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Alternative ways to approach Father’s or Mother’s Day

Everyone’s situation is different and significant days and holidays typically celebrating relationships between fathers, mothers and children can sometimes be hard.

This is especially the case if you are experiencing the grief of a parent passing, estrangement from a parent or child or have a parent who is seriously ill.

Below are some alternative ways you could consider recognising days such as Father’s Day and Mother’s Day.

For those who have experienced a parent or child pass away:

  • Make time and space to remember the relationship, talk about fond memories you have together with other people, or make a trip to special locations you visited together.
  • Create a new tradition by cooking their favourite food or visiting their favourite location.

For those who are estranged from their parent or child:

  • If seeing others celebrate the day online brings on sad, anxious or angry feelings, consider spending the day offline.
  • Talk to someone you trust in the lead up to the day about coming up with a plan to do something you enjoy together. This may include having a self care day at home, or getting out in a quiet space in nature.

For those who have a parent or child who is seriously ill:

  • Think ahead of a few ideas on how you can spend your time together, but be flexible and prepared to change your plans if your parent/child feels too unwell to participate on the day.
  • Consider talking or meeting virtually, or for a shorter period of time.

Remember, you can decide how you want to celebrate an alternative Father’s Day or Mother’s Day on the day. If you don’t want to acknowledge the day, this is okay too.

If you are feeling sad or distressed, call Lifeline on 131 114, MensLine on 1300 78 99 78 or
Kids Help Line on 1800 55 1800 for extra support.

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