What Makes a Childhood Special? | Guest Post by Suzanne Woods Fisher

“Put the swing back where the children want it; the grass will grow back.” —Amish proverb

I asked my Amish or Amish-raised friends this question: What made your childhood so special?


Copyright Bill Coleman | Used with permission

Here are some responses to that question, in their own words:

“The amount of quality time a family spends together. I was one of thirteen kids. My family had a dairy of sixty cows, and we milked them all by hand, twice a day. I remember being only three or four years old and having the job of holding the cow’s manure-caked tail so it wouldn’t hit my dad’s face as he milked. We would sing songs while we milked—gospel songs, all kinds of songs—in the quiet of that barn.” Mose Gingerich, raised in an Old Order Amish family in Wisconsin.

“I would have to say it’s because we were involved in everything. We worked alongside our parents; we always felt like we were needed and appreciated.” Mary Ann Kinsinger, raised Old Order Amish in Somerset, Pennsylvania. She writes a blog about her childhood.

“We had a farm. Dad was at home. We were all together, out in the country. We were taught a wonderful work ethic. I appreciate it all the more the older I get. It’s a real blessing if you’re taught to work even if you don’t get paid. And finally, I think growing up in a godly home makes an Amish childhood special. Of course, some homes are more godly than others. But I cherished my godly upbringing.” Barbara Weaver, Old Order Amish raised in Napanee, Indiana.

“The quiet. I remember being out in the barn where there was absolute quiet. No radios, no cars, no nothing. Just the sound of the cows lulling and the horses stamping their hooves in their stalls.” Eli Beachey, Old Order Amish raised in Adams County, Indiana.

“There’s a oneness in the home among the Amish,” said Monk Troyer, whose father was a minister in an Old Order Amish church. “Mom and Dad were home. Children were the priority. I know it might not be possible in today’s families to have that. It seems as if they need to have two incomes. But it’s the best thing I can think of about being Amish—Mom and Dad were home.”

Time together as a family. Time with Mom and Dad. Time without electronic distractions. Time to be a child, to play, to learn skills, to explore the natural world. The Amish have a saying: “The best thing you can spend on your children is time.” Just . . . time.

Excerpted from Amish Values for Your Family with permission from Revell Books.

newhomelilySuzanne is graciously giving away a copy of her new book, A New Home for Lily, which released in February! You can get more information about the book here or by going to Lily’s interactive site. Enter using the Rafflecopter widget below. Only those in the continental U.S. are eligible to win.

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  1. What a shame non US citicens can’t participate in the give away. I am one outof four, and the oldest. I have 3 children of my own. The things I remember most from my chilhood is the summers. When we hade to help out more than in the winter. I learnd a lot, thou I never (not even today) got to the point when cleaning gets fun. I wish it would be.

  2. mary ellen ashenfelder says:

    Wonderful giveaway !! I have so many fond memories of my childhooh — playing wiih my friends — family picnics and Sunday rides — fights with my younger sisters 🙂 — Girl Scouts — ahh, those really were the good old days.

  3. My son is 7 and after reading Susann’s page, I’m excited to see what he’ll think about Amish fiction. 🙂

  4. Love hearing these memories of a happy childhood! Thanks for taking the time to read the post and leave your thoughts. Warmly, Suzanne

  5. I loved growing up when I did. More family closeness, without all of the distractions there is today.
    Actually eating together was great. Much love and laughter, as we heard things that had happened through out the day. We walked to school, played board games as a family, and cards. We went places in a wagon, and chased lightning bugs(fireflys) on the way home after dark. We would jump off the back of the wagon, chase some, and run and jump back on. Loved getting to go into town on most Saturdays. It was a small town and we could just rome around. Was lucky at times when we could have a nickel or two. But the drugstore had a fountain where we could sit and order a big double-dip ice cream cone for a nickel. We lived out in the country, so enjoyed visiting with some relatives when we were in town. Was a time when kids could play without so many rules for safety like they have now. And, didn’t have to worry about the kids being taken if they walked some where. A great time to grow up. Great memories! Maxie

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