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Managing difficult emotions on Father's Day

Whether you’re walking down the high street or scrolling through the internet, it’s difficult to miss the fact that Father’s Day is approaching. Everywhere you look there are teddy bears and mugs with ‘Best dad’ scrawled all over them. Although most people don’t know (and don’t care!) much about the origins of Father’s Day, everyone knows it’s an opportunity to spoil their Dad and show him how much they appreciate everything he has done for them.


However, for some people, this day brings with it a deep sense of longing for something that’s missing in their life. For some, this will be longing for the Father they dearly loved, but whom they had to bury. For others, it’s the Dad they know exists, but he has never made an effort to be present in their lives. And then there are those who long to love their Dad but are not able to, because although he is physically present, he has never had their best interests at heart and causes them more pain than joy. What do these people do on a day when everyone is celebrating their love for their father? It can be overwhelming to be reminded of something you don’t have and to feel a twinge of jealousy when you see a doting Dad.


Every person will have a different opinion of what a Father should be. For most people, this is someone who’s there for the good times and the bad- someone who always has your back. But does this role have to filled by your biological Father? The obvious answer is no, as Step-Fathers and adoptive Fathers often take on the role and all the responsibilities that come with it. Grandfathers, brothers and uncles can also step in and give comfort in difficult times, as well as being there for the good times. A teacher or family friend can often teach you an important life lesson, or simply play a silent but impactful role in your life. If Father’s Day is about celebrating someone you love and admire, these people should also be celebrated!

For those who have lost their Dad, there are precious memories and life lessons that will stay with you forever. Though remembering these may bring you pain, the time you spent together was invaluable and made you who are today! It’s okay to feel conflicting emotions on Father’s Day and you should embrace this so that you are able to feel the good as well as the bad. Lastly, for the people who have a difficult relationship with their father; even negative experiences can have a positive impact. The hurdles you have faced in your life have given you invaluable life experience and you are much wiser for it!


Tips for managing difficult emotions on Father’s Day


  1. Remember a good memory you have with your Father or a Father figure

  2. Take some time to think about how your (negative or positive) experiences with your Father have positively impacted your life

  3. Use Father’s Day to give a gift to someone who’s important to you

  4. If you have something you would have liked to say to your Dad but didn’t get the opportunity, get it off your chest by writing a letter

  5. Call MYH if you are feeling low and need someone to talk to


If you are struggling this Father’s Day, the most important thing to remember is that although people may not be talking about it, you are not alone and many people are finding today tough.

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