Generations of former 4-H and FFA members will tell you about the many life lessons learned from participating when you are young. Children and teens benefit greatly from many different activities that are available to them through school and extracurricular groups. One such life-lesson building activity is showing cattle. Showing cattle is a great way to give someone a structured and purposeful childhood, not to mention many life lessons that can be learned in the process.
Let's get the most obvious one out of the way first; responsibility. Showing cattle requires daily work, a strict schedule, and the consistency to commit even when you don’t feel like it. Cattle must be fed and worked with on a daily basis; bad weather, good weather, rain or shine- cattle (like some teens) respond best to consistency and routine.
With great responsibility comes the need for time management skills. Kids and teens are busier today than they have ever been; sports, homework, spending time with friends- even elementary-aged children have a schedule. Dividing your time up efficiently is a skill cattle showers need to master in order to become successful.
Breaking in and training any animal is hard, but no one is going to make a cow do anything against its own will. The first few months, especially, can be very stressful, and it takes patience and dedication to stick with the training. Learning to be patient is important and can take some time, but if you can be patient enough to train stubborn cattle, you will be more than prepared for working with stubborn people.
Strong Work Ethic
Learning responsibility, time management, and patience will end in one thing- an incredible work ethic. Seeing months of hard work pay off in the end shows kids that consistency and hard work do pay off and that if you want something hard enough and work at it, you can achieve your goals.
Winning Isn’t Everything
On the other hand, hard work does not always pay off. Even the most well-intentioned and dedicated people don’t always finish first. Working hard and losing can teach a person much more than reaping in benefits without much effort. Learning that you won’t always win just because you put in the hard work teaches kids that losing is a part of life just as much as winning. Learning to deal with disappointment is just as important as any other life lesson. Some of the most successful people in the world are not the nicest or most genuine because they never learned to be humble.
Showing cattle isn’t always just about winning or losing. There are many life lessons to be learned along the way. Perhaps the most important lesson of a parent is to show support and let their children learn these lessons on their own.