I’m a divorced father of 4 and I love being a dad. One of the hardest things in this role is not being able to protec t my children from everything that may harm them. As news about the Coronavirus invaded every part of my life, I found that I was scared for the safety of my kids. The thing that makes this so difficult for me is the fact that my kids don't live with me.

Protecting my children is important but connecting with them is even more important. Here’s how I am preparing t o stay connected even if I cannot see my kids.

* We can watch the same episode of their favorite TV or Netflix show, then call and talk about it. 

* We can use video chat (Google Duo, Facetime, Google Hangouts, Skype, or WhatsApp)

*I will buy a few cards and stamps from the Dollar Tree to mail to them. (It’s amazing how kids like to get mail with their name on it!)

* I will call and tell them a happy story about my childhood

* I will dig up a fun fact about one of their school assignments to encourage them to stay focused on school (This may require a little effort, but I believe it will show that I care about their education)

Whether you have just begun the journey back into your child’s life, or you are in a well-established relationship with your child; right now it is critical for you to find creative ways to stay connected to your child or children.

If you are afraid about the pandemic, then most likely your child is too. Let them know that you care and stay connected the best way you can while you are not able to see them in person.

Simon McClain, III is Upstate Fatherhood Coalition's IT provider