Archives For My FD Blog

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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A Huge Announcement

Alan Smyth —  April 1, 2017 — 8 Comments

This is a Re-Post from an ealier BLOG. There are lots of new followers to our blog since our book was first relased. We want to make sure everyone get the back story and an opportunity to get one.

 

Friends

We have reached a milestone in the life of this “little project.” It started nearly 26 years ago when my daughter Brittany was born. As I stumbled around hoping to be a great Dad for my daughter, I learned a few things through “On the job training.” Then, my entire adult life working for Young Life has given me a front row seat into the lives of adolescents and their struggles.

Long story short, I felt compelled to record my thoughts and experiences of being a dad to my daughter. I felt led to record them all into one place and make them available to whoever might be interested. Further, I felt that getting input from dozens of other Dads, daughters and Young Life leaders would provide a unique collection of content.

Never really knowing where this was all going, I am happy to announce that the project which I spearheaded and collaborated with many others has been turned into a book. And that book is available for consumption starting right now! Let this blog post signify the release of a book I have entitled “Prized Possession.” You will have to read chapter two in order to understand where this title came from.

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Kristy Fox is a huge part of this project and her female perspective has been an invaluable component to the conversation. My voice is strong as a Dad who raised a daughter. However, her voice is strong from a woman’s perspective and has provided a strong influence. She is someone who has been intimately involved in the lives of adolescent girls for over 20 years. Kristy has contributed an important chapter in this book as she speaks about what girls are battling every day. She has also been a sounding board for the rest of the chapters as I compiled them. My own daughter, Brittany, has also contributed a chapter from her perspective.

Additionally there are dozens of veteran Dads who have shared their insights on what they did and how they approached raising their daughters. Maybe the best part of the book tho, is a chapter written by a compilation of testimonies from post teen age girls who turned out great. I asked them “what did your dad do?” “What impacted you?” You will hear from awesome women what their dad did well. You will want to steal what you hear them say.

We have no real commercial goals for this book. Well, I’d love to break even on it if I can. Beyond that, I have no idea. The point of this project was not to become a “best seller” and make a lot of money. The point was to gather important voices and share important insights on a very important topic. My hope is that this book becomes a resource for Dads who are looking for a little encouragement and practical help for the sake of a healthy daughter who gets what she deserves. It is irrelevant whether 1 or 1 million people read this book. I am just doing what I believe I was asked to do by pulling it all together.

If you care to order this book, hit the banner below. There is also a button on our website to be used in purchasing the book as well. If you believe this topic is as important as I do, then I would ask you to forward this e-mail to everyone you know,  “share” it on your facebook, “tweet” it on twitter and ask people you know to check it out on our website. I want a lot of Dads to participate in this conversation because I believe there is some greats stuff on the pages which will make a difference in the lives of little girls. Thanks for your help in spreading the word!

May God bless you in your parenting and may God use the words recorded in this book to empower Dads and bless the little girls they love.

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.

It is also available at our website CLICK HERE to get the book and other fun Dad Stuff!

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Today we celebrate the anniversary of the following blog. Surprisingly it went viral after Father’s Day.  We were then flooded with interest for T-shirts. Dads have been sending in pictures of themselves, in their shirts along with their daughters from all over the world. We have been posting some of them on our facebook page entitled “Myfatherdaughter.com” Many more people are now following this blog. This light hearted shirt is bringing thousands of Dads further into the important conversation of their role with their daughter. Take a look and join us!

 

On February 18th, I wrote a funny little blog about the “rules for dating my daughter.” I chuckled as I wrote it and never dreamed how much buzz it would receive. Through the magic of Social Media, it was by far the most read, passed around and commented on blog in the life of this little project. The concept of a Dad issuing his ground rules for dating his daughter seemed to unite the entire tribe of Fathers! I’m guessing those rules are what all of us have been thinking but didn’t think we could actually ever say it. In case you missed the February 18th blog or would just like to refresh yourself, go ahead and click HERE to see it again.

Some of the feedback I received was around the actual rules. I heard things like “Who is making the T-shirt?” “I need that shirt” and “Dear God, get me that shirt.” Now, I am not in the apparel business. I’m not even in the blogging business. I am a Young Life Regional Director trying to reach lost kids in LA. It just so happens that due to my experience as a Young Life leader and as a parent, I might have a thing or two to say about being a Dad.

In an effort to give the people what they are clamoring for, I have made these shirts depicting the “10 Rules for Dating my Daughter.” There are also a few other fun shirts in the same theme on our store.

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(Contents of “Rules” T-shirt protected under applicable copyright laws)

I’m pretty sure this is how Nike got started, but my goals are not quite as lofty. At first I made a few dozen shirts and gave a few away. Now I am selling them to whoever wants one. The cost is $19.95 per shirt (more for bigger sizes) Then add shipping & handling of course. It’s a heavy cotton shirt. No sheer, light gauge material for me. Real men wear heavy T-shirts!

 

If you want a shirt or two, visit our online store. Click the button below:

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This whole thing is funny to me!

Have Fun!

Alan Smyth

Check out our book desinged to help Dads

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PS: Below Stu Graff has already found a great use for his shirt. He pinned it to his front door while his daughter was out on a date.

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Marches & Royalty

Alan Smyth —  January 22, 2017 — 4 Comments

This past Saturday I was surprised and saddened by all that I saw. I was somewhat aware that there was a women’s march being organized. However, I had no idea the scope of what was about to unfold. I had no idea how many were gathering in so many cities across our land. I heard one estimate that there could have been as many as 4 million participating around the country.

womens march

I don’t pretend to fully understand all the emotions that were bursting out everywhere. I have lived my entire life through the male view finder. While living the past 32 years along side my wife and the last 28 years along side my daughter, I am still hopelessly male and therefore unable to see and feel all that is out there to be seen and felt.  Certainly the recent remarks on the record from our new President are brutal, degrading and unacceptable. However, I get the sense there is much more going on here.

It is obvious how women are viewed and depicted by some men and much of the entertainment and media industry. For those who are feeling this assault now, more than ever, I have a message for you. In no way do I attempt to minimize or over simplify the pain you feel over the objectification you have endured. I simply offer some hope to cling to in the midst of the storm you find yourself in.

My message to you: YOU ARE ROYALTY

Keep calm

 

Let me say it again…… YOU ARE ROYALTY

Here in America, we don’t fully understand what that means. In the UK, the Royal family has a long tradition of being a big deal. When a Royal shows up, people stop, bow and take pictures. A band starts playing and media shows up. Forget it if one of them gets married. The entire country stops, if not the entire world. They are a symbol of strength, power, position, nobility and class. Did you know that these words are what describes YOU?

princess

What? Is this not how you feel? Is this not how you are treated? Facts & feelings are often different. Let me share with you the facts of the matter.

  1. The God of the universe is referred to as King and His creation is His Kingdom.
  2. In scripture, Jesus has been known to refer to women as “daughter.”
  3. In the monarchy, what is a daughter of the King called…..?

What? The sleeping beauty, song singing, Disney style Princess not your jam? How about the Warrior Princess, light saber wielding, fighting for whats right, saving the universe kind of princess? Pick whatever image you resonate with….. The important thing is that you understand your place in God’s kingdom and in God’s heart. It’s a place of honor.

warrior princess

 

YOU are royalty. An heir to the Kingdom! But it gets better. You are not a Princess (and eventual Queen) of an Island country in Europe. You are royalty to be celebrated in the universe for all time. It’s a big deal when you show up. You are a picture of class, power, position and nobility. When you show up, the angels pause. You are a big deal to God. He is crazy about you and your worth comes from Him. Value is always established by the maker. God is your maker and he says you are priceless, valuable and sacred. PERIOD!

If your value comes from God, no human can take it away. No words, songs, pictures or people can change your worth.

 

My challenge to you: Live like you know this is true and step into your rightful place in the universe.

I have spoken this message over and over to rooms full of adolescent girls. Without fail, eyes fill with tears because they have never heard that before and their soul is longing to be valued as it was created to be. I have also experienced that there is no expiration date on women needing to hear this. This message is never out grown. We all need to be reminded of our God given worth. And at this time in history, I feel there are millions of women of all ages who especially need this reminder today.

Live like you believe it and pay no attention to those who don’t also treat you that way! (Pay no attention in terms of gaining your self worth, value & purpose) I would still expect a bunch of strong women to rise up and demand better from men)

You are loved and valued

Alan

PS: Men please speak this message to your daughters and the women in your life.

 

 

 

Click the banner below if you want to pick up our book for Dad’s who have daughters. It is available in soft cover, hard cover and e-book.

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Be A Bridge-Builder

kristyfox —  January 18, 2017 — Leave a comment

bridge

I met with a young woman in her early 20s this month. Her words have stuck in my head. She said “I had a pretty strained relationship with my dad – because of that I am needing to learn what it looks like to have an actual relationship with my Heavenly Father . I never learned to be real, honest, vulnerable and open with my own father – because of that it is tough for me to learn what that looks like with God and others.”

Your daughter is watching you more than you may know. Your words and your actions speak volumes to her.

This is not meant to make you feel guilty, or pressured, like a failure, or like the job ahead of you as a dad is impossible. To the contrary, I would love to encourage you that it is not too late to try. What was so very interesting to hear as she continued to speak was the desire within her to reconnect with her dad, to renew that relationship, to engage and not just ignore it or walk the other way. She was very willing not just to forgive her father for some of the lapses in his parenting but also to be the one to want to help build the bridge to reconnection. If it seems like you have missed it in parenting – it’s not too late. Help build that bridge!

Kristy

Today is the day to start habits for the New Year! What about starting a habit with your daughter this year that will could be fun, engaging, and maybe help start some good conversations?

Women tend to feel like they really know someone if they themselves feel “known” in that relationship. I saw this several years ago as I supervised some college gals for a month at a Young Life camp. I would spend time with them where they worked, play games with them, hang out with them and I thought I was doing a pretty good job building relationships. I also had a couple of one-on-one times to talk about life and really try and hear from them. Well, at the end of the month I received the evaluations they had filled out on their experience. Many of the girls had said that I didn’t spend time getting to know them and wished I had done that more. My initial reaction was… are you kidding me! I was with you all of the time – what do they mean they didn’t have enough time with me? And then it hit me…. I think many girls don’t see it as time spent with them if they are in a crowd, busy doing things, or not having intentional conversations. Honestly, I needed some help on this, because that is not necessarily how I am wired. So, I became good at asking questions. I ask girls lots of questions!

talk bubbles

Many years ago with my small group of high school girls, I began asking them to share their “pows”(low point) and “wows” (best thing) for the week. This simple statement “let’s do pows and wows” has been huge. It helps girls have a way to dive in to conversation together, a way to be heard, and a glimpse into their heart.

We have done it also as a family for years at dinner time or in the car. We just say “pows and wows” and the kids know exactly what we mean. Try it. It opens up lots of conversation. It may be awkward at first for your older daughter, but you don’t want to be like me… thinking you had done a good job and then hearing your daughter’s “evaluation” that you were nice and fun, but never really got to know her.

Blessings on your journey,

Kristy Fox