On the road

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Dave

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So yesterday I was on highway 30 headed to the post office. I met a young rancher headed the other direction on a quad. He had his #2 daughter (about 5) sitting in front of him. Pretty quick I saw another quad pull on to the road following him. I thought here comes his wife. I was wrong. It was his oldest daughter (7 or 8). On a full size quad. Wearing a cowboy hat, pony tail flying in the wind. With 3 cow dogs riding on the back of the quad. You might live in ranch country if you see scenes like this with some regularity.
 
Well lets compare this scene to one in town. Ranch girl on full size quad with arms stretched out as wide as she can reach to get to the end of the handle bars. City girl. Riding a small bicycle with training wheels. Ranch girl doing 20 mph down a paved road wearing a cowboy hat. City girl doing 5 mph on the sidewalk wearing a crash helmet. Ranch girl 200-300 yards behind Dad going fast to catch up. City girl with parent 10 feet away constantly telling her to be careful. Ranch girl. Three cow dogs riding on the back of the quad. City girl. A yappy toy poddle following along behind. Actually the dog on a leash held by parent. Which girl is better off?
 
Rural farm and ranch life is such a good experience for children. If they are around their parents working from an early age and brought in on the work then they can learn many valuable skills, and also indirectly life lessons, work ethic and drive.
There are real dangers, but teaching them that and actually disciplining children instead of making excuses goes a long way in teaching responsibility.
The majority of children today are raised in town in front of a tv, phone or some kind of electronic gadget. They pretty much only learn from school and that's woefully lacking on so many levels.
I'd say 18-20 year olds today are less mature and responsible in some ways than 12 year olds 60 or so many years ago.
 
Let's see: Driving an off road 4 wheeler on a highway, illegal. He probably didn't have a helmet. Illegal in most sates. Minor kid with no license driving a 4 wheeler illegally on a highway- illegal. Neither child with a helmet, child endangerment, illegal. That dude could be looking at jail time and possible DFCA intervention on behalf of the kids.

Most cities with sidewalks have a no-bicycle on sidewalk rule. Some don't. So the "city parents" may be in violation of an ordinance. Non -criminal citation.

Which kid is better off?!!! Gotta go with the "city kid" on this one.
 
My son when a freshman in high school was out with the four wheeler selling rafle tickets for sports going as fast as the thing could go. My now ex wife gave him hell for going 50 miles per hour on the thing, and he said it would only do 48 mom. Got to love those country kids; I have to go with the country kids, they are better off than city kids with those helicoper moms.
 
Country kids, at 6 I plowed fields with a Ford jubilee and a two row turning plow. Uncle would put me on it at 5:30 or 6 and would come back at lunch and bring me lunch and get me at dark. Worked 6 days a week during the summer and got paid 50 cents a day. I was driving a 3/4ford truck to town (20 miles) to get a load of corn ground into feed by the time I was 10.
 
Let's see: Driving an off road 4 wheeler on a highway, illegal. He probably didn't have a helmet. Illegal in most sates. Minor kid with no license driving a 4 wheeler illegally on a highway- illegal. Neither child with a helmet, child endangerment, illegal. That dude could be looking at jail time and possible DFCA intervention on behalf of the kids.

Most cities with sidewalks have a no-bicycle on sidewalk rule. Some don't. So the "city parents" may be in violation of an ordinance. Non -criminal citation.

Which kid is better off?!!! Gotta go with the "city kid" on this one.
They would crap their drawers at my childhood.
Killed my first deer at 7. I was hunting by myself.
 
My grandmother told how when she was 4 her brother who was 6 and her herded the milk cows and couple miles to a meadow. Stayed with the cows all day until the sun reached a certain point and then they drove them home. The next year her brother went to another job and she took the cows to the meadow and back by herself. That would have been about 1900.
 
I make no claims to being the youngest, first, whatever. But I was skinning my brother's muskrats at 13 when he got his shoulder dislocated and couldn't do them (he was 11 and had his first "trap line") . We lived in the rural suburbs.... I was babysitting for money at 12, I had experience from 2 younger brothers and a little sister... no fancy baby sitting course.. but there was always an adult a phone call away if there was a real disaster... started working on an egg farm (small only 5,000 layers) at 13, legal for farm work.... had been riding for several years by myself on whatever horse I could beg rides on and earned enough money to buy my own at 15...
Had my son learn to drive the truck at 10 when I moved to Va and was cutting hay with an old single bar sulky type mower... adapted to being pulled by the truck from horse drawn, used a dump rake to first gather the hay into "semi-windrows" and we forked the hay into the truck when dry and then forked it into the hay mow in the homemade leanto barn....
Wish life were that simple and satisfying even if it was alot of hard work... milked my 4 cows by hand and made butter and all that in my 30's after I moved to Va....
 
Let's see: Driving an off road 4 wheeler on a highway, illegal. He probably didn't have a helmet. Illegal in most sates. Minor kid with no license driving a 4 wheeler illegally on a highway- illegal. Neither child with a helmet, child endangerment, illegal. That dude could be looking at jail time and possible DFCA intervention on behalf of the kids.

Not everywhere is the same as where you are it seems. I meet 4 wheelers, motorcycles and side by sides on the roads daily in eastern KY. None are licensed. Many states do not have a helmet law. Not saying it's right or wrong but I doubt many of them are even 16 so not eligible to get a license.
 
I have to consciously avoid the country kid v. city kid comparisons. Kids can't help what environment they're born into.

The division is growing and unlike just a few decades ago, there are a lot of "city" kids that don't have any family or friends to share their rural lifestyle with.

Adopt a city kid and share with them. It's very rewarding.
 
They would crap their drawers at my childhood.
Killed my first deer at 7. I was hunting by myself.
Yeah, but did you drag it home all by yourself with rifle on your shoulder or in your arms? That's what really makes a boy a man...you got to get your kill home.
 
All of my grandkids reside in the city. When they come to visit, for the most part, all they want to do is sit in the house and play with their phones. We encourage them to get outside, explore ,help with chores and enjoy the outdoors. Doesn't take long and they are begging to be outside.
 
A small kid on a full size quad, what could go wrong? I'm all for the farm kid and responsibility thing, less so visiting them in hospitals and funeral homes.
My guess would be it wasn't her first time on the quad. And the first times would have been in low gear out in an open flat pasture. Same girl has been roping calves at brandings on a full size horse for 2 years now. Kids around here start doing that at 7 or so. At first everything stops and everyone is watching out for them. By the time they are 9 or 10 they are just part of the crew.
 
Kids are kids everywhere. Sure, the environment they are raised in can be very different and result in one "side" never understanding the other. We are witnessing this division now. That's why it important to expose them to other sides living experience (within moral and ethical boundaries)
 

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