Once high school hits, it can be particularly challenging to keep your teenager’s interest in the family farm. Kids at this age are more likely to distance themselves from home life as they look elsewhere for new social pursuits and interests. While it’s a natural part of adolescence, it’s still hard to see a child turn from enthusiastic junior farmer to a junior in high school shying away from all things ag.
Here are three tips to help maintain your teen’s interest in the family farm:
1. Encourage participation in the local 4-H club, FFA, or similar group
If your teenager wants a new social outlet, have them check out their local 4-H and FFA organizations–particularly the chapters that focus on farming and agriculture. Not only do these groups instill values of responsibility, citizenship, and leadership, but they provide your child with an engaging community and various opportunities to grow as a young farmer.
2. Allow them to make money through their farming work
Teenagers need their own spending money, and with enough influx and encouragement, they might even save a little too! Let your child earn money through their farming work. They will feel more invested in the family farm and eager to help it succeed. Show and sale groups like a 4-H livestock club can also give your teen the opportunity to win prize money and earn cash from showmanship competitions and market auctions.
3. Don’t push too hard
Allow your teen the freedom to pursue hobbies outside of agriculture, even if it means leaving the farm behind for now. Nothing will drive them away faster than discouraging outside interests. When your teen is ready to return to farm life, they will do so enthusiastically, grateful for your unconditional support.
While keeping your teenager engaged in the family farm might seem like a daunting task, it’s well worth the time and attention. Just as in farming, your patience and care during formative growth will pay off in the end!
Contact us today for more tips on bolstering your family farm and agricultural legacy.