The Daily Dad Book Summary - The Daily Dad Book explained in key points
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The Daily Dad summary

Ryan Holiday

366 Meditations on Parenting, Love, and Raising Great Kids

4.6 (69 ratings)
16 mins
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    The Daily Dad
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    Show them what it means to do the right thing

    Imagine you’re driving your car. Your child is sitting in the back seat, watching. You’re in a hurry to get home, so you drive a little bit too fast and get pulled over. Money’s tight, so you try (and fail) to talk your way out of the ticket. After the cop leaves, you mutter your annoyance and frustration under your breath.

    To you, that might be just another stressful day. But your child was observing you the whole time – what lessons did they learn, or unlearn? You can’t stress the importance of following rules, then speed when it’s convenient. What’s the value of honesty if you lie to the officer to avoid a fine? Who can preach love and respect, then say bad things behind someone’s back?

    The truth is, it’s not just isolated moments like this. Your children are always watching you from the back seat. They’re following you. And when you go off the path, so do they.

    Let them see you doing the right thing – working hard, keeping a promise, being respectful. Take the stoic philosopher Socrates. Despite his wisdom, his greatest teachings came from his character and actions, not his words. Isn’t this the ultimate standard we should hold our parenting to?

    Sometimes our children misbehave – they say a cruel word, or they make a choice that goes against the values we try to teach. Shocked, we wonder where they learned that. Rarely do we admit the obvious answer: we’re probably at fault.

    So next time your child does something you disapprove of, ask them this: “Have you ever seen me do that?” Maybe you’ve been unconsciously or accidentally modeling an unhealthy behavior. But now you have a valuable learning opportunity to be better.

    Your children are always watching. Let them see the right thing.

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    What is The Daily Dad about?

    The Daily Dad (2023) is a philosophical meditation on the roles and responsibilities of parents. Presented as short passages to be consumed one day at a time, it draws on the author’s experiences of fatherhood, as well as the writings of history's greatest thinkers – from Plato to Bruce Springsteen. Whether you’re an expecting new parent or already living with a full nest, this wisdom and practical advice is timeless and applicable to all.

    Who should read The Daily Dad?

    • New parents looking to cultivate a healthy and productive mindset for the momentous task ahead of them
    • Seasoned parents who want to raise their kids with the bigger picture in mind
    • Teachers, mentors, and other carers craving the best for their children’s future

    About the Author

    Ryan Holiday is a philosopher, writer, and father. His other works include the best-selling books The Daily Stoic and Stillness is the Key. He lives in Texas, where he runs a bookshop called The Painted Porch.

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