Archives For Alan Smyth

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

PS: Pick up our book and some fun gear by hitting the links below!

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Hey, I also have a Son

Alan Smyth —  August 11, 2014 — Leave a comment

Last week I heard some feeback from someone who read our book “Prized Possession.” He said that he loved the book and found it very helpful and encouraging. He relayed two questions to me through our mutual friend. He said:

1. The guy who wrote the book (ME) only has one daughter. I have two. How do I do all the trips and things with more than one daughter?

2. The guy who wrote the book (Again, ME) has a son. I’d like to know how he handled all the extra attention he gave his daughter concerning his son.

I will address the multiple daughter scenario in a later blog. This week, I will briefly speak on the dynamic of also having a son.

If you have taken the time to examine our website found at www.myfatherdaughter.com you may have stumbled across the “About” page where my bio is found along with a couple of family pictures. I have had the honor to raise one of each kind. My awesome daughter Brittany is now 26 and thriving in downtown Los Angeles. However, I do have a son as well. “Trevor” just turned 22 and is a student at the United States Naval Academy. He was recruited there to play football.

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So here is how I handled my desire to give my daughter special and intentional attention as she grew up. Brittany is 4.5 years older than Trevor. So when we had the first FATHER/DAUGHTER GET AWAY, he was just a new born. He was oblivious to my special actions with my daughter for several years. However, the day came when he began to understand that Brittany and I were going away overnight and doing fun stuff together.

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He started asking about his “get away.” At about 4 years old, he was wondering when he and I would go do fun stuff together. I couldn’t very well keep taking Brittany on fun outings and not do the same thing for him. So it began…. The “Father/Son Get Away.” The same principle’s continued. We brainstormed things to do that would be fun for HIM. It is not the specifics that matter that much. It is the principle of spending one-on-one time with your kids that is magical. We went to baseball games, camping, amusement parks and snow-boarding.

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So the answer is pretty uncomplicated as it turns out. Your son needs intentional and concentrated time from you as well. It might look different than your daughter’s time, but it is every bit as important. I encourage you to pick up our book “Prized Possession.” In chapter 3, I go into the assault on our girls. The truth is that there is a full scale war being waged in the media and entertainment industry for the hearts and actions of our boys as well. They are targets and they MUST have a trusted older male in their lives to guide them to the path of authentic man hood. As strongly as I can urge you to love and protect your daughter, I want to urge you to guide and train your young boy in the ways of life, women and work. My son’s life verse which he got from a Father/Son group we did with two buddies is 2 Timothy 4:7-8. Look it up! Based on the verse, he tattooed “FIGHT, FAITH, FINISH” on his side.

Press on

Alan

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In her book, Reviving Ophelia, Mary Pipher, Ph.D. writes, “Girls today are much more oppressed. They are coming of age in a more dangerous, sexualized, and media-saturated culture. They face incredible pressures to be beautiful and sophisticated.” Pipher goes on to say that, “America today limits girls’ development, truncates their wholeness, and leaves many of them traumatized.”

Much of the media, including popular music, has launched a full-scale war on our girls, although I’m sure they don’t view it as such. To the industry, it’s just good business. As a father with a daughter, my heart breaks for the culture in which she has grown up. I have spent much of my daughter’s life building her up, honoring her as God’s precious masterpiece, and treating her like a princess. The problem is, I’m outgunned! The multi-billion dollar entertainment industry has spent far more resources, time, and energy in tearing her down, objectifying her, and referring to her as garbage. Today, our girls are seen as sexual, disposable objects. From magazines and billboards to commercials, movies, and songs, women’s bodies are being exploited and sexualized. They are marketed to sell toothpaste, hamburgers, and everything in between.

The trends are alarming. In 2011, Abercrombie and Fitch introduced “push up bras” for 12 year olds. One study sites that 80% of 4th grade girls have been on a diet and one of the most popular YouTube videos of the year featured 8-9 year olds dancing suggestively to Beyonce’s “Single Ladies.”

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Pictured above is a typical magazine cover that is displayed at every grocery store checkout stand. Featured here is Disney teen star Selena Gomez on the cover. Notice the headlines and messages all around her. What messages are our little girls getting every day?

Pipher continues, “Something new is happening. Adolescence has always been hard, but it’s harder now because of cultural changes in the last decade.”

A Dad’s Role

You have a huge role in this battle. Yours is a critical voice to balance out all the noise. Here are two things you can do on a regular basis. 

Interpret Media Messages: Don’t let these inappropriate messages go unchallenged. Sit with your daughter and process what is really going on and the false message that is being sold.

Talk about real worth: Let your daughter know who assigns her value and where it comes from. Ie. NOT the 5,000 media images a day she will take in, but rather the God who made her and the Dad who cherishes her.

We are in a battle Men. Don’t relax. Your daughter needs you to be fully engaged to help her navigate this tumultuous time in her life.

Press On

Alan Smyth

Chapter 3 of our book book Prized Possession goes into much more detail on this challenging topic.

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Over the years I have seen many “blow outs” in the families we serve in Young Life. When this is true with the father/daughter relationship, there are deep ramifications for the daughter who is wounded by the lack of a dad in her life.

Maybe the most graphic example of a relational “blow out” between a dad and a daughter is described in the text below. A friend of mine who works with high school girls sent me this short heart breaking e-mail as an example of how important the father/daughter relationship is.

From Beth:

“I’m in the process of getting to know some newer sophomore girls now. Literally one posted a picture on Instagram yesterday with mascara running down her face and flipping off the camera. Her caption said “F**k you dad! I know you hate me!” #getaway #hateyou”

Wow! What happened that could possibly elicit such a response? Does this dad really hate his daughter? Does she really hate her dad? It’s hard to imagine a father/daughter relationship blowing up so badly! How did things get so terrible?

While her recent Instagram post looks like a “blow out,” I would suggest that it is the culmination of years with a “slow leak” in their relationship. Somewhere along the way, they grew distant as the father got busy and the daughter matured. Somewhere along the line, the tire of their relationship picked up a small nail and it began to leak unnoticeably.

Things would be very different for this father/daughter right now had he seen the nail in their tire years ago. If he had only identified the leak and had it repaired, they would be rolling along in great shape today. Where are the possible nails in your tires?

Your busy schedule?

Being consumed with YOUR world and not hers?

Your travel schedule?

Being a typical guy and not vocalizing affection very well?

Stepping back when she began to mature thinking that her mother should take over?

Your inability to say “I love you”, “I’m sorry”, “Please forgive me”?

Your marriage breaking apart?

My encouragement to you today is to identify the slow leak before it becomes a blowout.

Today’s take away – Look hard at your father/daughter relationship and see what things could possibly be standing in the way. Look for potential slow leaks and repair them. If you have already experienced a “blow out,” do the same thing you would do with a real blow out on your car – change the tire! A lifestyle change might be needed.

Dr. Don Worcestor Ph.D. and a contributor to this blog/website can help you “change the tire.” Look for his contact information under “site contributors” on www.myfatherdaughter.com

Repair the leak before it becomes a blow out!

Alan

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