Dr. Ken Canfield

Dr. Ken Canfield2019-08-27T07:22:00-06:00

Dr. Ken Canfield, Grand Kids MatterMeet Dr. Ken Canfield

Nationally-known Key Note Speaker & Scholar

President of the National Association for Grandparenting

Former Leader of the National Center for Fathering

Served as founding member of former Vice President Al Gore’s “Father to Father” Initiative

Awarded the Father of the Year (1993) by the National Congress for Men and Children

Recipient of the Polish Presidential Medal of Honor (2007).

Presented at more than 200 conferences in a variety of communities, including fatherhood and family conferences in Mexico, Poland, Australia, Russia, Ukraine and Singapore.

Author of the award-winning 7 Secrets of Effective Fathers , The Heart of a Father, The Adventures of Fatherhood Series, They Call Me Dad, as well as several book chapters in edited texts.

Guest on The Oprah Winfrey Show (twice), NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s World News Tonight, Focus on the Family, and numerous radio programs.

Dr. Ken Canfield is a nationally known leader and scholar who has committed his life to strengthening fathers and families. He founded the National Center for Fathering – fathers.com – in 1990 and has been involved with many other organizations during his career.

Dr. Canfield has served as a consultant to media, national, state and community leaders—often in partnership with his wife, Dee. Ken has testified to the National Commission of Children (1990), served as a founding member of the Father to Father Initiative (1995-2000) and the National Fatherhood Leaders Group (2002-2006). He has been recognized for his leadership and was awarded the Father of the Year (1993) by the National Congress for Men and Children, the Most Outstanding Alumnus Award (2006) from his alma mater, Friends University, and the Polish Presidential Medal of Honor (2007).

Dr. Canfield has keynoted and presented at dozens of state and community conferences including Fatherhood Summits in California, Florida, Indiana and Kansas. In addition, he has taught his “7 Secrets of Effective Fathers” two-day conference to over 125,000 fathers in a variety of community centers as well as military and faith-based settings.

He is the author of numerous articles, both popular and scientific, and has written twelve books, including The 7 Secrets of Effective Fathers, The Heart of a Father, The Adventures of Fatherhood Series, They Call Me Dad, and most recently, The HEART of Grandparenting, as well as several book chapters in collaborative texts.

Besides publishing, Canfield was heard on a daily weekday radio commentary, Today’s Father, which he began in 1993 and aired on over 600 stations nationwide. He has been interviewed on The Oprah Winfrey Show (twice), NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s World News Tonight, Focus on the Family, 700 Club, and numerous other radio and television programs.

Ken is also founder and president of the National Association for Grandparenting (grandkidsmatter.org), believing that grandparents are a missing and needed addition to strengthen the family system.

Research on Fathering

Check out studies and statistics about fatherhood, including the troubling trend of fatherless children in America and some of the consequences that come with it.

Recent Blogs

See what Ken Canfield and others are writing and saying to today’s dads – providing tips, encouragement and maybe a challenge or two

Fathering Library

See our wealth of articles on many different aspects of fathering, organized by your situation, your kids’ ages, and common fathering hot topics.

Fathers.Com –> Who We Are

We are a group of people passionately committed to bringing focus to fathers across the country.   We strive to improve the lives of children and establish a positive fathering and family legacy that will impact future generations by inspiring and equipping fathers and father figures to be actively engaged in the life of every child.



In January 2016, the National Association for Grandparenting was founded. Its genesis began several years earlier when I recognized the profound influence of extended family systems on our families and culture. Having spent three decades studying, strengthening and developing initiatives to help families—mostly inthe field of responsible fathering—I found myself in a new era of life: I was a grandfather.

Ken and granddaughter Tenley

Ken and granddaughter Tenley

Consequently, in the summer of 2016 (July), several colleagues, including my wife Dee of forty-two years, soft-launched the National Association for Grandparenting. We started as a humble effort to amass the best practices, research and insights to help grandparents succeed in this important role—one which I believe defines some of the best chapters of their lives.

One of our first public expressions of resources can be found at www.grandkidsmatter.org. There will be many more to come.  We are developing a team of passionate and highly skilled people to assist us in this cause.

So, consider this an invitation. If you want to join the team as volunteer, cheerleader and/or spokesperson, let us know of your interest. First and foremost, you can sign up for the Grandkids Matter email newsletter (free). Second, please consider becoming a member of the association. For a very modest fee of $24 a year, you will receive our magazine, benefits (in process) and other perks.

Dee and Ken Canfield

Dee and Ken Canfield

I seriously believe that grandparents will become even more vital as they help strengthen families, communities and nations. Grandparents who prioritize their grandchildren, whether natural or spiritual, will leave a legacy which will not be forgotten. No matter what our situation, there are grand opportunities before us, and it’s up to each of us to make a difference where we can.


“Alternative Methods for Evaluating the Null Hypothesis” co-author Walter Schumm, National Council of Family Relations, November 2009.

“Pre-Marital Sexual Activity as a Predicator of Post Marital Satisfaction”, National Council of Family Relations, November 2009.

“The Inestimable Value of Responsible Fathering” in Fatherhood: Insights and Perspectives, Children’s Institute, 2009

“Father Closeness: It’s Effect on Married Men’s Sexual Behaviors, Marital and Family Satisfaction” in Journal of Sexual Addiction and Compulsivity, 15:59-76, 2008

“The Benefits of Small Groups for Fathers,” in Why Fathers Count (University Press, 2007).

They Call me Dad (Simon and Schuster, Howard Press, 2005).

Columnist, Parent Life (Lifeway Publishing, Nashville 2003-07).

Foreword in Clinical and Educational Interventions with Fathers (Haworth Clinical Practice Press, 2001).

“Fathers Matter: Call to Commitment in Children’s Learning, U.S. Department of Education Research Summary (2000).

Engaging Non-Custodial Fathers, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (2000).

“Promises Worth Keeping,” chapter in The Fatherhood Movement: A Call to Action (Lexington Books, 1999).

Adventures in Fathering – series of 6 books (National Center for Fathering, 1999).

The Heart of a Father (Northfield, Chicago 1996).

Effective Fathering Practices and Fathering Satisfaction Related to a Father’s Life Course (Kansas State University, 1995).

“Measuring the Dimensions of Effective Fathering”, co-author Gale Roid, published in Educational and Psychological Measurement (1994).

Beside Every Great Dad, co-author Nancy Swihart, (Tyndale, Chicago, 1993).

The 7 Secrets of Effective Fathers (Tyndale, Chicago, 1992).

“Factorial Validity of Brief Satisfaction Scales in Fathers,” in Psychological Reports (1990).

The American Family Under Siege (Washington, D.C. 1989).

Additional articles and columns in: Grands Matter, Today’s Father, The World & I, Parents, Today’s Better Life, New Man and Living With Children.

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