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The Father Factor:
Fatherhood Matters

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He's Worth It

Posted by Renae Smith

I took a road trip this summer to visit a college friend in New Jersey. One of the things that I noticed during my time in the Garden State was the billboards lining the highways. I actually found it to be a bit distracting because where I live and work there are no billboards, and I wasn’t used to looking at things along the road while driving. But one in particular caught my eye.

It was an ad for a drug and alcohol rehabilitation clinic in the Philadelphia area. It had a picture of a man holding a toddler with the words “He’s Worth It” written underneath.

Children are good motivation for a host of positive life changes, including getting clean and staying sober. When a dad realizes that his kids need him to be present and involved in their lives, and when he has a heart-to-heart connection with his kids that makes him want to be there for them, he’s more willing to invest the effort and sacrifice to give up the habits that could take him out of the picture. These habits aren’t just limited to substance abuse addictions – unhealthy eating habits that could cause serious medical problems and long hours at the office can also prevent Dad from being involved, both in the long-term and now.

Two examples illustrate this: When NFI’s president Roland C. Warren realized that his family medical history put him at risk for a shortened lifespan, he decided to exercise, change his diet, and lose weight so he could be around not only for his two grown sons, but also for future grandchildren. As Roland likes to say, “To be an involved, responsible, and committed father, you have to be alive."

Second, research shows that men who are released from prison are significantly more likely to have a successful re-entry and avoid additional run-ins with the law if they have a family to go back to. Their relationship with their children motivates them to be law-abiding citizens and avoid the activities that put them behind bars and separated them from their kids.

NFI is focused on helping dads develop a heart-to-heart connection with their children that motivates them to stop bad habits and cultivate good ones. After all, the kids are worth it.

Topics: health, incarceration, fit2father

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