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Dinner Advice for the Hectic Holidays

This post is from Cheryl Tallman, co-founder of Fresh Baby. Interested in blogging for us? Read our guest blog guidelines.            

man cooking turkey thanksgiving holiday post

Homemade foods have always been healthier than processed, prepared, or restaurant meals which are generally much higher in fat, salt and calories than home-cooked foods. Eating too much of these unhealthy foods can pack on the Holiday pounds and slow your kids down at school.

But let’s face it, the days leading up to the holidays are hectic.

Getting a home-cooked dinner on the table during the holidays may seem to be an impossible feat, but here are few tips to ease the burden of getting dinner on the table during the hectic holiday season:

1) Get friends involved. The holidays are a great time to entertain with friends. Make dinner at home a reason to get together. Team up with a friend and have a family dinner at their house one night and switch to your house on another. Divide the menu between families and have each family bring a dish. [Like this idea? Share it on twitter by clicking HERE!]

2) Get the kids in the kitchen. The Holidays are a great time to make family memories. Get closer to your kids. Invite them into the kitchen and teach them a few things about cooking. It’s a life skill that they will certainly thank you for some day. Some of the meals you make together can become family traditions for Holidays to come!

3) Get a slow cooker. This is a fabulous machine for busy families on-the-go. A slow cooker allows you to make simple, one-dish meals in a snap. Simply prep the ingredients in the morning, turn the slow cooker on and come home to a delicious ready-to- eat dinner.

4) Stop and freeze. Make foods in advance and freeze them in family sizes and individual servings too. Have some fun and cook with a friend, double each other’s recipes, and split up the meals for both families.

5) Get pre-washed when possible. The clean and prep is often the most time consuming part of cooking. Buy pre-washed veggies in the produce section of stores. The “open and steam” convenience of these pre-washed products is great.

6) Get “no cook” sides. Apples, pears, avocadoes, tomatoes are just few foods that don’t need to be cooked and taste great all by themselves. A fruit or veggie plate makes a terrific side dish.

7) Plan for leftovers. Don’t spend all your time in the kitchen cooking just one big feast. Make enough food to make several “leftover meals”.

Get more tips for the holidays at our For Fathers section. Happy cooking…and Happy Holidays!


Cheryl Tallman is the co-founder of Fresh Baby, creators of the award-winning "So Easy Baby Food Kit," and author of the "So Easy Baby Food" and the new book "So Easy Toddler Food: Survival Tips and Simple Recipes for the Toddler Years." Visit Cheryl at www.FreshBaby.com for more delicious tips. Follow Cheryl on Twitter @FreshBabyBiz.
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When “Inclusion” Results in a Total Lack of Fairness for Dads

Words like empowerment and inclusion get thrown around a lot today. But do we really know what they mean? Do these principles in fact have any intrinsic value, or are they just the flavors of the week?

The problem with attributing value to ambiguous concepts like “empowerment” (which Daniel Pink defines as “a slightly more civilized form of control”) is that when you run into conflicts, there is no real standard by which to resolve those conflicts. This post-modern dilemma is playing itself out in a big, public way over at Time Warner, where CNN (a Time Warner company) journalist Joshua Levs has filed an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charge against his employer. 

Joshua and his wife just welcomed their third child into the world, and when he went to his employer seeking the 10 weeks of paid leave that new parents get, he found out that all new parents except biological fathers are entitled to this time off. You read that right – every kind of new parent working for Time Warner is entitled to 10 weeks of paid leave, except biological fathers. Adoptive mothers and fathers, biological mothers, and all mothers and fathers whose children were born through surrogacy; they all get 10 weeks of paid leave. But if you are in Joshua’s shoes, where his own wife gave birth to his own child, he only gets two weeks.

Time Warner, in its efforts to be “inclusive,” and to “empower” new parents with a policy of “equality” has created a situation that exposes a much more serious problem – it is completely unfair. Moreover, in Joshua’s view, given his EEOC charge, it is discriminatory.

While we at NFI do not know all of the legal details about the EEOC charge, we can say that we agree with Joshua Levs. His company is clearly treating him unfairly. And from a broader “fatherhood perspective,” Time Warner’s actions are symptomatic of much a deeper cultural issue that has been plaguing our culture for decades, the devaluing of fatherhood and marriage.

It seems every group has a movement or a program behind it, except married, biological fathers. Guys like me, who have sacrificed much to get and stay married to the mothers of our children, seem to be the ones who get the least support in the public square. We are the “suckers” who seemingly made the mistake of setting aside our own interests by going home every night to our wife and children so that we can be there for them for life.

We hear it all the time at NFI, but one of the most common refrains I hear is that “you don’t have to be married to your children’s mother to be a good dad!” Well, sure; most of our community-based programs help unmarried fathers connect to their kids. But the reason every civilization across all of world history has created the institution of marriage is because it enables men to be the best dads they can be. Since when are we so comfortable with settling for second best when it comes to our children? Have we lowered our standards that much?

As for Mr. Levs’ situation, one can’t help but be befuddled by the hubris of Time Warner to create and then enforce such a policy. In Mr. Levs’ own words, in his public statement about the situation, he said, “The company gave no explanation in rejecting my request last week, saying only that it was ‘unable’ to grant it. That’s obviously false. Time Warner is able to, but chose not to. The moment it did that, this issue stopped being a possible oversight that the company could have resolved quietly. It became an active, deliberate decision to discriminate.”

I am at a loss to figure out why Time Warner would do this, other than to go back to our mass cultural confusion, where we value too many other things more highly than the importance of father involvement.

But that only explains part of it. Other fathers at Time Warner are not getting the same lousy treatment as Joshua. So, could something more sinister be at work here?

For one thing, Time Warner’s policy is not actually about child well being. In Joshua’s statement, he mentions that certain forms of discrimination are legal because they are directed at groups that are not “protected classes.” Apparently, children are not a protected class, because if improving child well being was the purpose of Time Warner’s policies, they would extend the most generous policies, or at least the same ones, to the types of parents who are most likely to have children -- biological parents. Despite “advances,” the vast majority of children are still brought into the world as a result of a man and woman having sex with each other. So, Time Warner’s “inclusive” policy only touches a small minority of new parents.

Furthermore, as I mentioned above, our culture has gone out of its way to devalue married fatherhood for decades. Time Warner’s actions sound like yet another attempt to move our culture away from tradition and towards some new way of doing things. I am not sure what that “new way” is, but decades of social science research indicate that it is probably a bad idea, because children living with their two, married, biological parents do better across every measure of child well being than children in any other family structure. Shouldn’t that, therefore, be the structure that we encourage and promote? Wouldn’t that be fair to our nation’s children?

But there is the problem! It is not fairness we actually care about. We care more about ethereal concepts like “inclusion” and “empowerment,” which change with our culture’s whims. It is not even child well being we really care about; it is making sure “protected classes” are kept happy.

We at NFI hope Joshua Levs, and all of the biological fathers at Time Warner, get what is coming to them, which is simply what every other type of parent gets. And, furthermore, we are hopeful that Joshua’s actions resonate throughout our culture so that fathers all over the country get the same truly fair treatment they deserve, and more importantly, that their children deserve.

The good news is that much of the response to Mr. Levs’ charge has been positive. You can help the cause simply by making supportive comments right here on this blog, on NFI’s Facebook page, or by visiting Mr. Levs’ Facebook or Twitter page and voicing your support for him.

(Video) Film Students + 2 Odysseys = Surprise Film Fest #DadsDoingGood

This is the fifth video in the series featuring dads getting help from the 2014 Honda Odyssey as they "do good" around their communities. We call it #DadsDoingGood.   
honda, dads doing good, life of dad, whit honea

National Fatherhood Initiative (NFI) and Life of Dad (LoD) partnered with Honda on the “Dads Doing Good” campaign, which features groups of dads "doing good" in their community.  

Here's a recap of each video by week:

Week 1 > Mobile Library > Watch as the dads load up the Odyssey with books and surprise preschool children.

Week 2 > Lemonade for Charity > A great example of how you, dad, can help educate and serve a much-needed cause in your community. The proceeds from the lemonade stand raised awareness for congenital heart defects.

Week 3 > Little League Surprise > Dads use the 2014 Honda Odyssey to remake a little league field by replacing the pitcher's mound, backstop, & batter's box with help from a contractor, coaches, & players.

Week 4 > Surfing SensationDads bring the Odyssey to the beach, where they help a volunteer group teach kids with cystic fibrosis how to surf. Watch as one child takes her first wave EVER!

Week 5 > The New Drive-In TheaterDads arrive at a film school and with help from two Odysseys, host an extraordinary movie screening to unveil the student films with popcorn, soda and the red-carpet treatment.

Watch the video from NFI's facebook page:

Can't view the video? Click here.

Please share this video using the hashtag #DadsDoingGood. Remember, an involved father changes everything.

Visit NFI's Dads Doing Good page for details and #DadsDoingGood on Facebook and Twitter. 

NFI and LoD partnered with Honda for this campaign. The Odysseys were returned to Honda after the videos—and all dads involved wept.

(Video) Dads Teach Kids How to Surf > #DadsDoingGood

This is the fourth video in the series featuring dads getting help from the 2014 Honda Odyssey as they "do good" around their communities. We call it #DadsDoingGood.   
honda dads doing good national fatherhood initiative

National Fatherhood Initiative (NFI) and Life of Dad (LoD) partnered with Honda on the “Dads Doing Good” campaign, which features groups of dads "doing good" in their community.  

Here's a recap of the previous videos by week:

Week 1 > Mobile Library > Watch as the dads load up the Odyssey with books and surprise preschool children.

Week 2 > Lemonade for Charity > A great example of how you, dad, can help educate and serve a much-needed cause in your community. The proceeds from the lemonade stand raised awareness for congenital heart defects.

Week 3 > Little League Surprise > Dads use the 2014 Honda Odyssey to remake a little league field by replacing the pitcher's mound, backstop, & batter's box with help from a contractor, coaches, & players.

Week 4 > Surfing SensationDads bring the Odyssey to the beach, where they help a volunteer group teach kids with cystic fibrosis how to surf. Watch as one child takes her first wave EVER!

Watch the video from NFI's facebook page:

Can't view the video? Click here.

Please share this video using the hashtag #DadsDoingGood. Remember, an involved father changes everything.

Visit NFI's Dads Doing Good page for details and #DadsDoingGood on Facebook and Twitter. 

NFI and LoD partnered with Honda for this campaign. The Odysseys were returned to Honda after the videos—and all dads involved wept.

(Video) Dads Remake Little League Field > #DadsDoingGood

This is the third video in the series featuring dads getting help from the 2014 Honda Odyssey as they "do good" around their communities. Hence, #DadsDoingGood.   
honda dads doing good community service fatherhood family cars

National Fatherhood Initiative (NFI) and Life of Dad (LoD) partnered with Honda on the “Dads Doing Good” campaign, which features groups of dads "doing good" in their community.  

Our first video was of dads using the Odyssey as a “mobile library.” Watch as the dads load up the Odyssey with books and surprise preschool children.

Week two featured Lemonade for Charity. This was another great example of how you, dad, can help educate and serve a much-needed cause in your community. The proceeds from the lemonade stand raised awareness for congenital heart defects.

This week, the dads use the 2014 Honda Odyssey to set up a remake a little league field. We call it "Little League Surprise." The dads remake a Little League field by replacing the pitcher's mound, backstop, & batter's box with help from a contractor, coaches, & players. Watch the video from NFI's facebook page:

Can't view the video? Click here.

Please share this video with the hashtag #DadsDoingGood. Remember, an involved father changes everything.

Visit our Dads Doing Good page for details and follow #DadsDoingGood on Twitter and Facebook. 

NFI and LoD partnered with Honda for this campaign. The Odysseys were returned to Honda after the videos—and all dads involved wept.

(Video) 'Dads Doing Good' Gives Lemonade for Charity

This is the second video in the series featuring dads getting help from the 2014 Honda Odyssey as they "do good" around their communities. Hence, #DadsDoingGood.   
dads doing good honda van

As you may have seen, National Fatherhood Initiative (NFI) and Life of Dad (LoD) partnered with Honda on the “Dads Doing Good” campaign, which features groups of dads "doing good" in their community.  

The first video was of dads using the Odyssey as a “mobile library.” See the dads load up the Odyssey with books and surprise preschool children.

Today's video is another great example of how you, dad, can help educate and serve a much-needed cause in your community. 

The dads use the 2014 Honda Odyssey to set up a lemonade stand. We call it "Lemonade for Charity." The dads use the proceeds from the lemonade stand to raise awareness for congenital heart defects.

Watch the video: 

Can't view the video? Click here.

Please share this video using the hashtag #DadsDoingGood. Remember, the importance of an involved father changes everything.   

Visit our Dads Doing Good page for details and follow #DadsDoingGood on Twitter and Facebook. 

Connect with The Father Factor by RSSFacebook and on Twitter @TheFatherFactor.

NFI and LoD partnered with Honda for this campaign. The Odysseys were returned to Honda after the videos—and all dads involved wept.

NFI and Life of Dad Team Up with Honda for #DadsDoingGood

Video series will feature Dads getting help from the 2014 Honda Odyssey as they conduct child-centered community service projects across the greater Los Angeles area.   

National Fatherhood Initiative (NFI) and Life of Dad (LoD) have partnered with Honda on the “Dads Doing Good” campaign, which will feature groups of dads conducting child-centered community-service projects.   

DadsGoingGood500X500Throughout August, videos will be posted online highlighting various projects in which Dads utilize the 2014 Honda Odyssey in their efforts to assist and support community-based organizations serving children and families. 

The first video shows three dads using the Odyssey as a “mobile library.” They load up the Odyssey with hundreds of books and surprise preschool children in their school’s playground. After reading stories to the kids, hundreds of books were donated to the school.

Can't view the video? Click here.

Other videos will feature similar uplifting stories. The hashtag #DadsDoingGood will be used to engage in conversations online about the importance of father involvement and civic engagement.   

The overall purpose of the campaign is to show that when Dads become actively involved in their communities, great things can happen. Honda is providing the vehicles to make these jobs easier through feature-rich vehicles like the new Odyssey.   

“We are extremely grateful to the team at Honda, who has allowed us to utilize the 2014 Honda Odyssey, in the support of such a great cause – assisting families and kids,” said Life of Dad Founder and CEO, Tom Riles.  “We are just as happy to continue our partnership with NFI, a great organization and resource to Dads around the world.”  

“Given the serious father-absence crisis in our nation today, it is critical that we share stories celebrating the good that dads do in communities across the country,” said Vincent DiCaro, Vice President of Development and Communication at NFI. “Thanks to Honda, NFI and Life of Dad are able to do this in a ‘big way’ that highlights Honda’s commitment to helping families and communities live better lives.”  

Visit our Dads Doing Good page for more information and follow #DadsDoingGood on Twitter and Facebook for updates. 

Connect with The Father Factor by RSSFacebook and on Twitter @TheFatherFactor.

NFI and LoD partnered with Honda for this campaign. The Odysseys were returned to Honda after the videos—and all dads involved wept.

Prince George’s County Council Member Mel Franklin Partners with NFI to Strengthen Fatherhood

Two-year project aims to increase father involvement and reduce the possibility of father absence in the lives of children in the 9th District of Prince George’s County, Maryland.

nfi logo

In a press release today from PRWeb, Prince George’s County Council Member Mel Franklin (D)-District 9 and the National Fatherhood Initiative (NFI) have partnered to create a multi-sector initiative to strengthen fatherhood in southern Prince George’s County.

Using its Community Mobilization Approach™, NFI will work with Council Member Franklin and County leaders to engage 11 sectors in District 9, with a goal of increasing the involvement of fathers and father-figures in the lives of Prince George’s County children. The 11 sectors are government, faith-based, social service, education, health, law enforcement, philanthropic, community activist, civic, business, and media.

“Responsible fatherhood directly impacts quality of life issues in Prince George’s County. We must take action to promote and support strong fathers in our households and neighborhoods,” said Council Member Franklin. “The District 9 Fatherhood Initiative is an opportunity for a true public-private partnership to achieve this important goal. With NFI’s outstanding expertise and research-based methods, we will be better able to measurably improve the lives of children and families in southern Prince George’s County.”

“Responsible fatherhood directly impacts quality of life issues in Prince George’s County. We must take action to promote and support strong fathers in our households and neighborhoods.” —Council Member Franklin

NFI’s Community Mobilization Approach™ (CMA) consists of three phases:

  1. a needs and assets assessment of the community’s ability to promote responsible fatherhood; 
  2. a Leadership Summit on Fatherhood attended by community leaders; and 
  3. implementing an action plan for a fatherhood initiative that uses NFI resources and solutions generated by the district.

“NFI’s Community Mobilization Approach™ will help District 9 create new fatherhood champions within the 11 sectors, while leveraging the great work that existing programs are already doing for fathers and families,” said NFI Vice President of Program Support Erik Vecere. “It will also provide the structure for Prince George’s County Government to lead a mobilization effort and establish model direct-service providers in different sectors to serve as benchmarks on how to involve more fathers in the lives of their children.”

“NFI’s Community Mobilization Approach™ will help District 9 create new fatherhood champions within the 11 sectors, while leveraging the great work that existing programs are already doing for fathers and families.” —NFI Vice President of Program Support Erik Vecere

Over the course of the next two years, NFI will lead the residents of District 9 through the three phases with in-person training, technical assistance, web-based support, events, and other initiatives. At the conclusion of this set of activities, leaders and organizations will be identified in District 9 to comprise a Fatherhood Advisory Committee (FAC) and a plan to guide the FAC in continuing to mobilize the district.

As the premier fatherhood renewal organization in the country, National Fatherhood Initiative (NFI) works in every sector and at every level of society to engage fathers in the lives of their children. NFI is the #1 provider of fatherhood resources in the nation. Since 2004, through FatherSOURCE, its national resource center, NFI has distributed over 6.3 million resources, and has trained over 12,900 practitioners on how to deliver programming to dads. NFI is the most quoted authority on fatherhood in America. Since 2009, NFI has been mentioned in over 2,400 news stories, and makes regular appearances in national media to discuss the importance of involved, responsible, and committed fatherhood.

Prince George’s County is a diverse community of nearly 900,000 residents located in Maryland, adjacent to Washington, DC. District 9 comprises the southeastern third of Prince George’s County’s land mass, including much of the Rural Tier and the communities of Accokeek, Aquasco, Baden, Brandywine, portions of Camp Springs, Cheltenham, Clinton, Croom, Eagle Harbor, portions of Fort Washington, Piscataway, and portions of Upper Marlboro, as well as Joint Base Andrews. Council Member Mel Franklin has represented District 9 since his election to a four-year term in November 2010. Council Member Franklin chairs the County Council’s Planning, Zoning, and Economic Development Committee. He is married. He and his wife have two children.

Prince George’s County Council Member Mel Franklin Partners with NFI to Strengthen Fatherhood

Two-year project aims to increase father involvement and reduce the possibility of father absence in the lives of children in the 9th District of Prince George’s County, Maryland.

In a press release today from PRWeb, Prince George’s County Council Member Mel Franklin (D)-District 9 and the National Fatherhood Initiative (NFI) have partnered to create a multi-sector initiative to strengthen fatherhood in southern Prince George’s County.

nfi logo

Using its Community Mobilization Approach™, NFI will work with Council Member Franklin and County leaders to engage 11 sectors in District 9, with a goal of increasing the involvement of fathers and father-figures in the lives of Prince George’s County children. The 11 sectors are government, faith-based, social service, education, health, law enforcement, philanthropic, community activist, civic, business, and media.

“Responsible fatherhood directly impacts quality of life issues in Prince George’s County. We must take action to promote and support strong fathers in our households and neighborhoods,” said Council Member Franklin. “The District 9 Fatherhood Initiative is an opportunity for a true public-private partnership to achieve this important goal. With NFI’s outstanding expertise and research-based methods, we will be better able to measurably improve the lives of children and families in southern Prince George’s County.”

“Responsible fatherhood directly impacts quality of life issues in Prince George’s County. We must take action to promote and support strong fathers in our households and neighborhoods.” —Council Member Franklin

NFI’s Community Mobilization Approach™ (CMA) consists of three phases:

  1. a needs and assets assessment of the community’s ability to promote responsible fatherhood; 
  2. a Leadership Summit on Fatherhood attended by community leaders; and 
  3. implementing an action plan for a fatherhood initiative that uses NFI resources and solutions generated by the district.

“NFI’s Community Mobilization Approach™ will help District 9 create new fatherhood champions within the 11 sectors, while leveraging the great work that existing programs are already doing for fathers and families,” said NFI Vice President of Program Support Erik Vecere. “It will also provide the structure for Prince George’s County Government to lead a mobilization effort and establish model direct-service providers in different sectors to serve as benchmarks on how to involve more fathers in the lives of their children.”

“NFI’s Community Mobilization Approach™ will help District 9 create new fatherhood champions within the 11 sectors, while leveraging the great work that existing programs are already doing for fathers and families.” —NFI Vice President of Program Support Erik Vecere

Over the course of the next two years, NFI will lead the residents of District 9 through the three phases with in-person training, technical assistance, web-based support, events, and other initiatives. At the conclusion of this set of activities, leaders and organizations will be identified in District 9 to comprise a Fatherhood Advisory Committee (FAC) and a plan to guide the FAC in continuing to mobilize the district.

As the premier fatherhood renewal organization in the country, National Fatherhood Initiative (NFI) works in every sector and at every level of society to engage fathers in the lives of their children. NFI is the #1 provider of fatherhood resources in the nation. Since 2004, through FatherSOURCE, its national resource center, NFI has distributed over 6.3 million resources, and has trained over 12,900 practitioners on how to deliver programming to dads. NFI is the most quoted authority on fatherhood in America. Since 2009, NFI has been mentioned in over 2,400 news stories, and makes regular appearances in national media to discuss the importance of involved, responsible, and committed fatherhood.

Prince George’s County is a diverse community of nearly 900,000 residents located in Maryland, adjacent to Washington, DC. District 9 comprises the southeastern third of Prince George’s County’s land mass, including much of the Rural Tier and the communities of Accokeek, Aquasco, Baden, Brandywine, portions of Camp Springs, Cheltenham, Clinton, Croom, Eagle Harbor, portions of Fort Washington, Piscataway, and portions of Upper Marlboro, as well as Joint Base Andrews. Council Member Mel Franklin has represented District 9 since his election to a four-year term in November 2010. Council Member Franklin chairs the County Council’s Planning, Zoning, and Economic Development Committee. He is married. He and his wife have two children.

Connect with The Father Factor by RSSFacebook and on Twitter @TheFatherFactor. 

Help Families in Oklahoma: Give to the Red Cross Now

"...As a father it's humbling...it's heartbreaking...to know that we still may have kids over there that's possibly alive..." —Volunteer with search & rescue post-tornado last night

Our thoughts and prayers are and will continue to be with the families involved in this storm. Please take time to help to the people of Oklahoma. Below are a couple of videos from CNN.com that tell the story on the ground in Oklahoma. Please consider giving to the Red Cross—they are on the ground now helping Oklahoma with food, shelter and support [details below.] 

Can see the video? Visit CNN.com for more details.

This video from CNN.com shows moments after the storm in Moore, Oklahoma...

The American Red Cross issued this statement following the tornado in Oklahoma yesterday afternoon, excerpts below: 

People in Oklahoma near the tornado area are encouraged to connect with one another and let loved ones know that they are safe. This can be done through the I’m Safe feature of the free Red Cross tornado app. In addition, if you have access to a computer, go to redcross.org/safeandwell to list yourself as safe. If not, you can text loved ones or call a family member and ask them to register you on the site.

This has been a major disaster, and the Red Cross will be there for the people in this state and this community. People who wish to make a donation can support American Red Cross Disaster Relief, which helps provide food, shelter and emotional support to those affected by disasters like the recent tornadoes in Oklahoma and Texas as well as disasters big and small throughout the United States by visiting redcross.org, dialing 1-800-REDCROSS or texting REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

Connect with The Father Factor by RSSFacebook and on Twitter @TheFatherFactor.

When Dad's in Jail—He's Still Dad: NFI Connects Father to Family

“I never had my dad or nobody tell me they were proud of me until this program..." —William Jones, recent graduate of NFI's InsideOut Dad, the skill-building program for incarcerated fathers. 

At National Fatherhood Initiative (NFI), we often speak of our two approaches to engaging society about fatherhood. 1) Top-down: through communications campaigns and social media and 2) Bottom-up: our "boots on the ground" -- our work with community-based organizations and other civic partners to train and equip leaders to better serve the fathers in their communities.

One such example is our work in jails and prisons. The Richmond Times-Dispatch recently featured a program that's impacting the capital city of Virginia. The city jail uses our InsideOut Dad material that helps prisoners to be better dads. Read the following story; it shows what we really do.  

5192eb9e60a81.image resized 600

“The goal is to get everybody to communicate with their kids, to relearn some parenting skills you never knew you had,” Fries said. At the completion ceremony, the men shared how the program affected them. Below are excerpts from the news article:

  • Ronnell Glasgow, 26, said he grew up without his father in his life and was repeating that pattern with his own children, daughters ages 7 and 9.
  • Glasgow is behind bars at the Richmond City Jail, but even when he was out he said he thought giving them material things was enough.
  • Just weeks into a fatherhood skills training program at the jail, Glasgow said he had reached out to his own emotionally distant father and was communicating more with his daughters, who he said are no longer shy around him.
  • “I understand the importance of not having a father,” Glasgow said, adding that with his own father he was “building a relationship as a father and a man.”
  • One man described having a 15-minute telephone conversation with his daughter, who he rarely spoke to before. 
  • Another described overcoming fear of rejection and reaching out to an adult daughter and his surprise at her welcoming response. 
  • Another talked about writing to his 6-year-old son and getting a reply.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported that one recent graduate said after the program, “Being there for my kids is better than any gift,” said William Jones, 22, father of four children. Jones is in jail on a probation violation and plans to enter an addiction-treatment program when he is released.

A new 12-week session of InsideOut Dad at the Richmond City jail starts tomorrow (Tuesday). What's the prison nearest you doing to teach fathers the skills they need to be better dads?

Connect with The Father Factor by RSSFacebook and on Twitter @TheFatherFactor.

Image: [Daniel Sangjib Min/TIMES-DISPATCH] Dennis Fries (left) an instructor for the InsideOut Dad program, gets a hug from William Jones, a participant in the class who wants better relationships with his four children.

King's Faith Movie: Bring it to Your City!

KF OneSheet[1] resized 600At NFI, we're excited to share the latest fatherhood film with you. We think this film will inspire you to be the best dad you can be. 

King’s Faith is the story of a troubled, fatherless young man named Brendan King, who is trying to straighten his life out as his past continues to invade it. With the help of strong foster parents, especially his new foster father, Brendan works through his issues. 

On April 26, King’s Faith, a faith-based film from Faith Street Film Partners and Hopefilled Media, will hit theaters…and you can have a say in whether it will be shown in your community’s movie theaters!

The foster father, Mike (played by James McDaniel), is a great example of how a strong father can build confidence and resilience in his children. He shows the unique and irreplaceable traits a father brings to the parenting equation, especially for a “lost” boy looking for guidance from a responsible male role model.

Don't miss the opportunity to use the movie King's Faith to engage fathers, mentors and youth in your community. Watch this clip of Brendan King's new foster Dad (Mike) advising Brendan on how to make good decisions.

DEMAND THE MOVIE for your local theater at www.demandkingsfaith.com


Connect with The Father Factor by RSSFacebook and on Twitter @TheFatherFactor.

Campaign Ends Today: Help NFI Support Military Families

military family resized 600There are 1.8 million children and families of military dads are affected by the unique stress of military life, particularly during deployment. Help us support them!

If you can help NFI achieve its target of $1,000 we can provide fatherhood resources to Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune!

The dads of military kids will benefit from National Fatherhood Initiative's unique educational materials for dads - to help them stay involved with their kids, and be there for them, even while deployed. 


Unfortunately, research shows that the kids of military dads can experience similar unfortunate outcomes as children in father-absent homes - such as doing poorly in school, emotional/social issues, maltreatment, and more. Your support means a military child gets the dad they need to be prosperous and successful.

Watch this video for more information on our work with military families: 

  • Approximately 593,000 active-duty service members and nearly 300,000 U.S. reservists are dads.
  • 150,000 military fathers are currently deployed, with deployments ranging from 30 days to 15 months.

This campaign ends today. Please consider giving today if you wish to help us support deployed dads and their families.

Here are four ways you can help today:

  1. Visit the Campaign Page.
  2. Donate to NFI's campaign. 
  3. Share NFI's campaign on your social media accounts.
  4. Invite your friends and contacts to support NFI's campaign.

Thank you for understanding the importance of connecting military fathers with their families. We want all kids to have an involved, responsible and committed dad—your support helps make this happen.

Help NFI Support Deployed Dads and Military Kids

  • "The hardest part...when you're gone for six months, your family grows without you...you come home to strangers. And then after you get home, if there aren't resources it makes it that much harder." —US Navy Chief Quartermaster John Lehnen.

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Approximately 1.8 million children and families of military dads are affected by the unique stress of military life, particularly during deployment. Help us support them!

If you can help NFI achieve its target, together we can provide a complete Fatherhood Resource Center for a military base in need!

The dads of military kids will benefit from National Fatherhood Initiative's unique educational materials for dads - to help them stay involved with their kids, and be there for them, even while deployed. 

Unfortunately, research shows that the kids of military dads can experience similar unfortunate outcomes as children in father-absent homes - such as doing poorly in school, emotional/social issues, maltreatment, and more. Your support means a military child gets the dad they need to be prosperous and successful.

  • Approximately 593,000 active-duty service members and nearly 300,000 U.S. reservists are dads.
  • 150,000 military fathers are currently deployed, with deployments ranging from 30 days to 15 months.

NFI is running this 10-day campaign ending next Thursday April 4 to help support deployed dads and their families.

You can help. Here's how:

  1. Visit the Campaign Page and follow the instructions.
  2. Donate to NFI's campaign. 
  3. Share NFI's campaign on your social media accounts.
  4. Invite your friends and contacts to support NFI's campaign.
  5. Create a personal fundraising page for NFI's campaign.

Thank you for understanding the importance of connecting military fathers with their families. We want all kids to have an involved, responsible and committed dad—your support helps make this happen.

8 Amazingly Easy Activities You Can Do With Your Child

MarchDadnessTwitter 520x260 resized 600While you're tracking your March Madness bracket this week, be sure you have the details of March Dadness. We started our bracket with the Sweet 16: Phrases Your Child Needs to Hear and are now moving on to the next round with the "Elite 8". Today we have eight activities every child needs to experience with his or her dad.

At NFI, we say "the smallest moments make the biggest impact in a child's life." While not all "the smallest moments" HAVE to include an activity; in most cases, shared experiences can create times for lasting memories.

Here are eight activities you can use to create memories with your child this week. 

  1. Teach Your Child a Sport: Take an afternoon to teach your son or daughter how to dribble a basketball. If your child can already do a crossover, consider teaching the rules of the game or studying the dimensions of the court. Go on, you don't have to be a pro player, practice that jumper with your child. Remember, the important thing is you're spending time together. Not at all a fan of basketball? Well, you're probably not the greatest dad you can be. However, replace basketball with the sport you like. Play catch with a baseball or better yet, what better reason to get on the golf course than to teach your child about the game?!
  2. Teach Your Child to Ride a Bike: From first learning to ride or taking the training wheels off, riding a bike is a big deal for kids. I'm thinking now of my three-year-old riding her tricycle all over our house. She gets the biggest kick out of it—especially if she knows I'm watching and interested. Her whole demeanor changes as she pedals. Her eyes light up and her chin raises as she glides through our living room and stops crashing into the kitchen. This may sound like a simple thing—and it is—but be sure not to miss it.
  3. Go Camping with Your Child: Camping is a great way to connect with your family. Whether it means tent and fire under the stars or on the living room floor with covers and pillows every afternoon like at our house. Use the time to disconnect from work at the office (or around the house) and connect with your child.
  4. Take Your Child on a Date: Set aside a couple of hours to spend just you and your child. This can be as planned or as cheap as you make it. Go to the playground, stop for lunch or simply take a walk and talk in your neighorhood. By doing this, you connect with your child on a deeper, more meaningful level. If you have more than one child; simply schedule various times for each child. This may not be a weekly occurance for your family. However, it's an invaluable tool that can show how much you cherish your children. Trust me, with two daughters, I speak from experience, this isn't easy to make time for. I don't do this as often as a should, but when I do it, it's some of the most valuable time I spend with my girls.
  5. Volunteer with Your Child: Whether you're serving at your church or helping at a local homeless shelter, there's great opportunities for you and your child to give your time to a good cause together. Your child will enjoy spending time with you and you'll be setting a good example for a lifelong habit of service.
  6. Read with Your Child: Your child is never too young (or too old) to read with you.  From reading Llama Llama Red Pajama for the hundreth time or The Hobbit with your teen, great books (and the conversion that happens during this time) will last you a lifetime. Make it a regular habit to read aloud with your child.
  7. Take Your Child to the Bank: Remember real banks? Yeah, I barely can either. While this activity may seem odd. We mention it here because it's a great oppotunity to create a memory with your child. How often do you open a bank account in life? I'm guessing—not very often. Depending on the age of your child, this could be a great time of connecting. The experience of opening an account can be awesome. But also, the whole process of teaching your child about money and responsibility is really where we're going with this idea—an ongoing opportunity of connection! It's a connection point that you and your child will not forget. I remember my mother taking me into our local bank branch when I was young. I haven't forgotten the formal building, the leather chairs, the large desks and me signing my life away for my first acount! The excitement was intense—to see money in my account was unforgettable. Well, perhaps I haven't forgetten about having money in my account because that was the last time I would have money in my account! But I digress...on to the last activity ideas...
  8. One Last Activity Idea: (for sons) Teach your son to tie a tie and/or shave: Boys need their dads to coach them through these "rites of passage" in manhood. Heck, every time I shave, my daughters "shave" with me. Although time consuming, I often remind myself that there will come a time when my girls no longer care about their dad shaving! 
    (for daughters): Go dancing. Whether it's a silly dance in the living room or a daddy-daughter dance held locally, girls need their dad to show them how a guy treats a girl.
Question: What would you add to this list?
 

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