Fishing is the best way to bond with your kids, and we've got the proof.
No, we aren't exaggerating and we aren't saying that because we bring a biased adoration for the fishing art to the table. Sure, there are days when other activities will be more fun and less frustrating, and there is such a long list of ways to bond with kids, from going for a walk in the woods with them to taking them to see a movie of their choice. Different parents will swear by various ways for earning the title of world's best mom or dad.
However, there are very few activities that balance fun and quality time between kids and parents, with engaging and educational lessons that kids can carry with them for a lifetime.
If you've spent more than a few days at your local fishing pond, you already know about the fun aspect, but not all parents realize just how valuable fishing can be for instilling kids with valuable skills and values.
First and foremost, fishing stresses the importance of patience and hard work. While the same can be said for many childhood sports - in that kids willing to put the time and work into building their skills will be rewarded - fishing, by its very nature, is a game of patience.
There's an immediacy to football and soccer that fishermen would regard as a luxury. Parents who teach their kids the importance of sitting still and biding their time during fishing trips will be able to give positive reinforcement - ostensibly, the thrill of a big catch - for patience, which will in turn translate to everything else kids do.
In short, kids who learn patience from fishing are often more mature, polite, and mild-mannered than other youngsters.
Fishing shared between a parent and a child can also breed an appreciation for nature and for the great outdoors. In the old days, that wasn't as big of a deal as it is now: kids would happily go outside to play, explore, and yes, fish.
Nowadays, with screens in every direction, from computers and TVs to smartphones and MP3 players, kids don't have as much incentive to cultivate a love for nature.
After all, if a kid can experience so much in the digital world, why should he or she take advantage of what the real world has to offer?
Still, there's a lot to be said for getting your children outside, away from the distractions of technology, to enjoy the same hobbies you fell in love with when you were a kid.
As kids get older, they will have to spend more and more time in front of screens - for school, for work, etc. - so helping them to realize a passion for being outside and for fishing right now, before their time is monopolized, will be something they will thank you for in 10 or 15 years.
As long as you make the experience fun and friendly, kids will have no reason not to delve into fishing enjoyment that will follow them throughout their lives.