There will likely come a time when your son or daughter will gain some interest in the gun or guns you have in your home.
Whether you have such a weapon for protection, hunting or even both, curiosity will get to them at some point. That said the idea of teaching your teen about how to use a gun is one of the most important things you will do as a parent. Remember, teaching them the correct way to use a firearm could save their life and others around them.
With that in mind, when do you think the proper age is to begin talking about guns with your children?
For some parents, that age can be on the younger side. This is especially true if a parent wants to teach their kids about hunting. Given many kids go hunting with parents, teaching them to respect what guns can do is crucial.
So, are you ready to teach your teen how to use a gun?
- Discussing Gun Safety
For your discussions with your teen or teens about guns to go in the right direction, where do you start?
In many homes, those discussions will begin at various ages. Some parents will feel as if their teens are not quite ready for such talks. Others, meantime, may feel as if the earlier the better.
No matter when and where you start the discussion, the primary focus should always be on gun safety.
It is important to remember that most teens have unparalleled energy. As such, they may act before thinking at times. When it comes to guns, acting before thinking can have some negative consequences.
Once you’ve decided to introduce your teen to a gun, be sure to go over always keeping the gun secure when not in use.
This means not only locating the best holsters, but also finding a safe spot in the home for the gun or guns. If you have a younger child or two in the home, always make sure the gun is where they can’t access it. The last thing you want on your hands is a tragedy.
- Discussing Gun Usage
When the time comes for your teen to first fire a weapon, you want to make sure they’ve had the proper training.
If you feel better off taking them to a range and having a professional gun expert work with them, by all means do it. Making sure they have the right training is crucial to their safety and the safety of others.
For those parents looking to take their teens hunting with them, it is important to respect the lay of the land.
Given many families hunt together, take your children out on a trip or two to observe what happens in the woods. This can and should be before they start firing a weapon. By having a better idea of hunting and the rules that go with it, your child will be better prepared to use a gun in the woods.
Always look for a hunting area conducive for your child to excel in. This means making it rather easy for them to spot wildlife. They also want to be able to identify humans who at times can blend in with the game they are hunting.
By getting your teen to focus on the lay of the land, they are much more likely to have a safe and fun hunting experience.
- Discussing Gun Protection
While you hope your child never has to use a gun in the home for protection, it does happen in some instances.
Going back to gun safety, teaching your child how to protect their home and loved ones is important.
For instance, what happens if an intruder breaks into the home and you’re not home? Is your teen prepared to use force if necessary to protect themselves and any others in the home? By showing them how to defend them and their loved ones, you could end up saving their lives.
Be sure to instruct them on where the gun is, how to load it, and of course how to use it. If your teen even has the slightest question about what they are shooting at, never fire the weapon.
Depending on the size of your home, it can be very easy for an intruder to hide out after breaking in. In the confusion and possible crossfire, your teen could end up making a big mistake.
Although it does not happen often, some loved ones have died in home invasion friendly fires.
Teaching your teen to use a gun is one of the more important responsibilities you will have as a parent.
When you do it right, you and your teen will be all the better for it.
By showing your teen the right way to be a gun user and owner, they can pass that education on to their kids one day.