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Remembering Dad this Fathers Day-News-9.6.15

Sunday 21st June 2015

Father’s Day is approaching…. Friends at school begin to talk about their plans for their Dad on Father’s Day. For those children and young people bereaved of their Dad it can be a difficult day especially if it is the first Father’s Day without Dad.

Some children find it too painful to acknowledge whilst others want to mark the importance of their Dad on this day but may be reluctant to discuss openly for fear of upsetting other members of the family.

Support from family and friends can be very helpful in gently raising the topic and involving them in the process of deciding how to recognize this day. Their thoughts and feelings should be respected as each child’s grief is different and personal. 

Children sometimes want some ideas on how to remember Dad in their own way – some ideas are detailed below for possible consideration:-
Make a Father’s Day card to put in a special place (memory box, graveyard, mantelpiece).
Hold a family BBQ including his favourite BBQ food
Invite family members and his friends to share their memories of Dad:-
o What was he like as a child?  Teenager?  Young person?
o What are their favourite memories?
o What hobbies did he have as a child?
o Any funny hairstyles or clothes demonstrated in photos?

Participate or watch his favourite sport
Visit the graveyard
Watch his favourite film
Visit a favourite place of Dad’s
Write Dad a letter recalling a special time or a life lesson they taught you.
Choose a plant in memory of Dad

It’s OK for children to be happy and it’s OK for them to be sad about Dad on Father’s Day.  
Be there for them at their own pace and provide support.
A child’s response to Father’s Day is likely to change over time depending on their age and their grief.  
We all grieve in different ways, there is no right or wrong.
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