A Pep Talk for the Second Half

At the start of a new year, as some are making new resolutions (or at least thinking about making changes), here’s a suggestion from author Bob Barnes that should be helpful for all dads who have kids in any level of school: Look at the New Year as a kind of “halftime.”

For most children, the school year is halfway through, and now is a great time to give them a pep talk as they prepare for the second half.

dad-school-age-daughter-homework“Halftime” makes sense for many dads who have played organized sports. You head for the locker room, and the coach gathers the team to break down the first half and go over what you need to do better. He also gives encouragement to finish strong and do your best. That’s the idea behind this halftime, only you’re focused on helping your children’s education.

As a dad seeking to coach your kids to become all they can be, this is a good time to sit down with the whole family and recount some of the highlights and challenges of the fall semester. What were their biggest successes? Where did they run into difficulties?

Every coach has a vision and goals for their players. What do they need to know by the time they leave home? Start working through some of those issues. Create a positive atmosphere as you look forward together. Ask them, “What could you do better or differently?” “What could we all do better as a family to help make school more positive for you?”

During your own personal thinking and planning, strategize about ways you can be a bigger help to your children’s studies. Separate from the family gathering, check individually with each child, so they have every opportunity to tell you what’s on their hearts. Ask for their ideas about ways you can support them. Most of all, tell each of your children you’re proud of them, and you believe in them.

It’s halftime, dad. Don’t head out for the second half without making some adjustments.


  • Plan activities that will bring your family together on a regular basis this year — game nights, fun activities, or just regular dinners together.
  • Find ways to combine your personal resolutions (more exercise, for example) with your fathering. Do those activities with your kids.

School Starts at Home by Cheri FullerRecommended Resources:
School Starts at Home by Cheri Fuller
Beyond the Bus Stop by Robert E. Weyhmuller, Jr.
52 Things Kids Need from a Dad by Jay Payleitner

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There may be no more important work than turning the hearts of fathers to their children, and that’s what this is all about. We’re seeking to repair, rebuild and restore effective fathering for the benefit of children and families everywhere.