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Life Lessons for Kids Learned While Fishing

fishing for salmon with my dadI fished a lot with my dad growing up. From just tossing a line with a red bobber from the shore, to full blown week-long adventures on the high seas, fishing is how I remember most spending time with my dad.

In fact, for his 70th birthday next month, we’re surprising him with a reunion of all the kids and going on a fishing trip for sturgeon in the Fraser River. Very cool.

I’m bringing that sort of quiet, one-on-one time to my relationship with my sons. My oldest caught his first fish last summer, and I immediately realized I am not my father. I squirmed almost as much as my son did with the fish flopping on the deck.

We’ve gone out a few times this summer, and while we have yet to land the big one, there are life lessons to be learned when you go fishing with your kids.

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  • Patience 1 of 8
    Patience
    If your kids get bored easily, take them fishing. They will quickly start to squirm and wander, but hopefully the eventual reward will show them that some things are worth waiting for. My son is impatient, fishing teaches him to sit still ... and wait.
  • Following Rules 2 of 8
    Following Rules
    Fishing can be dangerous. You're near water, there are sharp hooks, and long poles. Hooks are flying through the air, and there's excitement when someone catches a bite. The strict safety that needs to be adhered to is helping my son learn to listen, follow instruction, and be safe.
  • Appreciation of Nature 3 of 8
    Appreciation of Nature
    Unless your idea of fishing is tossing a line in the trout pond at the amusement park, a fishing trip means a walk in the woods, or a boat on a lake. There's no video game, iPod, or distractions. It's birds, insects, sunshine, and fresh air. Getting your kids out and away from the city is always a win.
  • Teamwork 4 of 8
    Teamwork
    There's a lot of gear to lug from the boat or shore to the car. Helping each other out by taking a piece each makes things easier.
  • Everyone Can Play 5 of 8
    Everyone Can Play
    If you're old enough to stand, or sit, you're old enough to fish. While my 5-year-old and I like to do our time early in the morning, when my parents came for a visit we brought our 2-year-old along. It showed my older son that young kids can do fun things too.
  • One-on-One Time 6 of 8
    One-on-One Time
    Since there's nothing to distract your kids when they're fishing, it's just a chance to have real conversations about life and learning. The best times I have with my son are early mornings on the side of a pond just ... talking.
  • Science! 7 of 8
    Science!
    Once your kids get "hooked," you can expand their understanding of the life cycle by taking them to a local fish hatchery.
  • New Foods 8 of 8
    New Foods
    My son is a picky eater. I have hopes that his love of fishing will expand his diet a bit. We have a current bet, if I catch a fish he eats it, and if he catches a fish, I eat it. The best part is it was his idea! Still waiting for the first fish of the season to test the theory.

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Get more DadCAMP on Kid Scoop:

Do You Stick To Bedtime Routines On Vacation?
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