Archives For Father Daughter

Marches & Royalty

Alan Smyth —  January 22, 2017 — Leave a comment

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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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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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

 

Now that the Holiday season is officially ON, don’t forget to peruse the My Father Daughter Store for some fun items for the Dad’s & Daughters in your life! Hit the banner below to take you to our store!

 

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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.”

sexy 5

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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New York City

Alan Smyth —  October 3, 2016 — 3 Comments

If you have been following this blog, you have heard me talk about something I like to call the “Father/Daughter Get Away.” My niche in this three headed blog is to speak from the perspective of a Dad who has raised a grown daughter and the things I have learned. Additionally I will bring you great ideas from other Dad’s I know.

Today, I would like to share with you a great trip done by one of my buddy’s. Stu made a tradition where he took each of his three daughters on two different special trips. The first trip they took was when his daughters turned 13.  The second trip they took was during their senior year of High School. I will write about that trip another time. Listen to Stu tell part of his story.

From Stu: The first trip I took each of my girls on was when they were 13 years old. We would go to where ever they wanted to go in the USA. Of my three daughters, we had one who wanted to go to Los Angeles, one to New York City and one to Victoria Island. On these trips, we set out to do whatever the girls wanted to do, see shows, stay in a castle, etc. I wanted to show them how they should be treated by a man on a date, so nice dinners, “high tea”, etc. Then I also bought them a memorable piece of jewelry. Now I NEVER do that so it was really special. For example we were walking the streets of NY city and we came to Tiffanies jewelry store, Hannah’s eyes lit up knowing what this place is. It has four stories and you are greeted by the doorman in a tux. I whisper to the first sales person, “My daughter has turned 13 and I need the cheapest thing in your store!” She says out loud what a special day! We have lovely Tiffany’s heart necklaces on the 4th floor, back left counter! ($99) Hannah loved it, what a memory. The packaging, the blue bag, the walking the streets of NY, the eating on street corners, the shopping at knock off underground NY stores, the staying in a friend’s 300 square foot flat in Soho, was all part of this special time.

Stu continues with:  It’s easy for dads to say “oh I couldn’t to that” “I don’t get that much vacation,” or “that’s too much money”, or “my daughter can’t miss school,” to all those things I say “Bull!” You are men, you do whatever you want most of the time. Take out a loan; take a leave from your job. I’d take a 2nd mortgage on the house for what the experience has given to us as dad and daughter. (Mom is actually a bit jealous because of the special memories you get with your daughter).

Today’s take away: Plan an age appropriate trip with your daughter. Start the tradition, take the time, make the memory. It’s about the best thing you can do!

I’d love to hear about it!

Alan Smyth

Stu’s story, as well as many other Dads perspectives are contained in the book “Prized Possession” which is avaiable now.

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Slow Leak or Blow Out?

Alan Smyth —  September 19, 2016 — Leave a comment

Over the years I have seen many “blow outs” in the families we have served. When this is true with the father/daughter relationship, there are deep ramifications for the daughter who is wounded by the lack of a dad in her life.

Maybe the most graphic example of a relational “blow out” between a dad and a daughter is described in the text below. A friend of mine who works with high school girls sent me this short heart breaking e-mail as an example of how important the father/daughter relationship is.

From Beth:

“I’m in the process of getting to know some newer sophomore girls now. Literally one posted a picture on Instagram yesterday with mascara running down her face and flipping off the camera. Her caption said “F**k you dad! I know you hate me!” #getaway #hateyou”

Wow! What happened that could possibly elicit such a response? Does this dad really hate his daughter? Does she really hate her dad? It’s hard to imagine a father/daughter relationship blowing up so badly! How did things get so terrible?

While her recent Instagram post looks like a “blow out,” I would suggest that it is the culmination of years with a “slow leak” in their relationship. Somewhere along the way, they grew distant as the father got busy and the daughter matured. Somewhere along the line, the tire of their relationship picked up a small nail and it began to leak unnoticeably.

Things would be very different for this father/daughter right now had he seen the nail in their tire years ago. If he had only identified the leak and had it repaired, they would be rolling along in great shape today. Where are the possible nails in your tires?

Your busy schedule?

Being consumed with YOUR world and not hers?

Your travel schedule?

Being a typical guy and not vocalizing affection very well?

Stepping back when she began to mature thinking that her mother should take over?

Your inability to say “I love you”, “I’m sorry”, “Please forgive me”?

Your marriage breaking apart?

My encouragement to you today is to identify the slow leak before it becomes a blowout.

Today’s take away – Look hard at your father/daughter relationship and see what things could possibly be standing in the way. Look for potential slow leaks and repair them. If you have already experienced a “blow out,” do the same thing you would do with a real blow out on your car – change the tire! A lifestyle change might be needed.

Dr. Don Worcestor Ph.D. and a contributor to this blog/website can help you “change the tire.” Look for his contact information under “site contributors” on www.myfatherdaughter.com

Repair the leak before it becomes a blow out!

Alan

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