School is back in session and the hustle and bustle of family life is in full swing. With Halloween right around the corner, it is important to start setting clear expectations with your children. For most Christians, this particular holiday brings an interesting tension. In response, some parents take a stern stance, turn out the lights and completely keep their children from taking part in these ghoulish things. While this is certainly a valid approach, it’s probably not going to be voted number one by the children. Another alternative approach is to see this as an opportunity to celebrate the time of harvest, the blessings that God has given us, and connect with your community. Many churches open their campus and bring in food vendors, rides, games, and petting zoos providing a fun and safe environment for all to come and attend. Kids love to dress up and play pretend. Children will often leave with bags full of candy, faces painted with colorful artwork, and smiles from ear to ear.
Regardless of what stance you decide to take as a family during Halloween, it is beneficial to keep the lines of communication open with your children. As they get older, find out what their friends are doing and what they have heard at school. You could even invite their friends to join your family at your church harvest carnival. Each age will bring with it new questions and challenges. As a parent, it is important to spend time with your children and to patiently listen to them, draw them out, and find out what is going on in their inner world. Help your children understand why you are making the decisions that you are making. In other words, connect the values to the action. Remember, there are seasons in life, and every season is an opportunity to reflect on the lessons that God has taught and the blessings that He has given. Halloween is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the time of harvest, to connect with your neighbors and to make precious memories that your family will cherish for years to come. Celebrate the harvest and embrace His blessings.
“THE PUMPKIN PRAYER”
As I carve my pumpkin help me say this prayer:
Open my mind so I can learn about you.
(Cut the top of the pumpkin)
Take away all of my sin & forgive me for the wrong things I do.
(Clean out the inside)
Open my eyes so Your love I will see.
(Cut eyes shaped like hearts)
I’m sorry for turning up my nose to all that You’ve given me.
(Cut a nose in the shape of the cross)
Open my ears so Your Word I will hear.
(Cut ears shaped like the Bible)
Open my mouth so I can tell others You’re near
(Cut the mouth in the shape of a fish)
Let your light shine in all I say & do! Amen.
(Place a candle inside & light it)
About the guest blogger:
Dr. Christy Demetriades works at Meier Clinics in Laguna Hills, CA. She has a Ph.D. and M.S. in Clinical Psychology and a B.S. in Exercise/Sports Science. She is highly sought after for her expertise in women’s issues, perfectionism, addictions, depression, anxiety, character issues, personal and spiritual growth. Dr. Christy provides coaching and consulting services to businesses and is a speaker, and writer.