More and more people are buying into the idea of smart homes. We have personal assistant-type devices like Alexa and Google Home, we employ security systems, smart televisions, and yes, Ring video doorbells.

The Ring lets us see who is at the door, it can help us keep track of our packages (and record potential thieves) – and, apparently, let us keep up with our kids when we’re too far away to do it in person.

Image Credit: YouTube

Father Peter DeCrans bought his family a Ring doorbell before he was deployed with Minnesota’s National Guard’s 34th Infantry Division.

He’s stationed in the Middle East and loves having a camera that sends live feeds of his porch directly to his phone and other devices.

Image Credit: YouTube

Now, every morning before school, DeCran’s children – 7-year-old Zerick and 5-year-old Petroula – record a video that he can bring up and watch whenever he wants.

He told Twin Cities Pioneer Press that it’s something he looked forward to every single day.

“It was one of the best things ever, a little slice of home.

When you’re gone that long, you miss your kids, you want to see them. It’s a way to feel connected to what’s going on.”

Image Credit: YouTube

The kids prattled on in the videos, like kids do. They told their dad about their days, dances they’d learned, what they’d been taught in school – whatever.

“It was just part of the routine. They’d get dressed for school, and then they’d swing outside and leave a quick message telling me about their day.

One day Zerick had really long hair, and the next day he had a buzz cut because he had a wood tick in his hair, and he didn’t want long hair anymore.”

Image Credit: YouTube

Hard to blame him, right?

DeCrans sends his own recorded videos in return, using an app to read the kids stories and do other things that makes it feel like he’s not quite so far away.

So, while most of us could probably use a bit less technology in our lives, families like the DeCrans are using it to make the hard things in life a little bit bearable.

And I think we all agree that’s not a bad thing.

What did you think about this unique way to keep up with kids?

Let us know in the comments!