Archives For Alan Smyth

Lay My Life Down

Alan Smyth —  April 8, 2019 — Leave a comment

I had a very unexpected and touching conversation in the bank the other day. I was there opening a new account and chit chatting with the New Accounts Teller. He mentioned that his wife was pregnant with his first, a daughter. We exchanged a few moments of parenting conversation. Me, from a 30 year vet and he from an excited, yet nervous new-bee.

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A few minutes in, this blog somehow came into the conversation. When he learned about the “Father/Daughter” nature of this blog, he said, “You need to talk to Norm.” Norm was the guy who worked in the next cubicle over. Just then, Norm popped his head over the wall and asked what we were talking about. I learned that Norm had three daughters and one of them was adopted.

Norm went on to describe the brutal situation that they adopted his teenage daughter out of. She had been in an abusive situation and had been scarred because of it. She was naturally jaded and skeptical of Norm’s love and desire to create a family. She said to Norm, “How can I trust you? How can I trust this? How do I know this is going to last? Maybe I should leave!”

Norm said, “You’re right, I can’t guarantee much. Maybe you should leave. I can’t promise that your mom isn’t going to come back and mess things up. I can’t promise that the court isn’t going to screw this up either. But here is what I can promise. I can promise that while you are here you will always have enough food to eat, a roof over your head and that I will lay my life down for you if needed.”

lay your life down

I gulped…. My eyes moistened. Wow. What a statement. Norm rescued this girl out of a terrible situation with an abusive mom. Everything was uncertain. Her future was up in the air. And he is promising to lay his life down on behalf of this troubled girl. I can only imagine what that did in the heart, mind and soul of this little girl. Never before had she someone who would fight for her and protect her. Never before did she have that kind of security. Since that conversation, things have been different in that home. She is happier and more content. She did not leave and she is thriving.

I thought I was going in for some routine banking and an unexpected conversation with Norm rocked my world. I was reminded that there is some good left in this crazy world. And it prompted some questions in me.

Does your daughter know that you would lay your life down for her? And for that matter, do you know if you would? I suspect that you would, however, I wonder if your daughter knows that. I wonder if your actions suggest that she is the most important thing in your world? Not your words, but your actions! I wonder if she knows how important she is to you?

You probably won’t ever have to actually lay your life down, but how about you start this week by making some time for her in your busy schedule.

Do it!

Alan

For some fun gifts for Dad, take a look at our store.

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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 nearly four years ago 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 often times 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. If you would like to partner financially with us, click HERE. 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 Alan@savinginnocence.org if you want to talk about how to get involved or you just have some questions.

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On a previous blog post entitled “10 Rules for Dating my Daughter”  went viral. Through the magic of Social Media, there were literally millions of people from around the world who joined in the conversation. It was by far the most viewed and “shared” blog post so far in the life of this project. In fact lots of people even asked about a shirt with those 10 rules printed on it. So in an effort to give the Dads what they want, we have the now  famous “Rules for Dating my Daughter” T-shirt. We have an online store with lots of other fun products. Check it out HERE.

In case you missed the blog, “10 Rules for Dating my Daughter” post. Click HERE

It was really fun to see Dads around the world unite around this funny little take on daughters beginning to date. I obviously struck a nerve with this topic. It is no surprise to me that Dads of daughters united around this topic. As a follow up blog, I wanted to pass along another handy tool that you may want to use with your daughter’s suitor.

Application for Dating my Daughter

  1. Name_______________ GPA _________________
  2. Athletic Accomplishments ______________________________________
  3. In 50 words or less, explain what “DON’T TOUCH MY DAUGHTER” means.
  4. I hope this application doesn’t ask ____________________
  5. What do you want to be IF you grow up?
  6. (Over/Under) 25 times having seen Braveheart (If less than 5 times, need not apply!)

Signed _______________________________________

Please allow 4-6 years for processing.

Any contact during the review period could cause a delay.

IN CASE YOU ARE WONDERING, WE HAVE TURNED THIS APPLICATION INTO A SHIRT AS WELL! See our ONLINE STORE.

Also, in case you were wondering, all of this is done in good fun and meant to be kind of an inside joke for Dad’s who have daughters!

A & B disneyland

Ok, but seriously…. Here is a brief thought: Most of what your daughter will use to screen a potential boyfriend will be her experience of watching you with your wife. How you treat women will be how she will expect to be treated. You shouldn’t actually need a list of rules or an application if you are doing your part by showing her what a great guy looks like. She will look for someone like you!

Press On

Alan Smyth

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Actions Speak!

Alan Smyth —  March 11, 2019 — Leave a comment

Yes, we should be giving lots of verbal instruction all the time. However let’s not forget the pecking order of impact. The picture below spells it out perfectly.

father lived

Today’s message is a very quick and simple one. Our actions speak much louder than our words. Of course we should relay lots of verbal instruction. Words are important. They are powerful. We should use them intentionally and wisely. However, people will watch our actions to see if our words are trustworthy. You can turn your words into nothing more than a joke with contradictory actions.

This is never truer in the lives of your kids. Live a life of integrity, presence and honor and your kids will listen to what you have to say. Be absent, angry and dis honorable and you will lose your kids. (And wife, friends, family & coworkers)

YOU are the first and best class room your daughter will ever attend. Make sure the lessons you are living out are consistent, life giving and productive.

Another way to say it is:

“Lead always and when necessary use words”

Talk is cheap friends. Your kids are watching even when you don’t think they are! They will follow your example in spite of what you say.

Press On
Alan

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Liam Neeson Wisdom

Alan Smyth —  January 10, 2019 — 1 Comment

I love going to the movies. I have to say I am a little more “Jason Bourne” in my tastes than I am “Jean Valjean.”

Recently, I saw the movie Battleship, in which the young misfit hero, Hopper, was about to be kicked out of the Navy. As the plot unfolded, he became romantically involved with the daughter of the Admiral, who was played by Liam Neeson. As usual, Liam Neeson’s character was somewhat tough and intimidating. Hopper spent much of the movie looking for an opportunity to ask the Admiral permission to marry his daughter. Naturally, he was scared and hesitant throughout.

As it turned out, Hopper rose to the challenge to defeat an alien attack force that waged war and attempted to take over planet Earth. He showed incredible courage, wisdom, and strength in the process. He risked his own life in order to save mankind, and he accomplished “Hollywood level” success.

Battleship1

When the movie was all but over, and Hopper had defeated the aliens, he finally had the chance to ask the Admiral for his daughter’s hand in marriage. Hopper approached the Admiral, told him that he loved his daughter, and requested permission to marry her. But the Admiral responded with an adamant, “No!”

Hopper replied, “But I just saved the world!”

The Admiral’s response is one of my new favorite movie lines of all time. I love his answer, because I resonated with his response. Liam Neeson’s character said to his frightened would-be son-in-law, “Saving the world is one thing, Mr. Hopper. My daughter is quite another.”

Yes! In other words, “That’s right, son. Thanks for saving the world and all, but that does not give you entrance into my daughter’s life. It’s not that easy. We are talking about my daughter here, and she is more precious to me than the entire world. You saved the world? It’s going to take a lot more than that! I am her sworn protector and defender. She is my treasure.”

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I like to think of the movie “Taken” as more of a Public Service Announcement than a movie. Of course they took lots of Hollywood liberties in making a fun movie, but the essence of it is true. There are bad guys, scum bags & predators out there wishing to do harm to young females. When the movie was in the theatre, I gave money to my daughter for her and her roommates to go see that movie. I needed her to be more aware of the harsh realities out in the big ugly world.

Taken1

I love Liam’s response to the French police chief when he is being asked to calm down. He said,

“I would tear down the Eifel tower if it meant finding my daughter!”

May we all have the focus, resolve and success in guarding and protecting our daughter as the movie characters played by Liam Neeson!

Press On

Alan Smyth

PS: Some of the above content is found in Chapter 1 of the book, Prized Possession.

 

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New Year’s Resolution

Alan Smyth —  December 31, 2018 — 4 Comments

If you are like me, you are considering some kind of New Year’s resolution right about now. Even though the stats are against us on those who follow through, I can’t help but think about how I want my 2019 to be different. It is healthy to look back to evaluate and then look forward to improve.

As you are considering your New Year’s resolutions, I want to pass along some very important information I gleaned from the many interviews I conducted regarding this Father/Daughter project (website/blog/seminar/book)

I contacted dozens of great young women (post teen age) who seemed to turn out awesome and seem to have a great relationship with their Dads. I asked them “What did your dad do?” “What was good?” “What blessed you?” “What impacted you?” Below are their top three answers.

The things that real girls (who turned out great) said more than anything else were:

  1. My Dad loved and respected my mom.
  2. My Dad had an authentic faith.
  3. My Dad took me on trips/adventures.

The power behind those three statements is that they came straight from the mouths of great girls who succeeded! They are flourishing out in the real world. They have chosen great husbands who love them well and they are strong independent women of faith & family. Who doesn’t want that for their daughters? I realize that this thing called parenting cannot be put into a formula and there is nothing about it that is predictable. At the end of the day, you can do everything “right” and things can still be tough. Your daughter will still have to make her own choices and likely some of those will differ from yours.

But…. And this is a BIG BUT….. Why would we not consider the successes from those who have gone before us on this important and complicated topic? Real girls have said that their dad loving their mom made a huge impact on them. Real girls said that their dad’s authentic faith made a huge impact on them. Real girls said that their dad taking them on trips made a huge impact on them.

This is like the first day of school when the teacher says, “Ok, here is what is going to be on the test. Study this and you will be ok.” My word to you dads out there for 2019 is “Study this, and you will be ok.” Put these three things on top of your list for 2019. Stay tuned to this blog in 2019 as we will unpack and address each of these items in greater detail.

Happy New Year!

Alan Smyth

PS: This content appears in much greater detail in Chapter 8 of the book “Prized Possession” entitled “Do This!” The book is available now. Hit the banner below to purchase.

 

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