Fall, All Things Pumpkin and Back to School

Dr. Bob Barnes and Torrey Roberts Sheridan House Family Ministries

It’s no secret that fall is my absolute favorite season.  In college I had the opportunity to live in a state that experienced all the beautiful changes that fall brings with it.  It starts with a chill in the air at night, then you can see the leaves begin to turn.  In South Florida, we open the season by celebrating with all things pumpkin and enjoying the humidity starting to lift.  We love the opening of football season and focus on “back to school rhythms.” 



pumpkinSo many areas of scripture point to the fact that God has created cycles and rhythms for our lives. Ecclesiastes says, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens” (Isaiah 43) and reminds us, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing!” Every year is broken up into four seasons; even our days begin with a sunrise and a fresh start.  


A fresh start

Other than pumpkin everything, why is fall my favorite? It signals a fresh start for parenting. A clean slate. We have a chance to create new patterns and new habits for our family. After the craziness of the first couple weeks of the school year, we can then settle into those patterns. For our family the first week was remembering to get up early again. The next week of the school year, we added back in our morning chores. 


Set goals

This is a great time to decide goals for the family to work on. Maybe it is sitting down for meals together, even if it is a couple of times a week.  Maybe it is teaching older children a new skill this fall. For example, training them how to do their own laundry or mowing the lawn, then working that into the weekly chores. One of our family goals is to cut back on screens…for all of us. This fresh start was a great time to implement a plan for that.


I just love that God has naturally instilled “reset buttons” in our lives, like the changing of seasons and new days. I know I have shared this quote before, but it bears repeating. “Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?” This is such a great parenting reminder for me.  It is easy for me to be hard on myself when I fail, especially in parenting. In these moments I lean in on another quote shared with me: “There is no such thing as a perfect parent, we can only hope to be better tomorrow then we were today.” 

We can take advantage of this fresh start to the school year and set goals for our family, our kids and ourselves. If you have older children, call a family meeting and include them in the plan. Take the time to ask them what their goals are for this year and as always, make sure that you plan in some family fun this season! 


Visit parentingonpurpose.org for more advice from Dr. Bob Barnes and Torrey Roberts.

For more articles by Dr. Bob Barnes and Torrey Roberts, visit goodnewsfl.org/author/dr-bob-barnes-and-torrey-roberts/

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