NFI President Roland C. Warren's Washington Times Column
Click on the links below to read articles about fatherhood from NFI President, Roland Warren.
- WARREN: Of princesses and first ladies
"After screening 'The Princess and the Frog' and reflecting on its significance, I was reminded of something I am fond of saying and truly believe: 'A good father helps his daughter find her prince without kissing all the frogs.' Good fathers... are the first men to pursue their daughters' hearts. When they do it right — by pursuing their hearts in their daughters' best interests, not their own — it shows their daughters they are worthy of receiving love. Without this modeling, too many girls spend their lives kissing a whole lot of frogs and never find their prince. And that's no fairy tale." Read more
- WARREN: Movie examines need for a father
"I recently had an opportunity to screen the new Miramax movie, 'The Boys Are Back,' which takes an honest look at the impact a father's presence and absence has on his children... The broader reality is the film does not only speak to people like me, it also speaks for millions. There are 24 million American children — one in three overall and two of three in the black community — living in father-absent homes. Social scientists have produced a body of research conclusively showing that when children lack a good father, they are at a higher risk for a host of negative economic, health, emotional, educational and psychological outcomes. "
- WARREN: Obama marriage worth emulating
"As Mr. Obama's example clearly illustrates, the best and most durable societal glue is a strong and healthy marriage between a father and his children's mother. Such marriages are the way to break the troubling legacy of father absence and consistently connect fathers to their children, heart to heart."
- WARREN: Interruptions part of being a father
"Over the years, I have been fond of reminding dads — rather tongue in cheek — that what makes you a dad is that you have kids. Otherwise, you're just a guy. But I had not really thought about what it means to be a dad in this situation. How does one view his identity as a father in light of the death of his child, especially one so young? Does one wrestle with a sense that he is now a dad in name only?"
- WARREN: Quarterback called the wrong plays
"As fathers, we always must be mindful of two key things. First, we are called and privileged to be the guardians of the values of the next generation. Therefore, we must be vigilant to consistently model the values that are in the best interests of our community, our family and most importantly, our children. Mr. McNair seemed to understand this perspective as it pertained to his work in the community, but had a glaring blind spot when it came to his home life — and it cost him his life."
- WARREN: 'First father' calls dads to take action
"On his first Father's Day as president, Barack Obama — our nation's "first father" — encouraged America's dads to be there for their children. For our nation's dads and the 25 million children living in father-absent homes, there could not have been a more welcome presidential message."
- WARREN: Military fathers unsung no more
"I learned a long time ago that the truest measure of a man, a father and a hero is not what he does for himself but rather what he does for others... This year, we had more than 600 nominations from every branch of the military. One candidate, U.S. Navy Chief Quartermaster John Lehnen, stood out in the midst of a very impressive and deserving pool. John, who has 10 years of military service, is a devoted husband and father of four special-needs children and has shown extraordinary dedication to his family and country... For all that John has done and continues to do, I salute him, and I suspect that you do as well."
- WARREN: Taking hard hits a father's duty
"A little more than 20 years ago, I learned one of my most valuable lessons about fatherhood — the hard way... Success in life and in fathering is less about how many times one falls, but rather, about how many times one gets back up. Because only in the getting up is 'happyness' found."
- WARREN: Mortgaging the future of families
"As with the subprime mortgage craze, there will be many unintended consequences of our nation's growing acceptance and, too often, celebration, of creating single-mother families. We are moving toward an era of the 'subprime' family, with fathers as optional as an adequate down payment."
- WARREN: Her Children, Her Choice
"Over the last few weeks, there has been much reported about Nadya Suleman, the mother who gave birth to octuplets. Why are so many so incensed by this situation?"
- WARREN: King's legacy begins with his grandfather
"...it struck me that generations before King uttered the now immortal words, 'I have a dream,' there were others — a grandfather and a father — who instilled great dreams in him and had great dreams for him. He was the product of a legacy ...a fatherhood legacy."
- WARREN: We don't have a father to spare
"A couple of years ago, I picked up a newspaper and saw his picture with the caption, 'Damu Smith, who fought for environmental causes, died of colorectal cancer at age 54.' As I read the article, it was apparent that, like so many men, he died before his time..."
- WARREN: Dad must help deal with bullies
"Bullying is something most children will encounter in some form. It can be name-calling, being picked on, or worse. There is a temptation, especially as a dad, to ask "What's the big deal?" In fact, all forms of bullying are abusive and can leave a painful legacy that affects our children even as adults. Accordingly, dads have a unique and important role to play in helping their kids deal with bullies."
- WARREN: Despite successes, boys need fathers
"Social science data assert overwhelmingly that boys in father-absent homes are more at risk to be poor, fail in school, use drugs or be involved in the criminal justice system. Therefore, we should encourage responsible fatherhood and discourage a culture of single motherhood for the same reason - the increased risk to our sons. In my view, we do not have a fatherless boy to spare."
- WARREN: Teen fathers offer more than money
"Indeed, we should not shun teen fathers; we should support and encourage them. We should not just ask them for dollars, but we also should help them develop the skills they need to connect with their children, heart to heart. After all, their children deserve nothing less."
- WARREN: Consequences of lust are real
"Fathers must remember that we are called to be the guardians of the values of the next generation. Therefore, we must be constantly vigilant to ensure that we are consistently modeling the values that are in the best interest of our community, our family and, most importantly, our children."
- WARREN: No 'baby mama' for Obama
"However, I tend to be more impressed by reality than rhetoric. In this case, the real story - the underemphasized one - is not Mr. Obama's rhetoric, but rather the reality of his example. Unlike most black fathers, Mr. Obama is married to the mother of his children. No "baby mama" for Mr. Obama. His real "Obama girl" is his wife."
- WARREN: American fathers worth rebuilding
"Borrowing the theme from "The Six Million Dollar Man," we can rebuild the American father. We have the "technology." Since the mid-1990s, NFI and other organizations have fought to renew the institution of fatherhood in America by launching public education campaigns, providing social services organizations with fatherhood supports, producing curriculums and other skill-building materials for dads, and many other tactics."