Welcome to the blog, Colorado Preppers. Prepping doesn't mean we think the apocolypse is coming or the earth will blow up. It simply means that we are preparing for any eventuality that may strike here in Colorado (USA) ... from swine/bird flu to blizzards to global financial collapse to loss of income and more. // Come learn with us about things like water purifying and collecting, inventory checks and more. However, we are NOT political and not affiliated with any specific religion or group. // FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE GO TO WWW.SURVIVAL-COOKING.BLOGSPOT.COM OR TO FIND OUT ABOUT MY BOOKS ON THESE AND OTHER TOPICS, GO TO WWW.VIKKI-LAWRENCE-WILLIAMS.BLOGSPOT.COM

Question for Preppers of All Kinds

Here's a question that came up over the weekend:

Suppose the parents of a family are ready, willing and able to buy a small piece of property out in the country and set it up as a bug-in retreat. Suppose there are some neighbors within walking distance, some with kids. Suppose the family has almost always homeschooled. Suppose the children have always had apartment chores (emptying the dishwasher, taking out the trash, helping with laundry, vaccuming, dusting, and helping with meal prep) but never outdoor chores.

They've only been there a few months when the following issues come up:

Now suppose those same children suddenly have outdoor chores like feeding livestock, giving them water and hay, watering the large garden, milking the cow and goat, collecting eggs from the chickens and quail, and so forth.

And the children HATE it.

They don't mind the relative quiet (as opposed to city noise). They don't mind the fresh air and scenery. They don't mind the fresh milk and eggs. They don't mind the fresh blueberries picked anytime they feel like it. They don't mind making new friends.

They DO mind the coyotes and foxes and mountain lions. They DO mind doing outside chores in the blistering heat, the pouring rain and the blinding snow. They DO mind getting up at oh-dark-thirty to milk the goat.

So... what do you do?

Do you...
(1) Find a way to make them like it?
(2) Ignore their feelings?
(3) Move back to the city and back to apartment living?
(4) Move back to the city, into a small house with smaller livestock (quail instead of chickens and ducks, etc)



UPDATE 9/26/11: Since I originally posted this article, found out my kid not only has ADHD but also OCD, autism and epilepsy. Turned out that those had a huge impact on how my kid perceives responsibility and such. We're still working on it.


Karen604 said...

If this is your dream continue living it. there is time for the kids to have there own dreams. Living in a 300 apartment complex won't make them happy.Poor babies you are making them work. Don't feel guilty feel proud that you are teaching them what their time and energy is worth. They will sigh moan groan and complain If you ask them to bring the groceries in from the car in the city. So just let them do the same for milking the cow.

Anonymous said...

And explain to the children that they are part of the family, and because they are they have family duties such as chores. That is just the way it is with families. You don't have to like the chores, but you do have to do them because families pull together to help each other and care for each other.
But the other two options are out. Children do not run the family nor do they make decisions for the family, parents do. Their choice of place to live is not what makes the final decision. Parents make that decision based on what is best for the whole family, not based on the whims of a child.

Carborendum said...

My family is exactly what you described.

The question is missing a vital element of teaching chores:

"If there is something we wish to change in the child, we must first determine if it is something that would better be changed in ourselves."

The entire family has just been given more responsibilities. Why aren't the parents doing these things? Did you really get ALL these animals at one time? Don't.


1) Only get one animal or type of animal at a time. Get used to it. Work out a routine. Then get a second type...

2) The parents should get a firm grasp of how to do it first. Let the children come and watch, help out. Discuss the learning process the parent is going through. But at first the parents need to do the bulk of each "new" chore. That way, the parents can work out the kinks and have full understanding of the difficulties the children may have with it.

3) As the parents develop the skills and a routine for taking care of such chores, then the parents must train the children.

By having the children watch, they know that the parents are willing to do it. They also get used to the idea that it needs to be done. They'll get used to the "gross" aspects of some chores. Eventually, they'll have seen how to do it so much that when you hand it over to them, they will be ok with it.

Illoura said...

Great topic!
(My youngest of 5 are now 22 but can't yet move out). I know that one wouldn't want to purchase any random animals, but wouldn't it be helpful if children had some choice in choosing animals, or be part of the discussion in choosing the 'right' breeds, or setting some aside specifically as their 'pet'? (From the breeding stock). As "part owners" they also could reap some financial reward or something - just as kids in 4-H would. I might start the kids in such a program, giving them a choice of animal, so they get their motivation from people other than parents, then it's THEIR project and their pride of ownership extends then into the caretaking. Most any human will resist what's thrown on them and what they are forced into- so the 'trick' is to make it possible for them to sort of evolve into it, I'm thinking. (My son called my horse a pig-spider, and says they are all evil). He's never ridden one! He doesn't understand what horses can add to ones' life, and I wouldn't get much volunteer help with manure piles.... it's all attitude based on personal perspectives and reward. When it comes to survival, well we'll do what we have to do, but why make it harder on the family before that?
Great blog!

wendy said...

I'm not from Colorado but am a prepper in Arizona. Children need to understand early on that prepping is a lifestyle and that there are no choices in making a family work, it takes time and energy, if your new to it, and they hate it... They will get used to it. I would assume though that any child who is going to be dropped into the deep end of the pool like that at least has some background of taking care of atleast somewhat similar chores.

Vee and the Kid said...

UPDATE 9/26/11: Since I originally posted this article, found out my kid not only has ADHD but also OCD, autism and epilepsy. Turned out that those had a huge impact on how my kid perceives responsibility and such. We're still working on it.