COLUMNISTS

Radke Report: 20 parenting tips from ag moms and dads

Amanda Radke
The Radke Report
Radke

Mom life is everything I hoped and prayed for and nothing I expected. There’s no guide book to raising kids, and at 35-years-old, I find myself raising four kids (ages 8, 6, 5, and 4) on the family’s cattle ranch.

There are days I think I’ve got it all together, and then other days, one or all four of them throw a monkey wrench into the day that totally throws me for a loop.

However, despite the challenges and the ups and downs of raising four children, with very distinct and different personalities, to boot, I feel very blessed to be able to raise my kids in an agricultural setting.

Working together as a family toward a common goal is something that isn’t so easily duplicated off the farm and ranch. Yet, every single day, we get to feed cattle together, eat meals together, learn together, go to agricultural meetings together, and just experience life together in the wide open spaces that our cattle ranch provides.

Yet, we all have those days where nothing quite goes right, and you feel like you’re missing the mark in this parenting gig. I was thinking about this while folding laundry and washing dishes one Saturday morning, and I decided to ask social media for their best parenting advice.

I was pleasantly surprised at some of the suggestions, and I wanted to share them with you in this week’s column. Perhaps you’re in the thick of things as a parent and could use a little encouragement right now. Or maybe you’ll feel nostalgic as you read this tips, thinking of years gone by way too fast.

Either way, I hope you find these 20 tips useful. Please, pass them along to other parents who might benefit from this list:

  1. Above all else, raise them in church. Build their foundation on the rock, and make sure they know who Jesus is.
  2. Get them outside as often as possible.
  3. Responsibilities make great kids.
  4. Let them get dirty!
  5. Include them in everything, even if it takes a million times longer.
  6. Invest time with your kids. You will never regret spending quality time together.
  7. Always be kind, caring, and work hard. Model the behavior and character you would like them to possess, and they will follow your lead.
  8. Bring them along for chores, and let them learn about agriculture from a very young age.
  9. Let them do dangerous things carefully.
  10. Let them be wild!
  11. Set the bar high, and they will rise to the expectation.
  12. Give them grace when they make mistakes. Remember these moments are learning opportunities!
  13. Prioritize family time & know the value of meals spent gathered around the dining room table.
  14. Bored kids make resourceful and creative adults. Save your money on the game systems, and spend it on muck boots and hoodies.
  15. Say “I love you” every single day, no matter what!
  16. Teach your kids to win graciously and use graciously.
  17. Apologize when you need to, and show your kids that even moms make mistakes and is willing to make things right.
  18. Teach your kids the circle of life and where their food comes from.
  19. Set the bar high — be a good human; work hard; get good grades in school.
  20. Love them hard, and remember that even though the days may seem long, the years are so incredibly short. Cherish the time you have together.

What would you add to this list? I would love to hear your advice! Email me your best parenting tips to Amanda.radke@live.com. I look forward to connecting with you!

Amanda Radke is a fifth-generation rancher from Mitchell who has dedicated her career to serving as a voice for the nation’s beef producers. A 2009 graduate of South Dakota State University with a degree in agricultural communications, education and leadership, Radke is a blogger for BEEF Daily blog.