Father’s Day is the perfect time to talk to students about important men in their life. While Father’s Day is only one day in June, it is nice to spend several sessions with kids discussing their feeling about the male role models in their lives. Remember to be aware of different family dynamics and sensitive to children who may not have a father at home. Keep the focus on male role models in their life, not simply at home.
Begin with a Story
There are a wide variety of picture books which now focus on fathers and other men. Many of them share tales about Father’s Day, others focus on feelings and special times with these important men in a child’s life. Books that would work well to get kids thinking about the men in their lives are:
- The Night Before Father’s Day by Natasha Wing
- My Father Knows the Names of Things by Jane Yolan
- Hero Dad by Melinda Hardin
- My Dad Thinks He is Funny by Katrina Germein
- Daddy is My Hero by Dawn Richards
- When a Dad Says “I Love You” by Douglas Wood
- My Dad by Anthony Browne
- Nelly Gnu and Daddy Too by Anna Dewdney
Checking with the school librarian and other teachers to see what books they may have about children, fathers, and other men. While reading, be sure to take time to talk about how men in the kids’ lives do special things with them. Ask them about feelings which they have when they spend time with an important man in their life. This may be a father, uncle, grandfather, neighbor, teacher, or anyone else.
A Special Book for Dad
To expand on the talks while reading some book, put a list together of words that come to mind when they think of the special man in their lives. Explain to everyone that they will be working on a book which they may give their father or other special men in their life for Father’s Day. This is to thank them for being a part of their life.
Make some pages for a book that kids will be able to personalize during sessions. Some ideas for pages include:
- Happy Father’s Day ________ (cover)
- This is ________, he is my _______.
- ______ and I love to do ____________ together.
- My favorite memory with ______ is when we ____________. This makes me feel _________.
- Time with ______ makes me feel __________ because ________________________.
Additional pages may be added based on what you are covering at the time in your sessions. When the pages are finished, they may be laminated and put together to send home for Father’s Day. For multilingual families, therapists should be sure to have page translations available to make it easier for them to be able to read them once home. Again, please remember that not every child lives with their father. Think about special men in their lives and in your school building that may work well.