By Lars Dalseide | June 15 2013 09:21

Metheny's Message to Fathers

Father and daughter hunting
After a few phone calls, Outdoor writer Lisa Metheny agreed to put together a Father's Day message for NRAblog. So without any further adieu ...

June is the month many dads head to their local shooting ranges to fire off a few rounds or take to nearby lakes to boat or fish. Some maybe even hit the open road with a camper in tow for a weekend getaway. Sadly some fathers opt to go solo, missing the perfect opportunity to create some great memories with their kids, not to mention build their appreciation for our country and for our freedoms.

Many fathers may think their kids — especially their daughters — may not be interested in shooting, fishing, hunting, camping or other traditional outdoor activities. Nothing could be further from the truth. The truth is kids seldom pass up an opportunity to spend quality time with their fathers and many are craving their dad’s undivided attention. Chances are if you enjoy these types of activities your son or daughter will enjoy them also.

Speaking of daughters, child psychologists suggest one of the most influential people in a young girl’s life is her father. Good or bad, the role a dad plays will no doubt help shape her future. Consider the fact when a woman begins to look for a future husband, she will often look for a similar type of man to marry as her father. The traits she saw in her father, positive or negative, will often lead her to seek out those same characteristics in a mate, proving fathers have more influence over their daughters than they might imagine. This reason alone should be enough to convince every dad to take time to build healthy father- daughter relationships.

Regardless of your kids ages they need precious one on one time with their fathers. Instead of taking your daughter to a nearby mall or your son to a movie suggest an afternoon at the shooting range or a fishing trip to the lake. Whatever activity you choose, use the outing to teach them valuable life lessons such as the importance of our 2nd Amendment rights or the importance of wildlife conservation. Also gently remind them of those who have fought from our freedoms and the fact we get to enjoy such activities because of these great Americans. Be sure to include stories of your youth and the memories of your first time to the shooting range or first fishing trip.

In addition to the quality time, kids need to have their confidence strengthened. Girls especially need positive role models and they need to be reminded they are perfect just the way they are. Consider the number of television and magazine images kids are exposed too each day telling them how they should act, think and dress. Dads can help kids ditch these negatives images all while making memories. Teaching your kids about firearm safety or how to read a compass, build a campfire, filet a fish or identify an animal for example will do wonders to grow their self esteem. Kids by nature are inquisitive and very observant so use these special times afield, to fuel their thirst for knowledge.

Seeing the world thru their dad’s eyes will help them have a better understanding of what is important to you, plus it will help them learn to appreciate your time together. With today’s economic worries kids often only get to see the stressed out side of dad and miss out on seeing their dad’s lighter side. So dads, give yourself the best gift this Father’s Day, sharing your favorite pastimes with your sons and daughters, you won’t regret it.

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