Archives For Father Daughter

Feminist Father

Alan Smyth —  August 29, 2016 — 3 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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Think it Over

Alan Smyth —  June 27, 2016 — Leave a comment

In our book Prized Possession, we pose some very important questions to consider. Below are a couple of them.

 

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“Girls are created, different than boys, to admire their fathers. Girls are made to be adored by their fathers and to adore their fathers. Their hearts are shaped for this and there is no replacing it.”

“This is the primary lens they can see God the Father through. Without a dad, God is distant and absent. Girls see God the way they see their dad. If a girl has a disinterested dad, she will sense that God is disinterested in her. If a girl senses their dad is disappointed in them, they will sense that God is also disappointed in them.”

Some questions: Dads, did you realize that your daughter will view God as she views you? Did you realize that your actions & attitudes are the personification of God in her life?

Would it change your interactions with your daughter if you thought your daughters potential faith might possibly be connected to what kind of Dad you are?

If you thought that were true, would that change your effort level as a Dad? Might that change how present you are in your daughter’s life?

Einstein

Think it over Einstein!

Alan Smyth

PS: The above quotes are found in Chapter 1 of the book “Prized Possession.”

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Muhammed

In honor of “the Greatest” whom the world lost last week.

Everyone around the world knows who Mohammed Ali is. And just about everyone knows he has at least one daughter.

However, until recently, I had never heard of his relationship with his daughters. His globally known nick name is “The Greatest.” That name refers to his incredible fighting talent. However, I would like to suggest that the term “the Greatest” might also include his advice to his daughters. See below.

The following incident took place when Muhammad Ali’s daughters arrived at his home wearing clothes that were not modest. Here is the story as told by one of his daughters:

When we finally arrived, the chauffeur escorted my younger sister, Laila, and me up to my father’s suite. As usual, he was hiding behind the door waiting to scare us. We exchanged many hugs and kisses as we could possibly give in one day.

My father took a good look at us. Then he sat me down on his lap and said something that I will never forget. He looked me straight in the eyes and said, “Hana, everything that God made valuable in the world is covered and hard to get to. Where do you find diamonds? Deep down in the ground, covered and protected. Where do you find pearls? Deep down at the bottom of the ocean, covered up and protected in a beautiful shell. Where do you find gold? Way down in the mine, covered over with layers and layers of rock. You’ve got to work hard to get to them.”

Muhammed and daughter

He looked at me with serious eyes. “Your body is sacred. You’re far more precious than diamonds and pearls, and you should be covered too.” Source: Taken from the book: More Than A Hero: Muhammad Ali’s Life Lessons Through His Daughter’s Eyes.

Question: Have you had these kinds of conversations with your daughter? Every other message on this topic she will get throughout her day will say the opposite. She needs your voice to speak truth, wisdom, guidance and discretion into her life.

Don’t wuss out on this important job!

Alan

 

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I recently had a great conversation with a friend regarding the title of our book, “Prized Possession.” Without yet reading the book, he offered that the title “rubbed him the wrong way.” He went on to describe how he sees his daughter as much more than a “thing” ie. A “possession.” To which I said “ABSOLUTLY.” I happened to have a copy of the book handy and I directed him to a few key parts in the book which I will now direct you to.

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From an opening page of the book:

“Prized Possession” from the Bible

“And we, out of all creation, became His prized possession”

James 1:18b, NLT

Prized Possession from the Dictionary:

 “The biggest thing in your life, the one thing you couldn’t imagine your life without”

“Something you care for deeply above all else”

“It could be anything you cherish close to your own heart and can be worth millions or worth nothing to someone else”

Excerpt from Chapter 2

When I think of the word “possession,” I do not think of it as an inappropriate, overbearing, “possessive” ownership that isn’t healthy. Rather, I think of possession in a loving, protective way that defines my place and role in Brittany’s life, and hers in mine. “Prized Possession” is one that I hold above all else and cherish with all of my heart. It’s a treasure with deep, intrinsic value. After all, Brittany is “mine,” because God saw fit to entrust her to me as her dad. She is my responsibility and my daughter, and I would defend and protect her to the death.

Excerpt from Chapter 8 (written by my daughter)

“What are you?”

“Prized Possession!”

“And…”

“Don’t you forget it!”

When I consider the woman I am today, I realize that this small conversation played an integral part in shaping me into the person I am right now. These four lines represent a life-long conversation that has taken place between my dad and me. I never realized how powerful these words were or how lucky I was to hear them on a regular basis. My dad began this conversation before I could speak in complete sentences or comprehend what meaning it carried. These words were some of the first words added to my lexicon. To this day, there is only one answer when my dad asks the simple question, “What are you?” Without any hesitation I reply, “Prized possession.” “And…” “Don’t you forget it!” It’s second nature. It’s who I am. It’s who I will always be.

My friend came back to me, gave me a hug and said, “I get it.”

I wanted to relay this experience in case any of you had the same question. Obviously the book goes into much more explanation, but this should get you started.

I’d love to know what you thought about the book after you’ve had a chance to read it. Praying it makes a difference for many. Could be a great “Fathers’s Day” gift.

 

Bless you

Alan Smyth

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Spring Break – Scary

Alan Smyth —  April 18, 2016 — 2 Comments

We are in the season of Spring Break. When kids are little, “Spring Break” simply means a celebration of NO SCHOOL. And before we got all politically correct, it wasn’t even called “Spring Break.” It was called “Easter Vacation.” Either way, for kids, Spring Break started out pure and fun. It started out as time with family and friends.
Spring break 4
“Spring Break” now conjures up very different meanings and images. Spring break has become big business for popular destinations such as Vegas, Florida and Mexico. It is THE thing to do for thousands upon thousands of college kids.
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Is it all bad? Ummmm, well, Yep, pretty much! Honestly, it’s baffling to me how and why parents are letting their kids go to these types of events. I guess there is a case to be made that those “kids” who are participating are actually “adults” and can do whatever they want. To that I say, GREAT, then pay for your own college… cell phone….food… car… etc etc etc. and be a real adult!

Springbreak 2
I certainly don’t mean to lump every kid on these trips into the lowest common denominator. But even good kids or naïve kids showing up in an environment with massive alcohol consumption, open sexual activity and exploitation, and predators of all kinds will lead to poor judgment, regret, pain or worse.

Ok, so what is my message to Dad’s out there? I’m guessing most you reading this agree with my opinion here and the overall safety of “Spring Breaks.” If not, I am totally comfortable going against the grain on this one.

My message is this:
The accepted stereo typical “Spring Break” activity is bad, unhealthy and downright scary. Especially for those of us with daughters.

Start while your daughter is young creating a fun, positive tradition over “Spring Break.” Something to look forward to every year.

Create family alternatives which are more attractive than the world’s options and you will have a better chance as your kids grow older. (hint: relationship with YOU is the key)

Or how about just saying “NO” to things you don’t approve of? Regardless of their legal age you will always be their parent and will always have a voice and a vote in their lives.

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For my daughters’ Sr. year “Spring Break” trip, I took her to Hawaii (just her ane I) and had her swim with the Dolphins. (her dream) Even better…. It was her idea.

You can do this guys. Step up and fill the void. Redefine what is fun, available, wholesome and healthy. Be counter cultural and start at a young age!

Press On

Alan

Great Father’s Day gifts below. Pick up the book “Prized Possession” for Dad’s and also a fun T-shirt or two at the links below.

 

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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 this past fall 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 being 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.

eyes and stats

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.

Braids

 

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. From our website, hit the DONATE button and become our partner. 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 at Alan@savinginnocence.org if you want to talk about how to get involved or you just have some questions.

 

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