As adults we hear about how hard it is to be a teenager in today’s world, but as you bend your ear to listen to the hearts and thoughts of these young girls, you begin to really see what it means. It is not just the external pressures around them that makes it difficult for them, but also the internal pressure and negative self-talk that comes from within.

Pressure to succeed, to excel, to have the right curves in the right places, to be skinny, to be fun, to be pretty, to be sexy, to be athletic, to be feminine, to be “enough”. The teenage world in which they live is exhausting, impossible, and lands countless girls believing they aren’t enough for anyone. The life of a teenage girl is comprised of comparing. They compare themselves to everyone around them, all of the time! How can they measure up to the airbrushed supermodels, the teenage sex icons, the music video and movie “hotties”? Then there are the girls in their classes, the “good” girls, the “bad” girls and all of the other versions of who they “should” be. The examples in many of their lives have said in so many words – if you are not “enough” on your own – fix it, buy it, or have surgery to correct it. Meanwhile, these wounded, bleeding hearts are trying to also answer the main questions in their life that every teenager has to face – who loves me and why am I important?

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Teenage girls crave love, real love, and yet have such a hard time receiving it and believing they are worth it. For many of them – they have no idea what it looks like to be loved well or to believe they are lovable. In recent years, I’ve noticed young women are struggling more with the primary questions of “Who loves me?” and “Why am I important?” than I have seen in past years. Many of them simply do not love themselves and certainly do not see themselves as important. So, in their minds, why would anyone else see value in them, even God?

Please hear how important it is to keep telling your daughter how loved she is by you and by the Lord, just as she is. How important she is to you and to the Lord, just as she is. “I love you” and “you are really important to me” are great phrases to add to our everyday conversations with those we love!

With thanks to all you great dads out there,

Kristy Fox

 

On November 12, we will conduct a Webinar based on our book “Prized Possession” Join us in this limited seating venue to learn about the culture and threats our daughters face every day as well as tons of help and  best practices to help you navigate this imporatant time of life. Sign up now to reserve your seat. Sign up from our website CLICK HERE

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Alan Smyth —  October 27, 2014 — 2 Comments

If you have been following this blog, you have heard me talk about something I like to call the “Father/Daughter Get Away.” My niche in this three headed blog is to speak from the perspective of a Dad who has raised a grown daughter and the things I have learned. Additionally I will bring you great ideas from other Dad’s I know.

Today, I would like to share with you a great trip done by one of my buddy’s. Stu made a tradition where he took each of his three daughters on two different special trips. The first trip they took was when his daughters turned 13.  The second trip they took was during their senior year of High School. I will write about that trip another time. Listen to Stu tell part of his story.

From Stu: The first trip I took each of my girls on was when they were 13 years old. We would go to where ever they wanted to go in the USA. Of my three daughters, we had one who wanted to go to Los Angeles, one to New York City and one to Victoria Island. On these trips, we set out to do whatever the girls wanted to do, see shows, stay in a castle, etc. I wanted to show them how they should be treated by a man on a date, so nice dinners, “high tea”, etc. Then I also bought them a memorable piece of jewelry. Now I NEVER do that so it was really special. For example we were walking the streets of NY city and we came to Tiffanies jewelry store, Hannah’s eyes lit up knowing what this place is. It has four stories and you are greeted by the doorman in a tux. I whisper to the first sales person, “My daughter has turned 13 and I need the cheapest thing in your store!” She says out loud what a special day! We have lovely Tiffany’s heart necklaces on the 4th floor, back left counter! ($99) Hannah loved it, what a memory. The packaging, the blue bag, the walking the streets of NY, the eating on street corners, the shopping at knock off underground NY stores, the staying in a friend’s 300 square foot flat in Soho, was all part of this special time.

Stu continues with:  It’s easy for dads to say “oh I couldn’t to that” “I don’t get that much vacation,” or “that’s too much money”, or “my daughter can’t miss school,” to all those things I say “Bull!” You are men, you do whatever you want most of the time. Take out a loan; take a leave from your job. I’d take a 2nd mortgage on the house for what the experience has given to us as dad and daughter. (Mom is actually a bit jealous because of the special memories you get with your daughter).

Today’s take away: Plan an age appropriate trip with your daughter. Start the tradition, take the time, make the memory. It’s about the best thing you can do!

I’d love to hear about it!

Alan Smyth

Stu’s story, as well as many other Dads perspectives are contained in the book “Prized Possession” which is avaiable now.

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Comparison

Dr. Don Worcester —  October 24, 2014 — Leave a comment

Most guys understand competing. We tend to keep score and keep track of our standing and rank in lots of different places and lots of different ways. We tend to do it openly and directly. As a group, men are much more likely to add up their respective wins and losses and go on their way. Our daughters will have to navigate more than Competition. They will have to face and battle Comparison. Competition is a scorecard on my performance. Comparison is a verdict on my value, and the jury is always out

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Alisa Keeton is a good friend and Ministry Leader. She founded Revelation Wellness and writes a great blog on health, fitness and freedom. Her recent Post on “Comparison” reflects a real tension that many of our daughters will be working out in their own lives.

 

I read a quote the other day that said, “Comparison is a violent act against oneself.”

Dang. Truth. Ouch.

Here’s the deal. If you are a woman, with air in your lungs, you have suffered from this debilitating disease called comparison. It’s gross. It’s heavy and ill fitting. It lurks around nearly every corner for every woman alive. It gives reason for why Jesus would tell us to armor up, for it is one of the enemy’s greatest schemes.

Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. – Ephesians 6:11

Comparison recently shot a new hook into my heart. So here I am, ready to confess it and keep my freedom. And maybe, just maybe, someone else will get free too.

As a young girl I can remember looking at tall, blonde hair, blue eyed all American kind of girls and thinking to myself “I’m screwed.” My 5 ft. 1 inch (on a good day) athletic bodied and ethnic featured self didn’t stand a chance. I wasted some of my younger years trying to become someone I could never be. Eventually my rebellious nature kicked in and I chose to fight back against the status quo. I began a radical embrace of who I was on the outside; not even realizing there was an inside to deal with. Right about this time I leaned into making my body into the shrine I knew it could be. It got so crazy that I even elected myself to go up against 10-12 other women, who have spent countless hours in the gym, shellacked themselves with brown paint, haven’t eaten real food for days, all wearing bathing suits, posing half naked before a panel of mostly men, just so I could have a chance at “winning” the comparison game. (Read more at revelationwellnesss.org)

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Alisa’s story goes on to a good ending. The battle against Comparison is far from over. How is your daughter doing in this battle? Who does she compare herself to? Ask her. What verdict is she hearing and believing about her place in this world. Keep asking questions, keep listening, and keep showing up.

 

Grace and Peace,

Dr. Don Worcester

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Life is so very fragile and relationships are the things that last. How is it that I so often miss that?

I want my kids to know they are loved, really loved. I often ask myself how I can do that most effectively. I am a task oriented, list person. I want a “technique”, a “tool” or a “to do list”. So, what does the Bible say about loving others? It is not a “to do list”, it is a character list. It is a list of who we are at our core in our relationships with others. Below is a section of scripture often quoted in wedding ceremonies. Your daughter watches how you interact not just with her – but with your spouse, your co-workers, your friends, acquaintances, and family. Read this and put your name “dad” in the place of the word “love”. If you are like me, there will be many spots where it will be hard to insert my name. I fall very short of displaying love in many arenas. We are not perfect and thankfully – God’s grace is huge! Let’s pray that we can be a people, that you can be a dad, who displays, models and encompasses love in these ways to those around us that we love.

1 Corinthians 13:3-7 (The Message)

“So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love. Love never gives up, Loves cares more for others than for self, Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have, Love doesn’t strut, Doesn’t have a swelled head, Doesn’t force itself on others, Isn’t always “me first”, Doesn’t fly off the handle, Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others, Doesn’t revel when others grovel, Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, Puts up with anything, Trusts God always, Always looks for the best, Never looks back, But keeps going to the end.”

Love is the best gift you can give. Love is the best use of your energy. Love is the key to all relationships! Your daughter needs to see a man that loves others well………who loves her well!

Thanks for leaning in!

Kristy Fox

 

 

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Perfectionism |pərˈfek sh əˌnizəm|

noun

Refusal to accept any standard short of perfection.

 

Perfectionism is a beautiful and dangerous trap for many young girls. It often comes camouflaged as high standards, excellence or healthy ambition. It is critical to discern the difference between what is productive and what is destructive in areas of appearance, performance and goal setting in the lives of our children.

There are a few things we can and should do with our daughters to support the productive expression of their beauty and worth.

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Check Your Own Heart and Thinking

What you model will be more important than what you say. Are you willing to acknowledge your own limitations and mistakes? A good role model is honest and open about their abilities and their limitations. If we are trying too hard to be perfect as fathers, we may become defensive when our flaws spill out. A great dad is not a perfect dad. A great dad knows that he is loved and called by a Father who is Perfect. Saint Ignatius celebrated the ability of God to, “ draw a straight line with a crooked stick.” Crooked sticks and crooked dads are always welcome in God’s family.

 

Differences Are Not Defects

Your daughter is an original. She is not a copy of anyone else. Elvis Presley began his singing career by delivering his demo records to local radio stations. A receptionist at one station asks him whom he sounded like, after a slight pause Elvis said, “me”.

Elvis was a true original, no comparison necessary. Help your daughter discover and enjoy the original beauty of her design.

 

Keep Up With the Inside

What we do matters. The why behind what we do, really matters. Exercise can be a healthy activity or a destructive obsession. Good grades can be an affirmation of ability and hard work or a stressful self-imposed marker for value and self-worth.

Attention to personal appearance can be an appropriate expression of self-care or an agonizing competition for love and acceptance. We need to keep up with our daughter’s hearts and not just their habits. Pay attention to the inside and you can enjoy and celebrate whatever is happening on the outside.

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Keep Looking Up

Perfection belongs to God alone. Our confidence, our identity and our peace are not tied to a Perfect Performance but to a Perfect Love. Lets help our daughters’ accept that they are accepted, no performance required. Let’s help them feel beautiful before they look “pretty.” Let’s help them live boldly, to take their best shot, to swing away, to dance in the kitchen, and to be gripped by joy rather than strangled by fear.  Enjoy your daughter today.

 

Grace & Peace,

Dr. Don Worcester

 

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Below is an interesting and short Ted video on 3 things a man learned through his plane crash experience.

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use this link if the video does not show up above – http://youtu.be/8_zk2DpgLCs

 

Life is short. Life is about relationships. Sometimes it takes something huge in our lives to remind us of that. Hopefully we all don’t need a plane crash to help us get back on track.

As a parent I can be short tempered, impatient, busy, and my priorities can get mixed up. This video was a good reminder for me – there are a lot of things that can feel so urgent and necessary that I tend to neglect that which is most necessary.

In my life the most necessary are my relationships with God and my family. I need to remember to live as if that’s true. Is that true of you also perhaps? Let’s take heed from someone else’s “plane crash” reminder of what is most necessary in life?

Thanks for leaning in,

Kristy