By Tasha Ivey

Quite often, I find myself thinking about the differences between today’s children and those of my childhood.  The way that our children are being brought up today plays a big part in their futures and the future of our planet.  There have been so many opportunities that I have had in my lifetime that have molded me into the adult that I am. 

The children of today don’t get those same opportunities, so how will this affect their future?  How will this affect their children’s futures?

There are so many modern gadgets and gizmos that make our lives so easy and fun, but do they rule our children’s lives?  Think about how many electronic devices are a part of your and your child’s day.  There are televisions, smartphones, video game systems, hand-held game systems, mp3 music players, and computers.  With all the access to technology, I wonder why would a child want to leave their bedroom to hang out with their family or go outside?

When we were children, we spent more time outside than we did inside our home.  I remember being outside every single day until there was hardly enough light to see my way home.   We watched cartoons only on Saturday mornings; we had no video games or computers, and all of our phones were attached to a wall with a cord.  

My family always spent so much time together, and my parents are the reason that I am who I am.  Sit and think for a moment what your childhood was like.  Think about how important every aspect of it was important to your life. 

Are you passing those things on to your kids, or are you allowing technology to help raise your children?

I see many very important things gradually becoming less important.  Many of today’s children don’t understand the importance of family.  Just like many of the children don’t understand how important the outdoors are to our environment and wildlife.  We can, easily, together as a family, change that with just one simple adjustment.  Get your family involved in outdoor sports!  That one addition to your life can alter the dynamic of your family in many ways and, in turn, help their futures.

Whether it’s hunting, fishing, archery, hiking, or camping, outdoor sports can be that one thing that brings your family closer together.  It is something that you can share with your children that they will always remember.  It will be a fond memory that they can pass on to their children.  The outdoors is a great place to teach them about the world around them, and how, without it, our lives wouldn’t be possible.

Another positive aspect of involving your family in the outdoors is that you can teach them how to be a responsible, earth-friendly human being.  Hunting and fishing are very important to our eco-system, and unless we pass the tradition on to our children, we could slowly destroy this planet.  

Without the management of animals by the human race, the animals would slowly become so overpopulated that they would become diseased and starve to death.  The overpopulation would also be very dangerous to humans.  The animals may be forced into communities in search of food, causing more car accidents and possibly even attacks on humans.  We should teach our children to appreciate our environment and how to nurture it and improve it.

If we don’t pass on our outdoor traditions, I fear what will happen to the world we live in.  Not to mention, if we don’t intervene in our children’s sedentary lives, what kind of quality of life will they have, with increasing numbers of our youth being treated for obesity and diabetes?  It’s up to us, as parents and role models to change the future of our kids.  Hunters hold the key to the future in their hands … let’s unlock that door and show our children the way.

* Article reprinted with permission from