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The Father Factor

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5 Ways to Be a Great Dad During Tough Times

Let’s be honest, Miracles from Heaven is a wild story. We watch a mom (Jennifer Garner) and dad (Martin Henderson) in desperation with their sick child (Kylie Rogers). Mom and dad are powerless. But through the difficulties, we see an example of, not a perfect family, but a strong family. 

At NFI, we see father absence daily. Whether dad is fighting drug addiction, joblessness, or with his spouse, men sometimes deal with tough times in unhealthy ways. Tough times often place great strain on families. Throughout Anna's illness in this film, Kevin and Christy are examples of strength, even in weakness.

What can you do as a dad to maintain focus, strength and sanity during a tough season? This movie reminds me that when it comes to fatherhood…you won't have all the answers and you can’t fix everything...but you can be there...and that's enough.

Earn Your Effective Facilitation Certificate™ from the Nation’s Leader

I’m pleased to announce the launch of the Effective Facilitation Certificate™ Training (EFC), the second affordable, time saving, on-demand training from National Fatherhood Initiative (NFI). I’m just as pumped about this certificate, as I was about the on-demand Father Engagement Certificate™ Training we launched last year which has been so wildly popular! Here’s why.

While Wilmington, DE has a High Rate of Father Absence, it Also Has One of the Best Fathers

Wilmington, DE has one of the nation's highest rates of father absence in our nation (65.5%), followed closely by Detroit, MI (63.3%), and Birmingham, AL (61.5%). That's why when we hear a father-son story of healing, reconciliation, and connection coming out of this town, we've got to proclaim it from the rooftops! (OK, maybe not the rooftops, but indulge me for a minute.) 

This story will forever change your perspective on father absence and incarceration. It demonstrates how a person - and a relationship - can come out of the ashes. That relationship is a seed that can find life with commitment and determination.

So let's go back to Wilmington, DE where the story begins with, “ I’m this 18-year-old drug dealer, and I’m stressed out of my mind worrying about myself, my future, my child, and these kids are looking up to me, because I’m the leader at this point.” 

Announcing Call for Submissions > 24/7 Dad® and InsideOut Dad® Pledges

According to Merriam Webster, a pledge is a serious promise or agreement; something that you leave with another person as a way to show that you will keep your promise. As fatherhood practitioners, isn't that what we hope for the dads we serve? That they pledge to being an involved father after learning they are irreplaceable in their children's lives?

Research shows that when individuals make a commitment - and make it publicly - they are more likely to remain committed. So here's where you come in: imagine dads across the country saying a pledge you wrote before their weekly 24/7 Dad® and InsideOut Dad® session or at their graduation ceremony.

Intrigued? Read on for how to submit a pledge to be used by organizations across the nation running our 24/7 Dad® and InsideOut Dad® programs.

The 7 Habits of a 24/7 Dad

There are good dads and then there are average dads. I talk to fatherhood leaders daily and often ask them what their biggest challenge is facing the dads they serve.

You can imagine the varied responses. Money...sure. Relationships...of course. Addictions...yes. But, often leaders say their dads struggle with "time to connect with their child".

This answer is well-meaning; and I understand it. Dads are busy. Everyone feels busy. But, if a dads biggest challenge is spending time with his kids, time probably isn't his problem.

Here's the question: Do the dads you serve know the difference between an average dad and a good dad?

Hint: His answer depends on how well he handles these seven habits...

Four Fatherhood Lessons from America's Founding Father

General, Commander-in-Chief, First President of the United States...these are some of the titles of America's Founding Father, George Washington. I recently reviewed history related to Mr. Washington, and was reminded of what made him such an influential leader.

No matter how you feel about Mr. Washington's rise to power, there is no doubt of his ability to influence others. In this post, I explore what made Washington an influential leader and how these leadership lessons should inspire us to be more influential with our families.

Use these lessons for yourself or share them with the dads around you. Here we go...

President's Proposed 2017 Budget Maintains Level of Fatherhood and Healthy Marriage Funding

President Obama's proposed Fiscal Year 2017 budget maintains funding for fatherhood and healthy marriage grants at $150 million. That's good news for community-based organizations across the country that have committed to improving child well-being by starting or expanding their programs to include serving fathers.

Spotlight > 24/7 Dad® Launches in Iowa, Shows Recruitment "Must Haves" [Video]

With all eyes on Iowa this week for the presidential caucuses, we have our eyes on a fatherhood program in Northern Iowa who's doing more than shaking hands and taking pictures with babies. Jeremey Simerson, the program facilitator, shows by example how to get dads in the door to your program...

Be Good to Yourself. You’ll Be Better to Your Kids.

Emotional burnout is a consistent concern for parents, but the added pressures of a hectic holiday season can make things worse. With a new year beginning, it’s a perfect time for fathers to regroup and remember to take care of yourselves, so you can be the best possible parent for your children. 

8 Ways an Involved Father Helps His Child

Father absence has many negative consequences for children, which is why we, at NFI, often often talk about The Father Absence Crisis in America. But, what about the benefits of an involved dad? Well, we definitely focus on that, too. 

Time and again, practitioners have told us that they would like a tool they can share with their clients (both moms and dads) that focuses on the benefits of an involved father. In this post, I'll show you eight ways an involved father helps his child, and get you up close and personal with our newest brochure entitled The Importance of an Involved FatherSide note: We think every leader reading this post should have this brochure in their office to help fathers and families!

Last Chance > Sign Up and Learn to Engage Fathers in Home Visits [Free Webinar]

This is it...your last chance to join the over 1,100 registrants (so far) for the upcoming, and free, webinar to help you learn practical tips to engage fathers in home visiting programs.

Spotlight > Indianapolis Re-Entry Facility Gives 42 Families More Than Just a Dance (Video)

On the outside looking in, it's just a lunch and a dance. Oh, but it's so much more. For these 42 dads, it's a chance to connect with their daughters. At NFI, we're inspired by these stories. Watch the video and see how the Indianapolis Re-Entry Facility is connecting fathers to their families. 

Free Tool Helps You Be a Better Dad [Google Play App]

In my almost four years of working at National Fatherhood Initiative (NFI), I've learned that every dad struggles with being a great dad. Often, us dads make connecting with our children too complicated. We think we have to plan some major vacation or spend a fortune. We're lying to ourselves. What if we could simply change our fathering habits? This tool can help. 

Grant Funding Opportunity Available to Evaluate Fatherhood Programs

The Fatherhood Research & Practice Network (FRPN) is seeking proposals from teams of researchers and fatherhood programs to evaluate fatherhood services. 

NFI's President, Christopher A. Brown, serves on the FRPN steering committee and wanted me to make you aware of this great opportunity for funding. Here are the details you need to know...

Spotlight > An Amazing Gift from 10 Dads in Prison

Recently, 10 graduates of the InsideOut Dad® program made an amazing, unexpected gift of $86 to help National Fatherhood Initiative (NFI) pursue its mission. Receiving it is one of the greatest joys I’ve received in my time with NFI.

The Father Factor Blog > Where Fatherhood Leaders Go To Learn.

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Free eBook > 5 Questions Every 24/7 Dad Asks

This eBook helps you answer the five important questions around being a great dad.

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