Archives For Alan Smyth

Happy Fathers Day

Alan Smyth —  June 20, 2016 — 8 Comments

Happy Father’s Day to all of you GREAT dad’s. How do I know you are a great dad? If you are reading this, you are engaged and interested in doing the best you can. That is a great dad! It’s not about the finished product, it’s about the trajectory you are on. I am proud of those Dad’s who follow this blog. I often get messages from many of you sharing highlights, pictures and stories from your journey.

This blog post is a simple shout of encouragement and affirmation to the hard work you are putting in regarding your role as Dad! This past Sunday was Father’s Day and so I salute you for taking your job seriously. I also want to challenge you to KEEP GOING! Stay after it! Even if things are tough, keep chasing your daughter.

1 Corinthians 15:58 talks of being “steadfast and immovable, always abounding in the work the Lord.”

2 Timothy 4:7 talks of “Fighting the good fight, finishing the race, keeping the faith.”

Do those things… be steadfast and immovable in your parenting patients and effort. Fight the good fight meaning it takes work and there is opposition. Finish the race meaning DON’T QUIT doing the right things. And keep the faith meaning know that God is working in and through you and your daughter even if you can’t always tell.

As you may or may not know, my kids are pretty grown. Trevor is 23 and Brittany just turned 28. I was really blessed this weekend to get wonderful Father’s Day wishes from them. I thought I would pass them along to you as an example of what your kids might be saying to you after they have grown through adolescence. For many, things are so turbulent (or will become so) that you can’t envision the other side. I don’t share these to say “look at ME” I share them to say “Look at YOU” and see the potential and victory that lies ahead. Be encouraged and press on!

Stay at it and God will bless….

Facebook message from Trevor that I got Saturday night…

Trevor fathers day post

What Brittany wrote on her card to me

Brittany fathers day card

 

Be steadfast!

Alan Smyth

 

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Muhammed

In honor of “the Greatest” whom the world lost last week.

Everyone around the world knows who Mohammed Ali is. And just about everyone knows he has at least one daughter.

However, until recently, I had never heard of his relationship with his daughters. His globally known nick name is “The Greatest.” That name refers to his incredible fighting talent. However, I would like to suggest that the term “the Greatest” might also include his advice to his daughters. See below.

The following incident took place when Muhammad Ali’s daughters arrived at his home wearing clothes that were not modest. Here is the story as told by one of his daughters:

When we finally arrived, the chauffeur escorted my younger sister, Laila, and me up to my father’s suite. As usual, he was hiding behind the door waiting to scare us. We exchanged many hugs and kisses as we could possibly give in one day.

My father took a good look at us. Then he sat me down on his lap and said something that I will never forget. He looked me straight in the eyes and said, “Hana, everything that God made valuable in the world is covered and hard to get to. Where do you find diamonds? Deep down in the ground, covered and protected. Where do you find pearls? Deep down at the bottom of the ocean, covered up and protected in a beautiful shell. Where do you find gold? Way down in the mine, covered over with layers and layers of rock. You’ve got to work hard to get to them.”

Muhammed and daughter

He looked at me with serious eyes. “Your body is sacred. You’re far more precious than diamonds and pearls, and you should be covered too.” Source: Taken from the book: More Than A Hero: Muhammad Ali’s Life Lessons Through His Daughter’s Eyes.

Question: Have you had these kinds of conversations with your daughter? Every other message on this topic she will get throughout her day will say the opposite. She needs your voice to speak truth, wisdom, guidance and discretion into her life.

Don’t wuss out on this important job!

Alan

 

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I recently had a great conversation with a friend regarding the title of our book, “Prized Possession.” Without yet reading the book, he offered that the title “rubbed him the wrong way.” He went on to describe how he sees his daughter as much more than a “thing” ie. A “possession.” To which I said “ABSOLUTLY.” I happened to have a copy of the book handy and I directed him to a few key parts in the book which I will now direct you to.

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From an opening page of the book:

“Prized Possession” from the Bible

“And we, out of all creation, became His prized possession”

James 1:18b, NLT

Prized Possession from the Dictionary:

 “The biggest thing in your life, the one thing you couldn’t imagine your life without”

“Something you care for deeply above all else”

“It could be anything you cherish close to your own heart and can be worth millions or worth nothing to someone else”

Excerpt from Chapter 2

When I think of the word “possession,” I do not think of it as an inappropriate, overbearing, “possessive” ownership that isn’t healthy. Rather, I think of possession in a loving, protective way that defines my place and role in Brittany’s life, and hers in mine. “Prized Possession” is one that I hold above all else and cherish with all of my heart. It’s a treasure with deep, intrinsic value. After all, Brittany is “mine,” because God saw fit to entrust her to me as her dad. She is my responsibility and my daughter, and I would defend and protect her to the death.

Excerpt from Chapter 8 (written by my daughter)

“What are you?”

“Prized Possession!”

“And…”

“Don’t you forget it!”

When I consider the woman I am today, I realize that this small conversation played an integral part in shaping me into the person I am right now. These four lines represent a life-long conversation that has taken place between my dad and me. I never realized how powerful these words were or how lucky I was to hear them on a regular basis. My dad began this conversation before I could speak in complete sentences or comprehend what meaning it carried. These words were some of the first words added to my lexicon. To this day, there is only one answer when my dad asks the simple question, “What are you?” Without any hesitation I reply, “Prized possession.” “And…” “Don’t you forget it!” It’s second nature. It’s who I am. It’s who I will always be.

My friend came back to me, gave me a hug and said, “I get it.”

I wanted to relay this experience in case any of you had the same question. Obviously the book goes into much more explanation, but this should get you started.

I’d love to know what you thought about the book after you’ve had a chance to read it. Praying it makes a difference for many. Could be a great “Fathers’s Day” gift.

 

Bless you

Alan Smyth

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Seldom do we receive bold clarity on any topic. Seldom is something as boldly clear as the marching orders we receive from the text below. In light of this Father/Daughter project that we have launched, a friend sent me this e-mail a few days ago. She thought I might be interested in this short conversation between a mom and a daughter.

Below is the e-mail I received

Hi Alan,

Yesterday I was talking to a friend who has a seven-year-old daughter. The little girl had been at school yesterday and a boy in her class told her she was ugly. When she got home that night, her mom was talking to her about it.

Mom: Did it make you feel sad?

Little Girl: No

Mom: Did it make you feel mad?

Little Girl: No

Mom: How did it make you feel?

Little Girl: It didn’t really make me feel anything because I knew it was a lie. Daddy always tells me that I am beautiful and precious both inside and out. So I knew what he was saying wasn’t true.

WOW!

She was right. I LOVE IT. It is a picture of the results we should all be aiming for in the parenting of our daughters. Wouldn’t it be awesome if our girls felt loved and cherished enough by us that they would also say the same thing? (or at least think it)

Do you think this little girl will be growing up secure and confident? Think she will have a better shot at making great choices as she grows up? YES on all counts!

Trust me when I say that in the next ten years, this little girl will be called a lot worse than “ugly.” It will get a lot worse and happen a lot more often. She will be degraded in the media, in music, on campuses and in locker rooms. Some of this future attack will be a whisper and other times it will be a scream.

I am so proud of this Dad for giving this girl a priceless gift that will set her up well for the rest of her life. I am so happy for this little girl and the trajectory that she is on.

And, I am so hopeful that anyone reading this blog will be urged to engage with their daughter at a new and deeper level. I am hopeful that your daughters and mine would be saying or thinking the very same thing when the world presses in on them and tries to tear them down. I am hopeful that when the world tells them lies (and it will), that our daughters will have some powerful truth to hang onto. It’s coming…. Will your daughter be ready? It’s partly up to you!

Today’s take away: Find a way to tell your daughter she is beautiful and precious both inside and out every day this week.

Are we clear?

Crystal!

Get after it

Alan

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With Father’s Day approaching, we have an offer for you. Hit the link below from now until Father’s Day and enter “DAD” at checkout to save 20% on your entire order. There are some fun shirts and other things for both Dad & Daughter.

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Apparently Jada Pinkett Smith is working on a documentary focused on Human Trafficking. I ran across a home-made video made by Jada after her first day on the job. It appeared to be late at night and she was simply talking into a personal camera or maybe a computer. She seemed to be deeply affected by what she had experienced that day.

In the process of doing some research she visited a post Human Trafficking treatment center. She sat with young girls who had recently been rescued from this hideous experience and was blown away by who she met and what she heard.

Jada

Here is a screen shot of Jada as she searches for the words to describe what she had experienced that day.

During this VLOG that Jada Pinkett Smith recorded, she recounted these words from a young woman who had recently been freed from the Human Trafficking trade.

“Manipulating men into giving you money for your body is ok because of what the music tells us. It’s almost expected”

Wow, can you believe that a young girl, recently out of sex trafficking said this about the music she heard?

I wonder if you are aware of what the hip hop/rap scene is teaching our kids? Are you aware of how these “artists” are talking about our daughters? Are you aware of the training they are providing for our boys?

I will not reprint the vulgar, dehumanizing, disgusting and degrading song lyrics here which are typical of the hip hop/rap music culture. You will have to take my word for it. Or, if you are feeling particularly curious or adventurous, google “Degrading song lyrics about women” and see what comes up. You can also search for song lyrics from the likes of “Dr. Dre”, “Lil Wayne”, “Cadillac Don”, “Ja Rule” and the infamous “Eminem.” “Eminem” has actually taken it a bit farther and infused a strong element of violence against women in many of his songs.

By the sounds of this music, you would think these guys regard our daughters as nothing more than disposable garbage.

Of course not everyone who listens to this music is as tragically affected as the young girl that Jada met. But studies show that such lyrics are certainly a negative influence which should be monitored by engaged parents.

Am I somehow crusading AGAINST a particular type of music or artist? NO! I am crusading FOR engaged, caring parents who are aware of the environment their kids are growing up in.

One side note: Thinking you can simply say “we don’t allow that music” will keep it away from your kids would be incorrect. It is everywhere and it’s impossible to control short of moving to a cave in the mountains.

The key is YOU being engaged, aware, caring and involved with your kids so you can interpret, shield and protect. Enter in conversation about these and other important topics.

Stand up Men. Your daughter needs you. Your son too!

Press On
Alan

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Our book Prized Possession goes into great detail on what I call “The Assault on our Girls.” You can pick up our book by hitting the link below.

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Spring Break – Scary

Alan Smyth —  April 18, 2016 — 2 Comments

We are in the season of Spring Break. When kids are little, “Spring Break” simply means a celebration of NO SCHOOL. And before we got all politically correct, it wasn’t even called “Spring Break.” It was called “Easter Vacation.” Either way, for kids, Spring Break started out pure and fun. It started out as time with family and friends.
Spring break 4
“Spring Break” now conjures up very different meanings and images. Spring break has become big business for popular destinations such as Vegas, Florida and Mexico. It is THE thing to do for thousands upon thousands of college kids.
Springbreak 3
Is it all bad? Ummmm, well, Yep, pretty much! Honestly, it’s baffling to me how and why parents are letting their kids go to these types of events. I guess there is a case to be made that those “kids” who are participating are actually “adults” and can do whatever they want. To that I say, GREAT, then pay for your own college… cell phone….food… car… etc etc etc. and be a real adult!

Springbreak 2
I certainly don’t mean to lump every kid on these trips into the lowest common denominator. But even good kids or naïve kids showing up in an environment with massive alcohol consumption, open sexual activity and exploitation, and predators of all kinds will lead to poor judgment, regret, pain or worse.

Ok, so what is my message to Dad’s out there? I’m guessing most you reading this agree with my opinion here and the overall safety of “Spring Breaks.” If not, I am totally comfortable going against the grain on this one.

My message is this:
The accepted stereo typical “Spring Break” activity is bad, unhealthy and downright scary. Especially for those of us with daughters.

Start while your daughter is young creating a fun, positive tradition over “Spring Break.” Something to look forward to every year.

Create family alternatives which are more attractive than the world’s options and you will have a better chance as your kids grow older. (hint: relationship with YOU is the key)

Or how about just saying “NO” to things you don’t approve of? Regardless of their legal age you will always be their parent and will always have a voice and a vote in their lives.

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For my daughters’ Sr. year “Spring Break” trip, I took her to Hawaii (just her ane I) and had her swim with the Dolphins. (her dream) Even better…. It was her idea.

You can do this guys. Step up and fill the void. Redefine what is fun, available, wholesome and healthy. Be counter cultural and start at a young age!

Press On

Alan

Great Father’s Day gifts below. Pick up the book “Prized Possession” for Dad’s and also a fun T-shirt or two at the links below.

 

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