No respect for fathers

On Father's Day, men just don't get the same level of respect and attention bestowed on mothers around the world.

Hapless fathers are the butt of any number of greeting card jokes. Visit any store's greeting card display. There are almost as many cards making fun of dad as there are those celebrating him.

Would you see any of these same type cards for moms on Mother's Day? No way. They're all flowery and full of sweet sentiments - just as they should be. Moms enjoy that more than fathers.

It didn't begin with greeting cards, that multi-million dollar industry invented to help us celebrate holidays. Dis'ing fathers goes way back.

American humorist Samuel Clemmens, also known as Mark Twain, criticized his own father.

"When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years," Twain wrote.

Mothers get the lion's share of the mushy sentimental cards, great gifts and the millions of phone calls.

In 2006, phone calls routed over the iBasis global telecommunications network showed that people spent 48 percent more time calling home on Mother's Day than they did on Father's Day.

In 2007, another record was set with more than 54.9 million minutes of long distance calls. That record topped the previous record set Christmas Day by 1.3 million minutes.

It's clear. More people want to talk to their mothers instead of their fathers.

It's common for children to forge closer ties to their mother than their father, according to Dr. Thomas Cottle, a renowned sociologist, licensed clinical psychologist, and Professor of Education at Boston University.

"Although fathers today are spending more time with their children, there is no doubt in my mind that the centerpiece of the American family continues to be the mother," Cottle said. "Fifteen to 20 years from now, when those children mature, I think fathers will be receiving more calls. After all, you call the people who were there for you."

Cottle understands sacrifices made by parents.

His mother, Gitta Gradova, was an established concert pianist of the 1920s and 1930s. She relished her budding career and rubbed elbows with the musical greats of the day. She gave it up to raise a family, and her son contends it led her into depression.

Cottle may be America’s most faithful and imaginative observer of the radically changing values and circumstances of young people in our time, according to "The New Republic" magazine.

He is the father of three children and grandfather of three children.