Archives For 10 rules for dating my daughter

juxtaposition
— noun

“an act or instance of placing close together or side by side, especially for comparison or contrast.”

This past weekend I experienced a dramatic example of a “Juxtaposition”. Two “side by side” experiences which demonstrated a stark contrast.

I ran into “Monica” and she offered that she was 50 years old. The topic of conversation was the “Father / Daughter” relationship. She picked up my book, “Prized Possession” and began to tear up. She then volunteered that “my Dad didn’t love me” and talked further about how wounded she was because of it. We spoke about the seminar that Kristy Fox and I have developed aimed at helping Dads be better Dads.

With a distant and hollow stare and tears in her eyes, she said “Do you ever ask Dads why they don’t step up? Why it’s so hard for them to love their daughters?”  It was clear to me that Monica was hurt and wounded. It was clear to me that at 50, she had not yet recovered from the neglect she had experienced from her Dad. She let me know that she was unemployed. I tried to give her a copy of the book, but she wouldn’t or couldn’t accept it.

Here is the Juxtaposition….

After she left, I opened up my Instagram app and as I scrolled down through the pictures, I saw the following post from Hannah. Hannah is the daughter of my good friend Stu (whom I featured in a recent blog) CLICK HERE to read about Stu & Hannah.

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Clearly Stu has been the kind of Dad that Monica wished she had. Clearly Hannah is off to the start that Monica never got, yet deserved.

Here is my point ….

Are you aware that your actions and involvement with your daughter today will last her whole lifetime? She will either coast through life off the blessing you give her or she will struggle through life trying to heal from the wound you leave her.

If you are more like Stu, great job! Way to go! Keep it up!
If you are more like Monica’s Dad, busy, distracted and selfish…. Wake up! Take your eyes off yourself, re engage in your family!

It’s important…. Really, really important for the girls in your life.

Engage Maverick!

Alan

 

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Phil Withdraws!

Alan Smyth —  July 16, 2017 — Leave a comment

By any measure, Phil Mickelson is one of the all-time great golfers. AND, of his five “majors” that he has won, the U.S. Open is the only one left to win. That is why the recent breaking news of Phil pulling out of this past U.S. Open is such a big deal.

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Check out Phil’s Wikipedia page and marvel at his golf accolades…. His 42 PGA victories puts him in rarified air for sure.

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Among his 5 major victories, he has won the Masters three times!

** FOR USE AS DESIRED, PHOTOS OF THE DECADE ** FILE - Phil Mickelson celebrates after winning the Masters golf tournament with a nine-under-par at the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Ga., in this April 11, 2004 file photo. (AP Photo/Dave Martin, File)

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Only 8 other men have won more tour events than Phil. This is what he does and he is very good at it. He is in 8th place all time for “Major” wins yet the U.S. Open has eluded him thus far. As he is getting older, one has to wonder why he would withdraw from this important tournament?  Why would he not show up for work that day? Why would he pull a “no show?” How many more opportunities will he have to win a major and especially the coveted U.S. Open?

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One thing that Phil has always stood for is his family. I don’t know the man personally, but he has always projected a strong love for his wife and kids. It is refreshing to see a high-profile athlete with such an obvious love and attention to this family.

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The answer to the riddle of why he pulled out of this year’s U.S. Open is simple…. His family comes first. His daughter’s High School graduation conflicted with his tournament tee time. He chose his daughter over his job that day. He said “no” to a possible huge pay day in favor of his daughter.  He gave up making memories for himself in favor of making memories with his daughter. He gave up the spotlight on himself and placed it on his daughter.

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I’m not sure how difficult of a decision this was for Phil, but I’m guessing not very. I’m guessing this was pretty much a “no brainer.” And that makes me a fan of Phil Mickelson! Thanks Phil for teaching the rest of us what it looks like to value family over career!

Question: When was the last time you have sacrificed something big for the sake of your family? Has your daughter seen you place her needs above your needs lately?

What is your “U.S. OPEN” that you need to walk away from in order to demonstrate your love, commitment and presence in your daughter’s life?

Let’s wrestle with that for a little while….

Press On!

Alan

 

 

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Real Talk

Alan Smyth —  May 22, 2017 — Leave a comment

In our book Prized Possession, we compiled a number of voices to form one strong message. We hear from Dad’s who have done it well and Daughters who have been loved well from great Dad’s. They both have a great perspective to learn from. Additionally, in between each chapter we insert a few nuggets entitled “Real Talk.” In our “Real Talk” segments, we hear from a variety of young women who vulnerably share a brief thought from their perspective.

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Between chapter 2 and chapter 3, we find this section of “Real Talk”

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“As society and culture takes its toll on girls today, girls begin to lose a sense of their own value. It’s a painful loss and often leads to a search for painkillers. Alcohol and drugs are often used to numb the pain. Girls compromise their God-given value to meet the expectations of boys who can’t possibly understand the beautiful treasures God has created them to be. “If I only give my boyfriend what he wants,” they think, “then I’ll matter. I’ll be something, I’ll belong.” The problem is, such a pattern reduces a girl to her ability to perform and her willingness to have sex. Such a degradation of her identity will act as a huge wall against her understanding of who God has created her to be and the value He, as her Father, has placed on her life.”

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Here is what I heard from the young lady who shared her “Real Talk.”

  • It’s hard being a girl
  • Girls are de-valued
  • There is pain we seek to numb
  • We compromise for the sake of a boy’s approval
  • I want to matter and belong
  • We are reduced to our performance
  • Our understanding of who God made us to be is under attack

 A pretty strong message indeed. As Dad’s, we need to not only be aware of how many of our girls think in this regard, but we need to be willing to have a strong counter cultural message  against these lies. We are in a battle every day for the wholeness of our kids. Dads are needed to be present and engaged more than ever.

We would love to send you a copy of our book. It has all kinds of inspiring and equipping messages from a variety of voices. You can pick it up from our website. CLICK HERE.

Stay at it Guys!

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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Feminist Father

Alan Smyth —  August 29, 2016 — 5 Comments

A while ago this picture went viral on the internet. Several of my friends reached out to me and asked for “my take.”
Feminist Father
The reason why I was asked is because they knew I created the now famous “Rules for Dating my Daughter” shirt pictured below.
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You can read about my shirt HERE and see how it came into being. The shirt which is signed “Feminist Father” and pictured above seems to be in some kind of response to my shirt.

My shirt started out as more of a joke and a humorous approach to Dad’s who have daughters. In fact, I have described it as “an inside joke for Dad’s who have daughters.” Even though it started out as “tongue in cheek”, it apparently struck a nerve across the globe. Over the last year, we have shipped my shirt to 58 countries. It is a true worldwide phenomenon as Dad’s think about how they can protect their daughters.
It is possible, that the “Feminist Father” shirt is really more of a joke as well. However, in response to our followers who have requested “my take,” I will share some thoughts below on the content of this shirt point by point.
1. I DON’T MAKE THE RULES. WRONG! Our kids desperately need parents to set rules and boundaries for their behavior. If a parent doesn’t set any rules, then their kids will be left to follow the crowds in society which generally is bad news. PLEASE DAD’s set some rules! Your kids need rules. They need strong leadership. They feel loved when you set rules. When they are young, they are not prepared to make all the decisions that will come their way. You need to be the guardrails that keep them from sliding off into the ditch. Far too many Dad’s have abdicated their roles in the lives of their kids.

2. YOU DON’T MAKE THE RULES. This is presumably aimed at the young man your daughter is dating. This is partially true. It all depends on the quality of the young man in the picture. My hope for my own daughter is that she would date someone who is a strong leader and is leading in a great direction. In that case, it would be good for the young man to have some “rules.”

3. SHE MAKES THE RULES. This is totally age specific. A very young girl should not be making any rules. As she grows older, she can have more and more autonomy.

4. HER BODY, HER RULES – See number 3 above. The premise here seems to be that your daughter (or anyone) answers to no one. That somehow she is above the law and not subject to any “rules.” This is a dangerous, self-centered path and will certainly end in destruction. While I want my daughter (and my son) to be strong, confident and independent, I also want them to fall under the authority of their parents and ultimately of the Lord. Both of which have their best interest at stake and in most cases know better for them. Any of us, particularly our kids, living life completely under their own self instituted rules and guidelines is a recipe for disaster.

The Bible offers a different perspective.

Romans 12:1 urges us to “present your bodies as a living sacrafice, acceptable to God. which is your spirtuial service of worship.”

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 tells us “your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own. For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.”

There is a higher authority in the God who loves them and the sooner our kids can recognize that, the better off they will be. (us too by the way)

There you have it! We all need guidelines, boundaries and “rules.” Maybe the “Feminist Father” shirt is really more of a joke, or maybe not. Either way, I strongly disagree with the premise it is communicating for the above stated reasons.

Carry on friends

Alan Smyth

 

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Guest Post by Rachel Karman. Rachel is a good friend & avid blogger about things that matter with a huge heart for the less fortunate. Check out Rachel’s BLOG HERE! You will love the content with always a hint of humor.

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Read below as she shares about her Dad and paints us a picture for what a great Dad looks like.

Not too long ago I went out on a date with a guy that I felt pretty optimistic about, he seemed nice, fairly normal and from what I’d seen, appeared to have a pretty decent sense of humor. After the date when recapping for a friend I explained, “The night was fine, he was nice and everything….but he didn’t open the door for me, so I don’t think I’ll see him again.” She responded with a laugh, called me the Christian female Seinfeld and told me that perhaps that shouldn’t be a deal breaker. And it hit me. I am going to be single forever. And it’s all my dad’s fault.

Dads out there take note, here are five great ways to ensure your daughter will never say “I do” (at least not to the wrong guy).

#1 My dad is hilarious (but please donʼt tell him, heʼll get a big head). Heʼs great with a pun and also instilled in me at a very young age the importance for me to laugh at life a little and laugh at myself a lot. Not only is my dad quick to laugh at his own mistakes, he has always encouraged me to do the same. For example, when I was roughly 10, my brother and I decided it would be fun to make my parents Valentineʼs cookies, I (being the gourmet chef that I am) accidently used tablespoons instead of teaspoons of both salt and baking soda to make some of the worst tasting cookies youʼve ever had in your life (not to mention a quick way to retain water). My dad, being sweet, ate one and then being honest, laughed and revealed to me my mistake. This is still brought up every holiday (in which I am usually charged with “cooking” the salad or bringing beverages).

#2 My dad is my #1 fan. He truly (although sometimes falsely) believes that I can do anything I set my mind to. Whether softball, choir or running track, my dad was not only always at every event (that I allowed him to be), he actually still believes I can sing (he and my dog are honestly the only ones) and is certain I could have gone further than I did in my softball career (I was and still am afraid of the ball). That encouragement, even if sometimes I think heʼs nuts, has carried into my adult life; in my job, my ministry and even relationships, my dad is one of the first people I go to when I am frustrated and/or want to give up and he is always there to reason with me and remind why I started in the first place. I can honestly say I would have missed out on many opportunities in my life had I listened to my inner voice over his.

#3 My dad is not afraid to tell me when I am wrong (lovingly). One of my favorite examples of this comes from a few years ago, I was in a relationship that was at a bit of a crossroads, I was angry and ready to give up (see #2) and my dad sat me down and explained to me where and how I was being selfish and one-sided. As you can imagine, I was a bit livid and responded with “Youʼre supposed to be on MY SIDE!!” To which he replied, “I am, placating you is not what being on ʻyour sideʼ looks like, Rachel.” Iʼm not sure if you have ever had to knowingly make your 20-something year old daughter angry at you for her betterment, but believe me, itʼs not pretty and itʼs not fun, but it is love.

#4 My dad still opens the door for my mom. He loves her. He supports her. He defends her (even against me, which was much to my chagrin in my bratty, rebellious years). My dad still brings my mom flowers and surprises her with gifts. He calls in the middle of the day to say hello and he genuinely likes spending time with her, even after 30+ years. There aren’t too many words to express the value that this example of a husband is, for a girl at any age, but itʼs huge.

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#5 My dad loves my friends….and they love him. Many of my friends have nicknames for him…which sometimes I think is really weird. He is funny and approachable and unafraid to have tough conversations with people, while also knowing and respecting when not to. Iʼll be honest, I didnʼt always love this quality (see bratty, rebellious years mentioned in #4), but it is now one I strive to possess and one I greatly value in other people. I think he’d also appreciate me saying that he doesn’t try to be the “cool dad,” yet somehow became that when he began wearing Airwalks when I was in Jr. High and has held the reputation since….which again, I find sort of weird.

Above all these things, the greatest way that my dad has loved me and created gigantic shoes for any guy to fill is that he loves Jesus more than he loves me, my mom or my brother and has modeled that for me my whole life. He has always encouraged me to find Christ in all things, even when it was difficult. In each of the aforementioned facets he brings them to the table with the light and love of our Savior in a way that is confident, steadfast and gentle, much like Jesus himself. He is an excellent example of why the father-figure role is so important and how new dads can treat their daughters, as he’s remained present, not perfect.

All that being said, perhaps the next time I’m at a wedding/family reunion/grocery store/ etc and someone inquires as to ʻwhy Iʼm still singleʼ I will pull out a picture of my dad (and thus insure I will probably never date again because that would be creepy and strange….but you get the point).

Rachel Karman

 

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