Raising a 7 year old boy on a horse farm has taught me a lot about how to raise children in any home. Here are five lessons I've learned that relate to scientific studies about successful ways to parent:
Lesson 1: Provide structure and boundaries.
Having a structured routine on the farm has been crucial for my 7 year old. He knows what is expected of him at certain times of the day, and he understands the boundaries we have set for his safety and well-being. This sense of structure has been shown to help children feel secure and confident, and it can be applied to any home, not just a farm. For example, setting a regular bedtime and sticking to it can help your child feel secure and ready for the next day.
Lesson 2: Encourage independence.
Working on the farm has given my 7 year old the opportunity to learn how to take care of himself and others. He helps feed and water the horses, and he's even started to groom them on his own. Encouraging independence has been shown to help children develop self-confidence and problem-solving skills. You can apply this lesson to your own home by giving your child age-appropriate tasks and responsibilities, such as setting the table for dinner or helping with laundry.
Lesson 3: Teach the value of hard work.
One of the most important lessons my 7 year old has learned on the farm is the value of hard work. He knows that it takes effort and dedication to take care of the animals, and he takes pride in the work he does. Teaching the value of hard work can help children develop a strong work ethic, which can be beneficial in many areas of their lives. You can apply this lesson to your own home by setting realistic expectations for your child and praising them for their efforts, even if the task at hand is difficult.
Lesson 4: Foster a sense of community.
Working on the farm has also taught my 7 year old the importance of being part of a community. He has learned how to work with others to take care of the animals, and he has formed strong bonds with the other people who live and work on the farm. This sense of community has been shown to help children feel connected and supported, and it can be beneficial in many aspects of their lives. You can apply this lesson to your own home by encouraging your child to form positive relationships with others and to be a supportive and caring member of your family.
Lesson 5: Appreciate nature and the environment.
Living and working on the farm has allowed my 7 year old to develop a deep appreciation for nature and the environment. He has learned how to care for the land, the animals, and the plants, and he understands the importance of protecting and preserving these resources. This appreciation for nature can be beneficial in many ways, from helping children develop a sense of stewardship and responsibility to fostering a love of the outdoors. You can apply this lesson to your own home by encouraging your child to explore and learn about the natural world around them, whether it's through gardening, hiking, or simply observing the plants and animals in your own backyard.