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Schools of Thought: Giving up the reins

Mark Sahli, columnist for The Pioneer Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor

It happens in just about every example of life stages and parent-children relations, since people have walked on this thing called earth.

Parents have an obligation to their children and need to be responsible and caring for them. Parents also have the burden of balancing their children's life decisions, mistakes, discipline, praise and so many other things.

Helicopter parents is a somewhat new term given to those parents who hover over their children and monitor their every move. The exact opposite of the helicopter parent is the absentee parent, who is never around or involved in their children's lives.

Children also have obligations to their parents and need to be held accountable and responsible for their actions as well.

With these guidelines I have just set for parents and children, as idealistic and simplified as they seem, this month's school of thought brought me to the reality of becoming an empty nester and dealing with transition and giving up the reins.

As a parent gets closer to this stage in life, they battle with the transition of letting go, hanging on, continuing to teach and also learning or becoming the student.

For myself, one of the biggest doses of reality was when my youngest son and hunting partner began forming his own traditions and hunting trips that no longer included me. Don't get me wrong, I love solo hunting with my dogs, but it is also very special watching your children grow up and implement tactics and traditions you have taught them, even if they have implemented things with their own version.

The conflict of letting go of the reins, includes things like who are the people they are hunting with. What are their traditions and hunting styles? Are they responsible? Do they follow rules and regulations?

Most everyone I have hunted with over the years or with regularly, meet those conflict questions with approval. I do not always know that with my children and who they hunt with.

I will expand in more detail in upcoming schools of thought, regarding game and fish violations from last year but a few examples come from the general violation category which concern me.

There were 54 violations of hunting on posted land without permission. See last months column. There were 42 littering violations and 60 loaded firearms in vehicle violations. These are all just plain stupid violations that can be prevented.

I would hope these are some violations that never happen to my children or those they hunt with. If it did, I would take responsibility as a bad teacher but would also hold them accountable for bad decisions.

I do not think I will ever give up on giving advice to my children, but I have also had several learning moments from my children as well. Those learning moments have caused me to reflect and slowly give up the reins and realize they are no longer just the young learners, but they are slowly becoming the teachers as well.