Once upon a time, children inherited their parents’ professions like they would their house and clothes. It stood to reason that if your father was a farmer, you would grow up to be a farmer, too. In the old days, having children who could take over their parents’ agribusiness helped provide peace-of-mind and stability to the family unit.
Things are different now. Children are free to be and do what they choose. While all parents want their children to be happy, a child’s decision to leave the farm can often be difficult. The spare hands are quickly missed, and their company is missed, too.
But times are changing. More and more adult children are choosing to move back in with their parents. Some face unemployment. Others’ costs of living are higher than their wages. And still others find they appreciate a family-style living, and want to move back for the love and emotional support.
If your child decides to move back to the farm after living outside the home, here are some ways to make the transition smooth.
1) Put their skills to use
It stands to reason that if your child excels in one particular area, or if they have a degree, they will best help the business with what they’re good at. Sit down and work out a plan with your child of how they can integrate into the agribusiness process. Make sure to listen to what they are interested in doing, and what work they want to avoid.
2) Give them space to readjust
It may be tempting to fall into old living patterns but if your child wants to make the farm their home again, they need time and space to get settled. Be upfront about your expectations regarding shared living space, but be supportive if they want to change things within their own space.
3) Talk long-term
A child returning to the farm is a good time to bring up transitions. Ask your children what their plans are for the future, and if they see themselves living at the farm for the rest of their lives. If they’re considering starting a family at the farm or staying there long-term, it may be time to consider how to transition the business into their hands.
Every family and farm is unique. If your adult children decide to return to your farm, it may provide you with comfort knowing your land and business will be passed on to people who care. For more information about making your farm a legacy, please contact us.