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How to convince my wife to let me & our two sons go fishing/hunting?

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My wife and I have two sons (ages 10 and 8). The eldest is just like his mother in that he prefers the indoors whereas the youngest is more active and sporty. However, I don’t think either of them are as active as they should be and I fear that they’ll retain these habits which will harm their health down the years. I want to take my boys on a fishing and hunting trip these weekend so they can get used to the outdoors and be more physically active (especially in the case of the eldest), however my wife is completely against this. She knows our eldest will not be a fan of the trip (he has not told me himself however he told his mother to tell me he doesn’t want to go) and also fears for both of their safety. She doesn’t want them around guns, let alone firing any guns, and she also doesn’t want them to fish because she fears they could drown or injure themselves while driving the boat (it’s not a rowboat). I think it is important for them as young men to have such physical experiences but my wife is incredibly overprotective. She has no interest in hunting or fishing, but is now stating that she would like to come for the sake of our eldest son. I’ve told her no, because I know if she does come she will just sit and complain the whole time AND not let the boys do anything that she doesn’t deem safe (which is basically everything) and the eldest will be happy about this because he can follow along, ruining the entire experience for both of the kids. I also don’t want her to come, because I want to bond with both of my sons. They spend most of their time with her and even when I am around, she is always around. I love my wife, but she is domineering when it comes to the children and I want them to start being more independent from her. What can I do to keep her from coming while still making my eldest want to come? I’m taking them both with my older brother of three years as a sort of male bonding trip.

answers (1)

You can tell her that hunting and fishing are survival skills that go back to the beginning of man. Should they need either skill one day, they will be well prepared. That is safety preparedness training. They'll know how to handle the tools needed to hunt or fish, and perhaps be able to create their own tools if they have none. They also learn animal behavior and learn to trust their instincts to get the job done.

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