Teaching kids


I was a little surprised when I looked at the Sitemeter stats saw how many people had actually hit my blog the other day. It’s no avalanche mind you, but still something. Apparently when JR at A Keyboard and a .45, linked to the video of my daughter giving us a refresher on the 4 rules, it drove some traffic over to my little corner of the ‘net. Thank you sir.

I love shooting with my kids. I love teaching my kids how to safely handle a gun. I love that I’m teaching them something that will be useful to them someday. Actually, I just love showing my kids how to do stuff, and then watching them run with it.

As far as shooting with the kids goes…. my advice is just make it fun. Focus on the safety above all else. Neither of my kids were allowed to shoot until that could recite the rules. And each time we go, they are quized on the rules. What are the rules? What do they mean? Etc. Then make it fun.

Start with a BB gun, and when they’ve shown themselves capable of following the rules with a BB gun, move to a .22. Gauge their interest and skills before moving to a higher caliber.

Hang up aluminum cans, or buy some Shoot-n-see targets if your range only allows paper. Find something which will give them instant feedback. Start close, and them move them back as their confidence builds. And make a big freaking deal about it.

Save their targets and show them to everyone who will look at them. Do this in the presence of your kids. Don’t be the jackass who yells at them because they jerked the trigger, or missed the target.

But above all, if they don’t want to shoot, don’t force the issue. This might even be good advice for your wives & girlfriends.

When my daughter started hitting targets like this at 7 yards with iron sights, we started moving back to 15 yards.
Hannah7yardtarget4.1x8ujGptB063.jpg

Leadchucker Jr, still has some growing to do, but at 5 he knows his 4 rules.
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Anyway, about 4 or 5 years ago, I was into flying R/C airplanes. The club I belonged to was made up of mostly older, retired men. I remember a guy saying how important it was that they draw younger people into the hobby, otherwise it was going to die out. For some reason, that really stuck with me.

Kids don’t grow up the way they used to. Their schedules are just jam packed with school, sports leagues and more sports leagues etc. I just don’t remember my child hood being that busy. I do remember playing little league. I remember camping, and cub scouts, ham fests with my dad and brothers. I remember putting roof’s on our house and other family members houses, terrorizing the neighborhood with my best friends, going to church, and Sunday School. I remember playing war with ripe tomato grenades, with an occasional green apple for the ones who deserved it. I remember working on cars and lawn mowers with my dad, and when I was old enough, I did my own engine work. I remember busting my ass in school, to do my best. That’s what was expected of me. Not the A, but my best.

As I’ve thought about what that old guy said to me about bring younger people into that hobby, it has struck me as to how that applies everything that I hold important. Take a your kids out. Teach them to shoot. Teach them how to use tools. Take them to church, pray for them, pray over them. LET THEM FAIL. If they see you working on something, let them help. Unless their life is going to be in danger by helping, find something for them to do which somehow applies to your task. I’m currently working on re-tiling my shower, and Leadchuckerette has expressed some interest in helping me put up tile. While the perfectionist in me wants to avoid this, the dad in me knows she needs to help do a few.

Remember dad’s, it is your job to boot them out of the nest when the time comes for them to fly. Until then, it is your job along with their mother, to equip your kids with as many tools as you can.

Damn, how did I get here? Funny how shooting is not always about the guns…….

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