Long distance dad!

A mother is the homemaker and a father, the breadwinner, so they say. A child’s relationship with his/her father has life-long effects on the child’s health and development.

Building and maintaining strong relationships with your child, even if you live away from home, will go a long way to ensure your child is growing up right. If it’s work that keeps you away from your family for long spans of time, here’s how you can still be the ‘perfect dad’, despite the distance.

1. Be in regular contact with your child. If possible, call them up and speak to them everyday. Send e-mails or letters and postcards ‘just because’ telling them how much you love them and miss them. This will show your children that you think about them everyday.

2. Ask them about their day and all the important events coming up, be it a school event, an examination, a friends birthday, a performance, a match and the likes.

3. Tell them about your day and all the important events you are looking forward to like an upcoming break which will enable you to go home and spend time with them or a promotion or an award that you will be getting.

4. Let your child know where and how you live when you are out of the house. Invite your children to spend time with you where you live. Make them comfortable in these surroundings.

5. Ensure that the kids have their own special place there, even if it’s just a play area. Their own space, toys, books, etc will help children feel they have a place in this second home and this part of your life they don’t see everyday.

6. When together on vacations, set up small traditions such as theme meals or activities like walks, picnics or a family game that involves all of you.

7. Plan out celebrations for their birthdays and milestones in their lives like academic excellence, awards they’ve won, etc.

8. Ensure that your children understand that they are a part of a larger family. Keep extended family members like grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles, etc involved in their lives.

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