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Celebrating milestones with your children if you can’t be there in person.

Celebrating special occasions and milestones with your children, especially when you’re apart, requires creativity, planning, and a deep emotional connection. Here are some ideas to help you make these moments memorable:

1. Virtual Family Gatherings:

Celebrating milestones from a distance requires creativity and planning: Here are some ideas to help you make these moments memorable:

  • Use video conferencing platforms like Zoom, Skype, or FaceTime to organize virtual family gatherings. This way, everyone can see and talk to each other despite the physical distance.
  • Plan a video call on the special day and invite extended family and friends to join in the celebration. Share stories, laughter, and well-wishes.

2. Watch Together:

  • Choose a movie or TV show that everyone in the family enjoys and schedule a time to watch it together. Use text or video chat during the viewing to share reactions and commentary.
  • Streaming platforms often allow you to sync your viewing, so you can start the movie simultaneously and chat while watching.

3. Virtual Games and Challenges:

  • Engage in online multiplayer games or challenges that can be played together virtually. Games like trivia, chess, or even virtual escape rooms can be a lot of fun.
  • You can also organize friendly competitions, like a cooking or baking challenge where each family member prepares a dish and judges evaluate the results over video call.

4. Storytime and Sharing:

  • Share stories and memories of past milestones. Each family member can take turns recalling their favorite memories related to the occasion being celebrated.
  • You can also collectively create a digital memory book or online scrapbook filled with photos, anecdotes, and well-wishes.

5. Virtual Party Planning:

  • Collaborate on planning a virtual party for the milestone. Discuss decoration ideas, the menu, and the guest list via video call.
  • Everyone can contribute by ordering food or sending decorations to the location where the celebration is happening, ensuring a shared experience.

6. Surprise Virtual Visits:

  • If possible, plan a surprise virtual visit from the family member who is physically distant. Coordinate with friends or family who are nearby to make it happen.
  • A sudden appearance on a video call can be incredibly touching and exciting for the children and father alike.

7. Time Capsule or Letter Exchange:

  • Start a time capsule project where each family member writes a letter or creates a video message for the person celebrating the milestone. Seal the letters and save them for a future reunion.
  • The letters can be read aloud during a virtual gathering, creating a heartfelt and emotional moment.

8. Special Delivery:

  • Send care packages or special gifts to each other to mark the occasion. Consider including handwritten letters, photos, or small mementos that hold sentimental value.
  • Unboxing these surprise packages together over a video call can be a memorable experience.

9. Online Workshops or Classes:

  • Enroll in virtual workshops or classes related to the milestone celebration. For instance, you can take a cooking class together or learn a new skill.
  • This shared learning experience can be both educational and fun.

10. Virtual Toast and Cheers:

  • Raise your glasses virtually and make a toast to celebrate the milestone. Share your wishes, hopes, and love with each other.
  • Even if you can’t clink glasses in person, the sentiment of togetherness will be felt.

Remember that it’s not the physical presence but the emotional connection that truly matters in celebrating milestones when you’re apart. These creative ideas allow you to share the joy, love, and support with your children, creating lasting memories despite the geographical distance.

Happy Fathers Day

“Dear Dads

Today Im thinking of all the Dads that don’t get to spend time with their children for many reasons. I have been in your shoes and can empathise. Being separated from your children today can be incredibly tough, and the absence can weigh heavily on your heart. Remember, you are not alone in your feelings.

Distance, circumstances, and even time cannot diminish the bond between you and your kids. Your love can be shown in other ways even when you can’t be physically present. The sacrifices you make and the challenges you face are a testament to your enduring commitment to being the best father you can be, even if you are not there every day.

Stay strong, Dads. While today may not be the day you get to share with your children, Reach out to them with a text message it will just let them know you are thinking about them.

Happy Father’s Day, look after yourself, do something today that makes you feel happy.

Best wishes

Dads Online

2022 A New Year a Fresh Start

what if your resolution was to love yourself a little moreLike most of you every year I make new resolutions.  They include everything from giving up smoking (which I did 19years ago and thank god I did) to saving money, learning guitar, taking up a gym membership and sticking at it! or to learn a particular skill.  For a couple of years I would write my goals and resolutions on a card and stick them on the fridge so they were always top of mind.  It did work and I achieved many small goals and a few big ones.

There is one resolution I have never added to my list, however I will this year and I urge all Dads to add this to your list too.

Love yourself a little more

I want to be the best version of myself, I believe looking inwardly helps me achieve this.  Understanding that we are worthy of respect, love, help, friendship etc sets a standard of how we want people to treat us – no worse than we treat ourselves.  If your are treating yourself well by loving yourself a little more it will set positive expectations and you will achieve the right outcome.

You may ask what is Loving yourself a little more?

Its not that deep and meaningful, it is just living by a few rules you set for yourself, like:

  • Don’t be to hard on yourself. Remember that this will only make you feel bad.  Everyone makes mistakes, so go easy and always be focus on the good that you do.
  • Keep a list of your receipts.  This is about when you have Paid it Forward by doing a good deed. Always be looking to help others, donate your time to a person in need, pick up that piece of rubbish, share a kind word with someone, it can be anything that contributes to a more positive community.  We call it giving yourself a “receipt” write them down and refer to them during the year.
  • Make time to pat yourself on the back.  When your brushing your teeth in the morning or at night before bed, think to yourself “nice work today M8” or “Be a gladiator today” or “Have an awesome day because I’m an awesome person”. Even a smile in the mirror as you leave for work. Feed your brain with positive words.
  • The past does not equal the future.  Look back over the years and consider all the good things that you have done and achieved.  There will be some!  Its these things you need to remember because they have made you who you are today.  Never forget the good things you do.
  • You don’t need much to be happy.  Have you seen people living in hard communities or countries where there is overwhelming poverty and they still come out smiling?  Whilst others with wealth and every material object known to man can complain, feel hard done by and unappreciative of life and what they have.  Feel blessed with what you have and be grateful.
  • Love and focus on the people that care about you.  Knowing where to direct your energy is easy.  Direct it to the people who care about you and who are good to you.  Give them the best version of yourself and share as many happy times as possible with them and create memories.

These living rules are pretty easy to accomplish if you set your mind to it.  If I have forgotten any that you feel would help make a difference, please share them with us.

Have a wonderful 2022.  Remember to find the time to love yourself with the ideas above as often as you can.  The days and months will fly by, lets make the most of every minute 🙂

Celebrating all Dads this Christmas: Finding the best present that fits their interests

Looking for the perfect gift for the guy who has it all? Dads have various hobbies and personalities, but according to the statitsa Global Consumer Survey, your average Australian adult can have an affinity for one of three major interest niches: sports, cooking, and traveling. In the same way that dads have different parenting styles, even their interests may vary. Now that Christmastime is here, let’s explore some gift ideas for dads who fall into one or more of these interest categories.  

For The Sports-Minded Dad 

The sporty Dad can be both spectator and active participant, but whichever he may be, he will appreciate souvenirs from his favorite team. A jersey from his favorite team would be a good gift to give, if he doesn’t own one already. A personalised team jersey with his name emblazoned on it would be even better. As for signed memorabilia and other hard-to-reach items, you can find the best deals by ebay online shopping with Qantas. If this particular dad is heavy on the “active participation” part, gift him things that would facilitate his need for athletics. These include new trainers, sports socks, and other sports gear that would make his gameplay more enjoyable. Make sure to pay attention to his passing remarks at the dinner table as well. If dad had mentioned that he’d have liked to try golf, he’ll definitely be surprised with a brand new golf set.

For Dads With A Culinary Interest

Dads who enjoy cooking often love to incorporate new ingredients into their concoctions and use new cooking tools to make them. That would make things like DIY sauce kits, new pots, pans, and utensils great options for Christmas gifts. There’s always room for novelty with an interest such as cooking, too. This means that Chef Dad ought to get a kick out of learning how to make new dishes with some interesting cookbooks or a high-tech grilling device. Cooking can be a costly hobby, however, especially when their favorite ingredients are out of season. Aside from a home-cooked Christmas feast, dad might even show his appreciation for his star patron by cooking a supersized batch of their favorite Christmas dish. 

For Dads Who Travel

Whether they travel for work or pleasure, the travelling Dad might often spend their time searching for comfort when out on the road. A simple, yet thoughtful gift would be to upgrade this flight tickets, or new travel gear to make his journeys a trifle easier. Things like travel grooming kits, mobile media devices, power banks, or even backpack coolers and ergonomic suitcases would all make his trips away from home more comfortable. 

Dads, like any individual, come with their own unique preferences no matter what category of parenting involvement they fall into. When picking out gifts for dads, it is important to remember that the best gifts are those that meet their personal goals and interests, with nothing but the best intentions at heart.

Will you spend Father’s Day with your kids?

I hope so, its 2019 and these days there is more equality within the family home and fathers are finally recognized as being a positive influence, role model and in most circumstances crucial for a child’s healthy development.

Experts say;
Even from birth, children who have an involved father are more likely to be emotionally secure, be confident to explore their surroundings, and, as they grow older, have better social connections.

It was very different 20+ years ago and in some cases still a challenge even today to be recognized as a 50/50 parent. We were classed as second rate citizens when it came to being respected as an equal parent. Its getting better but I still see and hear the cave man views and opinions from TV presenters or radio hosts when the topic comes up.

Some Dads still struggle with the lack of access to their children after separation or divorce. Its just not fair! Some mothers still try to punish the Dad by preventing access, they don’t realize that they’re hurting their child. Yep, if you’re a mother reading this and fall into this category? Wake up, you are hurting your children!

So I trust all Dads will enjoy their day with or without the kids. I am lucky enough to have an ex partner who values fatherhood and we share our beautiful daughter 50/50. Even if Fathers Day landed on her week, I’d still spend time on the Sunday with her. This weekend we are having a buffet breakfast at a 5 star hotel because we both love that type of breakfast.

If you don’t have your kids this fathers day, do something that makes you happy i.e.

  • Visit a friend and have coffee &/or a drink
  • Go out to lunch
  • See a movie
  • Get a massage
  • Go for a bike ride and blow off some frustration
  • Go for a hike
  • Go for a long walk
  • Grab your favorite beer and cook a BBQ
  • Go fishing
  • Go to the gym
  • Read a book and stay in bed all day
  • Find a sports bar with a big TV and watch the game

Remember you are amazing

You are amazing and believe it! Many conflicts arise when people try to change you into who they think you should be, how you should act and what you should say. Instead of focusing on what you should do differently they should accept you for who you are, because you are enough. They should accept your lifestyle choices, your personality quirks, and your past choices. Not just on Father’s day but every day of the year.

Have a great day Dad’s with or without the kids.

Christmas can be a tough time, its ok if you’re not up for it.

christmas-can-be-a-tough-timeChristmas time is not always a happy time for some people, there can be a lot of  different reasons and one of the biggest reasons is loneliness. Sadley, many people suffer in silence and often the depression is masked by fake smiles and laughter.

1 in 4 people will suffer from depression this Christmas and there is a way you can help.

If you sense a friend or a family member suffering from depression or loneliness, just say “it’s ok” if you don’t feel up to it.

Spending time with people who are supportive is often the best thing to do, it can be a walk in the park or a quiet night in at home. If you think you’ll be up for some visitors, write out a list of friends and family that are supportive and invite them over, don’t wait to be invited. If your stuck for ideas, a good online resource for things to do in your city is  TimeOut

If you need someone to talk to over the Christmas period to help you through feelings of depression or loneliness call MensLine on 1300 78 99 78 or Lifeline on 13 11 14 they are both available 24 hours a day, every day. Both of these great support services offer an Online Chat service , you can access it by registering on their website. The Telephone crisis support workers will listen non-judgmentally to your story and help you work through your feelings.


Merry Christmas to all and have a safe New Year.


From the Dads Online team 🙂




Merry Christmas Dads and look after yourself

Merry Christmas Dads1 week away from Christmas celebrations and it is a happy time for some dads and awkward and lonely for others.

We don’t need to explain happy, the happy we know and it will come again, it’s the thoughts of what we are missing out on today that can get us down. We can’t escape it, everywhere we turn we see media depicting happy families enjoying Christmas dinner or going on holidays. Your co-workers talk about what they’re buying the kids and where they’re taking them for the holidays.

There are some dads that still don’t know if they will see their kids on Christmas day or even over the Christmas / New Year period?

If this is you…

It’s important to manage your expectations and acknowledge and accept that it may not be how you dreamed it to be.

If you find yourself on your own for Christmas, remember it is temporary and does not mean that all Christmas’s will be like this. Things happen, things get better and then you’re back enjoying life again.

Its a time to treat yourself well and make yourself number one, plan in advance some things you like to do and do them. Get out and about, even if it is a long walk each day.

Lifeline Australia CEO Pete Shmigel highlights the importance of looking after ourselves during the festive season and offers some practical advise for people that might be doing it tough.


  • Tell someone. A trusted friend or family members, your GP, counsellor, or call Lifeline on 13 11 14.
  • Look after yourself physically. If you look after your body, your mind will feel better too.
  • Get out and about. Regular outings for social functions, exercise, reconnecting with friends and family and being outdoors can often help.
  • Volunteer. Helping others is a great way to help yourself and feel more connected.
  • Connect or reconnect with friends and family. Staying in touch with loved ones can help to prevent loneliness. If they don’t live nearby, technology can help you stay in touch over long distances.
  • Be kind to yourself. It is not unusual to feel stressed at this time of year, many people do. If you are feeling down or experiencing loneliness this Christmas, seek help to feel better.
  • Contact Lifeline. Our 13 11 14 crisis line or nightly online Crisis Support Chat services are available over the festive season if you are feeling lonely or isolated.

Our best wishes to you in 2016

Father’s Day is coming but what if your kids aren’t there?

things to do on fathers day without the kids_dadsonlineFather’s day is approaching and it can be a difficult time for both Dads and their children. Some children may be too young or don’t acknowledge or remember to celebrate Fathers Day.  Planning for both Mothers Day and Fathers Day should be included in any parenting plan right from the start.  These celebratory days come around once a year and it is up to both parents to cover off the event and ensure the kids remember and care.  If Dads don’t place any importance on Mother’s day then they can’t expect the children’s Mother to make Father’s day a priority either.

But when it works it’s great! Ideally it is great to have the kids the night before so you can wake up in the morning and start the day off well.  If done correctly, their mother has arranged a gift for you (from them) so they feel they are giving and are involved in the celebration.  Now this is best case scenario however we know that it does not happen for everyone.

Don’t forget that if for one reason or another you don’t have your kids on father’s day then “You CAN have your cake AND eat it too”

I have listed some coping strategies if Fathers Day is sad for you 🙁

Reduce your expectations

In The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey encourages us to seek first to understand, and then seek to be understood. Take the pressure off and reduce your expectations of the day.

Accept that we all make mistakes

You are not perfect nor are children. We say the wrong things, they do the wrong things.  But, to have a better relationship with our kids, we need to accept that they’re just kids. They have weaknesses, flaws…they’re not super people, and they’re certainly not perfect!  Kids also need to accept the fact that dads are normal people too and are not perfect either.

Remember you are amazing!

You are amazing and believe it! Many conflicts arise when people try to change you into who they think you should be how you should act and what you should say. Instead of focusing on what you should do differently they should accept you for who you are. Accept your lifestyle choices, your personality quirks, and your past choices. Not just on Father’s day but every day of the year.

A message for your kids if they are being difficult

Your dad can’t always be who you want him to be. To have a better relationship with him – and to make Father’s Day less difficult – stop wishing he was different. Instead of holding on to unrealistic expectations, set new expectations that are based on reality. Fathers are who they are, and for your own sakes you shouldn’t expect more than they can give.  Do you like who you are? If so, don’t blame your dad for his choices – you may need to thank him! Maybe his actions made you stronger, more resilient, and more successful. If you don’t like who you are, then you can find ways to work on a better version of yourself and learn to love and accept who he is.

Learn how to deal with “difficult people”

Find ways to roll with people’s personalities. There are many books and resources on how to deflect conflicts and unhappy situations. Read about boundaries, Google reference material, take workshops or classes about setting healthy boundaries with difficult people, and consider talking to a counsellor about the best coping strategies. Maybe you’ll never have a great relationship with your kids – but that doesn’t mean you can’t be happy.

16 Things to do on father’s day without the kids

  • Find a good bar with large TV’s and enjoy the day watching sport and a few beers.
  • See a movie or 2, if possible do Gold Class and spoil yourself
  • Have a 2 hour massage
  • Go out for lunch or coffee with a friend
  • Organise a BBQ and cook your favorite meal
  • Go to a sports game
  • Check out the latest movies on Foxtel or TBox or Netflix
  • Grab a rod and go fishing
  • Read a book and don’t get out of bed until noon
  • Go for a long country motorcycle ride or drive
  • Spend some time in the gym
  • Head out on your pushbike and ride some paths
  • Spend a few undisturbed hours at Bunnings planning your next DYI project
  • Take your camera and do a photo walk through your city
  • Find a good bush walking track and walk for a couple of hours
  • Just go and just DO

Great Father’s Day gifts that he’ll be sure to love

september 6 fathers dayFather’s Day is one of those days that just always seems to sneak up on you, but you can be prepared this time around by planning in advance. This is especially pertinent if you want to buy something online, as shipping times can vary from store to store. If you have been looking but you’re still stumped for ideas, you might just find some inspiration here. Take a look some of these great Father’s Day gifts!

 An Experience

This Father’s Day, give dad an experience he will never forget. Many different places have a variety of experiences on offer, and range from bungee jumping to white water rafting and maybe even paintball. Tailor your gift to your father’s taste! If you can’t decide, most places do offer vouchers as well, so your dad can choose for himself.

 Speaker System

A speaker system is quite versatile – it can be used both indoors and outdoors, and some are even portable so you can take it out for adventures as well. This versatility is part of what makes speaker systems perfect for any type of Dad. These systems also come in many different shapes, sizes and colours, so you can choose the perfect one for your dad.


Barbeques are great additions to the home, especially if your dad loves having friends over. Like speaker systems, barbeques now come in a range of sizes and shapes, so making a choice may be a little overwhelming. If this sounds familiar, or if you’re on the hunt for a specific type of barbeque, specialists such as Barbeques Galore can help you find what you’re looking for.

 Multipurpose Tool

Your Dad probably already owns a Swiss army knife, but multipurpose pieces have since progressed, so you can now even get multipurpose tools that include a hammer, a saw, and a screwdriver all in one. These tools can fit snugly into your father’s pocket, meaning he will be well armed for any situation that arises.

 Something Handmade

Handmade gifts are personal, and allow you to show your care and appreciation for the recipient of your gift. If you’re creatively inclined, this might be in the form of a painting or a story. For those of you who are more practical, you may want to build something that you know your Dad needs. Sometimes, even a handmade card can make all the difference.

A great Father’s Day gift means something different to every Dad, so this Father’s Day, don’t go with a generic gift. Try and find something that you know your father will love. Remember, if you can’t find something in store, you will probably be able to find it online, so just keep looking. Good luck and happy shopping!

What Father’s Day gifts have you found to be well received in the past? Do you have some gift suggestions of your own? If you are a Dad, would you like to give everyone out there some hints for what you would like? Leave your thoughts and suggestions in the section below.

Watching The Footy: What to do when the boys come around

boys watching the footyThe boys are coming over. What results is a football frenzy that may, or may not involve drinking, eating and possibly a little bit of raucous behaviour. When your team loses it could spoil the day but if you follow these tips, regardless of the results, you’ll always be a winner.



You want something that’s easy to prepare so you’re not distracted from the business of watching the game. Rev up the BBQ and you can knock out some delicious and easily prepared food that will satisfy everyone. If you’re going for steaks and chops, make sure they’re in the marinade on the morning of the game. Overnight is even better. Throw them on the BBQ and away you go.


Chips (hot and cold), dips, something healthy and something not so healthy. Know your friends and their dietary choices – you don’t want to exclude Keith the Vegan by laying on a meat-feast and forgetting to include some vegetables. Cover all your bases by supplying a wide range of snacks but remember that it might be a good idea to stagger the snack distribution; you don’t want everyone filling up before those chops and steaks come off the barbeque.


Yes, beer and footy-watching go together like steak and chips but it may be the case that not all of your friends want to throw down booze and shout at the television. Maybe they’d like to shout at the television while drinking an orange juice or a non-alcoholic cocktail? Never pressure anyone to drink and always respect their choices. But for those who do want a beer, wine or rum and coke, be sure to keep the esky filled with ice and selections. Maybe suggest a pre-match kitty so everyone contributes?

Location of the TV

outdoor lunch watching the footyIt’s no good having the barbeque outside and the television inside. How will you catch all the action if there’s a wall between you and the game? Hearing your mates screaming in excitement is no match for actually seeing what’s going on, so either move the TV to a spot that’s visible from the barbeque or move the barbeque to a spot where you can see the TV – even if it means bringing the barbeque inside the house. That’s a joke. Don’t do it.

Sore losers and bad winners

Everyone knows the terrible pain of watching a favourite team lose and most people know the exhilarating joy of watching their team come out victorious. No one likes a sore loser and no one likes a graceless winner. Rubbing your team’s victory in the face of a loser is not good form and will often result in the breaking down of a friendship. As winner, offer condolences such as Well played, old chap. Better luck next time. And extend your hand in a gesture of solidarity and love of the game. Or just yell Sucker and run away.

What pre-footy rituals do you have? How do you like to watch the action? Share your answers in the comment box below.

Dads Online wishes you a happy Fathers day

video fathersdayDads Online wishes all dads a very happy fathers day – with or without your children.

A Christmas message from Victorian Counselling and Psychological Services

VCPSChristmas time and the holiday season can be a challenging period for single fathers.  When families are getting together and sharing experiences, those in separated families can experience loneliness and isolation.

It is important to ensure that you have some events scheduled with others who are supportive of your situation. You should plan your schedule in advance to include activities that you can look forward to.

You could create a list of others who are supportive of your situation including single fathers, members of your family, your children and friends. Then take the initiative to invite these people into your life over the holiday period; don’t just wait and hope to be invited by others.

You should also ensure that you have some activities just for yourself, especially if you are having time of from work. Whilst the holiday season can be a well earned break for some, others feel lost and isolated without their work routine.

It is also important to have time with your children and that you plan this in advance with others involved in your child’s care.  If you are stuck for ideas, you could look at “Kids” section of the following web site

The new year period is also a good time to check in with yourself regarding your overall emotional health. An excellent place to start is the website where you can download a free e-book – “Your guide to good mental health”.

By Robert Luzza
Psychologist & Director
Victorian Counselling & Psychological Services