While attending a world-level competition, I was smacked with a reminder of how many (or is it few) women are out in the world of competition with their children and families. Women who go through the logistic and social hurdles to compete, with children in tow, doing something that is not done by many women. But these women are instilling values that are about more than just competition. Let’s talk about three values competing with your family can foster.
1. Family Firearm Ownership and Safety
Part of competing with firearms means that you have to own them and use them safely. A mother who competes with guns not only has to follow the firearm safety rules, but take additional time to teach her family about safety. She must cover the 4 Rules of Firearm Safety, as well as additional rules for ranges, competition and transport and travel with firearms. Children who grow up around this sort of constant exposure to safe, responsible use of guns are going to hold value in the ownership and use of guns; they see it and experience it in real time.
2. Quality Time With Family
Competing with your family, whether at local weekend events or large international events, in which work for weeks, months and years is invested in order to perform at a world-level event, gives you a lot of family time.
And it’s not just family time in the car or traveling; it’s sometimes working on the smallest of skills to better yourself and each other. Sometimes it’s simply working on gear and equipment and overcoming problems.
Competition is also a serious undertaking. It’s not, “Let’s kick a ball around and keep score.” It is, “Let’s work with serious tools that require serious safety, adherence to rules, and responsibility.” You develop your family’s skills in handling things that require a level of seriousness and responsibility that makes them learn that even serious, labor-intensive things can be fun, and the bonds you build solving problems and overcoming challenges are formed with investment. It’s not a nonchalant undertaking to compete with firearms.
3. Problem-solving Skills and Resiliency in Life
Problem solving, whether it’s a stage plan to shoot a match or a travel plan to navigate around the globe, is a life skill that needs constant and perpetual refinement. It’s not always fun or pretty or even enjoyable to work on and solve problems, but being able to do so will give your children and family resilience when they meet obstacles in life.
Resilience to hurdles placed in their way or situations that are not “fun,” but transiting through them yields results. Resilience in those settings can teach children that life is less about being comfortable and that idea that we “need to get comfortable being uncomfortable” will help their psychological well being in times of stress.
In the end, parents who make the effort to continue competing or begin competing with children along for the adventure are teaching so many values to their families. They embrace the notion that even young people can step up and handle serious responsibility. And in a world where young people are told to do Tik-Tok dances and focus on trivial things, competition with firearms offers of dose of reality. In the end, getting through life is about doing the fun and serious together. Any activity that teaches doing things with family can make us stronger and better as human beings is an activity we should foster. Any activity that also makes us safer, more resilient and capable of solving problems is a win-win!