It's an exciting day at National Fatherhood Initiative (NFI) as we just launched a new line of products and services designed to help mothers support the involvement of fathers in their children’s lives!
This new line of products and services for mothers complements NFI’s longstanding, industry-leading work to equip community-based organizations around the country with the tools and training needed to effectively serve fathers for the well-being of their children.
Today, over 24 million children in America live in in homes where their biological father is absent. All too often, a mothers' gatekeeping behavior can prevent or reduce fathers' access to their children - when fathers' involvement in their children's lives would actually benefit their children. In addition, mothers can lack the self-awareness and communications skills they need to improve their relationships with the fathers of their children.
It's important to note that we devised our new programming for moms based on feedback from hundreds of organizations around the country using our signature fatherhood programs and other NFI low and medium intensity resources. These organizations identified a great need to involve mothers in their efforts to connect fathers to their children, but saw no programming available to help them do so. And, they were seeking resources to encourage communication and co-parenting. Accordingly, NFI’s new programs – the first of their kind – will help moms become gateways, rather than gatekeepers, between their children and their children’s dads.
Understanding Dad™: An Awareness and Communication Program for Moms anchors the new line of resources. This complete program kit helps mothers successfully navigate their relationships with the fathers of their children in a group-based program over 8 sessions. It will give moms the knowledge and skills they need to effectively communicate with the fathers of their children and to understand the critical role fathers play in children’s lives.
“Research shows that two of the most powerful predictors of father involvement for a child are the quality of the mother-father relationship and the way the child’s mother perceives the child’s dad,” said Christopher A. Brown, executive vice president of NFI. “NFI’s new programming aims to help moms develop the knowledge and skills they need for effective communication and come away with a positive impression of the role of fathers in children’s lives.”
Understanding Dad™ increases mothers’ self-awareness about the impact of their personal histories on their relationships with men and fathers, how their histories have shaped their communication with the fathers of their children, and provides them with research-based skills to overcome negative communication styles and replace them with positive ones.
Other products in the new line include Pocketbook for Moms™: A Pocketbook Full of Ways to Communicate with Dad and Pocketbook for New Moms™: A Pocketbook Full of Reasons for New Moms to Involve Dads. Pocketbook for Moms™ contains practical tips and strategies to help mothers build trust and positive communication patterns with dads. Pocketbook for New Moms™ helps moms understand the benefits of father involvement during pregnancy and during their children’s infant and toddler years and beyond.
Lastly, our popular FatherTopics Workshop™: Mom as Gateway is already being used by organizations across the country to address mom's gatekeeping behavior, and is an excellent complement as an add-on to our new Understanding Dad Program.
All of the new resources are now available through FatherSOURCE™ along with customized NFI trainings and technical assistance that organizations can choose to help them effectively implement the new programs. And don't forget, we're always here to help you start or enhance your fatherhood programs or create a custom program to meet your needs!