How to Raise Good Children the Old-Fashioned Way

(former eHow article by Gail Lee Martin)

I raised my six children in the 1950s and 1960s. At that time, it wasn’t uncommon to be a stay-at-home mom. Raising six children was a full-time job.
Here’s my method for raising children.

Live in the country or a small town. Give them animals to raise and teach them to grow a garden.

Shannon_and_Kittens_June_1963 - Copy

This was taken out at the farm north of El Dorado. Shannon turned 5 that June. Owen, the oldest of us, would have just graduated from high school in May.

Teach them varied household skills like baking a muffin, sewing an apron, and decorating a room. Give them chores like ironing, bringing in the firewood or washing the dishes. Everyone contributes to the well-being of the family.

Develop their interests. 4-H is a good organization to introduce children to a variety of projects from photography to cooking, to news writing and many other skills.

Expose them to nature. Let them play in the creek and ramble the pastures. If they like butterflies, teach them to make an insect net, to identify the insects and label them properly. If they bring home an interesting rock, help them learn about geology. Make sure they understand about being kind to animals.

Teach them to love reading. Set an example by reading for your own pleasure. Read aloud to them. Take them to the library. Give them books as gifts.

Teach them resiliency . When they can’t do something, encourage them to try again or try it a different way. Learning not to give up is an important life skill.

Teach them to strive to be the best at whatever they do. Raise rabbits? Make yours the ones winning all the purple ribbons. Like bugs, become a national 4-H winner in entomology and attend the national conference in Chicago.



Shannon Martin with her award-winning insects display at the county fair.

Sit down to eat together. Put food on the table that builds healthy bodies. Use the dinner time to reconnect, catch up on how everyone feels, and to establish family values. Let them know what you think about the news of the day and about events in the neighborhood. This helps them learn what is acceptable and what is not.

Tips & Warnings
Take time to talk to your children. This is how they develop their language skills.
Take time to listen to your children. Keep the lines of communication open into the teen years by talking and listening over the early years.

lynsuz12 on 11/19/2009 – Bravo!!! Children learn what they live. The old-fashioned way is still the best way to do a lot of things.
trillity on 9/19/2009 – Awesome practical advice! Thanks! 🙂
mbailey18 on 9/16/2009 – How refreshing to be reminded of the proper way to raise children. In this day of kids being upset if they aren’t allowed to text message their friends or play video games all day, it is nice to be reminded of the basics. 5 stars and my recommendation
jonhensley said on 9/23/2008 – Good parenting is needed in this ol’ world today. This should be a must read for every new parent.

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