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The Father Factor

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6 Protective Factors All Dads can Apply

The Department of Defense recently produced new instructions about the New Parent Support Program addressing six Protective Factors.

Military Community & Family Policy eMagazine introduced these six factors by emphasizing that "Becoming a parent is a major life change. No matter how many books you've read, videos you've seen, or classes you've taken in preparation for your baby, you may still have an unanswered question or two. Parenting challenges may be intensified within the military community with periods of separation, deployment, reunion, and relocation."

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For each of the six factors below, we have highlighted NFI resources that will not only assist military dads, but dads everywhere:

1) Nurturing and attachmentNurturing and bonding with your child from an early age can foster a positive relationship, and it may also set your child up for healthy relationships outside of the home.

2) Knowledge of parenting and child and youth developmentWhen you have a clear understanding of your child's developmental stages, you can use realistic communication, education, and positive discipline techniques.

3) Parental resilienceStress may be inevitable, but you can control how you react to stressful circumstances. Building resilience means building trusting relationships and finding healthy ways to reduce stress.

4) Social connectionsFriends, family, neighbors, and other connections in the community can give you healthy outlets for communication, and they may offer emotional support and help in stressful situations.

5) Concrete support for parentsWhen you have a problem that requires outside support, it is important to know where to find help. In the military community, you can reach out to your installation's NPSP for support and guidance.

To find contact information for your local resources, visit MilitaryINSTALLATIONS and select "New Parent Support Program" from the dropdown "program or service" box. 

  • Look for New Parent Support Programs and other departments in the military community which offer 24/7 Dad® and/or DoctorDad® programs.

6) Social and emotional competence of childrenUnderstanding your child's development can help you identify social and behavioral issues that, when identified early, can spare your family additional stress.

Together, these protective factors and NFI resources can help ease the challenge of preparing for your baby.

So NFI has a New Blog?

You may be wondering why you're here. Frankly, you may be wondering why we're here! Another blog from National Fatherhood Initiative (NFI)? I thought NFI already had a blog?

Well, we do! But yowelcome matu see, NFI's current Father Factor Blog discusses the father factor related to pop culture, news of the day, NFI happenings and campaigns, as well as other father-related stories and topics. 

Our new organization-focused blog, aptly named FatherTopics™, will address the topics and Technical Assistance (TA) that organizations and individuals doing fatherhood work need. We grabbed the name from our FatherTopics™ Workshops which some of you may be familiar with. FatherTopics™ Workshops are modules that you can add to your current fatherhood programming, or resources you can use as stand alone workshops to train dads on a variety of specific topics - such as Communication, Domestic Violence, Cultural Diversity, and Spirituality.

In a similar manner, this blog will serve as a location for the information and topics that matter to you - organizations and individuals working in the fatherhood field or other community organizations working with fathers. We hope to provide you with perspectives, best practices, and advice - so you are as equipped as possible to create sustainable fatherhood programs that meet the needs of your fathers and families.

This will also be a place for community, comments, and sharing of insight from other facilitators having success in the fatherhood field. It's the place where those of us doing fatherhood work come together to be even better - and more impactful - than we already are, to ensure every child grows up with a 24/7 Dad™. 

So on the note of community and sharing, let me tell you who I am and why I'm here.

My name is Melissa Steward, and I'm NFI's VP of Marketing and Program Support. I oversee NFI's Resource Center FatherSOURCE, Program Support Team, and our Graphics Department. I am also part of NFI's Product Development Team and Communications Team. Basically, I'm blessed to touch many parts of NFI in an effort to bring you - the organizations in the field using our resources and training fathers - the information, TA, and guidance you need to do your work even better. There's no greater feeling than coming to work every day knowing you are making a difference in the lives of children by helping equip those in the fatherhood field, to help dads be better dads. And although I don't get to see the results of my work first hand, I'm glad to be here supporting you.

So, sit back. Stay awhile. And join us on this adventure in blogging - the FatherTopics™ way. I'm sure you will be glad you did. 

Please introcuce yourself in the comment section below, and tell us what FatherTopics™ you want to hear about on this blog!

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

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