Gavin and I have always wanted to introduce all of our children to the farming industry from an early age. Mainly so they understand what daddy does for a living and to show them that this is our way of life. I really wanted our children to love the farm and it certainly is apparent that both boys have a keen interest in tractors etc. It is something very natural to them and we are super lucky it’s just clicked.
However the older they get the more apparent that farm safety is a real worry. With tractors and other farm machinery moving around constantly, it is impossible to see little people who are so near to the floor – even if they’re wearing high viz. Gavin constantly shows me articles of child accidents on farms which doesn’t help! Tobias does show some fear of machinery and tends to run to someone nearby, thankfully. The slurry pit is also a huge worry, with a fence that can be climbed and a shear drop onto what can only be described as quick sand! Needless to say we don’t take the children into this area and it’s classed as a no-go zone. I feel like installing a gated fence with bars everywhere in our garden to prevent escapees!
Another bug bear of mine is the mess! Farms inevitably have a lot of mud. It comes with the territory. I feel like both boys attract the dirt, however farm overalls seem to help in most parts – but a bath is definitely needed after each farm outing!
This all being said there’s definitely a lot more positives about farm life and here is some…
– They learn responsibility at an early age
Despite the way that most children behave, having chores is actually beneficial for them. Part of this is because they are made to feel as if they contribute to the household. Simply enough, Tobias collects the eggs each day at the moment. This will progress and he will be given more responsibility as he gets older. Animals also teach children responsibility. When they are sick, those animals still need to be taken care of, when a family member dies the animals still need them. Even days when they don’t feel like taking care of the animal, it doesn’t change the fact that the animal must still be taken care of.
– The Ability to Run
One of the benefits of having a larger space in the country means that children could be out of sight and still on our property. Don’t panic, I wouldn’t allow it at this young age but living on the farm gives our children a lot more freedom to explore.
I heard once that a household with no dust could make a child more likely to be sick. Surely, fresh air is always a good thing!
– Appreciation of the Land
Ive taught Tobias already how to grow his first plant and what is needed to keep it alive. I really hope this helps our children to recognise what it takes to make our earth sustainable when they grow older.
In the country, children have to figure how to entertain themselves on their own. They catch (and hopefully release) butterflies, go on bear hunts, search for rabbits, investigate barns, have fun in the straw etc!
Living on a farm your almost forced to learn to do many things for yourself. Gavin’s favourite saying about himself is ‘jack of all trades, master of none’! Children will grow up knowing the difference between a flat head and a Phillip’s screwdriver and many will know how to drive a manual vehicle.
I am sure I am missing something or just breaking the tip of the iceberg with these positives. Personally I look back at my experiences of growing up in the countryside with great fondness and I hope my children will too! Even if it is not what they choose to do themselves, I know they are learning some amazing life skills whilst in my care which they can then take forward in their own lives.