This Father's Day, not all dads will get to see their kids.
Business trips, divorce or distance too often separate them. But through some cool tech tricks, dads can make a connection that will last longer than the backyard barbecue celebration -- and can even bridge the distance for kids who live away from their dads.
Learn from Clint Arthur, a single father and author of the book Daddy Loves You who went from living with his daughter and seeing her everyday to being with her once a week for a few short hours.
Since text messaging, cyber-chatting and social media have replaced old-fashion things like the telephone, Arthur found five fun (and free) ways technology could help him stay connected -- ways you can stay in touch with your kids when you can’t be with them.
1. Create a private YouTube channel. Preserve those bedtime stories and travel tales for all time via the Internet’s largest and most popular video site. Even though you can’t be physically present, the image and sound of your voice can be replayed anytime your child misses you.
2. Podcast all the time. Use the site Freeconferencecalling.com to call in on a private conference line and record your conversations to make easy and instant podcasts. The audio mp3s create a vault of recorded memories that your child can listen to any day of the week. That way they won’t have to wait until it’s "dad’s weekend" to hear your voice.
3) Go big on Flickr: Put together a photo stream or slideshow on Flickr.com to remind your kids about the special moments and trips you’ve shared together. Pictures are worth a thousand words to impressionable children. Sometimes their memories just need to be refreshed.
4. Send tons of ePostcards: snap pictures with your smartphone and upload them to a site like 123greetings.com to make personal postcards you can send to send to your kids. The site also lets you share e-cards with your social circle on Twitter and Facebook. These little note cards are a great way to show your kids that you're always thinking of them.
5. Make a DaddyApp with appmakr.com: This neat site lets you share videos, create image galleries and play podcasts that you can record just for your kids. Plus it includes a message function that allows kids to send a text to their dads whenever they want to hear from them.
“Sometimes it’s hard for a dad who's working long hours to make time to have a meaningful connection with his kids before its their bedtime,” Arthur told FoxNews.com. “Using something like YouTube videos creates a dialogue back and forth that frees you from the constraints of being in the same time zone or being on the same schedule.”
Children learn how to live in the world from both of their parents. Although this unfortunately is not often the case, an absent parent needs to make that extra effort to stay connected and involved.
“Even when you’re away, you're still their dad," pointed out Dr. Robyn Silverman, a child and adolescent specialist.
"Make sure your children know that you are thinking of them, love them and are there for them in any way you can be,” she said.