📚 How to get your kids to read books

how Matt Ragland engineers his morning

For almost 20 years now, my dad (Kirk Duncan), has been helping people in 80 countries around the world live happier, more successful, more fulfilling lives.

He’s changed too, going from being broke and almost taking his own life to losing 100 lbs, strengthening his marriage like never before, and building a multi-million dollar company.

If it weren’t for him, this newsletter wouldn’t exist.

Which is why I couldn’t help but tell you about his brand new class happening on March 7-9!

Captain of Your Soul: Where everyday dreamers become unstoppable doers.

Watch the trailer and learn more at CaptainOfYourSoul.com


⚡️ Estimated read time: 2 minutes 29 seconds.


What’s the first interaction you have with your kids each morning?

(or husband/wife, or sibling, or roommate, etc)

Is it you…

  • Scrolling TikTok in bed?

  • Exercising?

  • A grumpy remark ‘cause you’re “still waking up”?

  • A hug?

  • You reading a book?

Hold that thought while I introduce you to a new friend.

Matt Ragland is an entrepreneur from Nashville, Tennessee.

Since he manages multiple businesses, email newsletters, and a recently relaunched YouTube channel, he wakes up early to get ahead on the day’s work.

But recently he started to feel… weird about something.

Every morning, his first son to wake up would come running downstairs, only to find Matt frantically trying to wrap up whatever task he was in the middle of so he could switch focus to his son.

He started to imagine how his son might see him after the days add up to weeks, the weeks add up to years, and the years add up to decades of seeing his dad frantically working on his laptop first thing every morning.

Ultimately, our views of the people in our life are based on the sum total of our interactions we have with them.

Just like I wrote last week about how a happy relationship is scientifically proven to exist anytime there’s 5 positive interactions for every negative one, I believe the principle stands true for how we perceive people in other ways.

In other words, if my neighbor seems irritated 8 out of 10 times I talk to them, I’m going to start assuming they’re an irritated person in general.

If I don’t do what I say I’m going to do 9 times out of 10, my wife will assume she can’t rely on my word.

And if the first thing a child sees every day is their mom scrolling Instagram… what’s that kid gonna think and believe over time?

While Matt working in the mornings isn’t inherently a bad thing, it’s inspiring that he ended up changing his daily routine to create a different first impression for his kids each morning.

Instead of waiting till they come downstairs to rush and finish the project in order to focus on them, he now starts reading a book about 15 mins earlier than when his kids wake up.

So now the first impression his son gets every morning is seeing his dad reading a physical book.

(Reading a physical book is important. Reading books on your phone? Me too - but your kids can’t tell the difference between you reading a book or you scrolling socials. Physical books can’t be misunderstood.)

How would your kids think differently about you after days, weeks, months, and years if their first daily impression of you was you with your nose in a book?

Reminds me of this painfully true comic:

And this quote:

Children copy their parents, teachers, and friends. They will develop the habits of the people around them. So if you want your child to be honest, peaceful, and happy, you should be that way first.

Baba Hari Dass

So how do you get your kids to read?

Easy… You go first.


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Try it

Whether it’s first thing in the morning, or just before bed, pick a physical book to have in plain sight.

Ideally, once a day sit down for even 5 minutes to read when they kids are likely to see you reading.

If they ask, read it out loud to them. If they don’t, ocassionally share something cool or interesting you read.

Before you know it, the evidence will pile up in their mind (and yours!) and you’ll be seen by your kids (and yourself!) as a reader!



🎶 Jada Facer and Dave Moffatt nailed this cover of Dreams by the Cranberries! (song)

The science behind the “Mormon Glow”. (Psychology Today)

🤯 This dude with no arms or legs absolutely shreds on a skateboard (IG reel)

🥷 Comparison is _____. (Tweet)

🏊🏼‍♂️ Denzel Washington’s “Fall Forward” speech will give you chills. (YouTube video)

⏲️ Try this if you’re getting super distracted. (Tweet)

📖 The story that saved my dad’s life. (Habit Example from one year ago)



Instead of saying “A while ago”,

my 5-year old says:

“A few laters ago…”

So I just think we should make “laters” an official measurement of time. 😂



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- Kody


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P.S. This took 5 hours to research, write, and design. It only takes you 5 seconds to share.