A new survey of Americans’ relationship with their parents from the March of Dimes, the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health, has found that the best received Mother’s Day gift is jewelry, while the most popular gifts for Father’s Day are homemade.
Findings from the survey were released to coincide with the launch of the March of Dimes 2015 imbornto campaign, which celebrates and thanks parents for all that they do while encouraging consumers to shop and donate to ensure more babies are born strong and healthy. The survey, which looked at gift purchasing habits, found that jewelry remains the most popular tangible, store-bought gift, with more than half of all adult children surveyed (ages 16 to 24 years) reporting buying jewelry for their moms for Mother’s Day.
New this year, several special jewelry items are being offered by imbornto partners for Mother’s Day to benefit the March of Dimes:
- ALEX AND ANI | Charity by Design‘s Special Delivery Bangle was designed to honor the true blessing of motherhood and is available in pink or blue, with 20% of each bangle sold benefitting the March of Dimes.
- A&E Jewelers has designed a new twinkling Swarovski encrusted sterling silver March of Dimes Enchanted "Healthy Beginnings" Necklace, with 20% of each purchase benefiting March of Dimes.
As an additional jewelry option, Mud Pie will donate $2 to the imbornto campaign for every Mommy and Me jewelry item, as well as for every Bella Bar and Mom Bar item purchased this Mother’s Day season.
“This Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, consider giving jewelry or another traditional gift,” says Meri-Margaret Deoudes, vice president of Strategic Alliances, Cause Marketing and Corporate Relations for the March of Dimes. “Or, take your parents out to a restaurant, as our survey shows parents still love going out to eat on Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.”
Take Your Parents Out for Their Special Day
Nearly 40% of daughters take their parents out, while only 29% of sons do. Among those who do go out on their respective days, the majority surveyed reported it was a great restaurant and their children typically paid for the meal.
“This year, consider taking your parents to one of Emeril’s Restaurants for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, so you can enjoy a great meal while helping other families,” says Ms. Deoudes. March of Dimes has partnered with Chef Emeril, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. and Meredith Corporation in a promotion where diners may add on a special March of Dimes donation to their bill at the end of their meal at Emeril Restaurants in New Orleans, Las Vegas, Orlando and Charlotte from 4/26/15 to 5/10/15 and 6/7/15 to 6/21/15.
Exceed Expectations by Buying a Gift for your Parents
Celebrating both mom and dad is key, as the survey shows that moms tend to receive more gifts than dads, with 87% of children saying they buy their moms Mother’s Day gifts, and only 65% saying they buy their fathers Father’s Day gifts.
“Acknowledging Mother’s Day or Father’s Day at all may exceed your parents’ expectations, as our research shows that parents rarely expect gifts. Only 26% of moms said they expect to receive a gift for Mother’s Day,” says Ms. Deoudes. “In addition, the survey shows that 21 is the average age children stop buying gifts for Mother’s Day or Father’s Day. Why not surprise your parents by celebrating both mom and dad this year, no matter your age?”
For a traditional gift for mom, imbornto partner Bon-Ton suggests fragrances. For every $1.00 donation made to the March of Dimes with a fragrance purchase of $75.00 or more prior to Mother’s Day, consumers will receive an atomizer filled with the fragrance of their choice. Additionally, any consumer can go into their local Bon-Ton store, make a donation of $3.00 to the March of Dimes, and receive a $10.00-off coupon valid on any $25.00 or more purchase for their parent.
Thank Your Parents More Outside of Their Special Day
While the majority of parents (80%) reported receiving a “thank you” in the past week, mothers reported receiving more “just because” thanks than dads.
“Let’s thank our parents for everything that they do for us,” says Ms. Deoudes. “But our survey definitely showed that perhaps we need to call dad and tell him thanks just a bit more often.”
According to the survey, nearly three-quarter of all adult kids said they have thanked their mother in the past week “just because,” while only 60% have thanked their father.
Call Dad More, Especially If You’re a Son
Dad shouldn’t just be called to get thanks—he should also just get calls more in general, according to the survey.
The survey found that 60% of adult children say they call their moms more often than their dads. Reasons include “it’s easier to talk to them,” (51%), “they have a better relationship with them” (46%), and “they are more talkative” (42%). Conversations with moms are also reportedly longer, with the average call being 16.1 minutes and the average call to dad being shorter at 11.5 minutes.
“To honor both mom and dad, consider calling more often, especially if you’re a son,” says Ms. Deoudes.
The survey also found that only 42% of parents believe their sons enjoy talking to them, versus 58% of parents who believe their daughters enjoy talking to them. Altogether, the survey found 60% of adult children enjoy talking to their parents, while nearly a quarter say they feel obliged to call them.
What’s more, daughters tend to use social media more, with only 54% of sons using social media platforms to communicate with their parents vs. the 64% of daughters who use social media platforms to stay in touch with their parents.
Most Moms are Willing to Learn New Technologies to Stay in Touch with their Children
“The survey revealed that moms are more likely than dads to adapt to the new ways children communicate, be it text messaging, social media platforms or video conferencing,” says Ms. Deoudes. “Dads, on the other hand, still prefer an old-fashioned phone call.”
Sixty-seven percent of children surveyed reported communicating with their mother using a mix between phone calls and text messages but only 40% use both to communicate with their dads.
In addition, 62% of children reported using social media platforms and 50% reported using video conferencing, to communicate with their mother. Less than 40%, however, reported using social media, and only 35% use video conferencing, to communicate with their father.
“We tend to think of men as the early adopters to emerging technologies, but the survey findings show that it’s the moms who are savvy in finding new ways to stay connected to their children and accommodate their preferred forms of communication,” says Ms. Deoudes. “The survey findings suggest that children tend to feel closer to their moms as a result.”
In fact, nearly 90% of kids reported that they consider their mother a friend, and less than three- quarters said they consider their father a friend.
"Findings from our research support our number one inspirational message behind the imbornto campaign: both mom and dad deserve to be acknowledged and thanked in some way more than one day each year,” said Ms. Deoudes.
From the Mother's Day to Father's Day shopping period, the Foundation will partner with media, retailers and brands encouraging consumers to shop, dine or donate where they see the imbornto logo to actively support the cause. 2015 partners include The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc., Mud Pie, ALEX AND ANI | CHARITY BY DESIGN, A&E Jewelers, Kmart, Blue Rhino and Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc./Meredith Corporation/Emeril’s Restaurants. Consumers can also support the cause by purchasing gifts from partners and by honoring them via photos, tweets, vines, videos and posts of thanks to #imbornto. Please visit imbornto.com for more information on the 2015 imbornto campaign and its partners.
This study was commissioned by March of Dimes and fielded by uSamp. In this study, uSamp conducted an online survey among 2,000 Americans age 16 to 60, evenly distributed among the United States by geography, gender, and other demographics.