For a lesson plan and handout about how to teach these ideas in Primary or at home, read “Father’s Day: sensitive, but where else will they learn?“
Not every child has an earthly father involved in their lives. But here are three ways to include every child in Father’s Day celebrations:
1) Many children have someone who is like a dad to them: a grandparent raising them, a single mom doing her best to be all the parent they need, a relative, a home teacher, a close family friend. What Father’s Day appreciation can a child show to this father figure of any gender?
2) Every child has a Heavenly Father who loves them beyond measure. He will never let them down. What gift might Heavenly Father like for Father’s Day, to show our love for Him? Jesus put it simply: “If ye love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15) and “Lovest thou me? Feed my sheep” (John 21: 15-17). Heavenly Father would be pleased with a gift to show Him our love for Father’s Day. Choose something specific to do for Heavenly Father for a Father’s Day gift: a commandment to keep better, or someone to serve.
3) Every child might be a father or mother someday. The June 2015 Friend magazine has an article about easing a little boy’s sadness at not having his dad in his life, by celebrating today the kind of father he hopes to be one day: “Steven’s First Future Father’s Day” in English and Spanish. This activity on lds.org asks “When you grow up, what kind of parent do you want to be? You can decide now to be a great parent! What can you do to practice these character traits now?”
As a single parent mom for many years, I feel keenly the anguish of a child who feels that they don’t fit in because of no choice of their own. But loving teachers and parents can remind them of the wonderful people they do have in their lives, the infinite love of their Heavenly Father, and their tremendous potential as future parents.
Happy Father’s Day to every child of God.
Also see “Missing Dad” by Hilary M. Hendricks in the Friend magazine, Sept 2011, 42-43.