I’m extremely fortunate to be a work-at-home-dad, but there are times when I still hit the road a few times a year and need to stay in touch with my girls. I missed Addie’s first Halloween back in 2009 – working a gig in Las Vegas that involved horror and SLIPKNOT (perfect combo), and while my oldest was just two months old at the time, Skype made it possible for me to see the little one and interact with her and my wife in the best way possible, given the circumstances. Since that time, I’ve shown my girls the Atlantic Ocean from Miami – the palm trees of Hollywood from Los Angeles – and many other spots along the way, all because Skype kept us connected. Sometimes a family can’t be together on an important day (in fact, I’m going to be traveling on a big one this August), and Father’s Day certainly fits the bill. For all the families out there were Dad can’t be home for Rock Father’s Day, whether traveling on business, deployed with our military or on tour with a band, my friends at Skype sent over five tips for making the most of things and staying creatively connected this weekend – or anytime you’re away.
Five Tips for long-distance Dads to create meaningful moments any day with their children – no matter where they are:
- Plan a family meal together: Sit down with your children over a Skype video call and enjoy a meal together. It doesn’t need to be the exact same meal or food (especially if there is a time difference), but having this time to eat and catch-up will make it feel like you are actually together despite the distance.
- Read a bedtime story: Have a young child? Before the little one goes to bed – on any mobile device like a Surface 2 or an iOS smartphone – read them their favorite story over Skype so your voice can help soothe them to sleep. It’ll help make you feel a part of your child’s nighttime ritual. Have a budding reader? Let him or her read to you!
- Record a sweet video message: Send your kids a Skype video message reminding them of why you love them. They can replay your virtual sentiments whenever they just need a quick (up-to-three minute) dose of dad.
- Make it a family reunion: With Skype group video chat (now free on Xbox One, Windows Desktop and Mac), the whole family can be involved – especially if college-age sons and daughters, even grandparents, are scattered across the country (or just in different rooms of the house).
- Get some (more) credit: With a Skype gift card you can stay connected to your kids whether they are off at summer-camp or studying abroad, whenever and on whatever device.