Archives For Alan Smyth

10 Rules for DAD’S

Alan Smyth —  July 21, 2014 — 1 Comment

If you have been following this blog for a while, you have become familiar with the now, world famous, “10 Rules for Dating my Daughter” T-shirt.  We literally had interest in this shirt from over 48 countries. Apparently the idea of a Dad protecting his daughter and laying down some rules is not just an “American” cultural thing. If you have thus far missed all the hub-bub, click this link to see the blog post that went round the world and stirred an interest.

Rules Group

shirt

In light of my publishing the “10 Rules for Dating my Daughter”, a friend forwarded to me the “10 Rules for Dads of Daughters.” Tony Dungy, Super Bowl winning football coach and strong Christian man gives much of his time to social & family issues. He has an effort called “All Pro Dad” which I recommend you looking at.

He recently published the “10 Rules for Dads of Daughters”

  1. Love her mom – Treat her mother with respect, honor and PDA.
  2. Always be there – Quality time doesn’t happen without Quantity time.
  3. Pray for her
  4. Dance with her – Don’t wait for her wedding day.
  5. Tell her she’s beautiful – Say it over and over again.
  6. She’s a butterfly – She too will spread her wings and fly someday.
  7. Write her a hand written letter – Every year on her birthday.
  8. Give her the gift of experiences – fishing, fixing things, taking her places etc.
  9. Never miss a birthday – She won’t remember the presents you give her.
  10. Don’t be late – She will eagerly await your return home from work.

That’s a pretty good list. I wonder how you are doing against that list? Why don’t you circle a couple of those right now and make sure to DO them this coming week. Even better would be to show this list to a friend and hold each other accountable for your intentional actions. Seems like if we just “let things happen,” some of the really important things get squeezed out by the really urgent things.

I know you would agree that your daughter is “really important.” Please don’t let the urgent issues at work or life take over. Start working down the list TODAY.

Press on

Alan Smyth

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A Huge Announcement

Alan Smyth —  July 14, 2014 — 4 Comments

This is a Re-Post from an ealier BLOG. There are lots of new followers to our blog since our book was first relased. We want to make sure everyone get the back story and an opportunity to get one.

 

Friends

We have reached a milestone in the life of this “little project.” It started nearly 26 years ago when my daughter Brittany was born. As I stumbled around hoping to be a great Dad for my daughter, I learned a few things through “On the job training.” Then, my entire adult life working for Young Life has given me a front row seat into the lives of adolescents and their struggles.

Long story short, I felt compelled to record my thoughts and experiences of being a dad to my daughter. I felt led to record them all into one place and make them available to whoever might be interested. Further, I felt that getting input from dozens of other Dads, daughters and Young Life leaders would provide a unique collection of content.

Never really knowing where this was all going, I am happy to announce that the project which I spearheaded and collaborated with many others has been turned into a book. And that book is available for consumption starting right now! Let this blog post signify the release of a book I have entitled “Prized Possession.” You will have to read chapter two in order to understand where this title came from.

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Kristy Fox is a huge part of this project and her female perspective has been an invaluable component to the conversation. My voice is strong as a Dad who raised a daughter. However, her voice is strong from a woman’s perspective and has provided a strong influence. She is someone who has been intimately involved in the lives of adolescent girls for over 20 years. Kristy has contributed an important chapter in this book as she speaks about what girls are battling every day. She has also been a sounding board for the rest of the chapters as I compiled them. My own daughter, Brittany, has also contributed a chapter from her perspective.

Additionally there are dozens of veteran Dads who have shared their insights on what they did and how they approached raising their daughters. Maybe the best part of the book tho, is a chapter written by a compilation of testimonies from post teen age girls who turned out great. I asked them “what did your dad do?” “What impacted you?” You will hear from awesome women what their dad did well. You will want to steal what you hear them say.

We have no real commercial goals for this book. Well, I’d love to break even on it if I can. Beyond that, I have no idea. The point of this project was not to become a “best seller” and make a lot of money. The point was to gather important voices and share important insights on a very important topic. My hope is that this book becomes a resource for Dads who are looking for a little encouragement and practical help for the sake of a healthy daughter who gets what she deserves. It is irrelevant whether 1 or 1 million people read this book. I am just doing what I believe I was asked to do by pulling it all together.

If you care to order this book, hit the banner below. There is also a button on our website to be used in purchasing the book as well. If you believe this topic is as important as I do, then I would ask you to forward this e-mail to everyone you know,  “share” it on your facebook, “tweet” it on twitter and ask people you know to check it out on our website. I want a lot of Dads to participate in this conversation because I believe there is some greats stuff on the pages which will make a difference in the lives of little girls. Thanks for your help in spreading the word!

May God bless you in your parenting and may God use the words recorded in this book to empower Dads and bless the little girls they love.

Bless you

Alan Smyth

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Feminist Father

Alan Smyth —  July 7, 2014 — 3 Comments

Two weeks ago this picture went viral on the internet. Several of my friends reached out to me and asked for “my take.”

 
Feminist Father
The reason why I was asked is because they knew I created the now famous “Rules for Dating my Daughter” shirt pictured below.

 
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You can read about my shirt HERE and see how it came into being. The shirt which is signed “Feminist Father” and pictured above seems to be in some kind of response to my shirt.

My shirt started out as more of a joke and a humorous approach to Dad’s who have daughters. In fact, I have described it as “an inside joke for Dad’s who have daughters.” Even though it started out as “tongue in cheek”, it apparently struck a nerve across the globe. Over the last year, we have shipped my shirt to 58 countries. It is a true worldwide phenomenon as Dad’s think about how they can protect their daughters.
It is possible, that the “Feminist Father” shirt is really more of a joke as well. However, in response to our followers who have requested “my take,” I will share some thoughts below on the content of this shirt point by point.

 
1. I DON’T MAKE THE RULES. WRONG! Our kids desperately need parents to set rules and boundaries for their behavior. If a parent doesn’t set any rules, then their kids will be left to follow the crowds in society which generally is bad news. PLEASE DAD’s set some rules! Your kids need rules. They need strong leadership. They feel loved when you set rules. When they are young, they are not prepared to make all the decisions that will come their way. You need to be the guardrails that keep them from sliding off into the ditch. Far too many Dad’s have abdicated their roles in the lives of their kids.

2. YOU DON’T MAKE THE RULES. This is presumably aimed at the young man your daughter is dating. This is partially true. It all depends on the quality of the young man in the picture. My hope for my own daughter is that she would date someone who is a strong leader and is leading in a great direction. In that case, it would be good for the young man to have some “rules.”

3. SHE MAKES THE RULES. This is totally age specific. A very young girl should not be making any rules. As she grows older, she can have more and more autonomy.

4. HER BODY, HER RULES – See number 3 above. The premise here seems to be that your daughter (or anyone) answers to no one. That somehow she is above the law and not subject to any “rules.” This is a dangerous, self-centered path and will certainly end in destruction. While I want my daughter (and my son) to be strong, confident and independent, I also want them to fall under the authority of their parents and ultimately of the Lord. Both of which have their best interest at stake and in most cases know better for them. Any of us, particularly our kids, living life completely under their own self instituted rules and guidelines is a recipe for disaster.

The Bible offers a different perspective.

Romans 12:1 urges us to “present your bodies as a living sacrafice, acceptable to God. which is your spirtuial service of worship.”

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 tells us “your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own. For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.”

There is a higher authority in the God who loves them and the sooner our kids can recognize that, the better off they will be. (us too by the way)

There you have it! We all need guidelines, boundaries and “rules.” Maybe the “Feminist Father” shirt is really more of a joke, or maybe not. Either way, I strongly disagree with the premise it is communicating for the above stated reasons.

Carry on friends

Alan Smyth

 

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Guest Post by Rachel Karman. Rachel is a good friend & avid blogger about things that matter with a huge heart for the less fortunate. Check out Rachel’s BLOG HERE! You will love the content with always a hint of humor.

Rachel

Read below as she shares about her Dad and paints us a picture for what a great Dad looks like.

Not too long ago I went out on a date with a guy that I felt pretty optimistic about, he seemed nice, fairly normal and from what I’d seen, appeared to have a pretty decent sense of humor. After the date when recapping for a friend I explained, “The night was fine, he was nice and everything….but he didn’t open the door for me, so I don’t think I’ll see him again.” She responded with a laugh, called me the Christian female Seinfeld and told me that perhaps that shouldn’t be a deal breaker. And it hit me. I am going to be single forever. And it’s all my dad’s fault.

Dads out there take note, here are five great ways to ensure your daughter will never say “I do” (at least not to the wrong guy).

#1 My dad is hilarious (but please donʼt tell him, heʼll get a big head). Heʼs great with a pun and also instilled in me at a very young age the importance for me to laugh at life a little and laugh at myself a lot. Not only is my dad quick to laugh at his own mistakes, he has always encouraged me to do the same. For example, when I was roughly 10, my brother and I decided it would be fun to make my parents Valentineʼs cookies, I (being the gourmet chef that I am) accidently used tablespoons instead of teaspoons of both salt and baking soda to make some of the worst tasting cookies youʼve ever had in your life (not to mention a quick way to retain water). My dad, being sweet, ate one and then being honest, laughed and revealed to me my mistake. This is still brought up every holiday (in which I am usually charged with “cooking” the salad or bringing beverages).

#2 My dad is my #1 fan. He truly (although sometimes falsely) believes that I can do anything I set my mind to. Whether softball, choir or running track, my dad was not only always at every event (that I allowed him to be), he actually still believes I can sing (he and my dog are honestly the only ones) and is certain I could have gone further than I did in my softball career (I was and still am afraid of the ball). That encouragement, even if sometimes I think heʼs nuts, has carried into my adult life; in my job, my ministry and even relationships, my dad is one of the first people I go to when I am frustrated and/or want to give up and he is always there to reason with me and remind why I started in the first place. I can honestly say I would have missed out on many opportunities in my life had I listened to my inner voice over his.

#3 My dad is not afraid to tell me when I am wrong (lovingly). One of my favorite examples of this comes from a few years ago, I was in a relationship that was at a bit of a crossroads, I was angry and ready to give up (see #2) and my dad sat me down and explained to me where and how I was being selfish and one-sided. As you can imagine, I was a bit livid and responded with “Youʼre supposed to be on MY SIDE!!” To which he replied, “I am, placating you is not what being on ʻyour sideʼ looks like, Rachel.” Iʼm not sure if you have ever had to knowingly make your 20-something year old daughter angry at you for her betterment, but believe me, itʼs not pretty and itʼs not fun, but it is love.

#4 My dad still opens the door for my mom. He loves her. He supports her. He defends her (even against me, which was much to my chagrin in my bratty, rebellious years). My dad still brings my mom flowers and surprises her with gifts. He calls in the middle of the day to say hello and he genuinely likes spending time with her, even after 30+ years. There aren’t too many words to express the value that this example of a husband is, for a girl at any age, but itʼs huge.

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#5 My dad loves my friends….and they love him. Many of my friends have nicknames for him…which sometimes I think is really weird. He is funny and approachable and unafraid to have tough conversations with people, while also knowing and respecting when not to. Iʼll be honest, I didnʼt always love this quality (see bratty, rebellious years mentioned in #4), but it is now one I strive to possess and one I greatly value in other people. I think he’d also appreciate me saying that he doesn’t try to be the “cool dad,” yet somehow became that when he began wearing Airwalks when I was in Jr. High and has held the reputation since….which again, I find sort of weird.

Above all these things, the greatest way that my dad has loved me and created gigantic shoes for any guy to fill is that he loves Jesus more than he loves me, my mom or my brother and has modeled that for me my whole life. He has always encouraged me to find Christ in all things, even when it was difficult. In each of the aforementioned facets he brings them to the table with the light and love of our Savior in a way that is confident, steadfast and gentle, much like Jesus himself. He is an excellent example of why the father-figure role is so important and how new dads can treat their daughters, as he’s remained present, not perfect.

All that being said, perhaps the next time I’m at a wedding/family reunion/grocery store/ etc and someone inquires as to ʻwhy Iʼm still singleʼ I will pull out a picture of my dad (and thus insure I will probably never date again because that would be creepy and strange….but you get the point).

Rachel Karman

 

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Happy Fathers Day

Alan Smyth —  June 16, 2014 — 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 21 and Brittany just turned 25. 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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I was stopped in my tracks this past week with an alarming statement made to me. The back story is that I am currently at www.Younglife.org Woodleaf. Woodleaf is one of our premier camps that we take thousands of kids too all summer long. I am currently assigned to direct three weeks of this camp in Northern California.

As part of our outreach to the 350 High School kids that were here last week, we separated the girls and guys into different locations for an hour long gender specific meeting. We spoke about authentic manhood to the guys and how media defines what is to be a man vs. what God says about it. Similarly, we spoke to the girls about the pressures they face as a girl and How God sees them and values them.

Kristy Fox, co-author of this blog and the book Prized Possession developed much of this seminar for girls and then I added my two cents into it from a Dad’s perspective. In fact, our book Prized Possession, which can be purchased by hitting the link at the bottom, goes into great detail on this seminar in chapters 4 & 5.

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After we conducted this hour long seminar, we were flooded with positive comments and were told how important this time was. Without fail, a meeting like this is overwhelmingly impactful. Sadly there is still a HUGE need for truth to be spoken into the lives of these girls regarding their true beauty, value and worth.

I expected to hear great things from the girls and their leaders. What I didn’t expect to hear was the following statement. One of our Adult Guests who was sitting in the back of the room observing came up to me after. With tears in her eyes, she grabbed my arm and said “I have to talk to you.” She then said this: “I am 54 years old and I still struggle with this.” She was referring to the need for a Dad in a girl’s life and the gap she felt due to her lack of a positive father figure. She went on to tell me a few more details.

Ok Guys, this is one more reminder of the incredibly important job we have. WE have a sacred responsibility to love, encourage and cherish our daughters. What we do when they are young WILL absolutely affect them for the rest of their lives.  How we relate to our daughters will either cause them to live in blessing or recover from a wound the rest of their lives.

Can we all promise that none of our daughters will be in tears at the age of 54 when thinking about the relationship they have with us?

 

Press on

 

Alan Smyth

 

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