Five Father’s Day Tips for Separated or Military Dads to Stay Connected

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With separated families becoming more and more common, best-selling Author and parenting expert Armin Brott offers the following advice to strengthen the father-child bond -- no matter the distance.

With Father’s Day just around the corner, this is a great time for dads to reflect on what being a father means to them and ways that they can be a better father to their children. However, with separated families becoming more common and thousands of dads serving in the military, an increasing number of dads are struggling with how they can stay involved in their children’s lives when living apart. Best-selling author and parenting expert Armin Brott offers the following tips:

  •     Go high-tech. Buy an inexpensive webcam (most computers today already have them) and a good DVD burner. That way, your family can keep you in the loop by sending audio or video recordings of life at home. Or they can create a Web site and post movies, songs, report cards, and more. Record yourself reading some of your children’s favorite stories. Keep in touch through email, text messaging, Internet chats, Facebook, or phone. Even if it is a simple "hello" or "how are you", it shows you still have interest in what is going on in their lives.
  •     Go low-tech. Before you leave or when you visit, write a whole bunch of messages for your kids and hide them around the house so they’ll find them in unexpected places. If your child can’t read yet, put all the messages in a special basket. Your child can take one out herself anytime she wants a little virtual hug.
  •     Use the mail. Technology is great, but it’s no substitute for a good, old-fashioned package from Dad. Little things—a dried leaf from a tree near your barracks, a film canister full of sand—are great ways to let your child know that you’re thinking of her no matter where you are.
  •     Take a good book on child development with you and read it. That way, you’ll be able to keep up with how they’re changing and you’ll have a better chance of hitting the ground running when you get back.
  •     Get some support. It’s important to have a strong network of family, friends, and/or community. On one level, these people can help your family cope with your absence. On another, knowing they’re there and keeping an eye on your family will put your mind at ease.

About Armin Brott
Armin Brott, a nationally recognized parenting expert, is known worldwide as Mr. Dad. He is the leading author of six best-selling books on fatherhood, including his newest book The Military Father:A Hands-On Guide for Deployed Dads. Armin writes the nationally syndicated column, "Ask Mr. Dad," and hosts the "Positive Parenting" radio show. He has written for The New York Times Magazine, Newsweek, American Baby, Parenting, Child, Men's Health, The Washington Post, and dozens of other major publications and websites. Armin has been a guest on hundreds of radio and television shows, including Today, CBS Overnight, Fox News, and Politically Incorrect, and his work on fatherhood has been featured in such places as Glamour, Time, The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, Newsday, and many others. He also speaks regularly on parenting issues. For more information, visit http://www.mrdad.com.

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