Raising Our Sons To Provide

The many uses of baling twine
After shooting his first deer ever, my 12 year old son’s voice got a little deeper.  You see, when I asked him how it made him feel to be able to provide for our family, he said, “It makes me feel like a man.”
I posted his picture with the deer on Facebook yesterday, and received a huge response, some of which was controversial.  If you have not seen it yet, go here.

That got me to thinking.  Next to becoming a warrior for Christ, isn’t that what we should strive for in raising our sons?  I look around at the world we live in, and I see boys playing their video games in public.  I see young men walking aimlessly with their cell phones, texting away.  I hear boys disrespecting their parents at  sports games, some don’t even want to play.  Their drive, their competitiveness is not there.

Will these sons have what it takes to provide?  Statistically, the majority of them will not “grow up” until later in life or maybe never.  Then what?  Who would want to marry someone who has put off wanting to settle down and provide for a family of their own because of their own selfish desires?

Here at the Shock farm, there is quite a lot of work to do!  But, wherever you are, teach your boy(s) how to work.  I cannot stress the importance of this simple strategy.  Work.

I am amazed at the difference in boys who share the load at home, and those that do nothing.  The latter feel like they are owed something.  But, boys with good work ethic know that if they do not get a job done or do it incorrectly, there will be consequences.

Biblically, if the man does not provide for his family, there are huge consequences!  Shouldn’t we be teaching the importance of this to our young ones?  This doesn’t mean that we slave drive them with a whip in hand, but that we work along side them at first, and gradually give them more responsibility as they mature.

My twelve year old can take care of all of our animals on his own.  Lately, he has been filling in for his Dad because of the work schedule.  He is in charge when Dad’s not here, delegating work yet doing the bulk of it.

Here is a run down of what my children do as far as taking care of our many animals  This does not include housework or other seemingly endless jobs around the farm:

Morning chores:

-17 year old daughter feeds and waters the pigs, milks some of the does and takes care of two horses.  She also helps out when the animals get sick.
-12 year old son feeds, waters and milks the does, takes care of 70+ chickens which includes feeding, watering, gathering the eggs and cleaning out nests.
-10 year old daughter feeds and waters the bucks and takes care of the other two horses.
-7 year old son feeds the five Great Pyrenees and sometimes the puppies.
-3 year old son tags along and helps.

Evening chores:

-12 year old son does all of the above except feed the dogs.
-7 year old son feeds the dogs and helps his big brother if needed.

My sons are with their Dad when he is working on various projects around the farm.  If my husband is outside working and comes in only to find his boys doing nothing, he will sternly tell them to get moving!

Is this child abuse?  No way!  I believe that continually allowing our boys to do nothing is abuse.  Their potential manhood is squashed as they have no purpose but to serve their own selfish desires.

Hearing my son say that he feels like a man when he contributes to our needs means that he is on the right track.  And as he grows into a young man, he will indeed be a man that provides!

Are you allowing your son(s) to carry his load?

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27 comments on “Raising Our Sons To Provide

  1. I heartily agree with JES — A truly wonderful post, Susie! Thanks for speaking truth on this subject! Here on our small "farm" (2.5 acres in the Cascade Mtn. foothills of WA state), our two youngest (a son and daughter who are 14 & 12) WORK! We all do a.m. chores, afternoon chores, and the son does p.m. chores. The son is master of our flock of layers and keeper of the wood pile among other necessaries around here, while our daughter tends to our lone bunny and four mousers (aka cats). Add in household chores, homeschooling, and what we like to call "productive arts," and it isn't too often that either is bored or without purpose. With our three oldest married and out of the house, our two youngest are well aware of the need we have for them to each contribute to the family economy (and by economy, I don't mean merely $$) — all of us "work" for the present and future good of the household. 🙂 What a blessing it is to teach and train these blessings the Lord has given us to work and provide, both now and as they move into their adult lives.

    Blessings, ~Lisa 🙂

  2. thankful for this post! My husband is just getting started with hunting and teaching our (5 year old) son as he learns. We don't currently homestead but can't wait to get to that point. I know that giving the example of a great work ethic is the first step and need to strive for a more focused and disciplined attitude myself so our children so see it as the norm!

  3. But the thing that distraught parents of young boys are thinking is, "I've tried to get my kids to work and it's just a huge fight!" What isn't realized is the immense amount of time and patience required to train these young ones to take responsibility. It's not automatic but they sure do love it when it's supported by nurturing, firm and gracious parenting! Raising helpful, capable children is a selfless act because it requires so much of our lives to accomplish. Giving the cell phones, video games, money to play, etc. is often times just a way to create more time for the parent to not be responsible and on goes the cycle.. It's so great to see families like yours in these times. Keep up the good work!

    • I think where parents like the ones Janae speaks of go wrong is they wait. Even a 2 year old can put his toys away or put her dirty clothes in the hamper. Little kids love being a "helper". This instills pride in a job well done and encourages them to try new chores, which you can add to the older they get. Letting your kid slack off until they're older, then expecting them to "get it" and pitch in just doesn't work.

  4. I thought the facebook post was wonderful; in fact, I shared it! My kids are a little young yet, 4 and 3 years old, both boys. I can't wait for them to be old enough to have their first BB gun and eventually a small rifle, and then to go hunting with dad. We only have 4 hens and a rooster to take care of right now because we live in town. But what you described in your blog today is exactly the vision I see for our family. We start homeschool next year, and with God's grace if it's in His will for us, we will soon be able to move to the country and have some acreage to expand our tiny homestead.

    Thank you for this post today. I know that there are very important things that we are supposed to teach our children in order to be godly adults. This generation and culture of entitlement and lethargy is a horrible disease in our nation (and the world). I pray that we can be a light in the darkness and train up our children in the ways of the Lord, to be men and women of character and integrity, with work ethic and empathy, and to be disciples for Christ. Do not be ashamed! Your son is learning an invaluable skill and building the character of a man.

  5. Amen and Amen … The children these days don't know how to work (other then their thumbs text messaging) and our sons have been woosified. I appreciate and commend you for the job you are doing with your family.

    God will surely bless you.

  6. I cant believe people said bad things about that picture! I loved it and cant wait for me to be able to post a picture like that with my boys in it!.

  7. I love this post! Thank you! If we don't raise our boys to be men the world will, and that is not something I am willing to take a chance on. I've seen the kind of men this world produces, not anything I hope for my boys.

  8. Our son is only 2 but he's learning to enjoy working outside with Daddy. He already 'supervises' Daddydoing farm chores.
    My 6 year old daughter is starting to help out as well. The main reason we moved out to a small farm (besides God's promoting) was to instill the value of work and providing for your family in our kids. Such a great thing to learn from the beginning!

  9. Love, love, love this post. As the mom of a 12yr old boy who is a hunter, as well as a hard worker…this is a firm stand that needs to be made. FB photo was awesome too. Praise The Lord for his provision!

    • Thank you, Bambi! I saw your name and I was a little nervous about reading your comment, LOL! I thought for sure it was going to be another blast on killing an innocent animal. Thanks for sharing!

  10. I liked both posts but was ,curious about one thing. You said your if your hubby comes in and finds the boys doing nothing he tells them to get busy. Don't they get any time each day to just be boys without all the work. Sounds like they work from dawn to dusk. I very, very much agree that kids need to do as mentioned but also get free time after chores in AM and before PM chores to do something creative or just rest a bit as they aren't adults to go all day long. They do need some down time sometimes too. Our kids didn't work from sunup to sundown but had time to be creative or just read. They didn't have phones, games and we didn't have video games either. Deb

  11. Yes…Yes! I agree wholeheartedly with this post! Although my boys are still young {3,6}, they love to be with their daddy when ever he is working. I have them bring in the firewood and tell them "You are such a blessing to this family and helping your daddy provide warmth for all of us!" We must give them a vision for protecting and providing. We also tell them quite often how they are to be their sisters protectors {even though most of their sisters are older than they are}. It is so fun to watch them 'protect' their little sister and care for her. It makes my heart sing.
    Bravo sister,

  12. I thank God every day my parents made us do chores. I don't think I would have been able to move out on my own at 17 without those skills.

    I also think it's important to teach boys and girls ALL chores. My brothers could scrub a toilet and sew on a button and my sisters and I could pound a nail, sack the trash, & mow the lawn. You can't assume you'll marry young and even if you do, being well-rounded in the chore department just makes you a better person in general. Sometimes a girl has to be her own provider or a guy has to patch his own britches, you know?

  13. YES! YES! YES! I WHOLEHEARTEDLY AGREE!! I don't have children yet, so my input is never taken seriously by friends and family, but I've been saying for years that parents that refuse to teach their children work and responsibility are not only doing their children a disservice, but also the community. I'm SO HAPPY that you wrote this post and stand behind what you feel is right! I'm going to share this now!! 🙂


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