Father's Day can be a difficult day for children and adults alike who have experienced the death of their Father. Below are 3 tips to help with the days leading up to this Sunday, Father's Day.
Acknowledging that Father's Day is Sunday to kids and adults will help them feel less alone. While a lot of others are celebrating they might feel like they don't know what to do.
Know that Father's Day may bring up a wide range of emotions.
There are no wrong emotions. It's okay to NOT be okay. And it is okay to be okay.
Be patient with yourself and the kids. Grief is unpredictable and every person feels differently.
Know you have a choice in what you do with the feelings that do come up. It is okay to express your feelings and model healthy coping in front of children. That way they know all feelings are okay.
Coming up with a plan can help ease anxiety. Give your children a few choices. Know you are the expert in what you need and you know your children best.
Think about a ritual or new tradition to remember Fathers can be a way to release some of the pain and hurt. Release a balloon, make a special meal, write a letter, visit the grave or listen to his favorite song. These are all healthy, beautiful ways to honor the Father in your life. Finally, explain to kids that their Dad is still their Dad no matter what. Or if there is another "Father figure" in their lives ask them if they'd like to do something for him. Either or both options are okay.
Do you have a friend or family member who has experienced the death of their Father or their children's Father?
In person, try not to avoid the subject. Tell them you are thinking of them. Words are not always needed; acknowledging the loss and a simple hug can be just what someone needs. If your friend seems up to talking - ask them about some memories of their Father or their children's father. Take cues from your friend, every person is different in what they need and it can change by the hour or the day. Your presence will mean a lot.
Finally, send a card, text or a little note telling them you are thinking of them knowing this day may be hard for them.
We know this day can be difficult for those who are hurting. If you have experiences on what has helped you or your family - please share below.