Kids whose parents are serving in the armed forces this Christmas needn't miss out on having their mum or dad nearby. Because one company have come up with a solution: a Flat Daddy.
A Flat Daddy is a life-sized, two-dimensional poster printed on a rollable adhesive-backed material that can be mounted to cardboard, foam, wood, or any other surface to serve as a reminder to children of absent parents that they love them dearly.
'Flat Daddies and Flat Mommies are life-sized printed posters of parents who are actively serving overseas in the military,' according to its website.
'Experts believe the cut-outs are a useful psychological device, especially for children, to help cope with the stress of long absences.
'It helps the family stay connected and is a constant reminder that even though mom or dad is thousands of miles away, they are still a part of their lives.'
The company was set up in 2006 by Sergeant Barbara Claudel, who represents Maine National Guard. She was looking for a way to help families stay connected to their loved ones serving in Iraq.
And now the idea that is taking off with military families around the US.
Marissa Stewart of Seattle, Washington, ordered a Flat Daddy of her husband, Staff Sergeant Jared Stewart, for her three children when he was deployed two years ago.
She even started a blog, A Year With Flat Daddy, to chronicle her family's adventures with their two-dimensional replacement.
'With an eight-year-old, a five-year-old, and a three-year-old in the house, there's a lot of stuff to keep us busy,' the blog reads. 'We wouldn't want to leave daddy out, so we flattened him!
For more information, go to flatdaddies.com
What do you think about the idea of a Flat Daddy?
Related articles on Parentdish:
Emotional video of solidiers' surprise homecoming
Soldier 'waterboards' his four year old daughter for not knowing alphabet