Take them fishing.
When I was younger my stepdad used to take us fishing. At first, we hated it. It was boring and slowed us down.
Slowing down wasn’t a bad thing, but as a child it was the end of the world. There was nothing to do. We would get out our little fishing poles, bait the hook, half heartedly cast it and wait. And wait. And wait. It was the most arduous time consuming task our little brains could fathom. We were bored out of our minds.
Then something happened. We started enjoying going down to the river. We eagerly turned off our video games or said goodbye to our friends to grab our poles and head to the river. We got to bring the dogs and watch them fetch sticks we would throw at the rivers edge. We actually started paying attention.
Learning how to bait the hook and properly cast the line while anxiously awaiting our bobber to dip and sway. We learned how to slow down and enjoy the now. The funny thing is, one day I woke up and only had the memory of my childhood, just like all adults do, but it was the moments I went fishing that stick out the most. Hours playing the day away at the river, all while slowing down enough to eat the honeysuckle and wild blackberries. Learning how to recognize the wild foods we could eat and the ones that would cause an upset stomach are things I wouldn’t have known had I not been forced to take a moment to enjoy the scenery.
Fishing is so much more than staring at a pole hoping it would bend so the real fun would begin. Fishing is bonding. Fishing was mindfulness before we learned the meaning of the word. Fishing is slowing down enough to release the worries of the day. It’s breathing in nature and detox for your soul. It’s a coping skill your kids can carry for the rest of their lives. Fishing isn’t about catching fish, it’s about capturing memories.