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Responsibility. It’s a big word with big meaning, and here at our homestead responsibility means life or death. Both of the boys have the privilege and burden of responsibility. Each of them have their own individual chores, and a few collaborative ones too. It is their responsibility to ensure their chores are done and done well, and if they aren’t then we feel the consequences. If the chickens don’t get adequate food and water then we don’t get eggs to enjoy for breakfast, for example.

A boy picking up a chicken

Now of course, as parents, Mitch and I have the responsibility of ensuring the kids do what they are supposed to. So together, we all work to share the load, and we all enjoy the fruits of our labour and the quality connections — to our food, to our land, to our animals, and to each other— we make by putting in effort each day. Responsibility isn’t something you’re born with. It’s something that is learned. It’s something that is earned. And giving our children the opportunity to learn the value of responsibility has also taught them the true meaning of the expression “you reap what you sow”. I love my boys with every ounce of me. And I don’t want them to be unhappy, and annoyed and frustrated…. I want to spare them from every negative emotion. But, that would be doing a disservice to them. Without responsibilities, and the negative emotions that inevitably arise from time to time, my boys wouldn’t be who they are today. Capable, confident, determined, passionate, empowered, connected, caring, contributing, responsible little men who are growing up knowing the importance of responsibility through and through.


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