There is no way around it, life on a farm can be rough. Taking care of animals, especially livestock, can be hard on your body as well as your social life, and it is the rare person who comes out of it unscathed.
Yet, farm life also has many inherent benefits, too, and a number of lessons to teach. In fact, for children, there may be no better way to grow up.
1. Because once you can catch a calf that doesn’t want to be caught, you can do anything.
Confidence is a vital life skill, and life among livestock provides many challenges to overcome, from catching a determined calf to coaxing a reluctant pig. The best part is that there’s really no choice in the matter — these things have to be overcome one way or another, so giving up is not an option. And, every time your child succeeds, his or her confidence will grow.
2. Your child will grow up humble, the horses will see to that.
Confidence is imporant, but humility is, too, and no one is better at bringing us down a peg or two than farm animals. Horses are probably the acknowledged master at reminding us that we still have a lot to learn. It’s almost like they can sense our growing ego, as they never cease to get the timing right, throwing in a buck or stomping on a foot just when we were congratulating ourselves.
3. There’s no work like farm work for staying in shape.
If your child grows up on a farm, he or she will be physically fit. There is always physical labour to be done, whether that involves stacking hay bales, chopping wood, or wrestling some uncooperative animal for the vet. You can bet that neck and back problems from too much computer time will never plague your children if they live on a farm. Now, back problems from being thrown or trampled by that aforementioned horse are a different story…
4.They will have a practical, working knowledge of most things.
They may not be a vet or accountant, but children who grow up on farms will have a knowledge of medicine, biology, finances, and time management from an early age. Before they are ten years old they will have treated wounds and birthed baby animals, and chances are they’ll have a better sense of money and time management than many adults. There is never enough of either when you’re living on a farm!
5. Life on a farm will make them better people.
Life among animals means that children learn to care for someone other than themselves. Interacting with animals teaches responsibility, communication and patience, and provides a positive model for future human relationships. And perhaps that is the best benefit of all.