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The Father Factor

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NFI Presents 2013 Military Fatherhood Award™ to RPC Patrick Mondragon

RPC Mondragon Chosen From Among Hundreds of Nominees to Receive Prestigious Annual Award for an Exemplary Military Dad

Phil Mickelson Skips US Open Practice for Daughter's Graduation

If you follow professional golf, you know the U.S. Open Championship is kind of a big deal. ESPN reports that Phil Mickelson skipped US Open practice to attend his daughter's eigth grade graduation.

3 Super Simple Ways to Support Fathers this Father's Day

As you can imagine, June is quite a special month for NFI. As we serve fathers, we thought we should remind you of three ways you can support our aim of creating better dads and give you extraordinary ideas for gifts. Here are three ways you can support fathers this Father's Day: 

Just Be a Dad

This is a guest post by Clay Brizendine. Clay is a CPT, a personal and corporate trainer, father of two daughters and author of Shoebox Letters – Daughters to Dads. Follow Clay on the web and Twitter. Interested in guest blogging for NFI? Send us an email.

A good friend of mine, Kash Shaikh, is starting a movement called #besomebody. What is it? In his words, ‘whatever you want it to be.’ He’s starting to get good momentum, and as I see and hear more about it, it got me to thinking about the ways in which I want to #besomebody. One of the biggest? In my role as dad to my 2 daughters. In Shoebox Letters – Daughters to Dads, I point out nine key themes that can direct you to being the best dad you can be. The question is – how will you use these to #besomebody? Use Father’s Day as a time to reflect on what it means to you to be Dad.  

Love Unconditionally
I am very much a believer that strong foundations are what make the impossible possible. Loving your daughter unconditionally turns dreams to realities. It unlocks potential. It makes trying new things without fear-of-failure something that your daughter does rather than just thinking about. Loving unconditionally sets the strongest foundation for a unique bond between dad and daughter.  

Special Rate for Dads Club™ Now Through Father's Day: $20!

Treat Dad Like a Gentleman on Father's Day—Gifts from $19 to $500

“Being a man is a matter of age. Being a gentleman is a matter of choice.” —Edwin Louis Cole

Don't know what to get dad this year?

Writing as a father myself, my family doesn't usually know what to get me either. But it's my fault, because I don't typically have anything I want—until now!

NFI and Life of Dad Present Fatherhood Movie of the Year Award™

"The Fatherhood Movie of the Year Award is given each year to the film that “best communicates the importance of involved, responsible, and committed fatherhood in children’s lives."

Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) May 31, 2013—At a ceremony yesterday at Ulysses S. Grant High School, National Fatherhood Initiative (NFI) and Life of Dad (LOD) presented the 2012 Fatherhood Movie of the Year Award™ to director Andy Fickman for his work on Parental Guidance.

The public chose Parental Guidance -- via a contest on NFI’s Facebook page -- to receive the Award, which is given each year to the film that “best communicates the importance of involved, responsible, and committed fatherhood in children’s lives.”

NFI nominated Parental Guidance (directed by Fickman; starring Billy Crystal, Bette Midler, Marisa Tomei, and Tom Everett Scott) for its realistic depiction of the generational struggles of a pair of loving grandparents, for its positive portrayal of the importance of marriage, and for the important roles the father and grandfather play in their families’ lives.

On NFI’s blog, The Father Factor, Fickman said that the takeaway for dads from the film is twofold: “One is a reminder to dads that we do play a part, we do have a role, and that role never changes. It’s easy to say, let your mom handle that, but it’s important that we’re handling that as well,” said Fickman.

Fickman also said, “I think it’s also that we have different experiences that we are bringing to the table, and a child lucky enough to have both a mother and father can give them different pieces of wisdom.”

After accepting the Award, Fickman took questions from Grant High School students interested in pursuing careers in entertainment.

Embracing Fatherhood Within Addiction Recovery

This is a guest blog post by Jeff Spencer, M.Ed., ALC of IMPACT Family Counseling. Jeff works as the Fatherhood Coordinator and outpatient therapist. Before working at IMPACT he worked as addiction treatment counselor and case manager in an inpatient treatment facility. 

What Kind of Dad Are You?

“He does not need a commanding officer; he needs a father.” —Faia Raige, Wife of Cypher Raige, Mom of Kitai Raige in the new film, After Earth.

At NFI, we often talk about discipline. It comes with the territory. It’s worth pointing out that “discipline” comes from the Latin word discipulus meaning “to teach; to guide.” Dads often mistake “discipline” for “punishment”, which means to “penalize” for doing something wrong. In the new film After Earth, we get a glimpse of what happens when a dad must learn how to connect with his son.

25 Tips for Being a Great Dad

The following is a post from RPC Patrick Mondragon, US Navy, recipient of NFI's 2013 Military Fatherhood Award. Interested in blogging for us? Email here.

President Obama Talks Fatherhood in Morehouse College Speech

"Be the best father you can be to your children. Because nothing is more important." —Barack Obama, President

President Barack Obama recently delivered the commencement address at Morehouse College and talked personally about fatherhood and family.

President Barack Obama delivers remarks during the commencement ceremony at Morehouse College

Here are excerpts from President Obama's speech: 

  • ...I sure wish I had had a father who was not only present, but involved. Didn’t know my dad. And so my whole life, I’ve tried to be for Michelle and my girls what my father was not for my mother and me. I want to break that cycle where a father is not at home -- where a father is not helping to raise that son or daughter. I want to be a better father, a better husband, a better man.
     
  • It’s hard work that demands your constant attention and frequent sacrifice. And I promise you, Michelle will tell you I’m not perfect. She’s got a long list of my imperfections. Even now, I’m still practicing, I'm still learning, still getting corrected in terms of how to be a fine husband and a good father. But I will tell you this: Everything else is unfulfilled if we fail at family, if we fail at that responsibility.
  • I know that when I am on my deathbed someday, I will not be thinking about any particular legislation I passed; I will not be thinking about a policy I promoted; I will not be thinking about the speech I gave, I will not be thinking the Nobel Prize I received. I will be thinking about that walk I took with my daughters. I'll be thinking about a lazy afternoon with my wife. I'll be thinking about sitting around the dinner table and seeing them happy and healthy and knowing that they were loved. And I'll be thinking about whether I did right by all of them.

Watch President Obama's full address and read President Obama's commencement speech transcript.

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Image credit: (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Google Doodle Literally Draws Attention to Fatherhood

Have you Googled anything today?! If you visit Google today, you'll notice a special drawing from a high school teen. The doodle is literally drawing attention to fatherhood!

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.] 

New Father-Son Adventure: "After Earth" Opens May 31

"Danger is real. Fear is a choice." —Cyper Raige (Will Smith), father in After Earth

National Fatherhood Initiative (NFI) is proud to support the upcoming father-son adventure, After Earth, opening May 31. 

A crash landing leaves teenager Kitai Raige (Jaden Smith) and his legendary father Cypher (Will Smith) stranded on Earth, 1,000 years after cataclysmic events forced humanity’s escape. With Cypher critically injured, Kitai must embark on a perilous journey to signal for help.

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.  

“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:

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