Many new mothers nowadays are learning the ropes of the game through TikTok and YouTube tutorials. The access to all this information and wide range of experiences has been very eye opening to most, but as coffee farmers don’t spend much time on those platforms, I’ll take it upon myself to give you some insight on how coffee farm moms do it.
Teach by example
For many of us, our mothers have been our first preachers. They’ve taught us right from wrong, good manners, and good habits. At coffee farms, these lessons are taught by example. Motherhood and parenthood in the farms has a strong sense of apprenticeship not only in the professional sense, but also in the personal one. When not in school, children spend their time on the farm navigating through coffee fields and learning the processes their parents run in order to produce good coffee. They learn the hierarchy and organization of the farm, and so much more. Children are witnesses of their parents' lives. They imitate the good and the bad, and often the best way to recognize your flaws is by seeing them in your own children. That’s all due to the fact that children learn by example. It is important for kids to be around their parents because it is in getting to know them and getting to experience life together that children may grow in understanding of the small and big things. How to treat people, how to treat work, how to treat myself, and so much more.
Instill a sense of service
In some areas of the world, children are offered almost infinite opportunities. Anything from choosing between ballet or coding as an after school activity, to Marvel or Lord of the Rings as screen time of choice. The choices for children growing up in coffee farms are much limited but equally enjoyable. There’s a whole attitude shift here. Their opportunities involve less self interest and more community ties. Their options range between playing with the other children in the farm, staying inside and helping mom, and asking dad if I can go cherry picking with him. All these options work around a sense of service and awareness of the community surrounding them. This is an old and valuable principle that forges character.
Disciplined children are happy children
Sleeping in? There’s no such thing at the coffee farms where life is largely dictated by the rhythm of the sun. Getting the latest toys for Christmas or your birthday? Not a thing either. Children growing in coffee farms have a strong sense of what child psychologists call positive discipline. In short, positive discipline means that children are taught what is acceptable behavior in a firm and kind way. Good behavior is not rewarded with gifts or special things; instead, children grow in a sense of belonging and meaning to life. A good example of this approach is teaching your children to do chores not because they simply have to or because there is shame in being dirty, but because setting a proper table and washing dishes thoroughly is a sign of love and respect to the people around us. Grasping the later understanding cultivates long term happiness in children.
And that my friends, is how mothers across coffee farms do it.