Archives For Alan Smyth

I recently had a great conversation with a friend regarding the title of our book, “Prized Possession.” Without yet reading the book, he offered that the title “rubbed him the wrong way.” He went on to describe how he sees his daughter as much more than a “thing” ie. A “possession.” To which I said “ABSOLUTLY.” I happened to have a copy of the book handy and I directed him to a few key parts in the book which I will now direct you to.

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From an opening page of the book:

“Prized Possession” from the Bible

“And we, out of all creation, became His prized possession”

James 1:18b, NLT

Prized Possession from the Dictionary:

 “The biggest thing in your life, the one thing you couldn’t imagine your life without”

“Something you care for deeply above all else”

“It could be anything you cherish close to your own heart and can be worth millions or worth nothing to someone else”

Excerpt from Chapter 2

When I think of the word “possession,” I do not think of it as an inappropriate, overbearing, “possessive” ownership that isn’t healthy. Rather, I think of possession in a loving, protective way that defines my place and role in Brittany’s life, and hers in mine. “Prized Possession” is one that I hold above all else and cherish with all of my heart. It’s a treasure with deep, intrinsic value. After all, Brittany is “mine,” because God saw fit to entrust her to me as her dad. She is my responsibility and my daughter, and I would defend and protect her to the death.

Excerpt from Chapter 8 (written by my daughter)

“What are you?”

“Prized Possession!”

“And…”

“Don’t you forget it!”

When I consider the woman I am today, I realize that this small conversation played an integral part in shaping me into the person I am right now. These four lines represent a life-long conversation that has taken place between my dad and me. I never realized how powerful these words were or how lucky I was to hear them on a regular basis. My dad began this conversation before I could speak in complete sentences or comprehend what meaning it carried. These words were some of the first words added to my lexicon. To this day, there is only one answer when my dad asks the simple question, “What are you?” Without any hesitation I reply, “Prized possession.” “And…” “Don’t you forget it!” It’s second nature. It’s who I am. It’s who I will always be.

My friend came back to me, gave me a hug and said, “I get it.”

I wanted to relay this experience in case any of you had the same question. Obviously the book goes into much more explanation, but this should get you started.

I’d love to know what you thought about the book after you’ve had a chance to read it. Praying it makes a difference for many. Could be a great “Fathers’s Day” gift.

 

Bless you

Alan Smyth

Click the banner below if you want to buy our new book. It is available in soft cover, hard cover and e-book.

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Seldom do we receive bold clarity on any topic. Seldom is something as boldly clear as the marching orders we receive from the text below. In light of this Father/Daughter project that we have launched, a friend sent me this e-mail a few days ago. She thought I might be interested in this short conversation between a mom and a daughter.

Below is the e-mail I received

Hi Alan,

Yesterday I was talking to a friend who has a seven-year-old daughter. The little girl had been at school yesterday and a boy in her class told her she was ugly. When she got home that night, her mom was talking to her about it.

Mom: Did it make you feel sad?

Little Girl: No

Mom: Did it make you feel mad?

Little Girl: No

Mom: How did it make you feel?

Little Girl: It didn’t really make me feel anything because I knew it was a lie. Daddy always tells me that I am beautiful and precious both inside and out. So I knew what he was saying wasn’t true.

WOW!

She was right. I LOVE IT. It is a picture of the results we should all be aiming for in the parenting of our daughters. Wouldn’t it be awesome if our girls felt loved and cherished enough by us that they would also say the same thing? (or at least think it)

Do you think this little girl will be growing up secure and confident? Think she will have a better shot at making great choices as she grows up? YES on all counts!

Trust me when I say that in the next ten years, this little girl will be called a lot worse than “ugly.” It will get a lot worse and happen a lot more often. She will be degraded in the media, in music, on campuses and in locker rooms. Some of this future attack will be a whisper and other times it will be a scream.

I am so proud of this Dad for giving this girl a priceless gift that will set her up well for the rest of her life. I am so happy for this little girl and the trajectory that she is on.

And, I am so hopeful that anyone reading this blog will be urged to engage with their daughter at a new and deeper level. I am hopeful that your daughters and mine would be saying or thinking the very same thing when the world presses in on them and tries to tear them down. I am hopeful that when the world tells them lies (and it will), that our daughters will have some powerful truth to hang onto. It’s coming…. Will your daughter be ready? It’s partly up to you!

Today’s take away: Find a way to tell your daughter she is beautiful and precious both inside and out every day this week.

Are we clear?

Crystal!

Get after it

Alan

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With Father’s Day approaching, we have an offer for you. Hit the link below from now until Father’s Day and enter “DAD” at checkout to save 20% on your entire order. There are some fun shirts and other things for both Dad & Daughter.

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Apparently Jada Pinkett Smith is working on a documentary focused on Human Trafficking. I ran across a home-made video made by Jada after her first day on the job. It appeared to be late at night and she was simply talking into a personal camera or maybe a computer. She seemed to be deeply affected by what she had experienced that day.

In the process of doing some research she visited a post Human Trafficking treatment center. She sat with young girls who had recently been rescued from this hideous experience and was blown away by who she met and what she heard.

Jada

Here is a screen shot of Jada as she searches for the words to describe what she had experienced that day.

During this VLOG that Jada Pinkett Smith recorded, she recounted these words from a young woman who had recently been freed from the Human Trafficking trade.

“Manipulating men into giving you money for your body is ok because of what the music tells us. It’s almost expected”

Wow, can you believe that a young girl, recently out of sex trafficking said this about the music she heard?

I wonder if you are aware of what the hip hop/rap scene is teaching our kids? Are you aware of how these “artists” are talking about our daughters? Are you aware of the training they are providing for our boys?

I will not reprint the vulgar, dehumanizing, disgusting and degrading song lyrics here which are typical of the hip hop/rap music culture. You will have to take my word for it. Or, if you are feeling particularly curious or adventurous, google “Degrading song lyrics about women” and see what comes up. You can also search for song lyrics from the likes of “Dr. Dre”, “Lil Wayne”, “Cadillac Don”, “Ja Rule” and the infamous “Eminem.” “Eminem” has actually taken it a bit farther and infused a strong element of violence against women in many of his songs.

By the sounds of this music, you would think these guys regard our daughters as nothing more than disposable garbage.

Of course not everyone who listens to this music is as tragically affected as the young girl that Jada met. But studies show that such lyrics are certainly a negative influence which should be monitored by engaged parents.

Am I somehow crusading AGAINST a particular type of music or artist? NO! I am crusading FOR engaged, caring parents who are aware of the environment their kids are growing up in.

One side note: Thinking you can simply say “we don’t allow that music” will keep it away from your kids would be incorrect. It is everywhere and it’s impossible to control short of moving to a cave in the mountains.

The key is YOU being engaged, aware, caring and involved with your kids so you can interpret, shield and protect. Enter in conversation about these and other important topics.

Stand up Men. Your daughter needs you. Your son too!

Press On
Alan

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Our book Prized Possession goes into great detail on what I call “The Assault on our Girls.” You can pick up our book by hitting the link below.

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Spring Break – Scary

Alan Smyth —  April 18, 2016 — 2 Comments

We are in the season of Spring Break. When kids are little, “Spring Break” simply means a celebration of NO SCHOOL. And before we got all politically correct, it wasn’t even called “Spring Break.” It was called “Easter Vacation.” Either way, for kids, Spring Break started out pure and fun. It started out as time with family and friends.
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“Spring Break” now conjures up very different meanings and images. Spring break has become big business for popular destinations such as Vegas, Florida and Mexico. It is THE thing to do for thousands upon thousands of college kids.
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Is it all bad? Ummmm, well, Yep, pretty much! Honestly, it’s baffling to me how and why parents are letting their kids go to these types of events. I guess there is a case to be made that those “kids” who are participating are actually “adults” and can do whatever they want. To that I say, GREAT, then pay for your own college… cell phone….food… car… etc etc etc. and be a real adult!

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I certainly don’t mean to lump every kid on these trips into the lowest common denominator. But even good kids or naïve kids showing up in an environment with massive alcohol consumption, open sexual activity and exploitation, and predators of all kinds will lead to poor judgment, regret, pain or worse.

Ok, so what is my message to Dad’s out there? I’m guessing most you reading this agree with my opinion here and the overall safety of “Spring Breaks.” If not, I am totally comfortable going against the grain on this one.

My message is this:
The accepted stereo typical “Spring Break” activity is bad, unhealthy and downright scary. Especially for those of us with daughters.

Start while your daughter is young creating a fun, positive tradition over “Spring Break.” Something to look forward to every year.

Create family alternatives which are more attractive than the world’s options and you will have a better chance as your kids grow older. (hint: relationship with YOU is the key)

Or how about just saying “NO” to things you don’t approve of? Regardless of their legal age you will always be their parent and will always have a voice and a vote in their lives.

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For my daughters’ Sr. year “Spring Break” trip, I took her to Hawaii (just her ane I) and had her swim with the Dolphins. (her dream) Even better…. It was her idea.

You can do this guys. Step up and fill the void. Redefine what is fun, available, wholesome and healthy. Be counter cultural and start at a young age!

Press On

Alan

Great Father’s Day gifts below. Pick up the book “Prized Possession” for Dad’s and also a fun T-shirt or two at the links below.

 

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Men, we need to have a difficult conversation. There is a disturbing reality growing in our midst and we need an army of men to rise up and say, “No more. Not on my watch!” I made a career change this past fall and have embraced a greater challenge than I have ever known. I have gone to work for an LA based non profit called Saving Innocence.

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We work with child victims of sex trafficking. And believe me, if that sounds bad…. The reality is far worse than it even sounds. Right under our collective noses, Human Trafficking has proliferated beyond measure and is currently the fastest growing crime in the world. Some 30 million people world wide are enslaved. Our focus is on the minors who have been caught up in this ugly criminal enterprise. The average age of entry is just TWELVE years old and experts estimate that there are as many as 300,000 children being sold for sex in the US each year. These are American born kids who are being forced to be with between 10-20 men per day. I am not talking about Thailand or Cambodia….. I am talking about the United States of America. Within our borders in our cities and with our children.

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If you are like me, you are disgusted and repulsed right about now. How is this happening? Why is this happening? I feel as if our society is in a moral free fall. The fact that we are allowing the Commercial, Sexual, Exploitation of Children is beyond understandable and it is beyond allowable. The picture below is of one our clients waiting for her turn to testify in court against her trafficker. You can not help but notice how young she appears to be.

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So what do we do?

We respond with law enforcement around the clock, 24/7. We arrive on the scene for the recovery of a child who is being trafficked. We are with them in their most vulnerable moments advocating for their needs. We then begin case management services for as long as it takes to completely change the trajectory of this child’s life. Our goal is to give her back her childhood and turn her from victim to survivor to someone who is thriving. As you might imagine, this is a long and bumpy road.

So what can you do?

First, know about it…. This is happening. Learn about it. Understand it. See our website for more information. CLICK HERE.

Once you know about it, now care about it. (how could you not?)

Once you care about it, now do something about it. Help us raise awareness. Read up on this crime and share with your networks what is happening. Help us raise funds to recover and restore these dear children. Saving Innocence is looking for monthly donors and one time donors. From our website, hit the DONATE button and become our partner. Follow us on all of our social media channels @savinginnocence. “Share” or “retweet” this blog post.

This crime needs to go away and it needs to go away right now. Please invest some time and energy in learning about it and get involved.

As for you Dad… never a better time to be fully present with your daughter. Never a better time to remind her how precious and valuable she is. Never a better time to be alert, engaged and protective. Let her know how worthy she is of a father’s love.

Rise up Men!

Alan

E-mail me at Alan@savinginnocence.org if you want to talk about how to get involved or you just have some questions.

 

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End Goal #weddingday

Alan Smyth —  March 13, 2016 — Leave a comment

I met Stu Graff over 30 years ago. He has been a friend and more importantly has done a phenomenal job in raising not one, not two, but three daughters. I felt like I had my hands full raising just one daughter. He is teaching the rest of us how to do it by excelling in raising three.

Graff 1

Because I am friends with Stu & Tessa, and have known the family over the years, I can personally attest to the grace, beauty, humility, sense of humor and heart to serve in his girls. They have all turned out great and I know Stu is a very proud dad.

This past weekend, Stu reached a milestone. He achieved an end goal of sorts. He gave his oldest daughter away to another man… Stu walked down the isle with Kayla clinging to his arm. He then gave her hand to Derek and after a few words, he watched his daughter walk back down that same isle clinging to her new husband.

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Not that we will ever stop being a parent, but our daughters wedding day is certainly a huge milestone and in some ways an end goal. Every dad dreams of this day and those thoughts are usually filled with a mixture of joy, dread, celebration, fear and maybe a little bit of loss. It’s all about your daughter choosing the right guy. Someone who will love her as much as we do. Someone who will protect and defend our daughter as we would. Someone who will honor her as a precious masterpiece like we do. I know that Stu has welcomed his new son in law to the family and Derek has “passed the test.” Whew…. One down, and two more to go! Congrats Stu, you did a GREAT job!

So here is my question….

How will your daughter know the difference between a frog and a prince?

How will your daughter be able to sniff out a fraud?

How will your daughter be able to know what a great husband should act like?

Being a woman, how will your daughter know what she should expect from a man?

You’ve probably guessed it…. Yep, the answer to all of these questions is YOU. She will see what a real man looks like by watching you. She will be able to tell the difference between authentic and fake by watching you. She will know what to expect from a great husband because of watching you. And she will expect to be treated by men in the way she has watched how you have treated and talked about women.

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The answer is YOU. So, with God’s help, lets rededicate ourselves to being the best version of ourselves that we can. Let’s be the best husband and man we can and let’s circle back with our daughters and invest in a deep way with their lives.

Your future son in law and grandkids could depend on it!

Oh, and work on your dancing skills too!

Alan
PS: Stu was a contributor to our book Prized Possession. Pick up the book using the link below and hear from Stu and others what their strategy was for raising great daughters.

 

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