Let’s face it, we all misbehaved as children. That was part of being a kid. Sometimes we did not display the proper manners around others and someone would ask “were you born in a barn?” There is a reason for that.

When early settlers arrived in North America on the land they wanted to claim the first structure that would be constructed was the barn. The barn offered not only a safe haven to keep what food they had out of the elements but also a safe place to shelter and house their livestock. The last thing any farmer on the frontier wanted was for their oxen or horses to run away or to be stolen. The barn also offered a place of refuge for the family as they built the farm from the ground up.

Growing up on the frontier was not easy. If you needed a tool often times you had to make it yourself. Meals came from what was grown yourself or traded with someone else. These were not five course meals at the local five star restaurant. You ate whatever was put in front of you off of whatever you had for a plate or bowl. For many families the number of farmhands consisted of the number of children and it was not uncommon for families to be large and because of that, many children were born in the barn since the house was not yet complete. It was not an easy life, but for many settlers this was the first prospect of their family owning land and that drove them on.

So when someone asked you if you were born in a barn, it was a gentle reminder for you to use better manners and improve your behavior. Also, take a moment to reflect on how good you actually have it.