The other day Jennifer posted a photo on our STS Ranch Wear Facebook of Stone holding a calf’s legs while we were branding. On the photo was this saying: “Don’t handicap your kids by making their life easy.” That one post was viewed over 100,000 times and shared 25,000 times.
I don’t think for a minute it’s easy to raise kids today. You can keep your kids safe enough for them to reach adulthood, but are we teaching them good life lessons? The saying goes, ‘Give a man a fish and feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.’
It’s far easier, and quicker, to do something for your kid than to let him do it himself. I’m guilty of this myself. It’s a real challenge to slow down and let your child do something himself. No, he won’t be as quick, or do it as well as you would. That’s not the point. If you don’t give him the opportunity to do a chore or complete a job or task he’s been given, you’re robbing him of the opportunity to be proud of himself.
With technology today, almost every kid you see is playing on a phone, ipad, or some other electronic device. It’s fun for them and can entertainment them for hours. Some of those hours would be time better spent learning some responsibility or spending time with family.
We want so much for our children that we tend to hand them nice things without teaching them the value or making them earn it. Do you think a 13-year old that’s riding a $5,000 to $10,000 horse really understands what a nice horse he has? Not likely.
I can’t even imagine trying to raise kids in the city. Folks in the country or on ranches have better opportunities to teach their kids how to earn the things they want.
I’ve mostly been home for the last couple of years and I’ve enjoyed spending that time with my family. Raising kids is challenging these days and you have to have a game plan. You can’t do anything successfully without one. It’s easier at home to let my boys do things for themselves. My dad was really good at letting me figure things out. It’s hard to believe I was driving a tractor when I was Stone’s age.
Since we’ve been rodeoing this summer I find it way too easy to ‘hand my kids a fish’ rather than letting them fish. The nature of rodeo is to hurry from one to the next and time is a luxury we don’t always have.
No matter where you live, or what you do for a living, today you have to compete for your children’s attention. This generation that’s raising kids now has a big challenge. We have to teach them the value of a dollar. We have to teach them how to work for what they want. We have to let them learn how to do things, and sometimes fail, rather than do it for them.
As an adult, your child will be more likely to thank you for teaching the value of hard work than for letting him lay in front of the television.
Till next time, God Bless, and I’ll see you down the line.