Everyone has heard of Amish culture, but most people probably don't have very much information about the way that Amish families raise their children. Even if people don't know a lot about Amish families, they know that the Amish seem to live an old-fashioned life with old-fashioned values... but that's probably about it since the details about the Amish aren't talked about in mainstream culture. Everyone has learned a bit more about this way of life thanks to the reality TV series Breaking Amish which aired on TLC from 2012 until 2o17.
The more that people learn about the Amish, the more that they might find that there are some things that make a lot of sense, especially when it comes to raising kids. Parenting can be a very personal thing, and while one family feels that what they are doing is a great idea, the next family would say that they are doing a lot of things wrong, simply because it's not what they chose to do. It's definitely best not to judge and to be open to various styles of parenting.
Here are 25 things that the Amish do that make total sense and what it's really like to grow up Amish.
All moms want is for their children to be polite. That's definitely why manners are such a key aspect of raising kids, particularly when kids are toddlers. We can learn how to raise polite children from the Amish because this is something that is crucial to them.
According to Planting Seeds Book, "Children of Amish are normally well-behaved. Even if there are exceptions, normally they discern to speak when needed, and normally keep quiet in front of strangers or somebody else."
If there is one thing that matters a lot to Amish families, it's having a community around. This makes a lot of sense, right?
As How To Adult explains, "One of the cornerstones of the Amish culture and raising children is the mentality that it takes a village to get the job done right. Amish communities tend to be close-knit groups of people, so parents are surrounded by family members and friends who are willing to pitch in and help watch the children."
According to How To Adult, parents in Amish families prefer not to come up with ways to deal with misbehaving kids when they're mad. This is a good lesson for all parents because not doing anything when you're mad sounds really logical.
As the publication explains, "Amish parents don't discipline their children when they're angry. Instead, they wait until the anger has passed before guiding their child's behavior."
We might not have known this because it's not one of the aspects of Amish culture that is discussed the most, but it's definitely good to hear about.
If there is one aspect about Amish family life that we know about, it's that they don't use much technology.
USA Today quote the Young Center who explains this in more detail, "Most Amish groups forbid owning automobiles, tapping electricity from public utility lines, using self-propelled farm machinery, owning a television, radio, and computer, attending high school and college, joining the military, and initiating divorce.
Many of us think that kids today spend too many hours each day with screens, so we can understand wanting to cut down on technology. It makes sense because kids should have time to play and learn and do other things.
According to Planting Seeds Book, the Amish want their children to work. Not only that, but Amish parents will have their children give them the money that they earn.
This honestly makes a lot of sense, right? When we think about it, if our kids work, they might spend the money on candy or other fun things. We totally get it and we did the same thing. But if we spend the money that they make on things that the whole family can enjoy (or even use it to help with the grocery bills that we rack up each week), that seems really logical.
There are many values that Amish parents teach an Amish kid.
According to How to Adult, "Even before an Amish child is old enough to start schooling, his parents begin guiding his behavior so he learns humbleness, gentleness, self-control, meekness and anger management."
These are all values that moms want to instill in their children, whether they are Amish or not, and no matter how they are choosing to raise their family. This is definitely an aspect of Amish family life that makes a lot of sense.
According to USA Today, the Amish don't believe in photos.
Moms could see this as a good idea, especially for younger kids and pre-teens. After all, we don't think that selfies are the best thing, do we? No, definitely not. We see so many kids taking selfies of themselves when they could be spending their time doing something more productive. Our society and culture seem so caught up in taking the perfect selfie these days, and it would be nice to ease up on that pressure. There are more important things in life than taking photos.
It can be tough for moms to see their little ones growing up. So many of us look at our kids and think, "Where did the time possibly go?!" and you often hear a new mom say that she would love for time to freeze so her baby could stay a cute little baby.
The Amish know that their kids will grow up and this is something that is encouraged and nurtured. As Crosswalk explains, "Amish people work to prepare their children for productive adult lives by giving them age-appropriate opportunities to take on new responsibilities, make their own decisions, and learn from their mistakes." This is a really nice approach.
For Amish families, a rainy day is an awesome opportunity to stay home and get things done.
Taste of Home explains, "While we can drive our cars to work in any weather, the Amish take rainy days as opportunities to work in the home. They spend time writing letters, reading, sewing and cleaning until the weather is clear enough to go back outside."
How logical, right? We always say that we have too much to do, but when we're stuck inside, we should definitely get inspired by the Amish and do some things around the house.
You want your children to know that when something happens that they didn't want or expect, they can always pick themselves up.
The Amish teach their kids resilience and to keep trying. As Fatherly says, "Sometimes you need to tell your child they need to literally get back up on that horse. One day a few kids went to go ride horses, but they went too far and some of them got hurt. Instead of yelling at the kids, they were told, “You need to get back on the horse so the horse doesn’t win — otherwise you’ll be scared for the rest of your life.”
Another thing that many have said that the Amish value is quality family time.
Whenever we read anything about Amish families, we learn that they love to spend time together and they do this very often. This is something that makes sense to every parent. With work, school, chores, planning dinner, grocery shopping, and activities, it doesn't always seem simple to carve out this family time. But the Amish always do, and we can remember that and make sure to make time in our schedules.
It's adorable when children get creative and really enjoy it, whether they are drawing or doing another kind of art project. That's why so many moms encourage their little ones to get crafty on a regular basis.
If you do this, then you have this in common with Amish families because getting creative is seen as a good idea. As Amish Mennonite Quilts says, "Creativity is also allowed in Amish schools and many children will learn to draw, make crafts, or write poetry."
Taste of Home writes about how the Amish have a big weekly meal: "They meet as a larger group once a week, often including the church community or extended family for Sunday suppers. These traditions ensure that even the busiest of people spend time with the ones they love, an approach you can carry into your own home."
This is really nice and something that makes a ton of sense. We really do all have packed days, but it's crucial to connect with others. This is a great thing for moms to remember to plan on a weekly basis. Once a week is definitely doable.
No parent wants their child to compete with others, but unfortunately, it is something that happens. It's not something that happens in Amish families, though, which is really awesome.
As Amish Mennonite Quilts explains, "The Amish are allowed to play many of the same games that other children do, like baseball and soccer, but they are not played competitively. Amish schools do not promote the ideas of ambition, competition, and pride. They believe that every member of the Amish community has value and to pit one member against another, even during playtime, creates negativity and directs focus to the individual rather than the group."
The Amish go to bed early, which is something else that moms can definitely agree is a great idea. Everyone has had the experience of your kid asking to go to bed later and later, and you know that they need their beauty sleep.
Amish Mennonite Quilts says, "Since the Amish do not allow electricity in their homes, they are dependent upon gas or kerosene lighting. This generally limits the types of activities that they can participate in during the nighttime hours, so bedtimes are usually much earlier than those in non-Amish homes."
The Amish make sure to keep laughing and to have senses of humor, according to Crosswalk.
Moms can say that this is an awesome idea. When you're a parent, there are definitely moments throughout the day when you know that you should laugh so you don't get too upset or stressed out. Having a sense of humor is always going to be a good idea, and it's really admirable that Amish families maintain this. This is something else that we might not know, but we're so glad that we do.
Yahoo says that Amish families have children do things for themselves. Serena B. Miller wrote a book about Amish culture, and she was quoted in a Yahoo story: "One example is simply hanging their own coats. Miller says one creative mother used positive reinforcement for this task by hiding a treat in a coat that a child had hung up. “The children knew that coats left lying about would get no treat,” says Miller."
That's a great idea, especially since treats are often an amazing motivator for children. We all want our kids to do more things around the house.
Play is a huge part of a child's life. Our children play with toys, they play games, and they are often caught up in their big imaginations.
The Amish children play, too, but they learn about safety at the same time, which is really cool. As Amish Mennonite Quilts explains, "Children are allowed time to play during the working months, but often the games they play serve a dual purpose. Safety games are played in order for the children to learn how to safely live on a farm."
According to Crosswalk, the Amish think that nature is amazing and they are outside a lot.
This is something else about Amish family life that makes a lot of sense. Parents are always saying that they wish that their children would power down those screens and spend more time in nature, so this not only makes sense but seems like the best thing to do. There are definitely so many good reasons to get outside, from the fact that fresh air makes you feel better and can be a huge mood booster to the fact that it's more fun to play games outside than inside.
Taste of Home notes that the Amish don't encourage picky eaters. As the publication explains, "Many Amish families have little spare money, so food is sometimes scarce. Because of this, many of their children are taught to eat whatever is given to them, whether they like it or not."
This is another aspect of Amish family life that we think seems super logical. We often think that some kids are just naturally picky and that there is nothing to be done but this makes us realize that it's a good idea to have kids be less picky and act differently at the dinner table.
According to Cleveland.com, everyone in an Amish family does chores together, even when children are two years old.
Yes, that's true: two years old start doing chores.
Not every parent will agree that a two-year-old is old enough to help out around the house or backyard but it is really good that kids learn to help out. It's nice that everyone bands together and does this as a team, and we could learn a few things from this for sure.
The Amish also teach their kids new things, like cooking and carpentry, according to Crosswalk.
It's wonderful to teach children new skills and to help them discover what they are good at and what they like doing. Based on this, it sounds like the Amish respect their children since they believe that they are capable of learning new things. Moms can be inspired by this and help their kids learn to cook because we know that kids really enjoy helping out in this way.
Amish families also believe that helping others is a really good thing to do.
As Cleveland.com says, "Amish families are huge. Friends are in and out of each other's homes constantly, to help out or socialize. So Amish are never lonely. Their kids grow up surrounded by people who love them and share their family's values."
That sounds really nice, doesn't it? This is something to be inspired by and to remember as we raise our children because having a team surrounding us is only going to be a good thing.
Did we know that the Amish love surprise parties? It's true and this is something that they hold very dear.
Taste of Home explains, "Throwing surprise parties is an Amish tradition. When someone in the community is turning 21, the Amish age of adulthood, their family plans a surprise party and tells the rest of the town. The secret? The party is thrown as early as a month in advance so that the person with the birthday never sees it coming!"
We love this idea so much, particularly how far ahead they are scheduled, and we're going to think about this for sure.
Rumspringa is a big part of being an Amish teenager (it means "running around").
USA Today explains, "According to the Young Center, it is the time, beginning at about age 16, when youth socialize with their friends on weekends. Rumspringa ends with marriage. Apart from introducing young men and women to one another, this period is an important time when Amish youth need to decide if they will be baptized and join the church, which usually occurs between 18 and 21, or leave the Amish community."
This is when teens decide on their future: they will leave or stay. This is an interesting idea since teens do make decisions during high school about their future. This is one of the many things that we can learn from Amish families, and it's something that makes a lot of sense.