Five lessons kids learn from fishing

Kids learn obvious skills when fishing, like how to bait a hook and how to cast a line. But as you sit quietly together, they learn other important life-lessons as well—ones you might be overlooking.

Five lessons kids learn from fishing

1. I'm important

Today's parents are busy. Between multiple jobs, shuttling everyone from one place to another after school, and fulfilling club and community responsibilities, there are few things a harried parent would rather do on a brisk Saturday morning than sleep in. But by getting up and taking your tot fishing, instead of sleeping in, gives your child the message, "I'm important."

2. Nature is worth discovering

Whether you're stretched out on a grassy knoll or perched aboard a gently swaying canoe, fishing is one of the few pastimes that allow you and your youngster to commune one-on-one with nature's amazing canvas. Toes in cool grass, eyes on a crystal-blue sky, and the smell of scotch pine lingering on the breeze are memories worth making.

3. Patience pays off

Children are impatient by design, and that "want it and want it now" mentality is a given anytime kids are involved. But tots who fish either learn the fine art of waiting patiently, or they forfeit the whole game. This is the one sport that rewards kids for being patient, for waiting quietly, and for persevering in the face of defeat.

4. Success requires practice and skill

Like in any other sport, those who reel in the biggest fish are the ones who've practised the most. They've mastered the technical skills involved with fishing, such as the best time of day to fish, where to cast the line, and which lures work the best. Engaging regularly in any sport gives you the leg up on your competition, and fishing is no exception.

5. Relaxation matters

Unlike other games that require chasing after a ball or jumping hurdles, fishing is a sport of relaxation. Learning how to sit back and clear your mind is an important skill that many of today's adults, especially parents, have forgotten how to do. Teaching your kids to unplug, unwind, and just be for an hour or two could actually lengthen their life. It could lengthen yours too.

Keep in mind

The next time you feel a little guilty over spiriting your youngster off for a day of aimless fishing, remember these five lessons. You're not loafing; you're teaching. And that makes all the difference.

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