By Montana Grant

Posted: October 17, 2020

After over 40 years in education and parenting, I have learned a few things about what works and what does not. It is just like fishing. If you are not getting a nibble or getting snagged a lot, its time to change baits, lures, or presentation.

Fishing and Hunting are wonderful metaphors for how to teach our kids to be their Best! Just like fishermen, parents enjoy and welcome new tips and ideas o how to be the best parent, friend, or mentor that they can be. Who would not?

Sadly, there are those that set kids up for failure. Their poor example, lack of respect, control, ethics, or simply good behavior are lacking. You know who and what I mean. It starts with leaving a trashy campsite. Next, its vandalism, foul language, disrespect, and just being mean. Shooting road signs, damaging vault toilets, stealing from campsites, trespassing, poaching, speeding, drinking, drugs, alcohol abuse, and so much more.

Hatred begins this way. Kids are not born Bigots, racists, poachers, criminals, or thugs. These behaviors and more are taught. When a parent or role model does drugs, cusses, litters, vandals, shows disrespect, is rude and mean, they are simply displaying what they were taught. They follow good and bad examples.

When children learn to devalue nature, wildlife, and other things, they then devalue anyone and everything.

No parent wants their kids to be rotten but… Authority, responsibility, manners, respect, and honesty are taught by parents. Not having two parents is no excuse. One strong parent can lead the way. It certainly helps to have a village or two parents. As easy as it is to teach bad habits, you can teach good ones. Just be consistent.

People Choose to be good or Bad. Use the outdoors sports, fishing, hunting, and fun as a tool to promote success and good behavior. If you do this then we do that. Bad behavior is punished by staying home or indoors. Usually the threat is enough. Bad and good behavior is all about Bad and Good choices. The behavior is the responsibility of the kid. Eventually the choice is so simple that you end up celebrating life outdoors together.

When people cuss, its because they are too ignorant to know what else to say. When people cheat, its because they are lazy. When they steal its because they are cheap. When someone poaches, its because they are lousy hunters and fishermen. Loud annoying, aggression is about being a coward. Normally, what you see is the opposite of what the truth is.

Hunting and fishing is about sport. There are rules, limits, rights, and wrongs supported by skills and fun. Great responsibility and safety are rewarded by great fun and memories. Filled tags and full limits,  are report cards that say you passed.

Montana Kids are great outdoorsmen. Use the outdoors as motivation and bait to teach them to be respectful, honest, responsible, intelligent, and polite citizens. There is just something about the outdoor classroom that makes the learning more fun and meaningful.

Life lessons last a lifetime.

Montana Grant

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