If at first you don't succeed... Smile and cast again!
The day started a bit slowly for this go getter. The classic waiting kid, pitifully gazing out the window, contemplating the horribly unfair nature of life. Cool and rainy, we had to practice a little patience before it was time to head to Grandpa's boat. It's not easy being 4, all this waiting around... But after 15 punishing minutes, the eternity mercifully ended. Whew.
Let's be honest, we have yet to find a living creature that Vivian won't try to play with. Everything is a new friend. Whether it's snakes in our yard (yes, that's happened!) or small turtles at the Lake, living things are Viv's buddies deserving of affection. Naturally we can't go fishing without first making some reptilian acquaintances..
“Be careful with your fingers around his mouth - he will bite you! No really, Viv. Stop poking his head.”
Before we left, we worked on our rod and reel skills catching crappies off the dock. You have to be realistic with a four year old's coordination. You can't take for granted that you've been fishing for years, and that any style of fishing pole is second nature for you. For a kid, a spin cast, spinning reel, and a baitcaster are all mountains to climb at the onset. Practice really does make perfect! The more they are around different fishing tools, the more experience they get, and the easier it all becomes.
Learning the Ropes
Viv's been fishing many times with Dad, and while she's very good for her age, she's still working on the most important
skill of patience. If the fish aren't biting right away, she's been known to abandon ship (pun intended) in search of more action. Immediate gratification might run in the family... (Oops.) Inherited traits aside, this is a great opportunity to harness a child's focus and help them become more mentally tough. Hey, kids are kids, and maturing has only just begun! But the sooner they learn to stick with challenging tasks, even through the tedious parts, the more all areas of their life will benefit. And for us, it's especially important Vivian works on listening skills and patience with hunting season around the corner... No one needs a boisterous kid in the blind with a beautiful bunch of Greenheads working! Least of all her father.
And then, of course, there's driving Grandpa's fishing boat. We won't even pretend that fishing is as fun for our little adrenaline junkie as this added bonus to being on the water. Sorry, fish. Fast boats and revving engines win. For now.
If at first you don't succeed...just get it done! Thanks for saving the day, Dad. Not the biggest bass, but that makes no difference. There's a nice n' slimy fish in the boat and the world is right again. Whether you have 30 minutes or 3 hours, get those youngins' in the fresh air. The smallest efforts make the biggest difference!
And last but not least, set them up for success. One of the best ways to commit new lessons to memory for a kid is to encourage them to teach other kids. Let them learn with their hands and their imaginations, and above all else, make sure they're having FUN!!