This past weekend our 13 year old son had his 4-H achievement with his first animal project. He’s been in 4H for about 4 years combined and had never done an animal before.
He chose to do a market lamb project. The purpose of doing a Market lamb is to be able to auction it off at the end of the project to earn money for both the club and for next years project.
This is Alferd
The above picture is the lamb when he first picked him out. He was about 8 weeks old here.
My son who has ADD poured everything he had into caring for Alferd. They got a pretty strong bond between them. It was so good to see him have a focus on something other then computers. Not that being tech savvy is a bad thing because it isn’t, but for a kid who had ADD and likes things to be in order and can’t stand surprises. It’s been a pretty big deal.
D and his lamb
I watched my son grow while his lamb grew. The barn doesn’t stress him out as much anymore, and he has become a huge help when doing the chores for our own flock of sheep. He’s pretty much in charge of feeding the boy sheep as Alferd was in the pen with them. So he is still continuing to look after the boys now even though Alferd is gone.
With 4-H achievement he had to wash his lamb and brush him out and show him to a judge. He was nervous and poor Alferd was as well. But they got through it and the smile on my boys face when he was able to walk his lamb around the ring during the auction was priceless. My son is already planning a project for next year.
I want to encourage parents that may have a child with ADD, SPD or OCD. They can and do understand way more than we give them credit for. I would encourage you to put them into 4H and get them caring for an animal of their own. It doesn’t have to be a sheep or a cow. It can be a bunny or a chicken. They can even do small engine repair (that was what our son did first). The experience they get from doing things hands on through 4-H is amazing. If you don’t have a 4-H near you, you might have a FAA. Both are great programs and teach kids leadership, animal husbandry, entrepreneurship and most of all how to be a good friend to all.
My son and his first lamb.