Archives For My FD Blog

When Brittany turned 5, we had our inaugural Father/Daughter Getaway. As I was a young dad and still forming my philosophies and parenting strategies, I stumbled onto something magical. I remember it like it was yesterday when I walked into Brittany’s bedroom and announced the first ever Father/Daughter getaway. I told her that starting NOW, we were going to go on a trip together every year. I asked her where she wanted to go. I told her to think of the most fun place we could go together.

Being only 5 and living in Northern California at the time, we quickly settled on the Magic Kingdom. What better place to start this amazing tradition than Disneyland!? We recorded our Disney soundtrack to get us pumped for the 5 hour car ride. We hit the road, and sang Disney tunes the whole way to L.A.

Of course we took the obligatory picture in front of the giant Mickey made of flowers in the front of the park. This trip started a tradition that we upheld all through High School. Each year, we planned something fun together and went somewhere for a couple days. After Disneyland, we did things like hit every mall in Northern Cal completing all of our Christmas shopping (In August), horseback riding, camping and snowboarding. The granddaddy of all Father/Daughter getaways however, was Brittany and I going to Hawaii for her Spring break during her senior year.

Here is what Brittany has to say about these getaways:

“Those of you who know my dad can probably guess that horseback riding or shopping all day at the mall is not exactly on the top of his priority list, but I was, and being the amazing dad that he is, he took me on one adventure after the other and made life long memories with me.  While we had some really cool experiences together, I now understand that it was not so much what we did that had value, but it was the fact that we did them together.  In hindsight, all this time that he invested in me was building me up to become a confident, independent woman.”

Guys, take your daughters on trips. During the research for this Father/Daughter project, I heard over and over that spending this extended and concentrated time with your daughter is nothing short of “Magical,” even if you don’t go to Disneyland!

Today’s Take Away: Plan a trip with your daughter. Make sure it is at least ONE night, but more is better. Nothing can compare to the life long memories and bonding you will get from this.

After you take your trip, post a picture on our facebook page – “MyFatherDaughter.com” Make sure you subscribe to this blog at www.myfatherdaughter.com

I’d love to hear about the trip you take, drop me a note & have fun!

Alan

PS: Not long ago, I took her to Vegas to see a show. The venue of the “get a way” may change, but the principles reman constant!

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This weekend, we pause to say “Thank you” to our veterans and their families. Although as the pictures below suggest, “Thank you” only begins to cover it.

Thank you vets

Monday is Memorial Day. We remember those who paid the ultimate price for our freedom. Families say good bye to Mom or Dad for many months at a time as they are deployed. And tragically, many families say good bye forever.

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Today, MyFatherDaughter honors those families past, present and future. While it is woefully inadequate….. “THANK YOU” for all you do!

Here is an idea: Why not take a field trip with your kids? Why not visit a military cemetery. Take in some quiet moments and survey the sights with your family. Observe grieving families as they remember their loved ones. Teach your kids to respect the massive efforts of those who have gone before them.

Thank you Vets!
Alan

Father’s Day is almost here. Do some fun shopping in our store. Hit the link below and use “DAD” to receive 20% off entire order.

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Our Job

Alan Smyth —  May 6, 2019 — Leave a comment

As men, we have lots of jobs. Hopefully we are employed and strive to do a good job at work. Providing for our family is a big job! Creating a happy, healthy home for our kids to exist and grow up in is an important job. The list could go on.

Recently I ran across this little blurb. I posted it on our “MyFatherDaughter.com” facebook page because I thought the message was powerful. (btw- have you “liked” our Facebook, Instagram & Twitter yet?) It’s a place where we post lots of pictures, this blog and other fun things.

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This picture makes a very simple, yet profound statement that I couldn’t agree with more. This blog usually focusses on our roles with our daughters. But, let’s not forget that our sons are also growing up in a brutal culture as well. They are the target of an endless assault on authentic masculinity. They are given a daily dose of false manhood and asked to comply with shallow standards of selfishness.

Popular, filthy and degrading song lyrics are offering training to our boys for how they should think about and act upon our daughters. The constant messaging is confusing for our kids. They are inundated with mixed messages of sexuality and poor images of what a healthy man is.

The picture above states perfectly what our job #1 is. And it is twofold.

1. Teach your son what a real man is.

2. Teach your daughter to accept nothing less.

You might have guessed it. All of this starts with YOU.

Some questions for you to consider:

What kind of man are you? Where do you get your marching orders? Who do you emulate? What can your son or daughter learn from you regarding how you treat women? What kind of work ethic do they see in you? Do they learn selfishness from you? Do they see you bow to a higher power and a bigger picture?

Be the kind of man that you want your son to grow into and your daughter to marry!

(Hint: that is already happening, like it or not) Our book “Prized Possession” is full of resources to help you on this journey.

Press On
Alan

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Happy Easter!

Alan Smyth —  April 21, 2019 — Leave a comment

Good morning to our favorite blog subscribers!

We just wanted to wish you and your family a very Happy Easter!

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Easter Sunday is a very important day to those who call themselves Christians. If that is YOU, we celebrate with you today. If you are still wondering what all the fuss is about concerning Easter, please read Matthew 28 from the bible.

Either way, we thank you for following this blog and we pray that you have a fabulous family time today while considering God’s amazing love for you!

Happy Easter!

Alan Smyth

Spring Break – Scary

Alan Smyth —  April 15, 2019 — 2 Comments

We are in the season of Spring Breaks. 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.

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“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!

For a hard hitting, honest picture of what is happening out there on Spring Breaks, check out the documentary on Netflix called “Liberated: The New Sexual Revolution.” Check out the trailer HERE. Warning, it may not be easy to watch.  But if you have a High School or college aged daughter, (or son) it is required viewing for you.

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!

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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 & 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 young women.

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. Start cultivating that relationship while she is young and while you are still a Super Hero in her eyes)

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. Please don’t turn a blind eye to things you know are destructive. This makes you complicit in the eventual damage.

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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. How could I say “no” to my 17 year old daughter wanting to go on a vacation with me?

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

Press On

Alan

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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Lay My Life Down

Alan Smyth —  April 8, 2019 — Leave a comment

I had a very unexpected and touching conversation in the bank the other day. I was there opening a new account and chit chatting with the New Accounts Teller. He mentioned that his wife was pregnant with his first, a daughter. We exchanged a few moments of parenting conversation. Me, from a 30 year vet and he from an excited, yet nervous new-bee.

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A few minutes in, this blog somehow came into the conversation. When he learned about the “Father/Daughter” nature of this blog, he said, “You need to talk to Norm.” Norm was the guy who worked in the next cubicle over. Just then, Norm popped his head over the wall and asked what we were talking about. I learned that Norm had three daughters and one of them was adopted.

Norm went on to describe the brutal situation that they adopted his teenage daughter out of. She had been in an abusive situation and had been scarred because of it. She was naturally jaded and skeptical of Norm’s love and desire to create a family. She said to Norm, “How can I trust you? How can I trust this? How do I know this is going to last? Maybe I should leave!”

Norm said, “You’re right, I can’t guarantee much. Maybe you should leave. I can’t promise that your mom isn’t going to come back and mess things up. I can’t promise that the court isn’t going to screw this up either. But here is what I can promise. I can promise that while you are here you will always have enough food to eat, a roof over your head and that I will lay my life down for you if needed.”

lay your life down

I gulped…. My eyes moistened. Wow. What a statement. Norm rescued this girl out of a terrible situation with an abusive mom. Everything was uncertain. Her future was up in the air. And he is promising to lay his life down on behalf of this troubled girl. I can only imagine what that did in the heart, mind and soul of this little girl. Never before had she someone who would fight for her and protect her. Never before did she have that kind of security. Since that conversation, things have been different in that home. She is happier and more content. She did not leave and she is thriving.

I thought I was going in for some routine banking and an unexpected conversation with Norm rocked my world. I was reminded that there is some good left in this crazy world. And it prompted some questions in me.

Does your daughter know that you would lay your life down for her? And for that matter, do you know if you would? I suspect that you would, however, I wonder if your daughter knows that. I wonder if your actions suggest that she is the most important thing in your world? Not your words, but your actions! I wonder if she knows how important she is to you?

You probably won’t ever have to actually lay your life down, but how about you start this week by making some time for her in your busy schedule.

Do it!

Alan

For some fun gifts for Dad, take a look at our store.

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