Loading...

Follow National Fatherhood Initiative - Fathering Tips.. on Feedspot

Continue with Google
Continue with Facebook
or

Valid

 

One of the biggest challenges organizations have in serving dads is getting them to commit to attend a fatherhood program that can take several months to complete. That’s true of any fatherhood program, including the evidence-based 24/7 Dad® program of National Fatherhood Initiative® (NFI).

The standard timeframe for delivering the 24-hour 24/7 Dad®program is over three months, one two-hour session per week for 12 weeks. To reduce the three-month time commitment, some organizations use alternative timeframes to deliver it. These timeframes include delivering two sessions per week for six weeks and delivering half the sessions on a weekend followed by the remaining half on another weekend.

Sometimes, however, the commitment challenge is not only the number of weeks or months that it takes to complete 24/7 Dad®, it’s also the number of hours in the program. When organizations face this dual challenge, they typically eliminate portions of the program. To shorten the number of hours, they pick the content they think dads most need to learn. The problem with shortening the program is that it can reduce the program’s impact and affects the ability of an organization to evaluate it.

That’s why NFI recently tested a different timeframe with the University of Utah that involves delivering the program in only eight hours over four weeks. Part of what makes this timeframe useful is that it not only helps with recruiting dads—and retaining their participation—it also allows for evaluating the program with the 24/7 Dad® Fathering Survey. (The University of Utah uses the program as part of a fatherhood grant that requires evaluating the program’s impact.) 

The test went extremely well—so well, in fact, that we decided to create “How to Deliver 24/7 Dad® in Four Weeks,” a free downloadable guide that shows you how to deliver the program in four, two-hour sessions and still use the program’s evaluation tool! It lays out which portions of the program to include in each session so that you can still evaluate it with the 24/7 Dad® Fathering Survey.

One thing to consider about using this alternative timeframe is that it won’t allow you to deliver the program with fidelity. To deliver the program with fidelity, you must cover all of the content in the program. That’s why the guide also includes seven other alternative timeframes that can help you with the recruitment and retention challenge and which ones maintain fidelity of the program.

Once you’ve had a chance to review the guide, I encourage you to become a member of our free Father Engagement Learning Community™ to learn how other 24/7 Dad® facilitators implement their program and for you to share what’s worked in your program.

I wish you the best as you determine the best timeframe to use with your dads!

Be sure to grab your free copy of "How to Run 24/7 Dad® in Four Weeks" here!

What timeframe do you use to deliver your fatherhood program?

If you have problems recruiting and retaining dads, which of the timeframes included in this guide would make the most sense for your setting?

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

 

Two of the questions that staff of National Fatherhood Initiative® have been asked most often by dads is: 

  • Do you have advice for me on connecting with my child, a child I’ve never known and who doesn’t know me?
  • Do you have advice for me on reconnecting with my child, a child I haven’t seen for many years?

Many kinds of dads have asked us these questions. They include never married, non-custodial dads, dads who are or who were incarcerated, and dads who have been absent from the life of their child for any reason (e.g. divorce).

Do you serve such dads—dads who long to connect with their children, but they just don’t know how? If you do, then you now have the opportunity to acquire one of the most vital resources we’ve developed.

It’s a new brochure entitled, "How to Connect With Your Minor Child After a Long Absence." It educates dads on two stages they must pass through—with associated steps in each stage—to successfully connect with their child (under age 18) for the first time or to reconnect if once connected.

When you get this brochure into the hands of a dad who longs to connect with his child, you'll help him learn not only what he must do but how he must do it—a process that will give him the best chance to succeed in connecting. He'll learn, for example:

  • How he can increase the odds of connecting or reconnecting through self-awareness, honesty, a focused plan, and hard work.
  • How to plan for and when to meet with the mother (or other main caregiver) of his child—and what to say and ask during that meeting—to encourage her to give dad the "green light" to connect.
  • His options in the event that mom (or other main caregiver) won't allow him to connect.
  • How to plan for and when to meet with his child—and what to say and ask during that meeting—so that he and his child can lay the foundation for a successful relationship.

We released the brochure a couple weeks ago, and it’s flown off our shelves. You can preview the entire content of the brochure here. Just click on the small thumbnail images of the brochure's content, which appear below the main image of its cover. You can acquire it online through FatherSource™, or call FatherSource™ at 240-912-1263.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

If you watch almost any show on television that involves a father these days, it's common to see a dad who is portrayed as an idiot when it comes to his children and family. In real life, many men have been told straight up: You don't really parent; you babysit.

It is estimated that people spent more than $15 billion celebrating dad this past Father's Day. Why all the celebration if dads really don't make that much of a difference in the lives of children?

In an article for the Institute for Family Studies, Dr. William Jeynes, Harvard graduate and professor at California State University, Long Beach, highlights his recent meta-analysis of 34 studies regarding the unique role fathers play in child-rearing. He found statistically significant effects between good fathering and a number of outcomes for both boys and girls.

Jeynes looked at whether fathers make a unique contribution in raising children compared to moms. The meta-analysis included 37,300 subjects. In the study, Jeynes and his team defined the unique fatherhood contribution as paternal monitoring, involvement and child-rearing activities that can be distinguished from activities undertaken by the mother, another guardian, relative or caregiver.

A clear theme emerged: While mothers were often shown as the more nurturing parent, fathers appeared to be more involved in preparing children to deal with life. Fathers also seemed to more realistically assess their children's future behavior problems. In some cases, fathers were better predictors of their child's future cognitive performance than moms were.

Jeynes also found that father involvement or monitoring was associated with lower rates of delinquency and substance abuse among boys and girls. That's in addition to students performing better in school and having better attitudes while in school.

While the analysis showed mothers consistently demonstrated higher average levels of patience and nurturing than fathers, fathers tended to expect more of their children and placed greater emphasis on the preparatory aspect of child-rearing more so than mothers. Results also suggest that there is often a balance established when the unique role of the father is combined with the distinct role of the mother.

According to Jeynes' analysis, the importance of fathering is undeniable, and father involvement is greatly connected to family structure. He also asserts that father engagement is best facilitated in two-parent families, mainly because single-parent families tend to be headed by mothers.

Jeynes also cites a 2015 article appearing in Education Next, indicating that children living in two-parent families consistently receive more schooling than those in single-parent families, with the gap increasing over time.

Additionally, statistical analyses of nationwide data sets show that, on average, children raised by their biological parents in intact married families academically outperformed their counterparts who lived in cohabiting families and never-married, single-parent families.

Coming from a two-parent, intact family helps kids experience high levels of mother and father engagement, although it does not guarantee that mothers and fathers will be involved. Nevertheless, the changing makeup in family structure in recent decades has ultimately made father involvement more difficult.

Jeynes offers these thoughts based on his research outcomes: One of the most child-sensitive and family-sensitive actions one can take is to develop a greater appreciation of the value of fatherhood. And it is not only unwise to diminish the salience of fathers; it is mindless to do so. Moreover, it is blatantly unkind to America's children to detract from a vital parental role for their future fulfillment. To be truly pro-child is to be pro-father.

Don't underestimate the role fathers play in raising children to be successful adults. If you want to model being pro-child and pro-father, here are some things you can do.

  • If you're a mom, encourage positive male role model involvement in your child's life.
  • If you're a non-residential dad, visit with your children as often as possible. Avoid making promises you can't keep. Be intentional about teaching them important life lessons.
  • If you are an educator, encourage fathers to be active in the classroom.
  • Be a positive male role model for the kids in your community.
  • Faith-based institutions and programs can bring fathers together with their children. Encourage healthy and appropriate male role models to engage children in their sphere of influence.
  • If you're a business leader, encourage employee participation in community efforts with children. For example, promote mentoring with organizations like Big Brothers-Big Sisters, youth groups, Boys and Girls Club or Girls Inc.

There is no denying that a healthy father positively impacts his child's life and that father absence dramatically affects a child's ability to thrive throughout life.

This article originally appeared on timesfreepress.com and was reposted with permission from Julie Baumgardner. She is the president and CEO of family advocacy nonprofit First Things First. Contact her at julieb@firstthings.org.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

I’m pleased to announce the release of fidelity checklists for the 24/7 Dad®, InsideOut Dad®, and Understanding Dad® programs of National Fatherhood Initiative®(NFI)!

What’s a fidelity checklist, you ask?

In the context of fatherhood programs:

  • It’s a tool that researchers and program managers use to observe program sessions—either some or all of them—to ensure that facilitators facilitate a program as the program’s creators designed it to be facilitated.
  • Researchers use a fidelity checklist to help evaluate a program. By observing program sessions—either a sample or all of them—they can determine whether the impact of a program on dads was affected positively or negatively by the quality of facilitation. If, for example, a facilitator doesn’t cover a key concept measured by an impact evaluation survey, they know the facilitator contributed to a desired outcome that wasn’t achieved (e.g. an increase in specific pro-fathering knowledge).
  • Program managers use a fidelity checklist as a teaching aid. (They can also use it as part of an evaluation they might conduct.) They use the checklist as they observe the facilitators they supervise. Then, ideally, they coach their facilitators in between sessions (e.g. you didn’t cover “x” or you didn’t conduct this activity correctly).

While researchers can use these new checklists during evaluations, we created them primarily for use by program managers as a teaching aid. (Teams of facilitators can also use them as they observe and coach each other.) They’re simple to use, and program managers can use them to observe any session. Each checklist includes instructions at the start of it to ensure that program managers know how to use it effectively.

Program managers in organizations that use:

  • 24/7 Dad® can download its checklist here. They can use it with either the A.M. or P.M. version of the program.
  • The new third edition of InsideOut Dad® can download both checklists here, one for the Core Sessions and the other for the Reentry Sessions. (We included both checklists in the same file. Please note that NFI does not have a checklist for the second edition of the program.) You can also find both checklists on the USB/Flash Drive that comes with the complete program kit.
  • Understanding Dad® can download its checklist here.

NFI will add the checklists for 24/7 Dad® and Understanding Dad® to future production runs of the USB/Flash Drives for both programs.

In addition to using the checklist for the NFI program(s) your organization uses, we recommend that you download the associated and recently updated fidelity guide(s). Each guide covers the essential steps to take to ensure your organization implements the program with fidelity. You can find the guide for each program in the free Resource Library on fatherhood.org. Just look for the program category, click on the icon, and scroll through until you see the guide.

I hope you find the fidelity checklist for your NFI program(s) to be a helpful tool in your service to dads!

If you’re a fatherhood program facilitator, do you receive coaching on your facilitation? If not, have you asked someone to coach you?

If you’re a fatherhood program manager, do you observe program sessions and coach facilitators based on what you observe?

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

If you’re seeking to write a grant for fatherhood related funding or are simply looking to educate your community around involved fathers, start by gathering, understanding, and communicating the facts of father absence and the benefits of father involvement.

The best place to start gathering this sort of data is by learning about national facts and what’s happening with the fatherhood movement nationwide. To find this data, as you may already know, you can turn to National Fatherhood Initiative’s Father Facts™ publication, currently in its 7th Edition. New to this edition, we’ve added state-level data on father absence.

In addition to FatherFacts™, there are several other data sources you can call on to find out more father facts specific to your state and community. One excellent source is the United States Census Bureau.

To find data for your state, county, or city data, go to https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/US/PST045217 and enter your city, state, zip code, etc. then select which fact you are seeking. This website will give you basic demographic data useful for grant writing, such as median household income, percentage of households in poverty, percentage of children under 18 years old, and the racial/ ethnic background of your community. You can then drill down further into the data by selecting a topic from the table that is presented.

At the very minimum in your data gathering efforts, you should be able to provide information for the most recent year in your community about:

  • Rate of father absence (specifically, the proportion of children under 18 growing up without a biological, step, or adoptive father). To calculate this rate, divide the number of female-headed households with children under 18 by the total number of families with children under 18.

  • Births to married dads

  • Out-of-wedlock births

  • Marriage and divorce rates

You might also want to compile trend data—the same data over the past 5-10 years and over the past several decades. This will tell you whether father absence, out-of-wedlock childbearing, marriage, and divorce rates are going up, down, or stabilizing. The most persuasive data reports rates per thousand. You can report, for example, the number of marriages and divorces per thousand people living in your community.

Finding Other, More Specific Father Facts

As you well know, there are as many kinds of fathers as there are types of pies. You can use many variables to “slice up” and describe dads who are fathering in different situations. The following covers some of the typical ways in which you can categorize fathers and where you can find data on them. Before you start to gather information on dads, identify the variables you will use that make the most sense for your community.

  • Child-support Dads. Your local office of child support enforcement should be able to provide you with trend data about fathers in your community paying child support. They are required to compile this data under federal law. You can find out the number of fathers paying child support, the number not paying child support, and how much money is owed (known as “arrears”) by all of the fathers not paying child support. You might also want to compile trend data—the same data over the past 5–10 years and over the past several decades.

  • Non-custodial Dads. Your local office of child support enforcement is probably the best resource for gathering data on fathers living in your community who do not have primary custody of their children.

  • Single Dads. For data on single dads, contact the office of child support enforcement in your state or community. Sometimes this information is also available through the U.S. Census Bureau or through your state office of vital statistics.

  • Incarcerated Dads. For data on dads from your community in federal prison, contact the U.S. Department of Justice. Data on dads in state prisons might be kept by your state department of corrections. Data on dads in county prisons might be kept by a county department of corrections or sheriff’s office. Sometimes your state or county office of child support enforcement will know how many fathers from your community are incarcerated.

  • Military Dads. If you have a military base in your community, you can bet that some dads will be deployed, and for those not yet deployed, it is likely that they will soon deploy. Because of privacy issues and other military policies, it might be difficult to get specific data on military fathers. Talk with the family-support personnel on base and ask what you can do to help. To find information about your local active duty installation’s family program, you can visit the websites of the military branches (www.army.mil, www.af.mil, www.navy.mil, or www.marines. mil). Additionally, it is likely that there is a National Guard or Reserve Unit in or near your community. You can find out more about family programs for Reserve or National Guard dads by looking in the government section of your phone book, or searching websites for military families, such as the National Guard Bureau Family Program (www.guardfamily.org) or the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs (www.defenselink.mil/ra).

  • Stepdads. Few communities, unfortunately, have a way of accurately reporting statistics on stepfathers. We suggest seeking out an organization in your community that might provide assistance to stepfamilies. Such an organization might have an estimate of the number of stepdads in your community. For national data on stepdads, contact the Stepfamily Association of America (www.stepfam.org).

  • Grandads. The U.S. Census Bureau can provide data on the number of children in your community living with a grandparent. Search the bureau site using the keyword “grandparents.” You can find the latest data on the number of grandchildren living with both grandparents (grandmother and grandfather). If you want data on children raised only by their grandfather, you should talk with someone at the bureau to see if that data is available.
  • Married Dads. The U.S. Census Bureau can also provide data on the number of children in your community living with a married dad.

 

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

One of the things I do to relax and reduce stress is listen to music. On most weekends, and sometimes after work, I put on my Beats headphones, launch Spotify, and transport into a world populated by my favorite artists.

I discovered Spotify during my 25th wedding anniversary trip to Cabo San Lucas. At the time, I listened exclusively to Pandora. After I arrived in Cabo, I discovered that I couldn’t access my Pandora account. Flummoxed, I wondered how I could lounge around the pool and listen to my favorite tunes.

Fortunately, I recalled that one of my daughters had recommended that I should check out Spotify because, according to her, it offers a superior customer experience compared to Pandora. Being the stubborn, stuck-in-my-ways person that I can be, I ignored her recommendation. But now that I was in a musical pickle of sorts, I wondered whether I could get Spotify in Mexico. I launched my web browser and found that I could. I had saved my anniversary.

Lest you think I spent all my time listening to music and ignored my wife during this rather significant anniversary, let me set your mind at ease. We had an incredible time together—an experience more than worthy of the occasion.

But I digress.

Since I started to use Spotify, I have indeed learned that it offers a superior customer experience. One of the pillars of the Spotify experience is the Daily Mix, a service I think of as Spotify’s concierge. Like a concierge focuses on helping guests get the most out of a travel experience, the Daily Mix helps listeners get the most out of a listening experience. Spotify describes the Daily Mix in this manner:

“Introducing the music you love, minus the effort. Daily Mix is the perfect line-up of tracks ready to play at the touch of a button. Based on the different styles of music you regularly listen to, each mix is loaded with artists you love, plus a sprinkling of new discoveries that fit the vibe too. What’s more, it grows with you. As your music taste evolves, so does your Daily Mix.”

I was blown away the first time I launched my Daily Mix. Its algorithm pegged my listening preferences so well that I added 10 of the first 12 songs in the mix to my main playlist. It was kind of creepy how well it knew my musical tastes.

You can leverage the Daily Mix’s creepiness factor to better serve dads. Specifically, by using its three interdependent pillars.

  • How well it gets to know you.

  • Its uncanny ability to customize a playlist with artists and songs to suit your musical tastes.

  • How it evolves as your musical tastes evolve.

Think of these three pillars as a three-legged stool that creates an excellent approach to serving dads.

  • Get to know dads as deeply as you can—their history, current circumstances, and desires for the future (e.g. for involvement with their children).

  • After you get to know dads, customize a holistic approach for each one that will help him to become the best dad possible.

  • Recognize that as dads become better dads, their involvement with their children will evolve. Dads won’t be static in their approach to father involvement.

Ensure that whatever fatherhood program or service you have or want to create integrates these three pillars.

How well do you get to know each dad you serve?

How well do you customize an approach for each dad’s involvement with his children?

Does your approach recognize that dads’ involvement evolves over time?

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

We just celebrated Father's Day... but why not celebrate fathers all year long with everything that's great about dads? 

Well, you can with the help of the newest sets of videos and PSAs from the National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse (NRFC) and the Ad Council.

Sometimes a short video or PSA can add that "special sauce" to your presentation or fatherhood program session. Check them out and be prepared to giggle a little, and experience the heartwarming stories of dads whose kids tell them how much they mean to them.

Below are a few of my favorites, you can check out all of the NRFC videos and PSAs (some are even in Spanish!) on the NRFC website here.

Don't forget that NFI also offers a ton of inspirational videos and PSAs on fatherhood.org in our Resource Library here and here!

RAD DADS: Derrex

Dad Tries Not To Cry When Sons Surprise Him | Rad Dads - YouTube

DAD JOKES: Isaac

Dad Jokes - Isaac :15 l Fatherhood Involvement l Ad Council - YouTube

DAD JOKES: Kya

Dad Jokes - Kya :15 l Fatherhood Involvement l Ad Council - YouTube

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

It’s probably no surprise to you that children exposed to domestic violence suffer short- and long-term consequences from it. But do you know how much it costs to address those consequences?

A recent study of the economic impact of children’s exposure to domestic violence from scientists at Case Western Reserve University pegs the cost at $55 billion per year. The press release on the study includes these sobering data.

  • Approximately 15.5 million children are exposed every year to at least one incidence of domestic violence.

  • More than a quarter of children will be exposed to domestic violence in their lifetime.

  • The U.S. spends $50,000 per child to address exposure to domestic violence in future health care, violent crime (e.g. likelihood of committing murder), and productivity (e.g. impact on future earnings) costs.

  • 27.3 percent of women and 11.5 percent of men have experienced some form of domestic violence (e.g. physical or emotional).

Fatherhood programs can put a dent in this costly problem by integrating components that address domestic violence.

It starts with creating and implementing a “domestic violence protocol,” a document that describes how the program addresses dads as potential and actual perpetrators and victims of domestic violence. It guides staff in how to, for example, screen for domestic violence and assist dads who might be at risk for or have engaged in or been the victims of domestic violence. It also tells staff how to get dads help, such as referrals to batterer intervention programs or one of the increasing number of shelters that accept men who are victims of domestic violence.

The Responsible Fatherhood Toolkit from the National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse (NRFC) provides an excellent description of what you should consider when creating such a protocol. It also covers other vital aspects of a comprehensive approach to addressing domestic violence, including:

  • Establishing partnerships with organizations focused on preventing domestic violence

  • Considerations on training staff

  • How to educate and build awareness among dads

  • How to engage dads as allies in prevention

  • Some case studies of innovative ways fatherhood programs have addressed domestic violence

National Fatherhood Initiative (NFI) also provides a tool that addresses domestic violence: Understanding Domestic Violence™. This affordable one-day workshop raises awareness of:

  • Domestic violence and its prevalence in society

  • The family impact of domestic violence and its effects on children

  • The cyclical nature of domestic violence

  • How to recognize the early warning signs of domestic violence

  • How to foster non-violence in the home

Many organizations use this workshop as part of their overall efforts to combat this costly public health problem. They use it as a stand-alone workshop or integrate it with a fatherhood curriculum, such as 24/7 Dad®.

How much do you know about domestic violence? (Read this post to increase your knowledge.)

Is your program doing everything it can to address domestic violence?

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

It's almost here! Have you registered?

Join NFI President Christopher Brown on June 21st for a special webinar to learn all about the 3rd Edition of the InsideOut Dad® fatherhood program developed specifically for incarcerated fathers.

DATE: Thursday, June 21st, 2018
TIME:
 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM EDT
TITLE: All About InsideOut Dad® Third Edition

Just in time for Father's Day 2018, NFI has released the third edition of InsideOut Dad®. The most widely used parenting program designed for use with incarcerated dads, this evidence-based program helps develop the pro-fathering knowledge, attitudes, and skills incarcerated dads need to successfully reenter the lives of their family and community. NFI has trained more than 1,900 facilitators from more than 800 corrections facilities and community-based organizations to run it.

Join NFI President Christopher Brown in this 45-minute webinar as he answers these two questions:

  • Why did NFI create this new edition?
  • Why should you use this new edition?

In answering these questions, Christopher will describe:

  • Why NFI created this new edition
  • The process NFI used to create it
  • Improvements to the program
  • Training on the program
  • The cost to purchase and acquire it

Whether you currently run the program or not, we encourage you to register. Even if you can't attend, register so you'll be first to learn when the recording is available for on-demand viewing.

Are you a dad looking for a fatherhood program in your area? Please visit our Fatherhood Program Locator™ and enter your city and state on the map to find programs and resources in your community.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

“Few things are as important to your quality of life as your choices about how to spend the precious resource of your free time.”

That quote by the science writer, journalist, and best-selling author Winnifred Gallagher encapsulates what is the most vital lesson I’ve learned in my nearly 20 years at National Fatherhood Initiative (NFI): the importance of how I choose to spend my time on a daily and weekly basis. (It’s also the most vital lesson I’ve learned in my personal life.)

One of the ways I choose to spend my time is reading on how to make better decisions. I bake such reading into my schedule at least a couple times a week and every Sunday.

The reason I want to know how to make better decisions is that I’m a fallible human being subject to cognitive biases that, when I leave them unattended, screw up my ability to make sound decisions. These biases are too numerous to mention. (Click here for a cheat sheet that lists the most common biases. I have it bookmarked for frequent reference.) Nevertheless, it’s been helpful to learn about the most common ones—those to which I’m most susceptible—and when they’ll lead me astray as I make recommendations for the programs, resources, and services of NFI.

I’ve often relied on my knowledge of the sunk cost fallacy, for example, to recommend we stop testing a new resource that doesn’t meet our partners’ needs. I’ve also used that knowledge to no longer offer a resource that once met our partners’ needs but does so no longer.

The sunk cost fallacy occurs when someone has invested so much in something—they have sunk a lot of cost into it—that they won’t let go of it because of that investment, even when it’s clear that they should let go of it. By not letting go of it, they harm themselves and, possibly, others. While such an investment and the harm it does can certainly be financial, as in an investment that’s losing money, it can also be emotional or spiritual, as in a relationship that needs to end.

If you’re a long-time partner of NFI’s, you might recall that we once offered a program called Why Knot?: A Marriage-Readiness Program for Men. We created this six-session workshop in 2008 because of the research that shows:

We designed the sessions to address these myths, misperceptions, and fears so that young men would be more open to marriage through greater awareness and knowledge of marriage’s benefits for them and for their future children. We invested:

  • A lot of staff time to create it.

  • A lot of money to pay a company with expertise in creating interactive journals to develop the “Marriage-Readiness Journal,” which served as the handbook that men used when they participated in the program.

Moreover, we invested a lot of emotion in the program. We believed it was important to help men see the value of marriage.

Sounds like a great program, huh?

We certainly thought so, and the initial, positive reaction of our partners indicated that at least some of them thought so, too.

Unfortunately, only a small portion of our partners eventually acquired the program. No matter how often we touted its value, it became clear to us that it didn’t meet an important enough need of our partners to continue to offer it.

Rather than wallow in self-pity—I recommended we create it and was co-author of it—I ignored the investment—all of our sunk financial and emotional costs—and recommended we no longer offer it. We could never recover the investment. We needed to look ahead to further losses of staff time to promote it and hold inventory.  Our staff agreed with my recommendation. We stopped offering it just a few years after its release.

I encourage you to learn about the cognitive biases to which we’re all subject, and how they can negatively affect the decisions you make in serving dads. I know you’ll find value in doing so, as I have. I spend a lot of time reflecting on what might help our partners. I’ve avoided recommending some crappy programs, resources, and services through greater awareness of my biases. If our staff and board knew of some of the truly crappy ideas that had crossed my mind, I might not be president of NFI! (Should I have written that?)

To get you started on learning more about cognitive biases and making sound decisions, subscribe to Farnam Street, my go-to decision-making resource. It’s a weekly blog delivered to your inbox every Sunday. I also recommend that you read Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman who won a Nobel Prize for his work on cognitive biases.

Are you aware of all the cognitive biases that can negatively affect your decision making?

How can making better decisions improve your service to dads?

Read Full Article

Read for later

Articles marked as Favorite are saved for later viewing.
close
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Separate tags by commas
To access this feature, please upgrade your account.
Start your free month
Free Preview