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The Father Factor:
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LeVar Burton of Reading Rainbow: On Dads’ Reading to Their Kids

This post is from LeVar Burton. LeVar is the Actor/Producer who Co-Founded Reading Rainbow Kidz. Interested in blogging for us? Read our guest blog guidelines.

As a father of two, I know from personal experience how difficult it is for working dads to find time to spend with their kids. Time really seems to be the scare “currency” of the 21st century. So when we do spend time with our children, spending it wisely is imperative. It probably comes as no surprise to you that for me, reading is one of the best ways I know to make great quality out of scarce quantity.

Reading to our young children provides two critical components to their lives: the closeness that comes from sharing stories together; imagining, pretending and learning that few other activities provide. It also gives them proven educational advantages they will gain from for the rest of their lives. Study after study demonstrates a clear correlation between kids whose parents read to them consistently before kindergarten and greater scholastic achievement.

Fathering from a "Frozen" Perspective

Disney has done it again. I'm not sure if it's the music (yeah, I admit, I want the soundtrack; you know, for my daughters!), the setting in Norway (I want to go to there), or the story of two sisters (I'm the dad of two daughters), but Disney's newest epic adventure Frozen tugs on my heart-strings. While watching the film, I sat "cold" in my seat, partially because Disney pulls you into another world with it's 3D version of Arendelle, but mostly because I saw my daughters in Elsa and Anna. Here's what I mean...

No, I'm Not the BabySitter, I'm the Dad.

The following is a post from Jim Mckenzie. Jim is a passionate dad of seven (7) young home-birthed children. He is publisher of Every Little Thing Birth and Beyond 360 Magazine and blogs at The Fatherhood Biz. Get details on the Every Thing For Dads Convention and follow Jim on Twitter. Interested in blogging for us? Read our guest blog guidelines.

I was speaking to my buddy Hank Baskett (NFL, Kendra On Top) the other day, who told me that when he’s out and about in public with his son without his wife Kendra, he constantly asked by strangers if he is "babysitting" his son, and he always replies “No, I'm taking care of my child…babysitting is something that one is paid to do for other people’s children!” Well said Hank, I say!

Pork: Your Secret Ingredient for the Perfect Thanksgiving

National Fatherhood Initiative and National Pork Board partnered for this guest post. Fatherhood and Pork? It just make sense. Find more tasty recipes at www.PorkBeInspired.comInterested in blogging for us? Read our guest blog guidelines.

Thanksgiving is a day we look forward to all year; one we embrace for the opportunity to feast on good food and enjoy quality time with friends and family. However, as delicious and heartwarming as it can be, Thanksgiving can also become time-consuming and stressful if you’re the one hosting the meal.  

Luckily (whether you’re feeding 5 or 15), pork can be your Thanksgiving Day dinner hero. The simple recipe ideas below minimize prep time—leaving you with more time to spend with the people you love—and will help keep your countertops free of dozens of ingredients and clutter.

Be an Awesome Dad. But If All Else Fails, Just Dance.

The Huffington Post writer Todd Van Luling did something awesome. He compiled a list of 19 Lessons Great Dads Can Teach You About Being a Better Father.

Join Us for #EngagingDads Twitter Chat: Today at 3pm EST.

Please join us for the #EngagingDads Twitter Chat to discuss best practices in fatherhood, and what youth-serving programs and professionals can do to engage fathers in the lives of adolescents!

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.            

NFI Partners with U.S. Army to Place Fatherhood Resources on Installations Worldwide

NFI Fatherhood Skill-building Materials Being Distributed to New Parent Support Programs on 69 Army Installations

Germantown, MD (PRWEB) November 12, 2013

Moms Should “Lean In” …to Fatherhood

The mommy wars continue. Should today’s women dedicate themselves more to their careers so they can “catch up” to men – to “lean in” as Sheryl Sandberg suggests – or should they dedicate themselves more to motherhood because their kids need them?  

How about a third way?  

I propose that if moms want to do better at both parenting and work, they have to “lean in” to fatherhood.  

Help Us Give a Second Chance to Dads Like Marvin

Dad’s Guide to Back-To-School Gadgets

Thank God kindergarteners don't need laptops. With my firstborn attending kindergarten soon, clothes and supplies are enough expense. You have no doubt seen the legendary lists of supplies from your child’s school by now. NFI may not be helpful as it pertains to fashion (considering our president has written extensively, and sadly in favor of, the fanny pack!). But as it pertains to tech and gadgets, we can offer our "expert" opinion. 

Help Us Reach Dads and Help Kids Through Texting

Fathers, President Obama & BBQ!

Our 2012 Military Fatherhood Award recipient had a big day yesterday!

Father’s Day Is For Fathers: Why WIRED ‘Gets It’ and Others Don’t

Since WIRED’s June cover for National Geek Dad Day released, some folks have been buzzing about whether the tech magazine is singling out dads too much. NFI praises WIRED for celebrating dads and encouraging intentional time with their kids. The haters just don’t get it.

The current issue instructs dads on "How to be a Geek Dad," by building hovercrafts, making electric play-doh, building forts with broomsticks and string, and basically being the coolest, most amazing dads ever.

Are Dads Really Clueless About Their Own Health?

I was doing some browsing on the Web when I came across a blog entry from Dr. David Katz, founder of Yale University’s Prevention Research Center. The entry focused on the fact that men, especially fathers, need to turn a deeper focus on health and weight control. At NFI, we’ve made several references to the importance of health in men throughout our variety of resources and content. However, the doctor’s blog featured a few sentences that made me question just how thickheaded are men about getting healthy.

“We know that women are the guardians of the family health. We know that women, wives, mothers tend to do the heavy lifting when it comes to medical care, preventive services and diet,” said Dr. Katz in his blog, no doubt sharing a sentiment long shared by many. However, I grew up around men like my grandfathers and uncles who were always on top of their health. I’m particularly worrisome about my own health for a variety of reasons, some of which are hereditary.

Much like the meme going around that fathers are clueless when it comes to caring for their babies, a lot of archaic notions about men continue to be perpetuated. I became especially aware of my health needs after becoming a father. In fact, my peers who became dads all followed suit. How some of us arrived to that point was actually simple: taking care of children is taxing! I remember feeling like everything was hurting while running after my toddler, saying to my doctor that I needed to feel whole again.

I do get Dr. Katz’s overall point. As a father of five children and the editor-in-chief of the medical journal Childhood Obesity, he has an obligation to preach to the masses the importance of health. His blog was more so a call to fathers to set better examples for their children. I truly enjoyed his stance on saying that men who find working out and eating better to be feminine traits are acting “un-guy like” – slamming the notion that men can eat and do whatever they want without repercussions.

Dr. Katz is simply urging dads to eat better so their kids will too. The rapid rise in stroke risks in children between the ages of 5 and 14 attributed to obesity is unacceptable. The old adage “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree” certainly applies in this case. Good health has to start somewhere, and fathers have a responsibility to lead by example.

I may not have been exposed to many men or fathers who were reluctant about staying healthy, but I do know we can all do better in providing a pathway to healthier living for our children by starting with ourselves.

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