At its heart, the practice of fishing isn’t just about making a big catch or finding an excuse to take a new boat out on the lake. In fact, a day out fishing can provide families with many truly wonderful ways to bond and learn more about nature. Here are just six ways that fishing teaches your child important life skills, and why your next family fishing trip might just be a life-changing experience for everyone involved.
1. Fishing Teaches Patience
As any angling aficionado will tell you, patience is a skill that is central to the art of fishing. In locations that are particularly challenging, entire days can go by without anglers getting a single bite.
So what can children learn about patience from experiences like these?
In today’s world, many children are inundated with a culture of instant gratification: Thanks to the television, film, and music industries, many children genuinely believe that everything in life should come easily and without effort.
In fishing, however, that kind of attitude is quickly revealed for what it really is. To become adept at the sport of fishing, individuals will need to learn much about patience. In today’s hyperactive culture, that is a very powerful lesson for children to learn.
2. Fishing Teaches Problem-Solving Skills
For the most part, catching a fish isn’t an easy process; anglers will need to consider what type of bait or fly that they will use to lure a fish in; they’ll need to consider what type of cast they’ll use to reach difficult places where fish congregate; they may even have to consider why certain fish are eating what they’re eating.
To wit, the process of fishing is in many ways like the process of solving a puzzle, and the learning skills that children will develop while angling can be put to very good use in a variety of other situations. Have a kid who is struggling to complete homework assignments? Take them fishing and show them that approaching a problem from a different angle is often incredibly valuable.
3. Fishing Teaches Children About the Importance of Family Time
There can be little doubt that families who fish together often learn a lot about the importance of spending time in one another’s company. In today’s world, that is often a more difficult lesson to teach than most parents might realize: In most households, in fact, a multitude of distractions such as televisions, computers, and smartphones can make it very difficult to get quality family time. Out in nature, however, most of those distractions simply don’t exist. That kind of concentrated family time is worth more than gold!
4. Fishing Teaches Stress-Management Techniques
At the end of a long workweek, many people are content to simply kick back and turn on the television. Unfortunately, this form of “stress relief” usually does very little to actually relieve any stress.
Conversely, getting out in nature actually allows individuals to put their workplace stressors on the back-burner for a while. At a time when young students are expected to push themselves harder than ever in school, a good lesson in stress-relief can be an extremely useful learning experience for children. There is certainly a time to worry about one’s responsibilities, but learning how to let off steam is an equally important life-lesson.
5. Fishing Engenders a Love of and Respect for Nature
Due to lax laws, many of our country’s most beautiful fields and streams are becoming more and more polluted in recent years. While out fishing on a family trip, children will directly see the effect that their behavior has on the environment. That can be an incredibly powerful lesson in environmental stewardship and good citizenship, and it’s just one reason why so many parents now encourage their kids to take up fishing as a hobby.
6. Fishing Teaches Humility
As anglers, most of us have had to learn that we must approach nature with a sense of humility and respect: There are no do-overs in a lightning storm. Too often, however, kids tend to be sheltered from the natural world and its sheer scale and power. In small doses, the kind of humility that kids will learn on fishing trips will act as a wonderful tonic in the character-building process. Truly, that is fishing at its best