As farm and ranch families we work very hard. We demonstrate and instill great work ethic into our children. Sometimes and maybe even the majority of the time, the outcome of our labor is broken down bodies and exhaustion. Our children work harder than many of their peers. Often times the conversation around the dinner table is about something that needs to be fixed, the horrible prices, and the overall struggle.
As hard as it is, we love what we do and are building our farm or ranch to pass on to the next generation. But, our children see and hear the struggles and many choose not to come back to carry on the tradition of farming or ranching because of it.
So I think it is of utmost importance to teach our children more than just work ethic. Let’s teach them the deeper reasons behind our hard work and the “why” behind the work ethic.
Let’s teach our children to…
Push for just one more.
There will be times on the farm or ranch or life when you feel like giving up. Just do one more. One more fence post in the ground. One more push-up. One more trip around the field. One more spelling word. One more middle of the night calving check. One more math problem. One more load of laundry. Let’s teach our children perseverance because it will serve them well, no matter what they are doing.
Rest, but don’t give up!
It’s ok to take a break and rest. Farmers and Ranchers have a drive and persistence that is unparalleled. But self-care is so important! This is something many of us are still learning as adults. Our children need to see us taking time to renew ourselves spiritually, mentally and physically. Let’s teacher our children that when you have a chance to rest, do so! If you can’t take rest, take a break and then get back to it.
Not to use gender to define your roles or limits.
Less testosterone and strength doesn’t have to define your roles or limits. Let’s teach our girls to figure a way around their limitations whatever they might be. This goes both ways. For our boys, let’s teach them that maintaining their home and investing in relationships is just as important as fixing tractors, milking, combining, and working cows.
Put your heart, mind and soul into more than just one thing!
You can do anything you put your mind to!! Farming and/or Ranching is the main thing that many of us have put our heart, mind and soul into. But, life is made up of many wonderful things. So, let’s teach our children that we can put our mind, heart and soul into our family, hobbies, church, community, etc. and the farm or ranch.
Never ever ever give up!
It may seem bleak, but don’t give up when things get hard. Let’s teach our children that they may have to work harder than they ever have before to reach a goal or dream, but not to let the difficult times or hard work be the deciding factor for quitting. Let’s teach them to never give up on important relationships, on learning, on their faith, on themselves, or on their goals and dreams.
If giving up seems inevitable, shift directions, but never give up!
There may come a time when hard work and a “no quit” attitude aren’t enough. Evaluate your priorities. Exhaust all options. Shift directions. You can do all these things without giving up! This is important for life on or off the farm or ranch!
Always find the positive and a reason to be grateful!
In the hardest of times, finding the positive and a reason to be grateful is really tough. But, no matter the circumstances, there is always something for which to be grateful. The sun came up again this morning. We have a roof over our heads. Our heart is still ticking. Let’s teach this to our children by making a point to put this into action ourselves. If we make this a habit we verbalize frequently, they will follow our example and begin to find the positive and reasons to be grateful too!
How are you teaching your children the “why” behind your work ethic?
Comment below! I’d love to hear your take on this!