don’t feel compelled to celebrate something that bothers you. And if you hate your father, there are ways to deal with that are healthy and effective, too.

For further reading on this subject or related holidays, try these:

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