Go Public in 2012 and Be a Good Dad!

Planning on dropping a few pounds? Giving up caffeine? Reading a book a month?

These are all great resolutions, but you might want to add one …

How about making a resolution about being a better father?

Likely, the best way you can improve as a dad is by spending more time with your children …

You could create a standing date with your son.

Or, instead of sitting down and watching the news, you could spend the first 30 minutes with your kids when you walk in the door.

Why not take your daughter on that weekend trip you’ve been promising her?

If you are like me, your biggest concern in relating to your kids is probably finding the time.

So take out your calendar right now and mark out blocks of time to spend with each child. Then, get your hands on your kids’ school calendar and make sure you can attend the special events.

And here are two more Action Items for being a good father in 2012:

1. Take our Championship Fathering Profile - www.fathers.com/profile. Then—to make sure you keep your commitments—take it again in June or July. Be sure to schedule a reminder right now.

2. Go public! You’ll be a lot more likely to keep your commitment if you post your resolution publicly. Be sure to leave a comment below!

This New Year, don’t just make resolutions. Make commitments. Turn ideals into reality, and reach for greatness as a dad.

Happy 2012!

P.S. My resolution this year is to take my son Chance with me on business trips at least four times throughout the year, so we can spend more time together and he can see first-hand the importance of pursuing a vocation with passion.

Carey Casey is the CEO of the National Center for Fathering, a nonprofit organization dedicated to changing the culture of fathering in America by enlisting 6.5 million fathers who to make the Championship Fathering Commitment - www.fathers.com/cf. NCF believes that every child needs a dad they can count on, and uses its resources to inspire and equip men to be the involved fathers, grandfathers and father figures their children need. Subscribe to his weekly email tip by clicking here: “Yes! I want tips on how to be a dad who loves, coaches, mentors, and inspires my children.” - www.fathers.com/weekly

Nonprofit Sends Super Father to Super Bowl

National Center for Fathering giving away two tickets to one lucky dad

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (Dec. 23, 2011)

In response to a “critical shortage of heroic fathers,” the National Center for Fathering (Fathers.com) has launched a contest to find a father or father figure who excels at loving, coaching, and modeling, three attributes the Center identifies as key to successful fathering.

This father, along with his son or daughter, will win a ticket to Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis on February 5, 2012.

The contest is part of the nonprofit’s initiative to reverse a trend of fatherlessness, said Carey Casey, the National Center for Fathering’s CEO.

“We have a crisis in this country: Our children have a critical shortage of heroic fathers and father-figures,” said Casey, adding that the dangerous trend is negatively impacting teenage pregnancy rates, drug abuse, mental and physical health problems, and poverty.

The giveaway is an opportunity to reward heroic fathering and raise awareness about the Center’s mission, said Carey. To enter the contest, a father will be asked to film a 60-second-or-less video explaining:

1) Why he is a great father or father figure;

2) Why his son or daughter is the ultimate football fanatic; and

3) Why he deserves to take his son or daughter to the Super Bowl.

Contestants will then upload the videos to YouTube and post them on the Fathers.com Facebook page (www.facebook.com/NCF4dads). The public will vote for the videos between January 16 and January 20. On January 21, three judges will select a winner from the top three vote-getting videos. The winner will receive two tickets to the Super Bowl: one for him, and one for a child of his choice.

The National Center for Fathering is a nonprofit organization based in Kansas City, Missouri. For two decades, it has been fighting to bring the importance of fatherhood to the forefront of society.

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About the National Center for Fathering

 

The National Center for Fathering is a nonprofit research and education organization whose mission is to champion the role of responsible fatherhood by inspiring and equipping men to be more engaged in the lives of children. The Center provides practical, research-based training and resources that equip men in virtually every fathering situation to be the involved fathers their children need. NCF believes that every child needs a dad they can count on, and uses its resources to inspire and equip men to be the involved fathers, grandfathers and father figures their children need.

For more information on the National Center For Fathering and Fathers.com, visit www.fathers.com, or visit the Center’s social media sites.

Facebook – www.facebook.com/NCF4dads

Twitter – www.twitter.com/fathersdotcom

YouTube – www.youtube.com/fathersNCF

 

 

The Meaning of “Home”

Over the years, my wife and I have occasionally brought up the idea of moving. Our house suits our needs, but it’s nothing spectacular. Some would say it’s humble.

Every Christmas, we have our entire family in our house for a celebration—my four kids, three spouses, and a sleigh full of grandkids.

It’s a tight fit into our main living room.

But my older kids cherish coming home. And they are the ones who say, “No, don’t you sell this house, Dad. We have memories here.”

Since they’re married now, they have to sleep in small rooms with two single beds, and their babies sack out in cribs or in sleeping bags on the floor.

And they love it …

Bigger is not always better. Nicer is not always what your children want.

So, I guess we’ll bring in a few extra chairs when we all open up our new pajamas on Christmas Eve—that’s one of our traditions.

And the next morning, when we walk down the stairs—oldest to youngest so that the adults get to see the kids’ face as they walk in and see the trees and gifts and whole family waiting …

Well, we’ll feel a little packed.

But it’ll all be just right. We’ll be home.

Even as I say that, though, I’m pretty sure my kids would tell you the best part of being “home” for the holidays is not the house itself. It’s more about who is there and what we do.

My kids razz each other. Fireworks explode across the grandkids’ faces as they see their presents… which delights the adults even more than the kids.

I count my blessings to have them with me.

In today’s world, family situations are complicated. Maybe some of your kids can’t be home with you. Or maybe you’ll meet in a central location that isn’t “home” to anyone.

A few weeks ago, I told you about a 65-year-old mom who reads The Night Before Christmas over the phone to her kids every Christmas Eve. They have families of their own, and they are scattered across the country…

But every year, Mom and her two daughters make sure they find a way to enjoy their tradition together.

Your family doesn’t have to be at home to be home. Your family doesn’t even have to be together to be together.

Creating a “home” is about creating traditions and bonds that tie the family together, wherever they are.

So I encourage you to do whatever you can to keep your family traditions going, or to create new ones if your family has changed.

The idea is to be flexible in where, when and how you celebrate. Being together—if only in spirit—is how to really bring Christmas home.

Merry Christmas to you and yours,

Carey

 

Carey Casey is the CEO of the National Center for Fathering, a nonprofit organization dedicated to changing the culture of fathering in America by enlisting 6.5 million fathers who to make the Championship Fathering Commitment. NCF believes that every child needs a dad they can count on, and uses its resources to inspire and equip men to be the involved fathers, grandfathers and father figures their children need. Subscribe to his weekly email tip by clicking here: “Yes! I want tips on how to be a dad who loves, coaches, mentors, and inspires my children.”

Four Strategies: How to be a Dad Who Pays Attention to School

It’s always the same this time of year …

Work obligations slow down a bit (if you are lucky) and family obligations start picking up.

So let me ask you a question:

How much time are you spending in your child’s life? Specifically, how involved are you in your child’s academic future?

Seriously, think about it. How often do you take your child to school? How often to you just hang out talking about his teachers and favorite subjects? How much do you know about your child’s school?

So as an end-of-the-year request, I want to challenge you to hike up the amount of time you spend focusing on your children’s education in the coming year.

Here is one great way to do this: Plan a day right now to volunteer at your child’s school as part of our WATCH D.O.G.S. (Dads Of Great Students) program—or help bring the program to the school if there isn’t one. We currently are on track to having about 230,000 fathers who volunteer at least one day each year at their child’s school. Join us, and make it 230,001.

In addition to WATCH D.O.G.S., here are four other Action Points for being a great dad who focuses on education, brought to you by Eric Snow, the national director of Watch D.O.G.S..

1. Spend some time creating something with your child to give to his or her teacher and/or principal before Christmas break. It doesn’t have to be expensive. A homemade card, poem, story, plate of cookies, or drawing would be perfect.

During this time, talk to your kid about school. What subject does your child like best? Least? Who are his or her friends?

2. Make a New Year’s resolution to read to your child and/or help him or her with homework at least four nights a week.

3. Remember that most schools ignore some big components of education: budgeting and family life. Ask your kids to help with the shopping list, and the grocery shopping. This is a great opportunity for real life lessons on planning, organizing, and budgeting.

In the same vein, make sure your kids get to help with meal preparation. Even if you are going to a relative’s house, you can bake and frost some cookies together to take with you.

4. Don’t forget to make GIVING a major emphasis for your family. You could:
• Go to the mall or Wal-Mart with your child and find an “Angel Tree,” which provides details (name and gift suggestion) of a child whose parent is incarcerated. Include your child in every step of the process: Ask your son or daughter to help you pick out a present for this child, have your child pay for the gift and drop it off with the Angel Tree representatives.

• Take your child with you when you ask your church if there is a family that you could help in some way during the holidays. Include them in on whatever assistance you provide. Depending on how old your child is, you might even put him or her in charge of coordination.

• Ask a younger child to drop money in the Salvation Army kettle.

• Finally, create a plan to be involved in your child’s academic life year-round.

You can learn more about our WATCH D.O.G.S. program—including tons of success stories from around the country—on our website -www.fathers.com/watchdogs - or the WATCH D.O.G.S. group on Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/groups/40568192109/.

Carey Casey is the CEO of the National Center for Fathering, a nonprofit organization dedicated to changing the culture of fathering in America by enlisting 6.5 million fathers who to make the Championship Fathering Commitment –www.fathers.com/cf. NCF believes that every child needs a dad they can count on, and uses its resources to inspire and equip men to be the involved fathers, grandfathers and father figures their children need. Subscribe to his weekly email tip by clicking here: “Yes! I want tips on how to be a father who loves, coaches, mentors, and inspires my children.”www.fathers.com/weekly

Sometimes You’ve Gotta Let Your Kid Play Hooky to Be a Good Dad

A mom I know recently told me that when she was a kid, her dad would help her “play hooky.”

Shocking, right?

It’s actually a great example of a father who created a memorable tradition and bonded with his daughter during the holiday season …

See … her dad used to excuse her from school for a day right before winter break and take her shopping. Sure, they got some holiday shopping done, but more than that … it was a day to bond.

She felt like she was getting a rare and special treat, and because her dad was “in on it,” she felt particularly close to him on that day.

Dad, are you looking for unique opportunities to bond with your kids this season? If you take a look, you’ll see that they are all around you. (Just to be clear, I don’t recommend helping your child play hooky all the time, but some experiences and traditions are worth it … )

Traditions—whatever they are—help create anticipation and memories that last a lifetime. Your family is unique, and traditions allow you to express your common bond as a family during the holidays.

When I talk about traditions, I’m not talking about television programs or the family’s annual Xbox 360 challenge. Rather, I’m talking about building traditions that encourage discussion and togetherness. You may already have some great traditions that work for your family, or maybe you’re looking for a few more to add. The point, Dad, is that it’s your job to lead the way.

Here are our 10 Action Points for creating lasting family traditions this holiday season.

Keep in mind, every family is different, so these are just a few ideas:

1.Start by thinking about the traditions from your youth, and ask your spouse to do the same thing. Then discuss those that you want to continue, and others you’d like to invent for your own family. Who said you have to have turkey or ham? One family we know splurges with the same exotic shrimp dish every Christmas. That’s their tradition. Another has Italian beef.

2.How about a cookie party where each member of the entire family bakes one kind of cookie? From this, you can make plates of cookies and distribute to neighbors, the postman, whomever …

3.In one family, Uncle Tim leads all the cousins on a nature hike through the woods before Christmas dinner.

4.Another family—with older kids—volunteer at the local soup kitchen during the holidays.

5.Read a holiday story or a passage from the Bible. We know many families who read Luke chapter two before opening presents. Another family listens to Peter and the Wolf. Another 65-year-old mom of adult daughters reads them The Night Before Christmas every Christmas Eve, even if she has to do it over the phone.

6.If emphasizing your faith is important part of your holidays, attend a candlelight service on Christmas Eve. Candlelight services can make a big impression on youngsters who are already caught up in the spirit of Christmas. In the midst of the gifts, the food, the decorating, and all the other activities, make sure your family also celebrates and worships the reason for the season. (Of course, if you’re of a different faith than what I’ve described, find appropriate ways to bring that emphasis to your time together.)

7.Save all the holiday cards you receive—unopened—until Christmas Eve. Then, with everybody gathered round, open the cards, read them one by one, talk about how you know that family, and thank God for blessing you with such great friends.

8.Buy a “family ornament” every year. Choose a tree ornament that symbolizes the most significant family event this past year. Maybe it will be a little house (if you moved), or a little dog (if you got a new pet), or a symbol for one of your children’s accomplishments. Write the year on the back, and in years to come, you can watch your family history unfold year by year as you decorate the tree.

9.Give each child his or her own ornament each year. It may be hard to imagine, but just about the time the tree branches really start to droop, the kids will marry and take their ornaments with them for their own tree, and start the tradition again with their own children.

10.Make videos with everybody talking about the highlights of the past year—even if you have a baby who can only make gurgles and squeals. As your children grow, and then when your family expands to include spouses and even grandchildren, just think how valuable those videos will become!

Dad, I know sometimes these holiday traditions can seem routine; you may not realize how important they are to your kids. They may not even realize it. But as the years go by and the children leave home, trust me … it just won’t be Christmas without those traditions.

Please leave a message and share some of your December traditions.

Carey Casey is the CEO of the National Center for Fathering, a nonprofit organization dedicated to changing the culture of fathering in America by enlisting 6.5 million fathers who to make the Championship Fathering Commitment –www.fathers.com/cf. NCF believes that every child needs a dad they can count on, and uses its resources to inspire and equip men to be the involved fathers, grandfathers and father figures their children need. Subscribe to his weekly email tip by clicking here: “Yes! I want tips on how to be a father who loves, coaches, mentors, and inspires my children.”www.fathers.com/weekly