The Family Pep Talk Huddle

  by Chris Horst

It’s not revolutionary, but it is fun. And it just might just help reboot your mornings.

Most days before we shuttle kids off to school, swim lessons, and soccer practice—and before I go to work—I yell out “pep talk!” to any kids within earshot. The kids walk or crawl into a huddle and we put our hands in the center, as if we were a youth sports team.

There, I deliver a sometimes sleepy and other times rousing challenge to our four kids as we prepare for our new day. The tone and content varies, but the pep talk has three basic pillars:

1 – Family values: We have four basic family values (We are grace-givers, adventurers, caretakers, and friends) and I typically anchor my 30-60 second reflections on one of those values. As an example, this morning I shared that as grace-givers, we should extend kindness to our siblings, classmates, and parentseven when we deem it unwarranted. Because that’s what we do.

2 – Participation: I always have my kids share their thoughts, feedback, and ideas to ensure this is a true huddle and not a dad-sermon. I also want the values to be right-sized to my kids’ realities. Adventure looks different in the life of a toddler than in the life of a second-grader. We conclude the huddle, of course, as teams do, by lifting our hands and chanting something festive in unison.

3 – Roughhousing: Basically, I seize every opportunity to infuse tustling into daily life. And, the pep talk huddle is no different. After we do a family cheer (e.g., “Horsts are adventurers!”), I typically seed bedlam of some sort. I may tackle one or all of the kids, distribute noogie, or bear hug them.

If you or your family need a change to your morning routines, consider the family pep talk. It’s propelled untold numbers of Little League teams to championshipsand it might just add a little fun and meaning to your family as well.


Postscript: While we’re on the topic, we are roughhousing enthusiasts at dadcraft. A few thoughts from us and five fellow dads on why.   

Subscribe here for our (approximately) every-other-weekly newsletter.

Photo originally posted here.