Monyetta Shaw & Ne-Yo

Ne-Yo and the mother of his children, Monyetta Shaw

*The weight of being an international superstar is beginning to put a strain on Ne-Yo’s relationship with his children, he says.

Though, in most cases, absence makes the heart grow fonder, it’s getting just plain hard for the 33-year-old father of two who spends months at a time away from his family while on tour.

“If I’m not looking directly at you, I can put the blinders on and stay calm for long periods of time and do what I got to do,” the singer told PEOPLE at a Fruttare Fruit Bars event Wednesday in New York City. “It’s the hardest thing in the world. “I just want to hug them and I can’t. Thank God for Skype and FaceTime.”

Ne-Yo also mentioned that separation from his little ones is causing him to miss some of the critical moments in their lives. Nevertheless, he gushed over the time they spend together when he’s back home.

“They change every day and their little personalities are just coming out,” he shares. “I have a slight authority issue and I really think it’s genetic because my daughter has the same thing. I’m also very mellow for the most part, and that’s 100 percent my daughter.”