Ranching is Literally a Life Saver For Kids During the Covid-19 Pandemic

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Young and old, so many of us are struggling at different levels during the Covid-19 Pandemic. We attempt to function in a world filled with panic, fear and the inconvenient adjustments we’ve been forced to make over the past year.

As adults, we attempt to rationalize the regulations and consider health and safety of ourselves and those around us. Children don’t function at the same maturity level. They often have difficulty processing all of this information. Let’s face it, even as adults, it is not easy.

No matter what your situation has been since March 2020, when the pandemic really started to take effect in the US, there’s no denying it’s had a huge impact on our daily lives.

No one is immune to the effects of a world wide pandemic, especially our children. It can become so serious that it results in suicide attempts and even deaths. To read more (or listen) about how the pandemic is increasing the suicide risk of students, check out this article from NPR.

It seems extreme, but it should not be overlooked. It may sound crazy and you can remain in denial, but those families already affected, probably didn’t expect it either. For signs your child may need more support during Covid-19 check out an article from the American Academy of Pediatrics HERE.

As a proud mother, I’ll admit that I often live my life bragging on my boys and basking in their achievements. I am supportive of their goals and cheer for them along the way. Although failure is occasionally the outcome, hard work is usually rewarded, even if it’s just a lesson-learned.

High-achieving kids are not immune to the effects of a Covid-19 environment. Kids that normally excel are struggling-possibly the most. These “type” of students seek affirmation and blossom in competition.

Virtual classrooms, and altered schedules have resulted in many automatic A’s. This may sound fine, but what is the motivation to succeed? Hard work and academic skills are not being recognized to the same level and the students are feeling the effects.

The lack of a normal social life- full of school and community activities is also very different- if not non-existent. These events and gathering provide kids with something to look forward to.

Academics and extra curricular activities gives youth a sense of purpose and a reason to get up in the morning.

What has saved our family during these challenging times?
The Ranching Lifestyle!

The virus has not directly affected our family. We remain “negative”. But despite this, we have not been immune to quarantine regulations set by our county health department.

Fortunately, you can’t be forbidden from entering your own barn, riding your horse, or racing through your pasture. Even tedious jobs like feeding, watering, grooming, etc. provide a release for built up energy and an escape from the walls of the house.

Animals and the nature around us provide a constant and something stable in their lives. There isn’t a fear of today’s chores being cancelled.

Consistency and Accountability

Farm and ranching kids have lives in that barn or field that are dependent on them. They can’t give up now! Children have a sense of responsibility and a reason to get out of bed, to shut off the electronics, and get fresh air.

Dealing with livestock is rewarding by nature, but even more so during these unstable times for our youth.

Rewards might be indirect, but they’re still present. Animals react to training and handling, and even without participating in a horse competition or offering a horse up for sale, improvements and progress can be seen and felt. The extra effort will eventually be noticed by a judge or potential buyer, and you’ll be reaping the benefits in the meantime.

Going into this pandemic situation in early 2020, we couldn’t fathom what changes we’d face in the year ahead. I’ve always been thankful for my hard-working boys and the lifestyle we live. Covid-19 and the challenges facing our youth in the world today have made me even more grateful for our horses and the outdoor space our ranch provides.

I hope you and your family are safe and healthy. What have you been doing to cope with the pandemic? Please share your thoughts, ideas and tips in the comments.

Related Posts:
Our spirit has been challenged here at the ranch before- read about Casey’s perseverance HERE.
The pandemic didn’t stop us from traveling all together- read about our day at Palo Duro Canyon State Park HERE.

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