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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.

 

 

 

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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

New Year’s Resolution

Alan Smyth —  January 2, 2017 — 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 2017 to be different. For me, I’d like to lose a few pounds, read a little more, be more focused on a few things and in general, just get better. It is healthy to look back to evaluate and then look forward to improve.

new-years-17

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 I am going to relay to you 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/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 2017 is “Study this, and you will be ok.” Put these three on top of your list for 2017. Stay tuned to this blog in 2017 as we will certainly 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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A Free Thanksgiving Gift!

kristyfox —  November 23, 2016 — Leave a comment

I have  been in multiple conversations with young women and have been struck by their need for affirmation to come from the male figures in their life. So many girls try hard to earn the affirmation of their fathers. And, many girls never feel like they can live up to their father’s expectations or feel like they can “get it right”. My husband is a coach and he heard a statistic – a kid needs 10 positives for every negative thing said. Not sure about you, but my ratio isn’t always that good.

I think we tend to assume people know we are thankful for them or that we appreciate things they do, but we need to actually tell them!

It got me thinking… I hold back words of affirmation and thanksgiving too often. I tend to be critical far more than I am thankful and affirming. I tend to assume people know I appreciate them but I often don’t say it. I should give life giving words far more freely. Dads, I implore you to do the same. You have life-giving words for your daughter within you that often go unspoken. Please know that she is craving those. It may be uncomfortable for you – that’s ok, please still try it – typically the best things we do are a bit uncomfortable at first!

In some of the girl’s groups I have been a part of we have passed around papers with someone’s name on it. We then pass these around and everyone writes words of thanks and affirmations on the paper for that person. Girls have shown me papers they have saved for years and that they treasure! How cool would that be for them to have something like that from their dad? Something that can remind them of the love you have for them, something they can treasure and pull out when they need it, something that can remind them of how they should be treated by a future spouse or boyfriend.

It’s possible that the best gifts we have for one another don’t cost us anything!

Here’s the idea:

– Write a list of 10 specific things you are thankful for about your daughter (if she is too little to read, write it anyway and put it in a box for her so she can read them when she’s older )and put the list somewhere she will see it on Thanksgiving – her mirror, her dinner plate, her door, etc!

Stop. Grab a piece of paper right now. And do it!

2 Minutes of your time could be a life-long treasure for your daughter!

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Kristy Fox

As the Holidays are upon us, I wanted to suggest a few very practical things to do with your daughter. Typically, both you and your daughter will have a little down time coming up. Thanksgiving is this Thursday and you will likely have a long weekend. Then, Christmas vacay is right around the corner.

Thanksgiving

Here are a few suggestions to help take advantage of the extra time you will have with your daughter. Obviously depending on your daughter’s age, you will need to make adjustments.

*Take your daughter out to breakfast or lunch over the holidays. (Do it more than once)

*Sit down and watch one of your daughters TV shows WITH her. Take an interest, ask some questions.

*Sneak into your daughter’s bathroom at night and write a note on her mirror. Tell her something you are proud of her for.

*Take your daughter to a movie over vacation.

*Ask her “If you could do anything at all during your vacation, what would it be?” Then DO IT with her!

*Look at the “written resources” section of our website (www.myfatherdaughter.com) Find the section with the “Father Daughter Scriptures” and read her a new bible verse each day. Then discuss it by saying “what do you think that means?” and “What would change if we lived like we believed it was true?”

*In the “Video Resources” section of our website, show her the “Evolution” video and discuss how most of the beauty projected in the media is NOT real.

*Tell her you are going to start a new tradition called the “Father/Daughter Get away.” Discuss where the two of you are going to go on an overnight trip sometime this coming spring or summer.

This is just a start. Take any of these or make some up on your own. The important thing is that you engage with your daughter somehow, some way. The upcoming month can afford you more of an opportunity to do so.

As Nike said…. “Just Do It”

I’d love to hear about anything you did with your daughter. Share your success with us!

Have an awesome Thanksgiving Holiday with your family!

Press on

Alan Smyth

 

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