Jun 13

Parenting Lessons from Fly Fishing

If you head out to the water, be it a river or a saltwater flat, and just start casting away, you are likely going to have a pretty crappy day of fishing. Sometimes what is required is to stop actually fishing and just observe. When you are silent, on the bank of a river or calf deep in a Caribbean sea, you start to pick up on things, you start to notice what bugs are on the water or where the currents of the tides might indicate pathways for fish. When you take yourself out of the active role you open yourself to learning.

That’s a decent lesson for parenting too.

Today I went to pick my daughter up from camp and I noticed her on the playground. Instead of calling out to her I just sat back for a while and watched. Once our kids are out of our sight we really don’t know too much about what they do, how they act, how they interact with the world. It is only through this kind of spectating that we can learn anything about our kids in the absence of us.

Conversations with my 6 year old after pick up go something like this…

Me: How was you day?

6 year old: Great!

Me: Awesome. What did you do today that was fun?

6 year old: I don’t know… nothing.

Me: Well, you said the day was great, what was great about the day?

6 year old: (silence)

Me: Honey, what was great about the day?

6 year old: I don’t know. I don’t remember. I don’t want to talk about it.

Clearly… I’m not going to get any information out of her. I’m left with either the observations of her teachers/counselors, or I need some opportunities to watch her, in her world, without me.

So, taking a page out of my fly fishing book… I try to sit back, when I am presented with the opportunity, and watch, unseen.

(I totally wrote this for my daddy blog and redirected it… hee hee)