Fishing with kids: Giving ‘em room to grow
As parents, sometimes – OK, most of the time – it’s just easiest to do things for our kids. They should learn to wash the dishes, of course, but it’s a heck of a lot easier to send them off to play and do it ourselves.
I was thinking about that during a couple of Memorial Day weekend fishing trips with our kids, now 4 and 6.
When the weekend began, often as not I’d simply cast out and try to hook a fish. There was no shortage of bass, crappies, and sunfish. I’d set the hook and once I was certain the fish was hooked, I’d hand over the rod and say, “Go ahead and reel it in.”
The kids enjoyed fighting the fish, but after a while, they both wanted to use a rod. I continued to cast for them because I wanted to spend the weekend fishing, not removing hooks from kids’ skin. Then a funny thing happened. Pretty soon, they started to catch fish without my help. And it was a heck of a lot more rewarding for them to hook and reel in their own fish.
Perhaps they lost a few fish because they didn’t set the hook at the right time, or didn’t set it at all. Maybe they missed their bobbers going down because they were more concerned with pointing out shells on the bottom or asking about the bird that just flew by. In the end, it didn’t really matter.
The important thing was getting out of their way and allowing them to bask in their own success. Sometimes, it’s amazing what kids can do when you just give them a little room.