Monday, July 5, 2010

Child Labor

Go ahead. Report me. We encourage  our grandchildren to work. We used to make our own children work. In fact, Keith and I have been known to work. Sometimes it is a strength. Other times it is a bad habit we cannot seem to break. The problem with farm work is, it is never DONE. But often it can be good enough and it can be fun.

Grandkids teach us about "good enough." They teach us about doing things for the shear pleasure of doing them VS the outcome. Our grandkids have been helping us feed calves for many years. At first they rode in the wagon with the bottles. Then they were able to help push the wagon as Wes demonstrates here. Later they developed enough muscle to PULL the wagon and finally they are strong enough to actually hoist the bottle up into the calf feeder and then run away quickly enough before a hungry calf steps on them. When grandkids "help" the process takes 2-3 times longer than normal but it is also twice as much fun. The trip from the barn to the calf hutches takes longer. There are butterflies to observe, baby chicks to count, rubber boots to empty of water as the kids accidently splash through a puddle.

A recent study concluded that young school children often do not have the upper body strength to pull themselves up on the monkey bars or even to hold themselves on a swing without falling. Maybe if schools would raise a few calves each year we could reverse this trend.


  1. And build a bunch more healthy kids. And Memories that will last a lifetime.

  2. My grandkids don't call it work here on the farm!! They call it a luxury!

    I fed calves as a child but I don't have any upper body strength, never was able to do pull ups either, you should see me try to get back in our boat while wet from swimming!!!!

  3. THAT's why Wes has been doing pull-ups at the playground! I am not kidding! It was "Look, Mommy" and I turned around and he was on number 3. They are blessed grandchildren in so many ways!