The father works far away, is separated, or has disappeared. How to behave with children in this event? We asked Sofia Banzatti, a psychoanalytically oriented psychologist at the Centro Medito Santagostino
Crafts, poems and little thoughts: in kindergarten and school preparations are in full swing for Father’s Day. But what to do if the Pope there is not? We asked Sofia Banzatti, psychoanalytically oriented psychologist at the Santagostino Medical Center.
“These parties have become increasingly commercial, but they still represent a very important moment to reflect and pause on the relationship we have with our father, also including the conflictual aspects – underlines the expert -. In fact, in the growth path of an individual, it is essential, where possible, to have a direct relationship with both parents in order to activate a mechanism of identification, first, and then of differentiation “.
If the parents are separated
There may be several reasons, however, why a father may be absent on this occasion: “We need to contextualize the situation. Much depends, in fact, on the family climate, the age of the child and the reasons why the father is absent ».
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In this case, you have to see what the separation is like: if it is conflictual or if the parents have managed to maintain good relations. “In both cases, it would be important for the little one to spend a few moments with his father and be able to give him his chore or little thought“.
If the separation is difficult, the mother should try to overcome the hostility towards the ex partner, remembering how important it is for the child to have a good relationship with the father and to separate his experience from that of the child. If the former partner has not behaved well with her, it is not certain that he will also do it with his own son.
«It is certainly not easy to make this mental transition, but you must be able to make it as much as possible for what we have said before: for an individual it is important to maintain a relationship with both parents. Especially if the child is small, the idea he will have of the father will be connected to the representation that the mother makes of him: if she proposes him to him as a negative figure, the child will think that the father is bad and this is not positive for him. If, on the other hand, the child is older, it is possible that he has had the opportunity to experience a direct relationship with his father and it will therefore be important that he can keep him, especially on this occasion ».
If the dad lives in another city
Again, you have to see what family relationships are like. However, it is important to ensure that children have regular contact with their father, but especially on the occasion of Father’s Day.
«Here the new technologies come to meet us: with Skype, in fact, you can have a regular update and see each other, as well as hear each other. In this moment of celebration it could then be very nice to have the father deliver a gift, to make sure that the distance is only physical, but not emotional ».
If the dad isn’t there or he’s dead
It may happen that the child has never met his father, or that he is dead. «Also in this case the maternal role is very important: what you think of the father will also form the idea of the child towards her. The more positive it is, the more the child will have a good representation of the father ».
If, on the other hand, the father is missing when the child was already grown up, «la father’s Day it can turn into a moment of reflection and of mourning processing, where crying can also find space. A good idea may be to be told about your father, as well as from your mother, also from friends and relatives who knew him in order to have a more complete idea of him ».