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The Father Factor

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Simple Ideas for How To Be An Active Dad

The way media portrays modern dads is pitiful. They sit around in front of the TV or in the garage drinking beer and ignoring their families. Either that or they work all the time and never have time for their families. Being an active dad in you childs' life is important. It means more than just asking them how the day went or making sure they get their homework done. How can you be an active dad in your child’s life?

What To Do (and What Not To Do) With Your Kids on #MomsNightOut

There are three types of dads in the new parenting movie Moms' Night Out. Inspired by the idea of "giving the at-home mom a break," I have advice for what dad can do with his child no matter the age or stage so that dad can connect and mom can relax.

21 Questions with NFI's Newest Board Member: Chris Efessiou [Interview]

Get to know our newest board member, Chris Efessiou, in 21 questions. 

What Tsunamis, the Moken, and Focus Can Teach You about Being a Great Dad

In December 2004, a tsunami devastated coastlines throughout southeast Asia, especially those in Thailand. Coverage of this tragedy that took thousands of lives focused on the fact that because the killer wave caught so many people by surprise no one in its path had time to avoid its wrath.

New Orleans Group Teaches Fathers How to Be Dads

Writing for New Orleans Public Radio, Eve Abrams reports on a group called NOLA Dads who is reaching the community by training fathers to be better dads.

Single White Moms Should Say Yes to Father Involvement

Christopher Brown recently wrote an article for The Huffington Post in response to an article on Slate.com about white, working-class mothers and father involvement. In his rebuttal, he points out not what one person's story is, but what decades of research has to say about the importance of father involvement for the sake of the child.

How "Cultural Parasites" Affect Work with Dads

As I've noted in previous posts, I'm a voracious reader of non-fiction. I read from a variety of fields because it expands my view and exposes me to ideas that I can bring to our work at NFI and, as a consequence, to your work in the trenches.

Need for More Sleep and Happier Babies? NFI Has the Answer!

If you've ever been a parent for more than 30 seconds, you know that crying happens. And at times, a lot of it. When my daughters were babies, I remember each one being different when it came to crying. Oh, they both cried, but each one cried differently.

Research to Application: Cues, Triggers, and Nudges

As the nation’s #1 provider of fatherhood skill-building programs and resources, NFI provides guidance for practitioners and organizations on how they might be able to use to use the latest research on human behavior to enhance the effectiveness of their work with fathers.

Issuing a Challenge to Unwed Fathers

In a scene as dramatic as any in reality television, New Jersey mother Rebecca DeLuccia testified from the delivery room that the father of her child should not be allowed to attend the birth of his child.

San Diego Is Getting Fatherhood: What Happens When 120+ Fathers Become Trained Dads

We know fatherhood changes everything. And we've changed fatherhood in our 20 years of operation. This post is one example of what we mean. I recently talked with three incredible folks who are training fathers in San Diego, California. This group uses our 24/7 Dad® program to train dads. Here's how they are changing fatherhood in their community.

6 Tips on How to Show Your Child Reading is Awesome

I love reading. I read everywhere and at anytime. Thankfully, I married a fellow bookaholic, so my wife doesn't mind my stacks of books in every corner and stair of the house. We admit, we are on a quest to make two more bookaholics in our daughters. Here are a few ways you can make your child think reading is awesome...because it is.

5 Tips for Committing and Recommitting to Fatherhood

At National Fatherhood Initiative (NFI), we focus on helping fathers to be involved, responsible, and committed to their children and families. I've reflected a lot on that mantra over my more than 13 years at NFI. Most recently, I've wondered what is the relative importance of these characteristics of a great dad. 

I've realized that exercise is a bit of a fool's game because each one of them is critical to being a great dad. Their importance is like our need for food and water. We can't do without one and rely only on the other. Nevertheless, there is one characteristic that the other two depend upon if dads are to realize their full potential as fathers--commitment. Commitment drives involvement and responsibility. It's where good fathering begins. Great dads are "hatched" when they become truly committed to being involved and responsible in the lives of their children and--just as importantly--in their relationships with the mothers of their children. 

In The Dark Knight Rises, the last installment of the Batman trilogy starring Christian Bale, Bruce Wayne faces a commitment challenge. He (as Batman) is beaten almost to the point of death by a villain named Bane who takes control of Gotham City. After the beating, which left Wayne broken physically and spiritually, Bane sends Wayne to a subterranean prison in a foreign country that only one person has ever escaped from. Wayne faces a choice. He can wither away and die or recommit to becoming an even better Batman. He chooses the latter, of course. He first rebuilds his body to become even stronger than before. Then he faces a life-threatening challenge that is vital to escaping the prison. 

Escaping the prison requires a symbolic but very real leap of faith. For an inmate to escape, he must climb the circular, slippery wall of an open hole that leads to the surface. If an inmate gets to a certain point on the wall, he must jump across the hole and grab onto a small ledge on the other side and pull himself up. From there, it's a piece of cake. The standard approach is to tie a rope to the waist so that if in attempting to jump to the ledge the inmate falls short and falls, his fall is stopped by the rope. Wayne tries the jump several times with the rope tied to his waste. He fails each time. After he is challenged by a confidant in the prison to completely commit to the jump by not using the rope, he tries again and succeeds. 

Dads must be vigilant about their commitments to children and families because those commitments are constantly challenged. These challenges can arise in the form of work-life balance, the ups and downs of marriage, and personal struggles such as addictions. Life has a nasty way of constantly challenging dads to commit to their children and families. Dads who didn't plan to have children must do the right thing and commit to their children and the mothers of their children. These dads must rise up and take a leap of faith that they can become great dads, partners and husbands in the first place. In other cases, great dads lose their way and must, through a leap of faith, rise again as committed fathers. Dads must do this even in the absence of a safety net.   

5 Questions Every Working Father Should Ask

Gone are the days where working fathers spent most of their time in the office. Today, there is increasing demand, both on the part of working fathers individually and on the part of society, to find more work-life balance.

(Book Giveaway) Bad Dads of the Bible by Former NFI President Roland Warren

As the former President of NFI, current President and CEO of CareNet, the nation’s largest network of pregnancy resource centers, and a father who grew up in a fatherless home, Roland Warren has a unique and personal understanding of the challenges fathers face and the common mistakes they make.

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

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