To our utter delight, we have watched a number of our young guests, children between the ages of 2 and 10 or so, burst with pride as they master farm chores such as pulling the chicken wagon. With practice and persistence, we have seen these children learn new skills while helping with chores. Increases in self-confidence are clearly visible when a guest picks up Buffy by herself, or leads one of the “dinkeys” by himself. Parents report improvements in self-esteem as well as a generalized willingness to explore new territory and try new challenges. Desirable changes in behavior and feelings can occur for children who come to stay at Hoehn Bend Farm.
One of the most surprising developmental changes that we have witnessed previously, and in the Spring of 2015, two weekends in a row, is that children sleep unusually well at the farm…sleeping through the night…and sleeping alone for the first time (and not with a parent).
What could cause a child to sleep alone for the first time in a strange bed? Is it the greater activity level? (Walking all around the barnyard, many times a day, is a lot of exercise!) Is it the sense of independence and feeling more “grown up” as she feeds our critters? Is it the coziness of the smallest bedroom with the trundle pulled out and the mattress close to the floor? Is it the quiet of the country? Something else?
Whatever combination of factors occurs and causes a child to sleep well pleases us greatly. Parents who get more sleep than usual seem to be pleased too !