Homesteads and children – so you are thinking of moving from the city to a farm. What about the children? How will they cope? Here are our thoughts about the issues with homesteads and children.
From my experience – and I grew up in a huge city – there is a good side and a bad side to raising kids on a farm The bad side, however, can be turned into good with some careful planning and providing good experiences.
Homesteads and children – the scoop!
Kids have a HUGE area to play in – they are not confined to an apartment or even a small concreted back yard. That means they have more things to divert them away from the TV and computer and you have more space to let them explore and experiment with animals and gardens etc.
Kids learn about food – there is no doubt that children raised on farms have a greater appreciate on where food comes from, and how (at times) it is difficult to produce food.
Kids learn life skills – ok…maybe not city life skills, but they learn how to deal with stubborn animals and vegetables (which could come in handy if they ever go into politics or deal with bankers :p…joking folks, just joking).
Kids learn about the importance of work – if a farm chore does not get done, then an animal is hungry or a plant might die. These are more critical on a farm than in an apartment – but equally important in both!
Fresh air and water – maybe we are biased, but the air and water on our farm seem so much cleaner than that in a city. Cutting down on the pollution that our kids breath in each and every day has to be an advantage!
Bad side – and what you as a parent can do about it!
Kids are isolated – for many, its hard to just walk over to the neighbors to play. There is no neighborhood ‘kids gang’ to grow up with. So get them involved in school and out of school activities where they can make friends. 4H, scouts, sporting teams, drama clubs etc…and even good old pen pals (now email/facebook) can help. Teach them to communicate when they get an opportunity.
Kids don’t become ‘city street wise’ – as most of the children who grew up on farms in the past have ended up in cities we can assume that the same will happen with our farm-raised kids. So we need to prepare them for the city. Take them to ‘the big smoke’ and let them ride trains and buses and walk in crowded streets.
There is no doubt in our mind that homesteads and children is a wonderful lifestyle – but we also want our kids to experience and be comfortable with being in a city!
So did we miss something? If you think so, add it as a comment below!