1,283 episodes

The audio companion to DailyDad.com’s daily email meditations on fatherhood, read by Ryan Holiday. Each daily reading will help you find the wisdom, inner strength, and good humor you need in order to be a great dad. Learn from historical figures and contemporary fathers how to do your most important job. Find more at dailydad.com. 

The Daily Dad Daily Dad

    • Education
    • 4.7 • 502 Ratings

The audio companion to DailyDad.com’s daily email meditations on fatherhood, read by Ryan Holiday. Each daily reading will help you find the wisdom, inner strength, and good humor you need in order to be a great dad. Learn from historical figures and contemporary fathers how to do your most important job. Find more at dailydad.com. 

    It’s Like This For Everyone

    It’s Like This For Everyone

    We talked about Lincoln recently, who used to bring his “brats” to the office, in the words of William Herndon, Lincoln’s law partner. As much as he hated the noise, Herndon actually seemed to admire Lincoln’s ability to deal with this. “The boys were absolutely unrestrained in their amusement,” he noted. “If they pulled down all the books from the shelves, bent the points of all the pens, overturned inkstands, scattered law papers over the floor or threw the pencils into the spittoon, it never disturbed the serenity of their father’s good nature.”
    The lesson here is twofold. First off, it’s a reminder that you’re not alone in raising absolute hellions. That’s just what kids are—and they never really stop being them (they find new ways of stirring stuff up when they’re older!). Two, really the only part of this that reflects on you is how you respond to it. If it turns you into a monster, if it makes you mean or nasty or makes you throw a fit in response to their fit? Well that’s the real problem.

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    • 2 min
    You Won’t Be Able To Do This

    You Won’t Be Able To Do This

    Nobody likes it when their kids are sad. It breaks our hearts when they feel lonely, ashamed, or frustrated. We’d like to just make this all go away, to protect them from all this, so they can feel happy all the time.
    But that’s not possible (nor is it, as we’ve talked about, actually a recipe for happiness).
    In Good Inside, the great Dr. Becky writes, “I don’t know one adult who has ever said, ‘Wow, my parents really got all those uncomfortable feelings out of me! The disappointment and frustration and envy…they convinced them all out of me! They successfully distracted me so much that now, as an adult, I never feel these things! I am happy all the time!’”
    You can’t—just as your parents couldn’t—tell them to stuff their feelings down. You can’t gaslight them into thinking the negative feelings aren’t there. You can’t make life so wonderful and fun that they’re never sad or angry or jealous or frustrated.
    We can’t do it. We shouldn’t try to do it.
    Instead, we have to try to raise and cultivate kids who know how to deal with those feelings. We can teach them how to deal with frustration. We can inform them that, sadly, frustration is an inevitable part of life—that things don’t always work out, that stuff breaks, that obstacles arise. We can empower them to understand their feelings, to be aware of them, to process them, to find healthy outlets for them.

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    • 3 min
    You Gotta Cut Them Some Slack

    You Gotta Cut Them Some Slack

    It’s hard to be a kid, as we’ve said many times. It’s hard to make transitions between worlds. It’s hard to come home after a long day of behaving and not misbehave. They want personal space. They want some freedom. What they need is some empathy and understanding. You want and need these things and you’re an adult who has a lot more practice, has a lot more resources and a lot more maturity.

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    • 2 min
    Ryan Holiday And Austin Kleon On Maintaining Healthy Habits & Growing As Parents (Daily Dad Book Tour Pt 2)

    Ryan Holiday And Austin Kleon On Maintaining Healthy Habits & Growing As Parents (Daily Dad Book Tour Pt 2)

    Ryan speaks with his longtime friend fellow father Austin Kleon during a stop along his book tour for The Daily Dad: 366 Meditations on Parenting, Love, and Raising Great Kids. They discuss the life habits that they maintain in order to help fuel their creative success, why the most effective form of parenting is indirect, what parenting skills they are working on right now, how adopting a daily journaling habit vastly improved their lives, and more.
    Austin Kleon is a writer, author, artist, speaker, and blogger whose work focuses on creativity in the modern world. Although he is most known for his five New York Times bestselling books Steal Like An Artist:10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative, Show Your Work!, Keep Going, Steal Like An Artist Journal, and Newspaper Blackout, Austin has spoken for organizations such as Pixar, Google, SXSW, TEDx, and The Economist. He lives in Austin, Texas with his wife and sons. You can follow his work at austinkleon.com, Instagram @austinkleon, and Twitter @austinkleon.
    You can listen to a few of Austin’s other appearances on The Daily Stoic YouTube channel:
    Ryan Holiday & Austin Kleon Discuss Stoicism, Creativity, Journaling & MoreRyan Holiday and Austin Kleon On How To Increase Creativity With Stoicism 

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    • 11 min
    You Can Be A Parent Anywhere

    You Can Be A Parent Anywhere

    When we think teacher, we think classroom. When we think leader, we think the corner office or the lectern or a general in front of their troops. But the truth is that a teacher can do their job anywhere and in many forms, just as a leader can.
    Plutarch would say of Socrates that he “did not set up desks for his students, sit in a teacher’s chair, or reserve a prearranged time for lecturing and walking with his pupils. No, he practiced philosophy while joking around (when the chance arose) and drinking and serving on military campaigns and hanging around the marketplace with some of his students, and finally, even while under arrest and drinking the hemlock. He was the first to demonstrate that our lives are open to philosophy at all times and in every aspect, while experiencing every emotion, and in each and every activity.”
    As with teaching and with leadership and with philosophy, so too with parenting. You can be a parent anywhere. It’s not just on fishing trips or at family dinners. It’s not just about carrying them around in a baby bjorn or going to back-to-school night. It’s not about punishments or incentives, or rules or life lessons, though of course it’s also about all these things too.
    Remember what we’ve talked about with quality time vs. garbage time? It may just be that the most impact you’ll have as a dad will come while joking around, it may come on a walk, it may come with how you do your job (and show them your work), it may come on a family vacation or it may come while you’re watching TV and make some passing comment that lands in exactly the right way. It may come—god forbid—on your deathbed, as you depart from this life with courage and compassion, showing them that they don’t need to be afraid, that you love them and that they’ll be okay without you.

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    • 2 min
    They Don’t Want This

    They Don’t Want This

    Bruce Springsteen’s childhood was a strange one. His mother worked to support their family. His father was distant and harsh. He spent a lot of time with his grandparents, who spoiled him, in part because they were grieving the loss of their own daughter years earlier.
    “His Majesty, the Baby,” is how his childhood is described in the fascinating book Deliver Me From Nowhere (incredible book, by the way). Springsteen would admit that this kind of attention and celebration “seems to a kid like a great thing, but it’s exactly what a kid doesn’t want. Very problematic, it caused me a lot of trouble. To this day. It destroyed me and it made me. At the same time.”
    As we said before, nobody likes a spoiled child…especially the spoiled children. It warps their sense of reality. It makes them both entitled and strips them of pleasure—because they come to take it for granted. The attention ceases to have meaning because it feels like a birthright. It suffocates and isolates. They are deprived of skills they need, confidence and character they need.

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    • 2 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
502 Ratings

502 Ratings

mgangi ,

Daily Dad Podcast

I listen to this every morning with coffee before the rest of my family wakes up. Listening keeps me from staring at my phone as I watch the sunrise. This supplanted a habit of reading mind numbing news headlines and stories. Sometimes I write in my journal after or just sit in silence and contemplate the lesson. It means a lot to me and has helped me grow as a father.

AliBABA300 ,

Wonderful And Insightful

Ryan speaks insightfully to his readers, giving thought provoking strategies and wisdom in a World were a lot of the “Parents Raising Kids” are “Kids Raising Parents.” This podcast has helped me grow and mature while still learning to be as playful as a child! Gratitude my friend!

Amadowayup ,

You Need To Calm Down

“As the GREAT Taylor Swift tells us”

Instant unfollow.

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