Archives For Alan Smyth

When Brittany turned 5, we had our inaugural Father/Daughter Getaway. As I was a young dad and still forming my philosophies and parenting strategies, I stumbled onto something magical. I remember it like it was yesterday when I walked into Brittany’s bedroom and announced the first ever Father/Daughter getaway. I told her that starting NOW, we were going to go on a trip together every year. I asked her where she wanted to go. I told her to think of the most fun place we could go together.

Being only 5 and living in Northern California at the time, we quickly settled on the Magic Kingdom. What better place to start this amazing tradition than Disneyland!? We recorded our Disney soundtrack to get us pumped for the 5 hour car ride. We hit the road, and sang Disney tunes the whole way to L.A.

Of course we took the obligatory picture in front of the giant Mickey made of flowers in the front of the park.This trip started a tradition that we upheld all through High School. Each year, we planned something fun together and went somewhere for a couple days. After Disneyland, we did things like hit every mall in Northern Cal completing all of our Christmas shopping (In August), horseback riding, camping and snowboarding. The granddaddy of all Father/Daughter getaways however, was Brittany and I going to Hawaii for her Spring break during her senior year.

Here is what Brittany has to say about these getaways:

“Those of you who know my dad can probably guess that horseback riding or shopping all day at the mall is not exactly on the top of his priority list, but I was, and being the amazing dad that he is, he took me on one adventure after the other and made life long memories with me.  While we had some really cool experiences together, I now understand that it was not so much what we did that had value, but it was the fact that we did them together.  In hindsight, all this time that he invested in me was building me up to become a confident, independent woman.”

Guys, take your daughters on trips. During the research for this Father/Daughter project, I heard over and over that spending this extended and concentrated time with your daughter is nothing short of “Magical,” even if you don’t go to Disneyland!

Today’s Take Away: Plan a trip with your daughter. Make sure it is at least ONE night, but more is better. Nothing can compare to the life long memories and bonding you will get from this.

After you take your trip, post a picture on our facebook page – “MyFatherDaughter.com” Make sure you subscribe to this blog at www.myfatherdaughter.com

I’d love to hear about the trip you take, drop me a note & have fun!

Alan

PS: Not long ago, I took her to Vegas to see a show. The venue of the “get a way” may change, but the principles reman constant!

 

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High Standards!

Alan Smyth —  October 6, 2014 — Leave a comment

I immediately loved this little “e-card” the first time I saw it. I don’t know who made it or with what intentions, but I am very sure it is spot on and deeply profound.

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I wonder how many of us are keenly aware that we have a lot to say about who our daughter chooses for boyfriends and an eventual husband. Your daughter’s first, best and greatest example of how a man should treat a woman is her Daddy! She is watching, absorbing, gleaning and learning all the time. She hears what you say and what you don’t say. She sees you act and she notices your body language.

Your daughter is in your personal classroom and the main subject that is being taught is how a man should treat a woman. You are giving her the standards by which she will operate. You are giving her knowledge of what to expect or what NOT to expect.

Question: Do you want your daughter to be treated right by a boy? Then show her what it looks like to treat a woman right.

Question: Do you want her to make a great choice in a future husband? Then be a great husband and show her what one looks like.

Question: Is it possible for your daughter to have too high of standards for her future boyfriend or husband?

Make it hard for a future guy to jump over the bar because you have set the bar so incredibly high by your actions.

We’re talking about your daughter and your grand kids here!

Let’s go!

Alan

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Muhammed

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

 

Check out or resources. We wrote a book designed to emopower, encourage and eqiuip Dad’s who have Daughters. It has been very well received. Hit the banner below to get a copy.

We also have a store found on our site that keeps things fun. The box below will take you there.

 

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Real Talk

Alan Smyth —  September 22, 2014 — Leave a comment

In our book Prized Possession, we compiled a number of voices to form one strong message. We hear from Dad’s who have done it well and Daughters who have been loved well from great Dad’s. They both have a great perspective to learn from. Additionally, in between each chapter we insert a few nuggets entitled “Real Talk.” In our “Real Talk” segments, we hear from a variety of young women who vulnerably share a brief thought from their perspective.

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Between chapter 2 and chapter 3, we find this section of “Real Talk”

Real Talk

“As society and culture takes its toll on girls today, girls begin to lose a sense of their own value. It’s a painful loss and often leads to a search for painkillers. Alcohol and drugs are often used to numb the pain. Girls compromise their God-given value to meet the expectations of boys who can’t possibly understand the beautiful treasures God has created them to be. “If I only give my boyfriend what he wants,” they think, “then I’ll matter. I’ll be something, I’ll belong.” The problem is, such a pattern reduces a girl to her ability to perform and her willingness to have sex. Such a degradation of her identity will act as a huge wall against her understanding of who God has created her to be and the value He, as her Father, has placed on her life.”

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Here is what I heard from the young lady who shared her “Real Talk.”

  • It’s hard being a girl
  • Girls are de-valued
  • There is pain we seek to numb
  • We compromise for the sake of a boy’s approval
  • I want to matter and belong
  • We are reduced to our performance
  • Our understanding of who God made us to be is under attack

 A pretty strong message indeed. As Dad’s, we need to not only be aware of how many of our girls think in this regard, but we need to be willing to have a strong counter cultural message  against these lies. We are in a battle every day for the wholeness of our kids. Dads are needed to be present and engaged more than ever.

We would love to send you a copy of our book. It has all kinds of inspiring and equipping messages from a variety of voices. You can pick it up from our website. CLICK HERE.

Stay at it Guys!

Alan

 

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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”.

Benji Fam

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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