How should parents introduce new activities to kids who might be hesitant to try such activities? What do child psychologists, teachers and other child behavior professionals say in terms of how children both learn and then permanently adopt new hobbies? What are some of the obstacles and pitfalls that parents often make when trying to get their children to “love” the same kinds of hobbies and pastimes that they themselves are passionate about?
If you are a parent, you might be thinking to yourself, “Whew boy, those are deep questions!” And if you’re like me, you’re probably thinking about a particular instance whereby you tried to teach your child an activity you love, but something “back-fired.” Well, not to worry, it’s probably happened to every parent at least once. Whether it’s adopting an outdoor sport like golf, or a more cerebral activity such as chess, parents who have a passion for an activity often make the mistake of assuming that just because you love some particular hobby, then your child is going to “automatically” love it too. Often this “osmosis” still works out in a positive way, but sometimes it doesn’t and the first experience in trying something new was such a negative “back fire” that it results in the child never wanting to try the activity again.
When it comes to hunting, and specifically deer hunting, the overwhelming majority of today’s adult deer hunters were introduced to the sport by a parent or close relative. While there are exceptions, the vast majority of tomorrow’s deer hunters will also be introduced to the sport by a parent. For these reasons, the Wildlife Department wanted to develop a simple guide of tips and suggestions on how parents can and should introduce kids to deer hunting.
Compiled from input from several lifelong deer hunters, including Oklahoma Game Wardens, Wildlife Biologists and Technicians, School Teachers and Others. The following is a list of proven “Best Practices” for passing on the passion of deer hunting to young hunters.