Father’s Day can be a difficult day for many children grieving the death of their dad or a significant male in their life.
For many others, they can struggle to know what to say to a grieving child. From fear of saying the wrong thing, they often say nothing at all, leaving the child feeling even more isolated and alone.
We want to help you change that.
Give your support to grieving kids
Evidence shows social support is an important aspect of encouraging ‘post-traumatic growth’ in young people who have experienced the death of a parent or guardian.
Talking with grieving kids about their loved one and their grief is important.
Post traumatic growth is shown through positive psychological changes to their beliefs, self-esteem, and identity, following highly difficult life events. Having opportunities to express their grief is important.
Remember that you don’t need to take away their grief and pain, you just need to hold space for it and let children know that all emotions and responses are valid.
It doesn’t always have to be with words.
If children don’t want to talk about their grief verbally, conversation and connection can be through things like symbols, drawing, craft, dance, poetry, play, images and text messages.
Grieving children often feel isolated from their friends and community. Others around them may not have experienced bereavement and loss like they have. They can feel detached and alone, especially on significant days like Father’s Day.
Many of us don’t know how to support grieving children during difficult times like Father’s Day.
We asked kids from our Feel the Magic community what they would like their friends and family to say to them on Father’s Day.
Here is their advice on how to talk about their dad (spoiler: they want to be included!), plus we share some of our tips: ‘5 Ways to Talk to a Grieving Child on Father’s Day’.
You may find this article ‘Supporting Children & Teens Through Grief Anniversaries and Significant Events’ useful to help support your child or teen.
Our mission at Feel the Magic is to ensure grieving kids, families and their friends have the support and resources to help them feel and heal through their grief.
We have a range of face to face and virtual camps, so we can help grieving kids heal – no matter where they are.
Auman, M. J. (2007). Bereavement Support for Children. The Journal of School Nursing, 23(1), 34–39. https://doi.org/10.1177/10598405070230010601
Metel, M., & Barnes, J. (2011). Peer-group support for bereaved children: a qualitative interview study. Child and Adolescent Mental Health, 16(4), 201–207. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1475-3588.2011.00601.x
Wolchik, S. A., Coxe, S., Tein, J. Y., Sandler, I. N., & Ayers, T. S. (2009). Six-Year Longitudinal Predictors of Posttraumatic Growth in Parentally Bereaved Adolescents and Young Adults. Omega: Journal of Death and Dying, 58(2), 107–128. https://doi.org/10.2190/OM.58.2.b