I love Fall! It’s seriously the best time of year. I get so excited when the temperature starts to drop, and I get to wear a long-sleeve shirt or hooded sweatshirt. I also enjoy this season, because it offers some of the best opportunities to invest in my relationships with my kids.
Remember, one of the themes of this blog is “Intentional Parenting”—parents who view each day, week, month, and season as a unique set of opportunities to raise kids who become great adults. So I thought it might be fun to share with you a few ideas about how you can make this Fall not only fun, but also productive in developing the personal and spiritual lives of your children.
- Enjoy the harvest—an example of God’s provision! There’s a prized lamp in my bedroom. It has a farmer and his wife bowing their heads and thanking God for the harvest. It’s a powerful reminder to me that all good things come from God. This fall, go to a pick-it-yourself pumpkin patch or apple orchard, and enjoy the harvest. As you pick from the ground or trees, remind your kids how it is the farmer who works, but it is God who provides the rain and soil for the plants to grow. It’s a great opportunity for your children to experience the blessings of God, and to be reminded of why we pray at every meal.
- Play in the leaves—a picture of how death gives way to life! We do not have many trees in our yard, so every year, my boys and I sneak down the street and fill our garbage can with leaves from our neighbor’s yard. Don’t worry! Our neighbor is happy to see the leaves picked up for free (at least, I would imagine he is). Anyway, we bring the leaves back to our yard, and dump the trashcan of crunchy color on our front lawn. We take turns jumping into the pile, and wrestling in the leaves. It’s fun! But it also provides the opportunity to teach our kids that death gives way to life. If the leaves didn’t fall and die, new leaves couldn’t grow next year. If the leaves didn’t die, the ground wouldn’t get its natural fertilizer. Our faith in Christ is predicated on a similar concept—death to life. Christ died so we can live. We have to daily die to ourselves so we can live. Death gives way to life.
- Go camping—a way to hide from technology! We have too much media in our lives, and we all need to practice taking a break from Facebook, sports, and the news. Go camping with your kids, and enjoy the simple pleasures of being in nature as a family.
- Frame the conversation about Halloween! I don’t know where you stand on whether or not you celebrate Halloween. As a result, I’m not going to tell you what I think you should or shouldn’t do. But I will say this. Our culture, your kids’ friends, and every store you enter are teaching your kids about Halloween. Regardless of whether or not you participate, Halloween is attached to some very evil concepts and ideas. For the next few weeks, your kids are learning about these ideas every single day. You need to be the one who frames the conversation about Halloween with your kids, because it’s already taking place. There are billions of dollars and thousands of campaigns that have been created to teach your kids what they should think about this upcoming holiday. Don’t leave it up to the culture to teach your kids about Halloween. You should help them think through the holiday based on their Christian faith and your perspective on what line to draw and where.
Here’s the most important thing—have fun, and use every opportunity as a chance to raise children who become successful adults.