The options to celebrate (or not to celebrate) Father’s Day will depend so much on the circumstances of each family. A child who has grown up with a dad or a father figure might not feel the same as a child who has not or has been forced into separation, or a child who lives with their grandparents. Each person in this world is unique, and we cannot generalise everyone.
So, how can we make the most out of a Father’s Day with or without a dad? I would like to give you some suggestions on how to spend and enjoy the day in the best possible way.
Your child is likely to ask questions about why his dad is not present. You may also feel a little sadder or even more unruly than usual. Try to be prepared to respond and accompany him/her with love. Talk honestly about the situation depending on the age of your child. If your little one feels teary, try to provide him/her with a suitable environment and allow them to express their feelings and emotions freely.
The ideal would be for the child to decide how and with whom (s)he wants to spend this day. They can spend the day with dad or, if the relationship is good, the three of you can do something together.
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If the parent is absent of their own free will, your child may feel somewhat resentful or angry. It is normal, and you should let him/her express their feelings. If the child wants, you can plan a special day with the family or come up with some activities that (s)he likes to keep him/her distracted.
Dad is often absent due to circumstances beyond his control. It may be for work reasons or because he lives far away. In any case, your child must know that, even if he is not there, (s)he still has a father who loves you crazily. You can plan and have the child prepare a gift or letter to send to their father. You can also use new technologies and plan a video call for the appointed day and time. In this way, the little one will be able to talk for a while with his/her father and feel him closer. You can even prepare a family lunch or dinner, even with a screen in between.
If Dad is deceased, the celebration of Father’s Day can become a time to remember him in a special way. You can go visit his grave and bring him flowers or some detail made by the children. You can also spend the afternoon looking at photos or sharing memories. Some people prefer to cook Dad’s favourite food or go somewhere they used to go with him.
Any approach to remember him and pay a tribute to what his life was is valid. Of course, we must always consider the child’s wishes and inform them in advance of the plans we have for the day.
Many a times, there is no father, but there are other father figures who watch over our children and whom they love so much. It can be a grandfather, an uncle, a family friend, a teacher, any person that your kid feels close to, and with whom they want to have a detail connection or celebrate this day with.
In some families, the celebration of the Father’s or Mother’s Day is being abandoned, and the celebration is being moved to Family Day. It is a different option that can serve to muddle through if Mum/Dad is not there. You can also take the opportunity to explain to your child that there are different types of family and that within this diversity, the important thing is the love they share.
Conclusively, there are many options to spend Father’s Day. The way you spend it depends on your feelings and desires. In any case, the important thing is that the children feel loved and protected, with or without a dad.