Archives For Father Daughter

Dad, Where are YOU?

Alan Smyth —  April 12, 2015 — Leave a comment

Last week was a dramatic display of pathetic Dads. In my “day job”, I am the Regional Director for Young Life in Los Angeles. I lead a faithful team of saints who are actively entrenched in the lives of adolescents in Los Angeles. Young Life is a faith based ministry which seeks to share God’s love to teens in a way they can understand.

Last week I had a videographer in town as we are producing a promotional video for others to see what we are doing and hopefully be inspired to get involved. We spent three days driving around town and interviewing kids. As we asked these teens to share their stories, there was one resounding theme that was repeated over and over.

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Often through tears, almost all of these students shared the heartache of an absent father. Or worse yet, a Dad who was present but abusive. Deep pain, lasting hurt and lots of regret was heard over and over and over.

Jenny

Each time I heard from these sweet kids I had two distinct feelings. First I wanted to give them a hug and second, I wanted to go find their Dad. I was again reminded in a graphic way of the incredible responsibility we have as Dad’s. I was encouraged that my daughter does not have their story and I was inspired to continue this important conversation with whoever will listen.

The twitter handle for “MyFatherDaughter” is @2cor618. Follow us if you want. It refers to a bible verse that says “And I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.” It’s my hope and prayer that these hurting kids will know God’s love for them and they will sense they have the Father they were cheated out of thus far.

Thanks for wanting to be a great Dad. Your daughter might not thank you for your effort, but later in life she will be far better off and extremely grateful for your presence in her life.

Keep going!

Alan

 

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My wife and I just saw “Saving Mr. Banks.” In case you haven’t heard about it, this movie was made about the back story of how the iconic Disney movie, “Marry Poppins” was made. The strong cast led by Tom Hanks portrayed the behind the scenes look at the writer of Marry Poppins and how it came to be.

Banks

As you probably remember, Mr. Banks from the movie was a dis engaged Dad to two little kids. Marry Poppins arrived to create order in the home and look after the kids. True to real life, the kids were hurting because their Dad was more concerned with his career than their lives. Dick Van Dyke and July Andrews created one of the classic films of all time.

Poppins

Here is the sneaky part. As the movie unfolded it was filled with flashbacks from the life of the author of Marry Poppins. It became pretty obvious, pretty quickly that she was writing from her own life experiences. She grew up wounded and deeply disappointed by her father. She carried this wound deep into her adult life. In the film, she was portrayed as a bitter, angry person. This is a “Father/Daughter” movie!

Walt Disney (aka Tom Hanks) convinced the author to trust him with her “Marry Poppins.” He wanted to redeem her father in the movie and rewrite her memories. As the cast from the original Marry Poppins sang “Let’s go fly a kite” Mr. Banks had a change of heart and the movie ends with a joyful tone as father has reunited with his kids.

In Saving Mr. Banks, the character who wrote “Marry Poppins” sobbed as she watched the end of the movie “Marry Poppins.” She clearly longed for a right relationship with her own Dad. She longed for peace, wholeness and a healthy presence in her life. She clearly spent her whole life wounded by her Dad.

Another stark reminder of just how important you are to your daughter. I have said this before and it is worth repeating.

Because of your actions…. Your daughter will either flourish or spend the rest of her life trying to heal from the wound you leave her.

Please engage, be present, be positive, be strong, be accepting, be pursuing, be affirming and be affectionate.

It matters

Press On
Alan

 

 

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Last February, I wrote a funny little blog regarding the “10 Rules for Dating my Daughter.” It received so much interest, that a ton of Dads started asking for a shirt depicting those 10 Rules. So, for fun, I made a small quantity of those shirts and announced them in an APRIL 1 blog – CLICK HERE TO READ.

The picture ended up going viral on Father’s Day. Since that time, it has been shipped to over 58 countries and my wife now has a little internet business where she sells these shirts to anyone who wants one. It has been fun to see Dads everywhere rally around the concept of protecting their daughter. This shirt has brought Dads further into this important conversation.

People started asking about the “next shirt” and so we came up with the perfect companion shirt. Every dad who bought the “Rules” shirt will also want to pick up this shirt entitled “5 Things you should know about my Dad.” This is a shirt for your Daughter. Think of the two of you wearing these shirts out together! It will be a real conversation piece.

front Wear your shirts together!

Reese

 

On the front it says “Daddy’s Girl” and on the back it lists the “5 Things you should know about my Dad.”

  1. He is a former MMA Champ (Yeah, right!)
  2. He is an excellent Marksman (Probably not)
  3. He has a shovel and a backyard (Maybe)
  4. He has anger issues (hopefully not, but he doesn’t t need to know that)
  5. I am his princess (FOR SURE)

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Helm and nate

This, all on a pink shirt, cut perfectly for girls and available in small sizes. If you want a closer look at the shirt, or you already know you have to have this shirt, visit the online store found at.

www.myfatherdaughter.com

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Let’s keep this important conversation alive as we wear our Father/Daughter T-shirts.  And let’s not confuse the strategy here. It’s not about the shirt and it’s not about the few bucks being made on production. It’s about bringing Dad’s closer into the conversation about being better Dads to their daughters. It’s about gaining more followers to the blog and inspiring Dads to be better for the sake of our girls.

Enjoy

Alan & Sharon Smyth

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Most Wanted List

Dr. Don Worcester —  November 28, 2014 — Leave a comment

It is Good to want good things.

Most people want to be physically healthy.

Most of us want to be financially stable.

Lots of people want to have a great marriage and a healthy family.

There is no real shortage of good things to want in life.

A Most Wanted List does not have to feature criminals.

So let me ask you a question, what is on your Most Wanted List?

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If we are going to be honest with ourselves and we might as well be, wanting good things is pretty easy.

Wanting a good thing can help us feel slightly noble without requiring much of us. We can add to this effect by emphasizing to ourselves and others how much we “Really Want” this particular thing. It’s quite convincing if you practice it enough.

Wanting a good thing can also helps us feel as though we are making actual progress towards achieving it. I can sometimes defend my “sincere wanting” with statements like, “I told you this is really important to me, and I am working on it.” Working in this context often means I intend to do something about as soon as I have more time and energy.

It is good to want good things

but wanting a good thing to happen, does not make it happen.

What makes good things happen in the real world is not our wanting but our willing.

 

Unless our Most Wanted List

grows into our Most Willing List

It is just a Wish List.

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A man with a Wish List may be sweet and well intentioned

but a man with a Willing List can fight and battle for the people and things he loves.

 

Let’s be dads who offer our daughters more than Wishful Words. Let’s find the grace and courage to live out our intentions and convictions in real acts of service and love. Let’s burn the most Wanted List; let’s start The Most Willing List today.

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Grace and Peace,

Dr. Don Worcester

 
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You must have seen a recent blog post written in the Huffington Post that absolutely blew up. I believe some TWO MILLION views or something absurd like that. Turns out that the guy who wrote it is connected through a good friend. We got connected and I asked Justin Ricklefs to write up a guest post for the MFD audience. In case you missed his burst onto to the world scene, CLICK HERE to catch yourself up. Below is his offering to us. Enjoy! – Alan

Written by Justin Ricklefs.  Reclaiming the things that matter most in business, wellness and home. Blogger at JustinRicklefs.com. Writer for HuffPost Parents and GoodMenProject.com.  Husband to Brooke. Daddy to four girls & one boy. Sales executive.

Something magical happened in the mountains of Tennessee this spring. Something I didn’t expect and something that no amount of money could buy. I was given a gift that I will cherish until the day I die.

We had been planning it for over a year. Reports, research, pros and cons, Google image searches. All led by our 10 year old daughter, Kamden. About 18 months before her 10th birthday, I read a book that has shaped my life in a major way. “Love Does” by Bob Goff. I learned a ton of lessons from that book, but one in particular was Bob’s concept of a 10 year old trip with your child. Anywhere they want to go. They get to plan it.

For financial reasons, we limited her search to the continental US. Really that was her only restriction. She immediately came up with a Top 10 list that included big cities like DC and New York. It also included nature areas like Yellowstone and the Niagara Falls. But the Smoky Mountains in Tennessee remained on the list through each iteration. She saw a picture of a log cabin, a kid on horseback, and another on a zipline. The rolling hills of Tennessee it was.

Walking pic

Once she knew the final destination, we had six months to plan the trip. She turned 10 in January, but it wasn’t until May when we launched our adventure. We moved from Florida back home to Kansas City in late April, so because of our recent move, Brooke stayed home with the other four. So at 4am on Friday morning, I woke sweet Kamden up in the pitch dark and told her we had a flight to catch. We flew direct from KC to Nashville. Rented a car and then drove the 3.5 hours to the middle of these mysterious mountains.

Horses were ridden, lines were zipped, good food was consumed, hot tubs were soaked in. Sure all of it cost us money. Less than a thousand bucks in all. But the memories we made and the bond we cemented was truly priceless. I watched Kamden’s sails fill up during that trip. She became a young lady in those four days in the mountains.

Swing pic

I’m not sure why it took me 10 years to realize it, but I was confronted by a new reality. If I could spend money on memories instead of things, that investment would pay an amazing return over time. It doesn’t have to be exactly at ten years old or exactly the way we did it, but here are four reasons why you need to take your daughter on a trip:

*1. It Allows Her to be Her* – In our home, we have five kids.  As the oldest, Kamden is often on point to help us out with the chaos in our home.  She is maternal by nature, so it’s common to see her with our youngest on her hip or helping get lunches packed for the next school day. But in the carefree, long weekend we had, I saw traits in her that get swallowed up in busyness.  That time allowed her to be fully alive and fully her.

*2. It Gives Her Responsibility* – We told Kamden that this trip would only happen if she did the heavy lifting of planning and researching our time. Of course we would have gone regardless, but this permission gave her the green light to mature, take ownership and lead.  It taught her how to prioritize, how to make decisions, how to ask for help.

*3. She Sees Beautiful Stories Unfold* – We saw a black bear and her two cubs.  We saw amazing sunsets.  We met remarkable people.  We encountered challenges on hikes.  Stories that she has told to family and friends since the day we returned home.  There is real beauty in the world.  And real adventure.  And it’s longing to be explored.

*4. Love Does.  We tell our kids all the time that love will win.  In a world full of cynics and critics, we’re trying to pour loads of love out. Love isn’t simply a feeling or a sentiment.  It does stuff.  It takes action for the benefit of others.  It moves.  It chooses.  It does.  Bob taught me that in his book, and we lived it in those mountains.

Dads, we won’t get these years back.  Get a trip planned with your little (or not so little) girl.  Better yet, let her plan in it. Would love to hear how it goes.  If it’s anything like our trip, it will change your life.

Justin – @justinricklefs on Twitter.

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Recently we had a magical day at the Magic Kingdom. You may remember a previous blog post where I shared about “Rosa” and her girls and the privilege he have had to walk with her for the last 5 years. To catch yourself up, READ HERE. Despite her circumstances, she has done a great job in raising her sweet girls. The odds are clearly against her and she is battling. I am proud of her.

Recently it was her girl’s birthday. They are one year apart, yet nearly share the same day of birth. They are now 4 and 5 years old and secretly we have been waiting for them to get old enough to take them to Disneyland. A day at Disneyland is clearly far out of their reach and we couldn’t wait to make this happen. Incidentally, Rosa (mom) has never been there either, so we were excited to take them all.

After we parked our car, we boarded the tram taking us to the main gate. Rosa said, “I am so excited I want to scream!” We barely got out of the parking structure and the excitement was nearly boiling over!  We started off with the iconic and obligatory picture in front of the park with the ever watchful Mickey made of flowers.

Front of park

Next up was the standard picture in front of the castle and the magic was on!

Alan with girls

Before we waited in long lines for short age appropriate rides, we made the rounds seeing the available Princesses. The girls knew them all and they loved seeing the “real ones” in person.

Princesses

We took pictures and got autographs. The Princesses were sweet and engaging. The girls LOVED it.

Here are a few brief thoughts that I hope these girls will one day know. Likewise, I hope your daughter knows this and I hope that you will help in this process of understanding.

The truth is that these two young girls are the real Princesses. Not the kind that wear poofy dresses or have theme music. And not the kind that customers stand in line to see. They are not the kind of Princess that will appear as an action figure, on lunch boxes & underwear or star in a movie.

They are the real kind of Princesses. In the system of royalty, a Princess is the daughter of the King. The King is in charge and commands respect. Everyone bows to the King because of his position. In the system of the Universe, God is King and one day every knee will bend and every tongue will confess this true. He commands respect because of His position.

In the bible, there are numerous references where God & Jesus refers to us people as “Child” and “Daughter.” A daughter of the King is a Princess!

These sweet girls I took to Disneyland are Princesses in the Universe. And your daughter is as well. My hope and prayer is that our girls will understand their rightful place in the universe and live into it. They should be respected and honored as a daughter of the King. And they should not pay any attention to anyone who does not treat them with the same respect. Maybe you could remind your girl of this fact.

Be the protector and defender of Royalty!

Long live the King!

Alan

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