Farmer parents exist in an entirely different space from helicopter parents. They’re not bare minimum parents or hands-off parents, either. Farmer parents are the best parents. They are nurturing, patient, and practical. They allow their children to grow at their own pace because they understand that growth cannot be forced or hurried.
1. They practice sustainable parenting.
Sustainability is vital for a farm’s long-term success. It’s also vital for a child’s long-term success. Farmer parents practice sustainability when they “farm” with the future in mind. They meet the present needs of their children while cultivating attitudes and habits that will benefit their children in the long run, enabling them to sustain themselves. Children of farmer parents aren’t coddled. They are loved wisely and are given sustainable skills—kindness, resourcefulness, honesty—that will last a lifetime.
2. They are patient.
Farmer parents don’t panic or get angry when their child struggles to learn life lessons. As a wise man once wrote, a successful farmer “waits for the land to yield its crop.” Farmer parents understand that there is a process to growth and learning that cannot be rushed, no matter how much they may want to advance the process.
3. They accept their children.
Apple orchards. Orange groves. Cornfields. Each crop differs, but each crop yields something beautiful. Farmer parents accept their children for who they are. They don’t try to make them fit a mold or the cultural definition of success.
4. They have clear objectives.
Farmer parents envision the traits they want their grown children to have and parent accordingly. They focus on the harvest—what their children will be like as adults. If they want their children to be responsible, kind, and hardworking, they will nurture their children in those areas. They don’t just hope their children will thrive. They are intentional in their efforts to see that happen.
5. They know their limits.
Farmer parents accept that much is out of their control. Just like a farmer can’t control the weather, parents can’t control every element of their children’s lives. When the child of farmer parents faces adversity, the parents use it as an opportunity to teach their child skills to withstand life’s challenges. Farmer parents know that their role is to help their child flourish. They accept that their child, like any crop, is separate from them and that their child’s life is his or her own.
Just like a farmer can’t control the weather, parents can’t control every element of their children’s lives.
In which ways are you already a farmer parent?