5 Lessons my Kids taught me while Fishing

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Fishing and Kids can teach us so many great lessons about life.

Recently my kids were fishing at our favorite spot in Maine. Both of them were about to give up. It’s windy and the bait keeps being lost or bitten off. It’s not as easy as last night. I’m tired of this..I’m bored! I suggested quietly to give it one more try. Low and behold that next cast caught a whopper. Well not a whopper… But to little kids working, hard a fish is a fish is a fish! After we took some pictures and celebrated, the girls and I got to talking. I mentioned how it all made me think that fishing can teach us some important lessons about life. Within seconds they started rattling off what they felt fishing taught them.

Patience

Sometimes right when you are about to give up on an idea or a plan is exactly when things start getting easier. That’s a lesson that seems hard to come by these days when kids (and adults) want everything now or yesterday. Just the art of waiting and waiting for the gratification of catching one fish is a simple lesson in patience.

Concentration

Having to focus on one thing for a longer duration simply builds that skill. We have so many choices these days and we often multitask. Yet, when you are fishing, you are in a deep mindfulness about the feeling of the line, the reel and the pole. You are using every sense to be ready when it’s time to set the hook. There’s a quiet meditative dance to it. There’s no escaping to another task. 

Problem Solving

When talking with my children about the element of problem solving in fishing, they offered up many problems they have solved. When the bait isn’t working, when the fish aren’t biting, when your spot is slow going, when it’s windy, when your line is caught or stuck, when your casting suddenly gets tricky, and even the dreaded fish-envy when someone else catches something and you don’t. That is A LOT of problems in tackle in one activity. When we started taking our kids fishing at 2 and 4, they were not able to solve these problems or talk about them. But now at nearly 9 and 11, all those years of problem solving are becoming quite evident in their sport and ability.

Never Give Up

My youngest said this is the most important lesson in fishing. And I think we can relate this to anything we tackle in life. The grit to keep going even when things really stink may be the more important factor to success. The idea that one more try could get you over that hump (or get you that fish), is a really important life lesson. I think we can all say that the past few years have been incredibly tough on so many different levels for so many people. Kids especially. Learning to having hope even when facing adversity is a key lesson in life and in fishing.

Get Dirty

It’s good for you! Fishing early and often is a good activity for sensory seeking kids and kids with sensory sensitivities or fears about getting dirty, run from those creepy crawly things, squawk at the sticky and slimy. Our experience with fishing is that, over time kids will want to touch those worms, they will become more comfortable getting wet and dirty, they will be able to bait their hook and touch a fish and wish it good luck as it swims away from their release.

There are so many things we can learn from our kids – and from nature – if we just take the time.

For some fishing resources and information on how to get started check out the links below.

Three Easy Day Drips from the Seacoast for Fishing

5 Best Fishing Spots in Maine

 

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When I was 12, I received a coveted writing award at my 8th grade graduation. So right about now my 12 year old self is super pumped to be writing for Seacoast Moms! Writing loads of poetry helped get me through many challenges as a preteen. Nowadays I write often in advocacy and in relating to others and about newer, deeper challenges as a parent and as a woman. Expressing my feelings and writing about what I've learned while becoming a grown up may hopefully be relatable to other moms too. In college I was set on a law career but took one intro to education class and fell in love. I received my Master's in Education from Lesley College through a life changing program called Art Integration in the Classroom. During my years of teaching 4th grade I also coached for The Girls on the Run program and witnessed the importance of extracurricular activities, teamwork and movement for children. Once my daughters came along, I made the tough decision to pause my career and focus on motherhood. I became the organizer of my family (and chaos) as a stay-at-home mama. The trick I found to support my extrovert personality was to not "stay-at-home". My children and I quickly became involved with our community in Portsmouth, NH. Through involvement in the community over the years I suddenly found myself becoming skilled at event planning and fundraising. I eventually helped lead a nature playground committee at our local school which successfully raised tens of thousands of dollars over several years. Within our PTA I've planned many events and led our group members to think of outside of the box while using ways to connect with the community and secure sponsorship for The Ecology School Fund as well as The Nature Playground Fund. In the Spring of the last few years, I have been coaching young girls with Seacoast Lacrosse. Being a non-athlete growing up and with zero Lacrosse experience, I learned quickly. I can do anything with a lesson plan! I have a knack for empathizing with children and helping them see the importance of themselves, kindness and being a good teammate. Over the last few years, I've also navigated the health and special education field for both my daughters and I am an advocate for enhancing special education and for invisible disabilities and Dyslexia and awareness around mental health support and PANS/PANDAS awareness. Over the last 11 years as a Seacoast Mom the one thing that I've learned is that kindness can go a long way and that you truly never know what another mom or family could be dealing with. So offer a helping hand when you can, a compliment or an unexpected smile. It can and will change someone's life. I like to speak up when it's important and I truly believe we should skip the small talk and discuss the meaning of life. I love my family and friends and community fiercely.