I was thinking of blogging about world events today, then I remembered it is Saturday. I have betetr tings to do on Staurdays than to use all of my time blogging, but I will give you a small one here before I go to the range with my son.
What better then to talk about than going to the range as a way to spend some quality time with your loved ones, or even by yourself. Brendan and I love going to the range to improve our marksmanship skills, to prepare for hunting trips, to have fun, and to bond. It is one of the best places to bond for a parent and children that I can think of. Let me explain why I think so.
Teaching a child to shoot signifies something very special to your child, and to you too. First of all it means that you want to do things with your children, probably something you already love doing, so you want to share it with them. Secondly it means that you think your children are ready to do something which requires a lot of trust of them by you. It also indicates that you are willing to do something that requires you to pay an awful lot of attention to your child for an extended period of time, afterall you do not just hand a child a gun and say go have some fun, nor is it like teaching a child to ride a bike. Once they learn how to ride, they ride off with there friends. If you teach them to shoot, they surely cannot go to the range themselves at, let's say 9 years old. You have to continue to take them to the range and teach them about shooting, and shoot with them, if they are to continue this as a hobby or sport as a child. You have to spend time with them, during which time you pay an awful lot of attention to them, but yet during which time your continuously strive to get them to the point where they are fully capable of handling a firearms safely by themselves. The whole process is something that gets them to exercise things you have taught them, to accept responsibility and to act responsibly, to continue to closely bond with you the parent even throughout their teen years, to learn about one of our greatest rights, to prepare for times in their lives when they will combine all those things to make tehemselves fine upstandinbg adult memmbers of the community.
Going to the range with the kids though is not just a narrowly restricted activity. In the case of my son and I, I try to spread out the range trip experience with other things. Because of that, I choose to go to a range that takes us about 45 minutes to an hour to reach. My son, who now has a learner's permit, usually gets to drive. Sometimes after we are done at the range, we go to visit my mom who lives wioth my sister, my brother-in-law and my nephew. It makes for a nice family visit. We may also stop out and get some shopping done (maybe at Home fdepot, so I can get some work done around the house). A typical range trip witout the vist to our relatives may take about 6 to 8 hours total. With a trip to my mom, it is an all day affair.
My son could choose to do many other things on a Saturday in the summertime (he is almost always off on Saturdays since he works on Sundays). He could ride his bike, play ball, work on a project in the garage (lord knows what he is doing, but I know it isn't building bombs, he gets enough bang at the range), or he could hang out with his friends. Hanging out with friends is normal activity for a teenaged kid. He can do it almost as much as he likes, as long as he is done with his math studies (he get tutoring over the summer to be ready for the fall), done with his chores (which he sometimes slacks off on), and as long as he is not being restricted for having messed up. Iam pretty happy, and proud of him, that he chooses to go to the range with me on Saturdays when I ask him to come along. It makes me realize I am doing something right as a parent if he is still interested in doing things with me. That is a real good feeling.