The following is a post from Jim Mckenzie. Jim is a happy, totally committed and passionate dad of seven (7) young home-birthed children (which he hand delivered). He is publisher of Every Little Thing birth and Beyond 360 Magazine and blogs at The Fatherhood Biz. Get details on the Every Thing For Dads Convention and follow Jim on Twitter. Interested in blogging for us? Read our guest blog guidelines.
Three years ago, I was coaching a really popular health and wellness class at the my local Boys and Girls Club, and it was so disappointing that out of a class of 48 parents and children, there was only one dad…me!
I thought “if I have a busy life (I was then a dad of a mere five young children) and I can be here, paying it forward and more, then why can’t other dads?” This was the pivotal “ah ha” moment that led me to launch a movement to engage modern dads in their families’ lives, because so many were missing out on something truly wonderful…so many children were losing a chance to develop into well-rounded young adults because of fathers failing to be “present’ in their lives, even when they do live with their families.
I’m honored to be a guest blogger for National Fatherhood Initiative (NFI) who has been such a trailblazer for informed parenting! The rest of this blog might feel a little infomercial-ish; but do excuse me, because it’s my first blog post here.
I have a lot to tell you in a short space of time…so here we go...
Here's my family...
Here's my story...
Two years ago, when I researched the subject "family lifestyles," it was clear that there was a serious lack of media speaking to and for the support and promotion of a dad's pivotal role.
When I created Every Little Thing Birth And Beyond 360 Magazine, a free digital magazine for 21st century parenting lifestyles, I assembled an “army” of dads who had been trying to make an impact on the need for change, but who needed a cohesive voice in the media—the Every Thing For Dads movement was born!
Fast forward—now the unique dads section of the magazine runs to over 50 pages each month, covering many issues facing fathers today. With such momentum going forward, there is no doubt in my mind that dads' issues have to be brought alive. So on March 15, 2014, I’m launching the very first Every Thing For Dads Convention in Sarasota, Florida. It's meant to be a celebration of dadhood, which will also feature the MEGA Dads Awards; it will also be livestreamed. We will have celebrity guests from the NFL and TV at the event (teaser alert—you’ll have to check in with me to find out who…) Part of the proceeds will benefit The Every Thing For Dads Foundation which has a mission to create a live internet channel to reach and inspire dads from all walks of life.
The future? My goal is to be the hub for all dads and families to speak to making positive change for the better. We live in an era when the mom, dad, and two kids family is becoming less common. I can speak about how to be a great married dad, but I know very little about what it means to live as a single dad, divorced dad or blended-family dad. That’s why my mission is to include and connect dads from all walks of life with the very best information; caring and intuitive dads who can connect and convey their experiences to others with authority…and without being condescending—know what I mean? When the day arrives that I have Every Thing For Dads Conventions running in every state, and my own version of “The Oprah Winfrey” TV Show for everyday dads and families, then I will know my mission is on the road. I hope that you’ll join me on my journey to get there! See you in March!
This past Sunday, NFI participated in the Acumen Solutions Race for a Cause 8k as the culmination of our fit2father campaign, a six-week initiative designed to help fathers and their families live healthier lifestyles. Fathers and families from around the country took the fit2father pledge and the Acumen Solutions Race for a Cause allowed D.C. fit2father participants the opportunity to show their support for NFI and the issue of involved fatherhood!
From NFI staff and family, to local runners, and DC-area supporters, the NFI team had a strong presence. Daddy bloggers like Matt from DC Urban Dad
also joined the NFI team as we raced to end father absence.
Acumen Managing Director and NFI Board Member, Andy Schoka, connected NFI to this opportunity. This years Race for a Cause event was our best yet and Acumen Solutions is thrilled to have the NFI participate as one of our benefiting non-profit partners," said Shocka. "The 8K race was challenging and the 1 mile fun run was perfect for families and really aligns well with the NFIs fit2father message. Im incredibly thankful for the difference the NFI is making and Im pleased with the opportunity for Acumen Solutions to help contribute to the NFIs mission for years to come.
Missed out on fit2father? Stay tuned! We'll be launching our next opportunity for to get involved in one week!
We recently launched the fit2father Campaign and got an overwhelming response! Dads and families across the country have pledged to take part in a six week campaign to improve their fathering skills and to get healthy.
fit2father is based around three key strategies/principles:
- Condition - living an active lifestyle
- Nutrition - making healthy choices
- Connection - connecting fathers and families
Studies show that fathers have a significant impact on the health and well-being of their children
. A fathers body mass index is directly related to a childs activity level. Being fit and being a father go hand in hand.
For our main office and for those in the DC area, the fit2father campaign will culminate in the Acumen Solutions Race for a Cause
. We are excited for fathers and families to come out and support the fatherhood movement. Not only will this benefit NFI, bit it will help fathers everywhere.
If you have not taken the pledge or are interested in a race in your area visit www.fatherhood.org/fit2father
If you want to become part of the fatherhood movement become a Fatherhood Ambassador today! www.fatherhood.org/ambassadors
August is a busy month - people are cramming in their last vacations and kids are going back to school. Here at NFI, we've got lots going on as well - including some easy (and fun!) ways that you can join our movement to end father absence. Check it out:Walk/Run with Your Family
Bring your family and join the NFI team for the Acumen Solutions One Mile Family Fun Run on October 17 in Arlington, VA. It only costs $25 to register and the registration fee benefits NFI! Learn more/sign up today.
Not in DC, but want to get involved and organize a walk in your area? Fill out this form
and we'll send you info for starting your own local walk.Attend our 24/7 Dad and InsideOut Dad Training
Since 2002, we've trained over 3,000 organizations in all fifty states to provide helpful programs and classes for fathers. On September 15-16, we're hosting our annual training in Germantown, MD (right outside of D.C.).
Check out how you/an organization in your community can get trained and educate dads at www.fatherhood.org/2010training
.Vote for Our Pepsi Refresh Project
We're in the running for $250,000 to support military families, but we can't do it without your votes. Click here to vote today
(and please vote for our alliance partners, too!).