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We Have a Winning Pledge! Announcing 24/7 Dad® and InsideOut Dad® Pledge

A few weeks ago, we asked 24/7 Dad® and InsideOut Dad® program participants and facilitators to submit an optional pledge that fathers participating in these programs could recite before or after each session.

We received a variety of unique and inspiring pledges. So many in fact, that while we selected a winner, the final pledge we present to you combines the very best of the "heart and soul" of many of the submissions we received.

Read on to learn the final pledge and the fatherhood facilitator who submitted it.

Readers' Feedback on Effective Facilitation

In several blog posts during the past several weeks, I focused on three questions we ask during training institutes on our fatherhood programs:

  • What are the three (3) most vital characteristics of an effective fatherhood program facilitator?
  • What are the three (3) greatest challenges in helping dads to become the best dads they can be?
  • What are the three (3) most critical steps in preparing to effectively facilitate a fatherhood program? 

I asked for your answers to these questions as effective facilitation is central to running effective fatherhood programs.

A Hidden Opportunity to Serve Dads

There is an opportunity that hides in the shadow of a disturbing trend: the rapid increase in the number of children born to cohabiting parents. But before I share the opportunity, let's first look at the trend. 

The Best Fundraising Book You Might Never Heard Of

Fundraising is one of the biggest challenges in starting and maintaining a fatherhood program. (Not to mention a challenge in running National Fatherhood Initiative®!) That's why you must read the following book. 

How Should You Prepare to Facilitate a Fatherhood Program?

We often ask the following question in training institutes on our fatherhood programs: “How do you set the stage so you can effectively facilitate a fatherhood program?”

Participants often don’t have a lot of answers. That’s because it’s easy to bypass preparation and launch headlong into facilitation. But proper preparation can make the difference between a session going well or going poorly.

The Dads You Might Not Serve, But Should

If your organization isn't serving working, resident dads, it should be. And especially when they lack a college degree or cohabit.

What’s the Greatest Challenge in Helping Dads?

We often ask the following question in training institutes on our fatherhood programs: “What is the greatest challenge in helping dads to be better dads?” Participants typically, and unfortunately, come up with a very long list. It isn’t always easy to help dads rise above and become the dads their children (and the mothers of their children) need them to be.

Research to Application: The Switch Framework

Change is hard. It’s hard enough to change your own behavior, let alone the behavior of fathers who aren’t as involved in the lives of their children as they should be.

Colson Task Force Recommendations Show Value of NFI Resources

After a 12-month investigation, the Charles Colson Task Force on Federal Corrections established by Congress has issued a report with six recommendations for the federal corrections system designed to improve public safety, increase accountability of those in the criminal justice system, and reduce recidivism.

Although the recommendations focus on the federal corrections system, corrections systems at any level—federal, state, or local—would benefit from implementing them. (Congress named the task force in honor of the former federal prisoner and founder of the world’s largest prison ministry, Prison Fellowship.) 

What Makes for an Effective Facilitator?

We often ask the following question in training institutes on our fatherhood programs: “What are the characteristics of an effective facilitator?” You might or might not be surprised that participants have a lot of opinions, sometimes very strong ones.

How One Hour Changed My Image of Jerry Jones

This post originally appeared on The Huffington Post.

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is undeniably one of the most polarizing figures in pro sports. Ever since he booted the legendary Tom Landry from his perch atop America's Team, Jones has assumed the mantle of maverick owner controlling every aspect of the team's operations as president and general manager.

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.

The Deep, Powerful Message in Kelly Clarkson's New Hit Song

This post originally appeared on The Huffington Post.

Kelly Clarkson performed her new hit song "Piece by Piece" on the February 25th episode of the 15th and final season of American Idol. There was hardly a dry eye in the house. Keith Urban was especially moved. He couldn't hold back his tears. Even Ms. Clarkson had a trying time singing the song all the way through. She received a standing ovation at the conclusion of this moving performance.

"Piece by Piece" is the title track from Ms. Clarkson's first album of original songs in four years. What's she been doing all that time? Still performing, for sure. Her primary focus, however, has been stepping into the role of her lifetime: being a stepmother to her husband's two children and a new mom to her own child. If you saw her performance--and you have to watch it--you know her second child will soon say hello to the world. What has happened to transform her life since her last album is key to understanding why "Piece by Piece" is her most emotional song yet.

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.

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