Children's Social Worker Helen provides some advice for children who've sadly lost their dad at a young age and may find this time of year hard.

The run up to Fathers’ Day… cards in the shops, talk at school, friends, and the day itself, can be tough if your Dad has died, whether recent or many years ago, especially as it is a day when many people are celebrating, which doesn’t always feel fair. It’s an occasion when young people can feel particularly isolated – when they want to talk about their Dad, remember what they did together. Some people find it helpful to mark the day by creating activities to remember and celebrate the person who has died.

The charity Winston’s Wish suggests some ways to remember dads this Fathers’ Day:

  • Take a special card – could be hand made – to his grave or where his ashes are buried or scattered
  • Blow some bubbles and send him your love on the wind
  • Plant some bulbs, a shrub, tree or flowers in a place that hold special memories of your Dad – or maybe in the garden and have as a special place to think about him
  • Cook or have his favourite meal or food he liked
  • Listen to his favourite music, create a Spotify list – it may not be your taste in music!
  • Decorate a photo frame or buy a new one and put your favourite photo of him in it
  • Talk to your Grandparents if possible about some of their special memories of when he was a boy your age, or your Mum for her memories of when she and Dad met
  • Write him a letter, poem or song…maybe start with something like ’If you came back for 15 minutes I’d tell you….’
  • Light some sparklers for him and share your memories

It can be difficult at school with Fathers’ Day cards being made and sometimes for children not knowing what to do. It’s a good idea for other adults to talk to the teachers beforehand and find out what they are planning to do so that children are prepared and know what to do. It  may be that they want to make a card for their Dad or maybe make a card for someone else special in their life. Having control and being prepared is key for children so they are not thrown.