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Recently some colleagues of mine asked me for my list of the top 10 things I wanted my daughter to know. The context is that I work with all women at an anti-human trafficking non profit called Saving Innocence. Check us out to learn more.

Their context is that they are inundated with poor examples of Dad’s and men in general. (I’m saying this very nicely here) They are walking every day with young girls who are dealing with the deep wounds of absentee Dad’s as well as those men who would buy and sell girls for sex. I think they needed a reminder of how things should be….

Click HERE to view a short video which tells the story of what I’m doing with Saving Innocence.

Me and Britt after a lunch date in DTLA

(She works at the Staples Center)

 

10 Things I want my Daughter to know

  1. I love you with my whole heart, unconditionally. Nothing you will ever do or say will ever change that.
  2. You are my “Prized Possession” (the most valuable part of my life)
  3. I will always be there to fight for you, defend you, empower you & protect you. I am available for both the fun and the hard conversations. I am on call 24 hours a day as the need arises.
  4. Your worth is not determined by the outside world, boy’s, media, or other people. But rather by your creator who is the only one who gets to establish your value. And He is crazy about you.
  5. You are a daughter of the King of the universe which makes you royalty and an heir to the kingdom. Step into that reality, live like you believe it.
  6. Don’t give any person in your life, especially boys, a voice in your life who don’t believe #5 is true and treat you as such.
  7. Be careful who you follow or listen to. You are being lied to on a daily basis regarding who you are and who you are supposed to be.
  8. Authentic Beauty is on the inside, not the outside. This is counter cultural.
  9. The treadmill of life is exhausting. Rest in who you are and know that you are enough.
  10. When looking for a man, find someone who understands all of the above.

I’m sure I could come up with a few more, but this is what came off the top of my head and which I have tried to live out over the course of her lifetime.

Here is your call to action!

First: what is on your list of things you want to make sure your daughter knows? Make a list!

Second: Show your daughter your list! Once I finished this list I sent it to my daughter and daughter in law to make sure they knew how much I loved them and make sure they knew the things I wanted them to know!

Daughter Brittany on the left and Daughter in Law, Katy on the right. 

I’m a blessed man!

 

Keep up the great work dads! You can do this!

Alan

 

 

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If you have been following this blog for a while, you have become familiar with the now, world famous, “10 Rules for Dating my Daughter” T-shirt.  We literally had interest in this shirt from over 70 countries. Apparently the idea of a Dad protecting his daughter and laying down some rules is not just an “American” cultural thing. If you have thus far missed all the hub-bub, click this link to see the blog post that went round the world and stirred an interest.

Rules Group

shirt

In light of my publishing the “10 Rules for Dating my Daughter”, a friend forwarded to me the “10 Rules for Dads of Daughters.” Tony Dungy, Super Bowl winning football coach and strong Christian man gives much of his time to social & family issues. He has an effort called “All Pro Dad” which I recommend you looking at.

He recently published the “10 Rules for Dads of Daughters”

  1. Love her mom – Treat her mother with respect, honor and PDA.
  2. Always be there – Quality time doesn’t happen without Quantity time.
  3. Pray for her
  4. Dance with her – Don’t wait for her wedding day.
  5. Tell her she’s beautiful – Say it over and over again.
  6. She’s a butterfly – She too will spread her wings and fly someday.
  7. Write her a hand written letter – Every year on her birthday.
  8. Give her the gift of experiences – fishing, fixing things, taking her places etc.
  9. Never miss a birthday – She won’t remember the presents you give her.
  10. Don’t be late – She will eagerly await your return home from work.

That’s a pretty good list. I wonder how you are doing against that list? Why don’t you circle a couple of those right now and make sure to DO them this coming week. Even better would be to show this list to a friend and hold each other accountable for your intentional actions. Seems like if we just “let things happen,” some of the really important things get squeezed out by the really urgent things.

I know you would agree that your daughter is “really important.” Please don’t let the urgent issues at work or life take over. Start working down the list TODAY.

Press on

Alan Smyth

Click the banner below if you want to pick up our new book. It is available in soft cover, hard cover and e-book.

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Great Video

kristyfox —  November 7, 2017 — Leave a comment

My daughter showed me this video this week – it’s worth watching and sharing. The world tells our girls a message that they are not enough. This video shares a different message. Check it out.

– Krisy Fox

High Standards!

Alan Smyth —  September 18, 2017 — Leave a comment

I immediately loved this little “e-card” the first time I saw it. I don’t know who made it or with what intentions, but I am very sure it is spot on and deeply profound.

DaddyStandards

I wonder how many of us are keenly aware that we have a lot to say about who our daughter chooses for boyfriends and an eventual husband. Your daughter’s first, best and greatest example of how a man should treat a woman is her Daddy! She is watching, absorbing, gleaning and learning all the time. She hears what you say and what you don’t say. She sees you act and she notices your body language.

Your daughter is in your personal classroom and the main subject that is being taught is how a man should treat a woman. You are giving her the standards by which she will operate. You are giving her knowledge of what to expect or what NOT to expect.

Question: Do you want your daughter to be treated right by a boy? Then show her what it looks like to treat a woman right.

Question: Do you want her to make a great choice in a future husband? Then be a great husband and show her what one looks like.

Question: Is it possible for your daughter to have too high of standards for her future boyfriend or husband?

Make it hard for a future guy to jump over the bar because you have set the bar so incredibly high by your actions.

We’re talking about your daughter and your grand kids here!

Let’s go!

Alan

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by Michelle Watson, PhD, LPC

michelle watson

 (Now and then we have a guest post by a friend to this blog. Over this last year, we came to know Dr. Michelle Watson. She is doing phenominal work with Dad’s and is excited to share some thoughts with us. Also, see the note below announcing her first book which is being released TODAY! A great READ and should be picked up by eveyone who has a daughter)

 

Before I dive into clarifying this blog title I figured a little backstory might be helpful. I am now in my fifth decade of life (which is crazy because I don’t feel that old!), the oldest of four girls, and have spent my entire adult life ministering to girls and women in various contexts.  All this basically means is that after more clock hours than I can count I have a pretty good idea of what we girls want from the men in our lives, particularly our dads.

I often hear fathers tell me that their daughters are complicated and complex, especially when they hit adolescence.  I do get that but want to say something that might shock you:  we’re really not all that “un-figure-out-able.”  (Insert laughter).  I’m hoping to give you a few pointers that literally come from one story in Scripture that will assist you in decoding your precious girl, particularly in those times when things are emotionally intense.

I’m sure you’ve heard of two sisters, Martha and Mary, who were dear friends of Jesus. This means he knew them and they knew him.  Up close and personal.  For better or worse.

Let’s pick up the story at the point where Martha is overly reactive, super stressed, overwhelmed, and basically freaking out.  (Luke 10:38-42).  Does any of that ever describe your daughter, especially if she is traveling through “juvenile puberty,” a season that Dr. James Dobson describes as lasting at least five years where high levels of estrogen lead to significantly unstable and reactive moods, thinking patterns, and behaviors?

If you can relate, watch what Jesus (with his male energy) does to enter the fray with his frazzled female friend. 1.  He lets her vent to Him while He listens to all of it. Even when she dramatically tells Jesus that he “doesn’t care” (false assumptions always take place during “Category 5” meltdowns), in a self-absorbed way she continues by crying about having to do everything “by myself.” And if that wasn’t enough, she then barks at Jesus and demands that he tell her sister to help her.  Excuse me!  Doesn’t she know that you don’t talk to the King of the Universe like that?!  Now bringing it closer to home:  Does any of this sound familiar, especially during those times when your daughter talks to you with that tone or attitude?

 

  1. He says her name twice….gently and lovingly.

There’s something calming about hearing your name.  It’s grounding for us girls. If you speak your daughter’s name with love in your tone, she will come towards you.  You can even try saying something endearing like “honey” or “sweetheart.”

 

  1.   He sits with her in her emotional reality.

Notice that he doesn’t try and talk her out of what she’s feeling or try to get her to think rationally. No lecture. No criticism.  Jesus knows that she couldn’t hear it anyway.  He simply stays with her, looks at her, validates her, and puts words to what she’s feeling, calling it “worry” and “upset.”  He tenderly names her emotions.

 

  1.   He highlights all that is on her life plate.

As girls we are wired to multi-task.  That’s why we can talk on the phone, paint our nails, watch a show, and do homework…all at the same time!  Yet all of a sudden we reach our max and then comes the explosion.  Again, this is where we need gentle grace not power positions.  Jesus just told Martha that he knew she had “many things” going on, leading to her melt down.  How kind of him to notice.

 

5. He directs her to focus on one thing. 

Jesus tells her that “only one thing is needed.”  The implication is that it’s about focusing on Him as the one thing rather than all the needs around her.  When we girls get overwhelmed with the much, we need gentle, supportive guidance to take it one thing at a time.  Breaking it down into bite size pieces is immensely helpful when we’re breaking down.

Summing up:  When your daughter is melting down sit alongside her and listen to her vent, move towards her and lovingly say her name. Tell her that you understand that she is “worried and upset.”  Let her know you do see that she has a lot on her plate, and assist in helping her to focus on one thing.

 

I know it’s easier said than done but these five things will make all the difference in the eye of the storm when you are there trying to keep up with her complexity.  And after the storm has passed, the main thing your daughter will remember is that you Dad were there with her in it.

Watson book

Michelle’s first book will be released on September 1, 2014 – TODAY! as a resource to help dads with daughters entitled Dad, Here’s What I Really Need From You:  A Guide to Connecting with Your Daughter’s Heart.  You can read more about The Abba Project, her ministry to dads, at www.drmichellewatson.com.

If you want to pick up this book, CLICK HERE

 

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.

hannah graph

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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