Some things we teach kids are more fun than others

When you have kids, sometimes you get to do things that take you back to when you were your kids’ ages. Often that’s a good thing, but sometimes it’s not as great.

I love introducing my kids to the things I got to experience the first time with my dad. Things like fishing, hunting, hiking and camping were some of the best things my dad taught me how to do. Even better, there are so many different ways you can do those activities, when we went on our second, third, fourth, and later adventures, they still seemed like doing them for the first time.

My dad seemed to get just as much joy out of those things as I did. And now that I have kids of my own, I realize Dad probably actually had even more fun on those trips than I did.

But it’s unfortunately not the same for every activity I introduce my kids to. Recently, my oldest son got a summer job cleaning horse stalls. He needed a little help getting it done the first day on the job, so he called me to see if I could come give him a hand.

I got the joy of teaching my kid some of the time-saving and effort-reducing tricks I’ve learned over almost 40 years of picking up after horses, and even several years of cleaning pens for money when I was about his age. However, that joy was vastly outstripped by the distastefulness of the task itself.

I would have much rather been showing my son how to cast a fly line or tighten up his groups while shooting his bow. Maybe giving him some pointers on using different camera settings to take a variety of wildlife and landscape photos. But instead, we had to settle for talking about fishing while we were mucking out those stalls.

I tried to at least give him enough advice that he can cut down on the time it takes him to clean those stalls, so maybe next weekend, he can get it done with enough time left over to go fishing.

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