Archives For Alan Smyth

High Standards!

Alan Smyth —  September 18, 2017 — 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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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

 

juxtaposition
— noun

“an act or instance of placing close together or side by side, especially for comparison or contrast.”

This past weekend I experienced a dramatic example of a “Juxtaposition”. Two “side by side” experiences which demonstrated a stark contrast.

I ran into “Monica” and she offered that she was 50 years old. The topic of conversation was the “Father / Daughter” relationship. She picked up my book, “Prized Possession” and began to tear up. She then volunteered that “my Dad didn’t love me” and talked further about how wounded she was because of it. We spoke about the seminar that Kristy Fox and I have developed aimed at helping Dads be better Dads.

With a distant and hollow stare and tears in her eyes, she said “Do you ever ask Dads why they don’t step up? Why it’s so hard for them to love their daughters?”  It was clear to me that Monica was hurt and wounded. It was clear to me that at 50, she had not yet recovered from the neglect she had experienced from her Dad. She let me know that she was unemployed. I tried to give her a copy of the book, but she wouldn’t or couldn’t accept it.

Here is the Juxtaposition….

After she left, I opened up my Instagram app and as I scrolled down through the pictures, I saw the following post from Hannah. Hannah is the daughter of my good friend Stu (whom I featured in a recent blog) CLICK HERE to read about Stu & Hannah.

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Clearly Stu has been the kind of Dad that Monica wished she had. Clearly Hannah is off to the start that Monica never got, yet deserved.

Here is my point ….

Are you aware that your actions and involvement with your daughter today will last her whole lifetime? She will either coast through life off the blessing you give her or she will struggle through life trying to heal from the wound you leave her.

If you are more like Stu, great job! Way to go! Keep it up!
If you are more like Monica’s Dad, busy, distracted and selfish…. Wake up! Take your eyes off yourself, re engage in your family!

It’s important…. Really, really important for the girls in your life.

Engage Maverick!

Alan

 

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Phil Withdraws!

Alan Smyth —  July 16, 2017 — Leave a comment

By any measure, Phil Mickelson is one of the all-time great golfers. AND, of his five “majors” that he has won, the U.S. Open is the only one left to win. That is why the recent breaking news of Phil pulling out of this past U.S. Open is such a big deal.

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Check out Phil’s Wikipedia page and marvel at his golf accolades…. His 42 PGA victories puts him in rarified air for sure.

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Among his 5 major victories, he has won the Masters three times!

** FOR USE AS DESIRED, PHOTOS OF THE DECADE ** FILE - Phil Mickelson celebrates after winning the Masters golf tournament with a nine-under-par at the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Ga., in this April 11, 2004 file photo. (AP Photo/Dave Martin, File)

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Only 8 other men have won more tour events than Phil. This is what he does and he is very good at it. He is in 8th place all time for “Major” wins yet the U.S. Open has eluded him thus far. As he is getting older, one has to wonder why he would withdraw from this important tournament?  Why would he not show up for work that day? Why would he pull a “no show?” How many more opportunities will he have to win a major and especially the coveted U.S. Open?

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One thing that Phil has always stood for is his family. I don’t know the man personally, but he has always projected a strong love for his wife and kids. It is refreshing to see a high-profile athlete with such an obvious love and attention to this family.

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The answer to the riddle of why he pulled out of this year’s U.S. Open is simple…. His family comes first. His daughter’s High School graduation conflicted with his tournament tee time. He chose his daughter over his job that day. He said “no” to a possible huge pay day in favor of his daughter.  He gave up making memories for himself in favor of making memories with his daughter. He gave up the spotlight on himself and placed it on his daughter.

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I’m not sure how difficult of a decision this was for Phil, but I’m guessing not very. I’m guessing this was pretty much a “no brainer.” And that makes me a fan of Phil Mickelson! Thanks Phil for teaching the rest of us what it looks like to value family over career!

Question: When was the last time you have sacrificed something big for the sake of your family? Has your daughter seen you place her needs above your needs lately?

What is your “U.S. OPEN” that you need to walk away from in order to demonstrate your love, commitment and presence in your daughter’s life?

Let’s wrestle with that for a little while….

Press On!

Alan

 

 

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Today, we pause to say “Thank you” to our veterans and their families. Although as the pictures below suggest, “Thank you” only begins to cover it.

Thank you vets

Today is Memorial Day. We remember those who paid the ultimate price for our freedom. Families say good bye to Mom or Dad for many months at a time as they are deployed. And tragically, many families say good bye forever.

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Today, MyFatherDaughter honors those families past, present and future. While it is woefully inadequate….. “THANK YOU” for all you do!

Here is an idea: Why not take a field trip with your kids today? Why not visit a military cemetery. Take in some quiet moments and survey the sights with your family. Observe grieving families as they remember their loved ones. Teach your kids to respect the massive efforts of those who have gone before them.

Thank you Vets!
Alan

We are now on Instagram as we celebrate great Dads. follow us at “myfatherdaughter”

Father’s Day is almost here. Do some fun shopping in our store. Hit the link below and use “DAD” to receive 20% off entire order.

 

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Real Talk

Alan Smyth —  May 22, 2017 — 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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