Abby volunteered to help grandpa wean a set of calves while dad and her uncle sat in the combine. I was tickled she wanted to help.
She had her eyes on this one all day long. So I said how about we make that one yours - she was very happy. Unfortunately she picked one of the best heifers in that pasture. Abby taught me more about the camera on my phone so I snapped a quick picture of her heifer in the pasture corral. "
That's an awesome story about helping kids grow and mature but I can't put it better than Russ in Idaho did:
"Rick, I glad you have taken the lead and are posting what is going on. There is a lot of people that just lurk on here and never post. I'm betting you just might have changed a lot of families lives by just posting your trials and tribulations to raising a family. Hopefully somebody that has been wondering what to do in their family will take the lead from your example and do something to benefit a kid in their life. Some days it might just be a high five, or a saying way to go kids, or just a hug for a kid.
I tell a lot of people the best thing you can do is get kids involved in animals and their care. Kudos for giving her a heifer, I see that morphing into a herd of her own to help pay for college or what ever family decides money should be spent on. I feel my kids get the pic of the herd first, as well as saddle horses and tack. To outfit a kid in a good cow horse and good solid working tack you can spend over $6-7,000 per kid. I had a guy ask me why I spend so much for horses for my kids and its a lot of money?
I told him well when working cows, they need good equipment and a solid mount to ride. Because they will be going alone miles away from anybody and they need to get a job done. I also told him, it's a lot cheaper to spend this money on my kids than to pay it out in rehab in the later teens years. Though the years all the kids I've seen in FFA or 4-H, they go on to lead productive lives and pretty much stay out of trouble. O' sure a few might raise a little hell, but that at least tells you they are alive. I once told some kids, hey guys I never see your name in the paper, you need to be raising a little hell or at least making your parents hair grey.
Just before shipping day my boys have always had the pick of the herd for show steers. We don't believe in buying into the club calf deal. All the steers my kids have shown pack our brand and earmarks. They will never win grand champion, but they sometimes place in the top ten.
I glad people post on here and tell their problems as well, it makes us all human. I know it has helped me try to be a better parent, believe me I need all the help I can get. My wife was pulled me aside a few times and told me to lay of the kids and not ride them so hard. I've always told my boys I expect more from them than other kids. I expect them to rise to the occasion if needed. They have never let me down, but sometimes I might have not known when to stop riding them so hard. That's where my wife has stepped in and told me to back off.
It's such a fine line to take in raising kids, do you push them, throw money at projects (FFA,4-H, skiing, football, basketball, etc.), work their butts off. Or make them earn every dime themselves? If you push too much you put the kid over the edge, or to drugs, or even worse suicide. And if you don't do anything they can get into the same problems as well.
One thing my parents did with my bother and myself was to make us sign a contract when he bought us trucks. I thinking I was a senior in high school, dad bought me a new 2-wheel drive pickup, stripped down. but nice and new. But in this contract, I had to stay involved in school sports, keep grades up, work on the farm. Even put in there if I didn't go to church I was to be working on the farm that day. Well me I picked to work that day. Was supposed to go on at least one date a month. After high school, we had 6 months to be in college or a trade tech. They would help pay for school and pay insurance on truck and a limited amount of fuel for truck. Out of this allotment of fuel, a % of it was for farm use. I had to budget my fuel use. This contract was posted in the top cabinet door in the kitchen where you saw it everyday as you opened it to get plates and glasses out for meals.
My parents held the title to the truck the whole time I was in school, they could take it away at any time. If dad needed it for his proposes, he had first dibs on it. I was never to park in parents way in drive way. Had to keep it maintained. If we quit school, well then we where on our own. He would give us the title and pay insurance up for 6 months then it was all ours to deal with. Well I realized what a great deal my parents did for me,
I finished college, also got a 2 year mechanics certificate along with my B.S. in business administration. I kept that truck for 18 years, well over 280,000 miles on it when I sold it. My wife couldn't believe I sold it, she figured I would drive it to the scrap pile. That truck was my wages for working on the farm all those years, as I didn't get a paycheck. I kept a part time job all though college turning wenches, came home and worked for dad every weekend all though college.
I had to laugh my bother tested the waters with dad, well dad took his truck for while, He made my bother see the light. Took a little school of hard knocks for him. He turned out all right, he even went on later in life and got a masters on his own.
Raising kids isn't a exact science, can't follow a text book. Everybody is different and no two situations are the same. What will work with one kid won't work on a sibling.
Thanks Rick, keep posting about Abby."
Have you helped a kid today?