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Seldom do we receive bold clarity on any topic. Seldom is something as boldly clear as the marching orders we receive from the text below. In light of this Father/Daughter project that we have launched, a friend sent me this e-mail a few days ago. She thought I might be interested in this short conversation between a mom and a daughter.

Below is the e-mail I received

Hi Alan,

Yesterday I was talking to a friend who has a seven-year-old daughter. The little girl had been at school yesterday and a boy in her class told her she was ugly. When she got home that night, her mom was talking to her about it.

Mom: Did it make you feel sad?

Little Girl: No

Mom: Did it make you feel mad?

Little Girl: No

Mom: How did it make you feel?

Little Girl: It didn’t really make me feel anything because I knew it was a lie. Daddy always tells me that I am beautiful and precious both inside and out. So I knew what he was saying wasn’t true.

WOW!

She was right. I LOVE IT. It is a picture of the results we should all be aiming for in the parenting of our daughters. Wouldn’t it be awesome if our girls felt loved and cherished enough by us that they would also say the same thing? (or at least think it)

Do you think this little girl will be growing up secure and confident? Think she will have a better shot at making great choices as she grows up? YES on all counts!

Trust me when I say that in the next ten years, this little girl will be called a lot worse than “ugly.” It will get a lot worse and happen a lot more often. She will be degraded in the media, in music, on campuses and in locker rooms. Some of this future attack will be a whisper and other times it will be a scream.

I am so proud of this Dad for giving this girl a priceless gift that will set her up well for the rest of her life. I am so happy for this little girl and the trajectory that she is on.

And, I am so hopeful that anyone reading this blog will be urged to engage with their daughter at a new and deeper level. I am hopeful that your daughters and mine would be saying or thinking the very same thing when the world presses in on them and tries to tear them down. I am hopeful that when the world tells them lies (and it will), that our daughters will have some powerful truth to hang onto. It’s coming…. Will your daughter be ready? It’s partly up to you!

Today’s take away: Find a way to tell your daughter she is beautiful and precious both inside and out every day this week.

Are we clear?

Crystal!

Get after it

Alan

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With Father’s Day approaching, we have an offer for you. Hit the link below from now until Father’s Day and enter “DAD” at checkout to save 20% on your entire order. There are some fun shirts and other things for both Dad & Daughter.

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Post Valentines Thought

Alan Smyth —  February 15, 2016 — 2 Comments

Yesterday was Valentines Day. Or as some of my unmarried friends put it….

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“Single Awareness Day”

I wanted to pass along a brief text conversation between my daughter and I on Valentine’s Day. I certainly didn’t engage in this conversation with Brittany for the sake of this blog. I was simply wishing my daughter a happy Valentine’s Day and then convey a brief related thought. It was her response that made me chuckle and I thought it was worthy of passing along to you all. I must admit that my daughter has been a good sport through all of this. She was happy to participate in the book Prized Possession and enjoys reading this blog. At least “mostly” enjoys.

Below is the text conversation I had with Brittany on Valentine’s Day and then a couple of thoughts.

valentines text

Key Points of the TEXT

1. “Happy Valentine’s Day” (wishing her a great day)

2. “Don’t ever forget that I was your FIRST Valentine” (and love) (a little reminder never hurts, especially as she gets older)

3. “Love YOU” (again, a little reminder never hurt)

4. “Make sure dude treats you like a Princess” (she has a “guy her in her life” and I wanted to make sure to remind her that the bar is HIGH)

 5. “Princess” (We acknowledge God as King of the universe and this God thinks of her as “Daughter.” That makes her a “Princess.” A subtle reminder of who my daughter is and WHO’S she is. And to remind her to think of herself in that way.

6.  “I Know Dad” – YES! Success! She knows all of the above.

Questions for you Dads

Have you communicated these truths to your daughter? …lately? ….ever?

Are you certain that she knows these truths?

Ultimately your daughter is going to have to make her own choices and live her own life. But let’s remember that your consistent input will greatly determine the road she travels. Your love and affirmation of your daughter will be a game changer for her and set her up on a great trajectory for life.

Don’t miss out on this guys!

Press On
Alan

 

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Actions Speak!

Alan Smyth —  September 28, 2015 — Leave a comment

Yes, we should be giving lots of verbal instruction all the time. However let’s not forget the pecking order of impact. The picture below spells it out perfectly.

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Today’s message is a very quick and simple one. Our actions speak much louder than our words. Of course we should relay lots of verbal instruction. Words are important. They are powerful. We should use them intentionally and wisely. However, people will watch our actions to see if our words are trustworthy. You can turn your words into nothing more than a joke with contradictory actions.

This is never truer in the lives of your kids. Live a life of integrity, presence and honor and your kids will listen to what you have to say. Be absent, angry and dis honorable and you will lose your kids. (And wife, friends, family & coworkers)

YOU are the first and best class room your daughter will ever attend. Make sure the lessons you are living out are consistent, life giving and productive.

Another way to say it is:

“Lead always and when necessary use words”

Talk is cheap friends. Your kids are watching even when you don’t think they are! They will follow your example in spite of what you say.

Press On
Alan

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Live Your Faith

Alan Smyth —  April 27, 2015 — Leave a comment

If you have been following this blog, you have heard us speak about the three things that young women have said that have impacted them greatly. This week, I want to talk about the next one on the list. One of the key principles that I heard impacted girls growing up was seeing their dad modeling and living out an authentic faith in God.

Faith

Let’s break this down a little

As your daughter begins her lifetime of learning, her biggest class room is in your home. You are her first and most effective teacher. The launch she gets in life will largely be determined by what she learns in her home classroom. Here is an incomplete list of the things that a daughter can get from a dad who lives out an authentic faith.

She sees (and experiences) unconditional love, forgiveness, trust, faith & hope. She learns about giving as her parents give away their time, talent and treasure. As she sees her dad humble himself in prayer, she learns the value of a Big God who is in involved. As her dad takes her to church she learns the value of community. As her dad lives out and incorporates scripture into the family, she learns valuable biblical lessons.

A Godly life, home and family is the best way to go. It isn’t necessarily the easiest, but it is clearly the best.  As you love and serve your God, you will bring people closer, love more freely, feel more deeply, and live more abundantly.

These are all things I want for my daughter. Obtaining these things will help pave the way and set a healthy trajectory for her. It isn’t good enough to outsource this teaching to your church or some other avenue. YOU must live it out on a consistent basis or your words will be cheap and hollow.

Do you want your daughter to live out the characteristics I have described above? It might seem a little odd for me to challenge your spiritual life in a parenting blog. However, it is based on real data I received from high quality young women. They spoke over and over about the huge impact they received by watching and experiencing their dads living out their own authentic faith.

keep calm and have faith

Today’s Take Away: Look into your own life and heart. John 3:30 talks about Jesus becoming an increasingly bigger part of your life and YOU becoming an increasingly smaller part of your life. Give some thought to how much space in your heart you have given Jesus. Look for ways to turn over more and more of your life to what God has for you. Your daughter receives a huge benefit by you stepping up in your spiritual life.

God bless you in this pursuit friends

Alan Smyth

There is an entire chapter in the book “Prized Possession” which is devoted to hearing from high quality young women what impacted them most as they were growing up. The topic today was one of the top three!

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Don’t Give Up The Ship!

Alan Smyth —  September 8, 2014 — 1 Comment

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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I am grateful for my DVR. There are a few shows that I “DVR” and then watch later. It’s a good use of my time because I can buzz through commercials as well as the dribble in between the stuff I care about in the show.

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American Idol is one of the shows that I “DVR”. But, I really can’t watch every minute. I usually watch the recorded version later and skip the stuff I don’t care about…. Which is most of it. However, I do follow some of the singers and marginally root for some of them. I called Angie Miller as the winner about a month ago. We’ll see.

I just watched this week’s results show via my DVR. Amber Holcomb was sent home. The point of this blog entry is what I saw in the last 30 seconds of the show.

Amber 2

The back story is that in previous weeks, the camera has focused on her dad in the audience while she has been singing. In particular, the night before, they showed big alligator tears running down his cheeks as she was singing beautifully. You could see the pride in his daughter written all over his face and in his emotion. He has been present every week and he has been cheering his daughter on in her victory every week. Easy! His daughter is achieving at a high level. Easy to cheer! Easy to be present!

However, this week she lost. She was sent home and heartbroken. As she sang for the final time after learning of her demise, the camera panned the other contestants who won. They all had the obligatory tears as they were preparing to say Good bye to their friend. Or perhaps, they were just overjoyed that they didn’t lose.

The last 20 seconds of the telecast are what prompted me to turn on my computer and start typing. As Amber was finishing her final song, Ryan Seacrest went into the audience and brought her Dad onto the stage. They watched Amber finish her song together. When she concluded, her Dad walked out onto the stage and embraced his daughter in her emotional moment of defeat. The camera scanned the various players and the judges were crying right along with Amber, the contestants and her Dad as they embraced. It was actually quite touching.

It struck me that Amber’s Dad was very present in his daughter’s victory as well as her defeat. 

It’s easy to show up when your daughter is getting a lot of playing time or exposure in her chosen activity. But, are you present when she sits on the bench? Are you present when she is not in the spotlight?

The question I have for you today. Are you PRESENT? Period! Are you present in victory to share the celebration? Are you present in defeat to console the loss? Are you PRESENT??

Cancel something this week and be more present! It’s not that hard, but it will make a huge impact.

Press on

Alan

On June 15, Kristy and I will conduct a two hour, interactive, live seminar at Real Life Church in Valencia. We would love to see you and your friends there. Click the banner below to get more information and get signed up.

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Below is a sneak peek at the cover of the soon to be released book entitled Prized Possession. It should be available approximately June 1. More detals coming soon.

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