Archives For Alan Smyth

A while back, Benji Cowart burst onto the Social Media scene with his parody of a popular song titled “RUDE.” He rewrote a pop song origionally done by the group MAGIC! but with a protective Dad’s twist on it. Because of this blog, dozens of people shared his YOU TUBE sensation with me and said “I saw this and thought of you.”

They were correct, I loved his version and immediately began my search for this creative song writer. I found him online and we exchanged a few e-mails. I asked him if he would like to write a guest post for this blog sharing the behind the scenes story of how and why he wrote the song. Below are his words telling his story.

But first, let’s all re live the “magic” of the song that went viral. Or in case you are the one person who didn’t see it the first time, watch below and then read his words.

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In case you can’t veiw the YOUTUBE video above, hit THIS LINK.

From Benji

The first time I heard the song Rude by the band Magic!, it was recommended to me by a friend but not because of the lyric, but because of the guitar tone on the solo. Its’ always about the tone.  And he was right, the lead guitarist for Magic! has an amazing guitar tone.  It was only after listening to the song a couple of times before I started catching the story in the lyric and more specifically, the “I’m gonna marry her anyway” line.

I don’t know if it’s due to the consistent portrayal of dad’s as total boobs in the media or it’s the constant theme in the news headlines of dad’s just having to put up with blatant disrespect and not being able to do anything about it, but something rose up in me when I heard that lyric.  The song is so brilliantly hooky that I couldn’t get it out of my head and I started singing it around the house but started messing with the lyrics to make my kids laugh (which is a common “dad joke” around our house.)

The more I messed with it, the more I realized that what I was singing was kinda funny. So I looked the entire song lyric up online and downloaded Magic!’s version (paid for it…which by the way, if you’re not paying for music that you download, you are stealing it…rant over).  From there, I channeled my inner redneck and re-wrote the entire song to give a comically exaggerated version of a how the dad might respond to a young man saying “I’m gonna marry her anyway”.

The aftermath

So as I write this blog entry, the youtube video that I posted of Rude (A Dad’s Response) has over 11 million views. In the two weeks after posting it, we were phone/facetime interviewed by multiple national news affiliates, the video has been shown on all kinds of major internet websites, and it even got played on Good Morning America.  Maybe the most interesting part of this journey has been the conversation on the Youtube comments section (which I only recommend to a mature audience because it is not for the faint of heart).  I have gotten plenty of negative comments ranging from young men outright challenging me to a fight, to other Christians calling me a hypocrite because I am claiming to be a Christian who is advocating murder. IT’S A PARODY PEOPLE!!!

But there has also been an overwhelming amount of positive comments ranging from dads saying “Yes, I have a baby daughter but you just gave me a theme song for when she’s old enough to date” to comments from adult daughters saying “I am a divorcee and I wish my dad had stepped up like that when I was dating my ex-husband”.

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More importantly, with both negative and positive comments, there has been a conversation. A worthy conversation about dads and daughters and young men and respect.  That conversation alone has made this whole thing worth it.

As a dad, I will always protect my daughter. I hope I’ll never have to be in a situation where I’d have protect my daughter to the point of taking a life but I do know beyond the shadow of a doubt that I would give my life for that little girl.  Hopefully, if I love her as I should and treat her like the treasure that she is, then the bar will be high for the kind of man that she will be drawn to some day.

Benji Cowart

 

Benji can be found on facebook and I-tunes where you can enjoy other recordings of his muisc.

 

If you want to look deeper into the convesation of raising a healthy daughter, pick up our book, “Prized Possession” by hitting the link below. We also have a fun store  to pick up some Daddy/Daughter gear.

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Don’t Give Up The Ship!

Alan Smyth —  September 8, 2014 — 1 Comment

In the summer of 1991 I might have received the most powerful bit of advice I have ever had. As a Young Life leader, I have taken kids to dozens of Young Life camps. Among all the fun, adventure and humor resides a powerful Gospel proclamation. We usher kids into significant life altering conversations.

1991 was a year that I took kids from Gunderson High School in San Jose to camp. We had a bus full of high school kids ready to have the best week of their life. As the first “club” meeting concluded on the first night, the camp speaker asked a series of questions. Among the questions were those regarding families. One of the questions was “what is something you wish you could change about your family?” Every single girl from the club I led answered the same. They said that their relationship with their dad was the thing they most wish they could change.

I was blown away. My own daughter was only 3 at the time and I couldn’t imagine not having a great relationship with her. I couldn’t imagine not being connected and in relationship with her when she was in high school. At the end of the week, I was determined to get more information. I knew these girls pretty well and so I gathered them together on the bus ride home. I started drilling them with all kinds of questions about their relationship with their dad. I told them that I wanted to make sure that in 15 years, I would have a great relationship with my Brittany. I needed to know what I should do and not do.

These girls said that I needed to stay engaged with her. They encouraged me to stay close no matter what. They were honest in saying that they were brats at times and sometimes pushed their dad’s away. However, they said even if Brittany pushes me away, DON’T GIVE UP! Keep pushing. Stay close even if she is a brat. They told me that even if my daughter said otherwise, that she needed me and will need me even more as she grew older.

That was all I needed to fuel the next 15 years in my relationship with my daughter. I was determined to start while she was young and stay close throughout her adolescence. No matter what…… I was not giving up.

Today’s take away: Don’t give up! Start now; stay close, even if she pushes you away. Or perhaps has already pushed you away. Maybe you have already considered yourself OUT. Forget it! Get back in the game. Get close to your daughter. Start small if you have too. Don’t give up!

See our website: www.myfatherdaughter.com for helpful resources and to subscribe to this blog.

Don’t give up!

Alan

 

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by Michelle Watson, PhD, LPC

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 (Now and then we have a guest post by a friend to this blog. Over this last year, we came to know Dr. Michelle Watson. She is doing phenominal work with Dad’s and is excited to share some thoughts with us. Also, see the note below announcing her first book which is being released TODAY! A great READ and should be picked up by eveyone who has a daughter)

 

Before I dive into clarifying this blog title I figured a little backstory might be helpful. I am now in my fifth decade of life (which is crazy because I don’t feel that old!), the oldest of four girls, and have spent my entire adult life ministering to girls and women in various contexts.  All this basically means is that after more clock hours than I can count I have a pretty good idea of what we girls want from the men in our lives, particularly our dads.

I often hear fathers tell me that their daughters are complicated and complex, especially when they hit adolescence.  I do get that but want to say something that might shock you:  we’re really not all that “un-figure-out-able.”  (Insert laughter).  I’m hoping to give you a few pointers that literally come from one story in Scripture that will assist you in decoding your precious girl, particularly in those times when things are emotionally intense.

I’m sure you’ve heard of two sisters, Martha and Mary, who were dear friends of Jesus. This means he knew them and they knew him.  Up close and personal.  For better or worse.

Let’s pick up the story at the point where Martha is overly reactive, super stressed, overwhelmed, and basically freaking out.  (Luke 10:38-42).  Does any of that ever describe your daughter, especially if she is traveling through “juvenile puberty,” a season that Dr. James Dobson describes as lasting at least five years where high levels of estrogen lead to significantly unstable and reactive moods, thinking patterns, and behaviors?

If you can relate, watch what Jesus (with his male energy) does to enter the fray with his frazzled female friend. 1.  He lets her vent to Him while He listens to all of it. Even when she dramatically tells Jesus that he “doesn’t care” (false assumptions always take place during “Category 5” meltdowns), in a self-absorbed way she continues by crying about having to do everything “by myself.” And if that wasn’t enough, she then barks at Jesus and demands that he tell her sister to help her.  Excuse me!  Doesn’t she know that you don’t talk to the King of the Universe like that?!  Now bringing it closer to home:  Does any of this sound familiar, especially during those times when your daughter talks to you with that tone or attitude?

 

  1. He says her name twice….gently and lovingly.

There’s something calming about hearing your name.  It’s grounding for us girls. If you speak your daughter’s name with love in your tone, she will come towards you.  You can even try saying something endearing like “honey” or “sweetheart.”

 

  1.   He sits with her in her emotional reality.

Notice that he doesn’t try and talk her out of what she’s feeling or try to get her to think rationally. No lecture. No criticism.  Jesus knows that she couldn’t hear it anyway.  He simply stays with her, looks at her, validates her, and puts words to what she’s feeling, calling it “worry” and “upset.”  He tenderly names her emotions.

 

  1.   He highlights all that is on her life plate.

As girls we are wired to multi-task.  That’s why we can talk on the phone, paint our nails, watch a show, and do homework…all at the same time!  Yet all of a sudden we reach our max and then comes the explosion.  Again, this is where we need gentle grace not power positions.  Jesus just told Martha that he knew she had “many things” going on, leading to her melt down.  How kind of him to notice.

 

5. He directs her to focus on one thing. 

Jesus tells her that “only one thing is needed.”  The implication is that it’s about focusing on Him as the one thing rather than all the needs around her.  When we girls get overwhelmed with the much, we need gentle, supportive guidance to take it one thing at a time.  Breaking it down into bite size pieces is immensely helpful when we’re breaking down.

Summing up:  When your daughter is melting down sit alongside her and listen to her vent, move towards her and lovingly say her name. Tell her that you understand that she is “worried and upset.”  Let her know you do see that she has a lot on her plate, and assist in helping her to focus on one thing.

 

I know it’s easier said than done but these five things will make all the difference in the eye of the storm when you are there trying to keep up with her complexity.  And after the storm has passed, the main thing your daughter will remember is that you Dad were there with her in it.

Watson book

Michelle’s first book will be released on September 1, 2014 – TODAY! as a resource to help dads with daughters entitled Dad, Here’s What I Really Need From You:  A Guide to Connecting with Your Daughter’s Heart.  You can read more about The Abba Project, her ministry to dads, at www.drmichellewatson.com.

If you want to pick up this book, CLICK HERE

 

Know Your Row

Alan Smyth —  August 29, 2014 — Leave a comment

I have long legs and I tend to fly Southwest Airlines. Now I don’t really mind having long legs and I generally prefer flying Southwest over other carriers. There is however no real First Class Seating on these flights. So I usually go for the Early Bird Check-In to improve my options on seat selection.

Some people like to board early so they can sit in the front of the plane. They get their snacks first, they’re close to the bathroom and they are the first off the plane once it touches down. I get this strategy and the perks that come with front row seats. But, personally I am an Exit Row Guy. The leg room on the Exit Row is awesome.

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Then there is a little extra attention from the Cabin Crew and a little ceremony swearing  you in as an “Emergency Exit Row Passenger.” In the event of an emergency landing, you and your fellow Exit Row Passengers are asked to confirm that you are able and willing to assist in the deployment of the planes safety equipment. Each person is required to say Yes, out loud to the Flight Attendant.

This is all part of the package when you choose this row. If you’re a dad with a daughter, you are always sitting on the Emergency Exit Row. This is your permanent assigned seat. You might have signed up for the extra legroom and missed the Swearing In Ceremony, but it happened or it should have.  A few other reminders to help you enjoy your flight:

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All dads are Frequent Flyers. You will spend lots of time in the air. This is part of the package. In preparation for Take Off please turn off all Cell Phones along with other mobile devices. In case of turbulence the Captain will turn on the Seat Belt sign, please return to your seat. Swearing In is better than swearing. You will need to say “Yes” out loud to your duties and responsibilities. In preparation for landing please turn off your devices, put your Tray Tables up and return your seat to it’s full, upright and locked position.

If you are a dad with a daughter, Know Your Row and take your seat. When things get dicey and fellow passengers get agitated, confused or panicked, you are on duty. You have been Sworn In,  you said Yes out loud to your crew. You are not aloud to check out, freak out or blow out. You are an Emergency Exit Row Dad. So stretch out your legs, feast on your peanuts and sip your complimentary beverage.

You’re sitting in a First Class Seat

Grace & Peace Dr. Don Worcester

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On July 7, I posted THIS BLOG in response to the “Feminist Father” shirt that had recently gone around on the web. In case you missed it, please catch yourself up and read my response.

The “Feminist Father” shirt was posted again on a popular blog and hailed it as a great message. So, because I had nothing else better to do at the moment, I lobbed a few thoughts and bantered with a few people about our “10 Rules for Dating my Daughter” shirt as well as our book “Prized Possession.”

It’s safe to say that I was going against the grain with most of this particular audience. Below are a few of the excerpts.

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In response to the 10 Rules shirt picture, “Brian” said this.

“You get a f***ing lawyer you A**hole”

“She isn’t your f***ing princess either, lizard brain”

“Not a joke shirt. Actually it’s pretty condescending and demanding.”

Then “Ryan” jumped in and said this to “Brian”.

“you seem like a bit of a loser. If someone like you dated my daughter I would put that person in the hospital.”

“Alyssa” jumped in and said this.

“You obviously don’t have a daughter, your shirt screams creepy, tacky and highly disrespectful to me.”

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Then I said this.

“Alyssa – yes I have a 26 year old daughter. She thinks this is funny. She is doing fantastic out in the world. This shirt was created as a JOKE. Lots of Dads find this funny! Of course no one is endorsing actual violence or intimidation. It is HAHAHAHAHA. Thousands of Dads in 58 countries agree with me. Please read through the blog that the shirt came out of before you pass judgment.” www.myfatherdaughter.com

 

“Ron” jumped in and said this.

“Alan, I’ve seen your shirt before and absolutely love it. In a society that is horribly one-sided (as the above comments clearly show) Thank your for your bravery to stand up for what you believe in.”

Casey then joined in with this.

“I’ve got two daughters, I’m a mother and I agree! I like it. Especially #9. Hilarious. Not that I’ve been to jail…. Brian, get over yourself.”

So many responses to one silly shirt. So many takes on a parent’s responsibility. My hope and prayer is that we will have a society of Dad’s moving closer to their daughters and further embracing their God given responsibilities as Dad’s.

Press On

Alan

In honor of this spirited conversation. Hit the link below and enter “20” at check out. I will give you 20% off of your entire order in our store!

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I never met Fred Evans, but I wish I had. I recently learned of his courageous actions and now you will too!

Fred got a bad Doctors report regarding a terminal melanoma. Fred had two single daughters and wanted to give them a memory of a life time.  He had the idea that he wanted to walk them down the aisle, give them a blessing and create a memory that would outlive him. He told his daughters to meet him at the church but arrive 45 minutes apart.

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After a few quiet moments with each daughter, he then walked them down the aisle in front of a few friends and family.

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Upon reaching the alter, he gave them a blessing and they shared a sacred moment. He gave them away to the son in law he hadn’t yet met. Everyone there knew that Fred would not be present at his daughter’s wedding. This was a powerful moment!

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Fred was not going to miss the momentous occasion of walking his daughters down the aisle. And we was not going to leave that void in his daughters life.

After this amazing event happened, he then surprised his wife as they renewed their vows in this makeshift wedding ceremony.

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Not long after this incredible ceremony, Fred lost his battle. However, his loved one’s were given an incredible gift they will never forget.

If you are brave and have a couple minutes. Watch the video of this ceremony. CLICK HERE to watch this video. Don’t miss this!

Ok, let me hit the slow pitch soft ball. I’m sure if Fred were here, he would say something like this:  “Live your life as if it’s going to end soon….. Because it just might.” If you were to get a similar Doctors report as Fred’s, would you have lots of regrets? Sad, shocked and upset for sure. But would there be a ton of unfinished business with your loved ones? Would your kids know for sure how much you loved them? Every now and then we are forced to reckon with our mortality. Take a little inventory. This is one of those times. Let’s pretend you just found out you have 3 months to live. What would you do? Who would you spend time with? What would you want to say to those you love?

Ok, one more slow pitch softball…. Now go do and say those things. And let’s pray that Doctor’s report never comes. Then you are a double winner! 

Go For It!

Alan

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