Dangerous Parenting?

Canada
November 10, 2008 1:58pm CST
As some of my friends here already know, I have been babysitting my neighbour's little girl, since she was eight months old. She's now seven years old, and is in grade two. I still do some after school care for her. 'Both' of her parents are avid hunters. They can't wait for hunting season to begin here, each year. They have passed this love of hunting on to their only daughter. This is especially true of her dad. This little girl has become obsessed with hunting. She often wears various types of camouflage clothing. Her favourite pass time is to play with different types of toy guns. She has just recently told me, that her dad has bought her a 'real hunting knife.' This knife has quite a long blade, fits into a sheath, and can be hung from a belt. I 'know' she's not making this up. Her dad has also allowed her to use guns with his supervision, for target practice. She has accompanied him into the woods, while he hunts. Her family has been having some very serious trouble, since this past spring. I won't go into the details here, but some of my online friends already know about this. There are still major problems in this household. As a parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, etc., would you teach a seven year old girl (or boy) to hunt? Do you think that the type of obsession with this, that this little girl has, could lead to serious problems? Why do you feel this way? Personally, I find this deeply disturbing on many levels. Below is a link to a tragedy that has just taken place in the US. I really appreciate your opinions here. http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081110/ap_on_re_us/child_charged_32
11 people like this
11 responses
• India
11 Nov 08
No matter what the age, I would always disapprove of teaching children how to hunt. This is not from an animal rights activist, but from my own insignificant point of view, I abhor killing animals just for the sake of sport. I find it extremely medieval and unnecessary in today’s world, specially when our forefathers have already hunted out so many species from this world. Secondly, if a child in similar situation is not handled properly, then such killer instincts would be a threat to both itself and society at large.
3 people like this
• United States
11 Nov 08
A prairie dog is not a dog. It is a rodent. All though I do not agree with the killing of them, (there are much more humane approaches to this problem)I do understand why farmers do it. They create large areas that can sink in under the foot of cattle and break their legs, leaving the cattle useless. If your cattle happen to be dairy cows this is a huge loss. In One state they have the annual bashing of the snakes. Talk about ridiculous!
1 person likes this
• Canada
11 Nov 08
Thanks for the explanation regarding prairie dogs, jadegoat. We often refer to them as 'gophers' here, but I do realize that not everyone is familiar with them. By the way, what do you mean by "the annual bashing of the snakes?"
• United States
10 Nov 08
I think as long as the child knows the difference between hunting and plain animal cruelty there should not be a problem. Also, she should know the safety guidlines to this sport and she is supervised by an adult. I live in South Carolina so people who hunt and wear a lot of the camo gear in not out of ordinary for me. Also seeing getting invovled at a young age is not out of the ordinary either. As a society, hunting is no longer seen as a need, but as a past time that is enjoyed by the whole family. It might seem extreme to you, but it may be normal for her family. At least she's getting outside and getting exercise that so many kids today are not getting. It's something that she enjoys doing, but I don't hear everything you hear so it may be another story.
3 people like this
@webeishere (36353)
• United States
10 Nov 08
I fully understand your stance here. But at what age do you think a child shpuld be when one should teach them to hunt etc? Minnesota just passed a law where 10 years old is the youngest age to be leagally able to hunt. It was 12 till this year. I feel 12 is a perfect age to teach them if one desires. I think 7 is WAY too young no matter the families structure etc. Just me I guess. HAPPY POSTINGS FROM GRANDPA BOB!!~
1 person likes this
• Canada
11 Nov 08
i agree that it's good for children to go out and do activities such as playing in the park, riding a bycicle, sleep over a friend's house are all good. But for a 7 years old to go hunt an animal, it's just something really unusual to me. I don't think it's right that hunting would be viewed like a sort of fashion. But I think this differ from place to place. have a good day.
1 person likes this
• Canada
11 Nov 08
Thanks for sharing here, creative_angel. Everybody has a different view on this of course, and it's definitely not anything I'd ever want to participate in. I'm guessing that the legal age for hunting must vary from state to state? Sadly, there are a lot of problems in this little girl's family, and they are having a negative impact on her. She has become overly obsessed with hunting, and is always talking about weapons of some sort. This is just not good (for her.) I think twelve is a good age for allowing kids to hunt, for those who are inclined, Grandpa Bob. It's really unfortunate that the age has been lowered to ten. There are some major problems in this child's family, and the real threat is her dad. I'm just afraid of where all of this could lead. This little girl shouldn't be going hunting at age seven, as it's just way too young (I feel.) In her case, it's causing an obsession with killing things, and weapons. Yes, ladysakurax, there are a lot of wonderful activities that kids of this age should be enjoying. This child does the things you've mentioned here too, but is way too preoccupied with hunting.
@trixyteddy (1072)
• India
13 Nov 08
I'm not the judge in this situation, but I guess since you feel for this little girl, you will feel more. I've never voted for hunting for whatever reason, so thats that.
1 person likes this
• Canada
13 Nov 08
I'm definitely not a fan of hunting either. In this case, I believe she's just too young. I do care very much about her, since I've been her babysitter for so many years. Thanks for your response.
• India
15 Nov 08
I'm a strong believer in God and I believe only He can help us in every situation. The best we can do is to ask God's help in this matter. I will pray too.
1 person likes this
• Canada
15 Nov 08
Thanks. I appreciate your prayers.
@liztat (30)
• United States
11 Nov 08
First of all Wow!!! I honestly would pass on a hobby that I might love in this case hunting. But definatly would not allow to give my child a chance to get hurt or hurt others. I mean do parents now in days now the meaning of the word "limit". From the story I think that this obsession or this unlimitted hunting gears given to child will end up in a serius outcome. I just dont understand why someone would give their own child a hunting knife when kids sometimes cant or wont apart reality from fantasy or imagination. I agree with someonesmom this is definatly DISTURBING!!!
1 person likes this
• Canada
13 Nov 08
I truly believe that this little girl is just too young for this. If she's still interested when she's older, and they want to involve her then, so be it. There have been some major problems in her family over this past year, and it's a real concern to me. The point you've made, about fantasy and imagination is a good one. Thanks for sharing here. Welcome to myLot.
@jadegoat (89)
• United States
11 Nov 08
I personally am not a hunter, but if they hunt responsibly I really see no problem with that. I feel teaching your children your hobbies is what most parents do. I own goats therefore my children are highly involved in the care and breeding of them. I do think 7 is a bit young for hunting, but there are many people out there letting their 2,3,&4 year old watch WWF and such and I think that is ridiculous. If I were you I would deal with it by asking the young girl in front of your children what she likes about it, what hunting is and what they do with the animal once it has been captured. Then when she is done I would share my views and ask the young child to save her enthusiasm for the hunting trip. In your house we really don't care for hunting. Even at 7 I thing she will get it, and your children will too. Just a sugestion.
1 person likes this
• Canada
13 Nov 08
You're right, as far as many parents teaching their children to share in the family hobbies. This is 'usually' a good thing. You've made some very valid points here, and I thank you for your excellent suggestions. The next time she brings up the subject of hunting, I'll ask her some questions about her experiences. I do know for sure, that her 'whole family' eats and enjoys the game they kill. My daughter is seventeen now, so I don't have any younger children. The fact that you own and breed goats, is really interesting to me. I don't know anything about this, but have certainly seen goats, and I do find them cute. I'm sure your children are a big help to you, with this. Thanks again. Take care, and by the way, welcome to myLot.
@jordan04n (463)
• United States
11 Nov 08
This doesn't sound good in any way to me. Violence is seen too much by children today so they think they should be a part of it. The parents are obsessed and it has trickled down to the child. She has been taught that this activity ts important to her parents so it is important to her. No child this age needs to hunt. We do not live in the wilderness and need to hunt for food. Some one in upper authority needs to check out this family situtation ASAP.
1 person likes this
• Canada
11 Nov 08
I don't think it's a good thing either. Both of her parents love to hunt for sport, and they all enjoy eating the game they've killed. It's true that many parents pass on the things they love, to their kids. There's nothing wrong with that, as long as they are good things. However, I believe seven is too young for a child to go hunting. She has become obsessed with this, and often talks about it. Actually, her family has been having a lot of problems. The authorities are involved. It just saddens me, to see all of the changes in this little girl, and many of them not for the good. Thanks for sharing here. Take care.
@katrhina23 (1282)
• United States
11 Nov 08
I just find this very disturbing. I just hope the child knows how to sue those stuff properly. I eman the child knows that those are for hunting purposes only and not for anything else. I am sure the father taught her those.
• Canada
11 Nov 08
I too find it disturbing, as she's way too young to learn how to hunt. Her dad is teaching her, but the thing is, there's been a lot of serious problems in the family lately. These problems involve her dad, so this isn't good. Thanks for your response.
@pyewacket (44036)
• United States
11 Nov 08
I'm not really a pro-hunter advocate to begin with. Yes, it's one thing to actually hunt for food, but too many hunters just do it for the "sport" of it. I think seven is way too young for a child to get involved with the "pleasures" of hunting if that's what you want to call it. I can't help thinking by learning to hunt at such an early age could have repercussions in a sense teaching the girl a lack of kindness or respect for animals. Also, if this is the same family you once described to me there's a lot of trouble brewing in that girl's family and her knowledge of how to use weaponry could go real wrong..just like that kid in the article
1 person likes this
• Canada
11 Nov 08
Hi pye, This family is heavily into the sporting side of it, but they also love to eat the game. I also think that's way too young. She already views bunnies as something to kill, instead of finding them cute, as many kids do. Yes, these are my neighbours that I mentioned previously. Their problems are far from being resolved. This little girl has become quite aggressive, and is acting out in many ways. Not good. I feel so horrible for that family down your way. Whatever the motive, their lives have been ruined in an instant, and changed forever. I really appreciate your response here. Take care.
• United States
11 Nov 08
In our time I don't feel it is necessary to teach children to hunt. One hundred years ago it was a necessary part of survival. People needed to hunt for much of their food. We can go to the grocery store to purchase what we need for survival.
1 person likes this
• Canada
11 Nov 08
Hi ElusiveButterfly, No, it really isn't a necessity, yet many enjoy it as a sport. It's certainly not for me though, and I don't think a seven year old needs to be involved in this. I know firsthand that there is a lot of trouble in this family. Her family 'does' eat the game they kill though. They all really enjoy it, including this little girl. Thanks so much for your response. Take care.
@Katlady2 (9920)
• United States
10 Nov 08
I think 7 years old is way too young for a child to be having ANYTHING to do with hunting or the "tools" that go along with it. And she definitely shouldn't have a hunting knife in her possession. None of that seems right to me. It's almost like they are trying to make their daughter grow up too fast. But that's just my opinion.
1 person likes this
• Canada
11 Nov 08
Hi Katlady, This is the way I feel about this too. It saddens me greatly, that she's become so preoccupied with all of this. She has been interested in it for quite sometime, for one so young. However, lately she's always talking about it, and there are already a lot of serious problems in her family. As for the hunting knife, she isn't allowed to carry it around, of course. The thing is though, it does belong to her, and her dad lets her take it out with them, on these hunting expeditions. I really appreciate your sharing here. Take care.
@gabs8513 (48715)
• United Kingdom
10 Nov 08
I find it disturbing to and no I would not teach a small Child to hunt she is still a child and should be interested in other thing and not as I would call it Violence Hugs
1 person likes this
• Canada
11 Nov 08
Hi gabs, I really appreciate your response here. There have been (and continue to be), so many problems in this child's family. Her obsession with hunting just isn't good. Take care. Hugs to you too.