LIVING IN A SINGLE-PARENT HOUSEHOLD
Find a father figure, for instance a close family friend or trusted relative, but go easy on yourself, says psychologist Tyrone Edgar.
“It can be hard to open up to a father figure if you’ve never had someone like that in your life. Don’t put a lot of pressure on yourself to be open. Start by simply connecting on a basic level with someone you and your family trust.”
Instead of suppressing your emotions, acknowledge them.
“When you feel sadness, fear and/or anger about not having a dad around, try not to push those feelings away. Your emotions are important and valid. And if you feel the need to, seek support.”
If you’d like a relationship with your dad, try telling him how it makes you feel that he’s not around or doesn’t seem interested in you.
Start by saying something like, “I feel hurt that we’re not spending enough time together . . .” Then you can take it from there.
No one likes to be the odd one out but don’t be discouraged if you’re the only one in your group of friends in a single-parent household. Remember, having a dad around doesn’t solve all life’s problems.
If you’re mourning your dad’s death, create your own memory box with things like pictures or birthday
cards that remind you of him. Try to accept that there will be days when not having a dad will feel terrible – such as your birthday and Father’s Day. Make a list of the people in your life who support you. This will give you perspective and help identify those you should be grateful for. *Not his real name.