Children need equal recognition
My husband and I have two sons and a daughter — all adults now.
The boys have chosen to come back to the station where they are preparing to be the next generation to take over.
We are in the process of setting up a succession plan for this to occur in the next few years.
Our daughter has opted for a career in accounting and lives in Perth.
We didn’t put pressure on them as to what decision they made, although many people felt we were wrong in regards to the boys coming home directly from boarding school. However they had to do what made them happy.
I just realised the other day there is one big difference though, in the way we have treated the three of them.
We acknowledged all three with graduation presents when they completed Year 12. From there on, things changed. When our daughter got into uni and a uni college, we congratulated and rewarded her.
When she graduated from uni, we did the same and just recently, when she received a promotion at work, my first thought was, “what shall we do to acknowledge her achievement?”
Yet our sons who have gone from young boys learning constantly about running a station to the men they are today, more than capable of running the property without us, haven’t really had the same acknowledgement.
Yes, they have had pay rises, but that’s not the same, as all workers get (or should get) regular pay rises. We haven’t actually acknowledged their wonderful achievements over the past 10-15 years.
Other people have, firstly by wanting to constantly employ our boys when we aren’t busy, and secondly, by complimenting their work ethic, manners and behaviour to us.
It makes us incredibly proud, but I’m not sure we have done enough to make the boys aware of that. So we intend to remedy that soon — just how I’m not sure, but we will. It isn’t that our boys seek this acknowledgement or reward from us as parents. In fact I think they will probably be totally embarrassed.
But in their hearts I hope they will know that while they may not have any certificates on the wall or a formal title, we couldn’t be any more proud of them.
This is not about boys versus girls, about who farms and who doesn’t. It’s about acknowledging all our children equally.
The clan: Kenneth, Clyde, Raelene, Kelly and Matthew Hall.