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The Father Factor

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Are You Putting Your Kid in a Box?

Writing today in The Huffington Post, NFI President Roland Warren considers what happens when parents dream the wrong dreams for their children--and what parents should be dreaming for their kids. 

The Odd Life of Parents

Parents have an "odd life," and Disney’s new family film The Odd Life of Timothy Green brings this to life on the big screen.

The Boring Stuff is the Best

Disney's "Up," released last summer, is a fantastic film for young and old, and has some great fatherhood themes - showing how father absence can impact kids and how important it is for male mentors to step into their lives.

I love the part where Russell, the little boy in the film, is talking about how he doesn't see his dad very much. His dad just isn't that interested in him. He goes on to talk about eating ice cream with his dad, and counting the red and blue cars that go by. "It may sound boring, but I like it the best."

Oddly enough, walking through town to go get an ice cream cone is one of my favorite memories with my dad. We forget how special the mundane is; how those little moments can create opportunities and memories. Elaborate plans and fanfare are not always (or even usually) necessary.

What "boring" thing can you do for your kids today?

Teaching an "Old Dog" New Tricks

This weekend, I watched the 2009 Disney movie Old Dogs with my family. Clearly, working at NFI has gotten to me, because about 15 minutes into the film I got a notepad to jot down the great fatherhood moments in the film.

Old Dogs is a family comedy that tells the adventures of Dan (played by Robin Williams) and Charlie (played by John Travolta), friends and business partners who are suddenly thrust into the roles of “dad” and “uncle” when Vicki, the woman Dan married for less than 24 hours during a drunken beach vacation, reappears and Dan learns that he is the father of 7-year-old twins.

While I can’t unequivocally recommend this film due to some suggestive innuendos, Dan’s transition from a 50-something-year-old man who has no clue what to do with children to a father who makes some significant sacrifices to be involved in his kids’ lives is heart-warming and hilarious. And it offers some insights into what kids really need in a dad.

Of Princesses and First Ladies

In Roland's latest Washington Times column, he explores the idea that "a good father helps his daughter find her prince without kissing all the frogs" and how this is played out in Disney's upcoming movie, "The Princess and The Frog."

He also points out the father factor in the President and First Lady Obama's strong marriage.

You can read the full article here!

The Princess and the Frog (and the dad!)

On December 11, a great new Disney movie is coming out - "The Princess and the Frog." A few of us here at NFI had the privilege of seeing an early screening of the film, and we were impressed on several levels.

First, the beauty of the hand-drawn animation is amazing.

Second, it is an extremely funny, entertaining film with fantastic music.

And third, there is a great fatherhood theme in the film. As NFI president Roland C. Warren is fond of saying, "Good fathers make sure that their daughters find their prince without having to kiss all the frogs." The father in the film, James (voiced by Terence Howard), is a hard-working, dedicated dad who shows his daughter, Tiana (voiced by Anika Noni Rose), that she has value, talent, and that she can achieve her dreams through hard work and perseverance.

Throughout the film, Tiana and her mother (voiced by Oprah Winfrey) reflect on her father's positive influence on her life, and how his presence contributed to the good things she achieves.

Given the fatherhood message of the film, NFI was honored to work with Disney to distribute movie-themed cards, books, and other materials to community-based organizations across the country. The organizations will use the materials to create father-friendly atmospheres in their facilities, to provide dads with gifts they can give their children, and to use as giveaways for father-child activities.

To say the least, we at NFI are excited about the release of this film on December 11 (limited NY and LA on 11/25). Visit the official "The Princess and the Frog" website to view trailers and learn more about the film.

The Father Factor Blog: News, tips, and tools for dads and those helping dads.

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