From the mouths of babes

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MDV WI hunter
 
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From the mouths of babes

Postby MDV WI hunter » Mon Mar 30, 2009 6:40 am

OK - I've started exposing my 4 year old son to hunting, he came with me target shooting and now that I've purchased a bow he's been involved helping me get that set up as well.  We look at mags together and hike in the woods a lot all of which I explain the ins and outs of hunting and ethics.  Well, today I get a call from momma with the "do you know what your son just did" tone. (Stay at home mom)  Sure enough, he drew a picture of the both of us with arrows shot through.....  The explanation was that he "bow and arrowed" me then "bow and arrowed" him - very matter of factly and frustrated that mom was questioning him. (Mom didn't like that I laughed out loud either)  Has anyone had this situation with their children?  I thought I was doing a good  job explaining the safety of weapons and the why's of hunting, maybe he's a little to immature to handle the subject yet?  Looking for some advice...
 
Mike
Do or do not, there is no try - Yoda

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Everyday Hunter
 
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RE: From the mouths of babes

Postby Everyday Hunter » Mon Mar 30, 2009 7:30 am

I would not say there is a set age when a child can handle these issues, but 4 might be a little young for most. Don't assume he is ready for anything. Be in a constant state of evaluation of him, and be willing to have him wait. (It doesn't sound like this is true with you, but sometimes we parents want something for our kids that they are not ready for, and we're doing it for ourselves even more than we're doing it for them.)

One of the things that most good dads have going for them is that Junior admires Dad and wants to be like him, so there is a natural affinity that you can build on. Make all your trips to the woods interesting, and not too long, and explain everything you can. Teach respect for the land and the animals it supports. At that age, I'd suggest target practice, but not to use 3D targets. Remind constantly of the danger of the weapons. Teach him the rules, and "test" him by asking him things like, "Do you remember the rule about where to point your gun?" Affirm every correct response, and use wrong answers as a teaching opportunity. Affirm him every time he demonstrates that he has learned, and correct him gently when he shows evidence that he has not learned.

We have to remember that we live in a different day than when most of us came up. Video games, one thing I wasn't exposed to as a kid, seem to me to convey some wrong ideas about life and death. Maybe that's why I don't much like video games about hunting. Plenty that is on television conveys a lack of respect for life. Maybe that's why I don't much like watching crime shows. Hunting is viewed by many today as a violent sport. Do not allow him to view hunting that way.

I'd say begin to involve him in the things you do, but don't overwhelm him. Intentionally set the stage so that he yearns for hunting, and begins to see it as a privilege and an honor to go with you. Don't let him take it for granted.

I'm sure others have some good ideas worth hearing. This should be a good thread.

Steve
When the Everyday Hunter isn't hunting, he's thinking about hunting, talking about hunting, dreaming about hunting, writing about hunting, or wishing he were hunting.
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msbadger
 
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RE: From the mouths of babes

Postby msbadger » Mon Mar 30, 2009 8:37 am

Thats a tough one...Mr. B is more into the guns and I the bow so I taught the kids to bow hunt and in NY they could get into big game hunting earlier that way 14....but we didn't expose the kids to the weapons until I had them in 4-H and learning about farm life and death....helping to kill and clean rabbits and chickens...truely knowing what taking the life of a living thing meant....having them take care of the babies and birthing of the kids...It gave them a respect for the power of helping to bring in life and taking it away and the finality of doing so...both the kids are very choosie about what they shoot...EDH is right kids today are bombarded with death ...blood and gore and haven't a clue as to what it is in reality...I think it gave our kids a true thankfulness for the animals that helped feed them....aaahhh but then again if it was stray and on the side of the road ...it came home..[&o]

MDV WI hunter
 
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RE: From the mouths of babes

Postby MDV WI hunter » Mon Mar 30, 2009 8:56 am

Good stuff, keep it coming. 
 
Granted he's 4, but he isn't allowed to play video games nor will he and TV is limited and monitored.  I didn't consider the fact that just because I'm doing it he will have a natural tendency to want to do it, the more I think about that statement the more I realize that will help gauge if he's truly interested.  I think back to when I was a kid, dad put up a pool for my sister and I.  All was great for about a year, the second year we wanted to go swimming, dad said clean the pool first and we decided we didn't want to swim if we had to clean it first, the pool came down that summer!!!
 
Grandma and Grandpa are dairy farmers and we live very close so exposure to "real life" will defintely be used as a teaching tool.  I really respect that approach and I feel it grounds children, gives them a healthy respect for life and hard work.  I remember baling hay in 90 degree heat, wagon after wagon.  Gave me appreciation for what people do for a living.
 
Thanks for input, I really appreciate it.
 
 
Do or do not, there is no try - Yoda

Squirrelhawker
 
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RE: From the mouths of babes

Postby Squirrelhawker » Mon Mar 30, 2009 9:23 am

Totally agree with the statement re giving them stuff as they can handle it. That often entails giving them the 4yr old version of life and death and then going over it again at 6yr,etc. The key with all of this I believe is to make it a part of life and not make a big deal out of.
 
When my 12 yr old daughter was big enough to play in the backyard, she was big enough to "help" hang and butcher. No fanfare,no concern for her tender pysche, just "come here and grab a hold." As we went along I answered questions as they came the best I could. She began to see and learn the process as it became a part of her life. As with all child rearing, if mom and dad are not on the same page, there will be trouble.
 
As to firearms, same thing. All as they can absorb it. As to the arrows in the human pictures, I would not show either disapproval nor humor at that age. Like training a good dog, there is a time to be neutral about some things. 
 
Inside most little boys beats a warriors heart. This is good. They will need it. Pick a time, for it will come, when everyone must decide that guns and bows are for target practice and killing game and thus "cowboys and Indians" type play must turn into "hunter and the hunted" in order for real training to occur.

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RE: From the mouths of babes

Postby Everyday Hunter » Mon Mar 30, 2009 9:34 am

ORIGINAL: Squirrelhawker

As to the arrows in the human pictures, I would not show either disapproval nor humor at that age. Like training a good dog, there is a time to be neutral about some things.

Very good advice. We often make the choice between pro or con, when neutral is sometimes the right choice.

Steve
When the Everyday Hunter isn't hunting, he's thinking about hunting, talking about hunting, dreaming about hunting, writing about hunting, or wishing he were hunting.
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MDV WI hunter
 
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RE: From the mouths of babes

Postby MDV WI hunter » Mon Mar 30, 2009 10:40 am

ORIGINAL: Squirrelhawker
Inside most little boys beats a warriors heart. This is good. They will need it. Pick a time, for it will come, when everyone must decide that guns and bows are for target practice and killing game and thus "cowboys and Indians" type play must turn into "hunter and the hunted" in order for real training to occur.

 
Well put and interesting you should mention that.  He'll be signed up for Karate lessons soon, I'm a big believer in knowing how to defend yourself when needed.  I trained Muay Thai fighters in college and trained in Jujitsu for awhile.  It's a very primal & spiritual thing and I pray to God I never have to use, but I know if I needed to, I could.
Do or do not, there is no try - Yoda

MDV WI hunter
 
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RE: From the mouths of babes

Postby MDV WI hunter » Tue Mar 31, 2009 6:36 am

Well, it happened.  The wife was out and about so it was just me and kids.  My son runs up to me and says Dad, watch what I can draw. (On a doodle pad)  He draws us (as sticks) and then shoots the arrow through.  I thought, here's my chance.  With some very gentle explanation I describe how we should be focusing on shooting a target not people.  He didn't agree and ran off.  Not more than 5 minutes went by when he returned and drew a target and then shot it like he'd always been doing that.  Amazing how their little minds work.  This then launched into a discussion about gun and bow safety which he retains quite well from our previous conversations.
 
I really focused on being neutral to what he was saying and it really seemed to work.  The fact that he came back to draw like nothing had happened really set it for me, thanks for the input and I'll keep you posted on future endeavors.
 
Story I'd like to share regarding children.  I was on a large machine install and talking with one of the riggers.  He hunted and fished so we had a lot to talk about, his son was about 5 at the time.  They were out for a hike and came upon a pond with some ducks on it.  He preface the story with he would let his son carry a small pocket knife on the walks.  Well, the son says "Dad, do you think we could sneak up on those ducks and I could grab one and stab it! Dad, those are the things I think about."  I forget how he handled it but that was a great laugh, you have to love kids....
Do or do not, there is no try - Yoda

jamie9mm
 
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RE: From the mouths of babes

Postby jamie9mm » Tue Mar 31, 2009 9:54 am

    Never to young in my opion! I have thre kids ages 9 6 4. The 9 year old went to a public riffle range for the first time when he was 3. I had no one to show me when I was growing up had to learn it all by my self. Having said that I could not wait until I could show the ropes to my kids.
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     I think maybe what I would have done in your situation is just correct him and use that as a learnig experince. Keep doing what your doing its sounds like your a good dad and the world needs a few more of those. If your wife is the problem then get her involved and teach her too.  Thats what I did and worked well for me.         

Squirrelhawker
 
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RE: From the mouths of babes

Postby Squirrelhawker » Tue Mar 31, 2009 1:06 pm

ORIGINAL: MDV WI hunter

"Dad, do you think we could sneak up on those ducks and I could grab one and stab it! Dad, those are the things I think about."  I forget how he handled it but that was a great laugh, you have to love kids....



Right attitude, wrong approach [;)]

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