Today I was thumbing through my library copy of Last Child in the Woods: Saving our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder, and came across this list:
Fishing Tips for Parents from Matthew Louv (age 12):
Fish with your kid.
Let your kids go fishing, even if you don’t want to take them.
Let your kids buy supplies and tackle. That’s half the fun of fishing.
If your kids are young, take them to a place where fish are easy to catch and are small.
Let kids fish as long as they want. Let them get obsessed.
Let the kids go off and do their own thing. It can get to be incredibly annoying and/or frustrating if there’s an adult standing over them barking orders.
At least pretend to act excited when your kid catches a fish. It can quickly ruin a day of fishing if the kid feels you don’t want to be there, and he’s just dragging you down.
If you know how to fish, don’t give your kid too much unsolicited advice, although it can be helpful if the kid is young.
Let your kid teach you how to fish; participate in the fishing. This can be quality bonding time.
Remember that fishing and spending time with family is just as, or more important than, homework.
Have fun; that’s the entire point of going fishing in the first place.
And whatever you do, DON’T LET YOUR KID THROW ROCKS IN THE WATER!
I’m including this list for two reasons: 1) I simply think it’s great advice, and 2) I think it’s relevant information to my project with Tommy. Though, it’s going to be hard to teach Tommy that last rule. If there’s water and a single rock to found, no matter the size, he’s going to throw it in.