Rock and Gem Hunting
Provides a Healthy Parenting Aide

by Sally Taylor

Are you one of a growing number of parents who just can't find the answer to raising respectful, interactive children with healthy interests and attitudes, or are just frightened about little ones growing into monsters? The help you need that you aren't finding in all the stacks of parenting guides you are buying can be found all wrapped up into one inexpensive and healthy recreation - rock and gem hunting (alias rockhounding).

Rockhounding has a blend of benefits for the whole family. It will give you quality time with your children. Hunting will get them outside to exercise in the fresh air. They learn about nature of all sorts and about survival techniques. The interest spans generations, encouraging association of people of all ages and teaching children to value the experience of older associates. By learning to ask to hunt on private property and learning how to treat nature, they learn respect for others, the differences between right and wrong, and the responsibility for their own actions. They can learn crafts by working with their specimens. From crafting and collecting they can also learn how to create income through sales of finds and crafted items. The host of healthy habits and values to be learned from this recreation is endless.

You don't need to start big to introduce a child to rockhounding. Start by looking up some great gem pictures on the computer. A quick "wow look at this" when you come across a great picture is sure to spark some interest. You can spend quality time with children by taking them somewhere to hunt. It doesn't need to be far away; just get them out somewhere. Children of all ages can enjoy getting in on the hunt. Even a very young child is capable of enjoying finding "pretty" stones. Children, in fact, seem to be quite observant and able to find great gemstones that adults will walk right over without seeing. Many parents find themselves surprised at their small child's ability to learn to identify different mineral species, too.

While equipment is a nice extra, you can just use some items from home to start up with so you don't need to sink a fortune into getting started. Your local rock and gem club can suggest areas in your neck of the woods to start out from and some handy items to take with you. They can also tell you about rock and gem shows where the children can see what is possible for them to find or introduce you to people who have enticing collections and hand crafted items to show the children.

When on a field trip with your child, watch to see if there are other interests they are showing. Some may not be interested in rocks, but they might show an interest in finding artifacts or treasure, or perhaps in the wildlife or plant life. Others might show a passion for ghost towns, area histories, hot springs, or just the beauty of a great landscape. Perhaps they would like to take photographs or paint pictures of what they see. Any of these interests can be developed into healthy recreational hobbies for the young. These interests all provide resources for channeling further study and learning.

Some youngsters may go on to plan exciting careers from their adventures and learning. Keep a box of your children's first finds and label them for future years. When they bring their young children over to see you, bring out the box to show them. It will delight your own children as much as theirs. They will thank you, remember, and pass the interest down through generations.

About the author: 2005 Sally Taylor: Sal is an avid gem and treasure hunter,
explorer, writer, and is the owner of





RockHound is owned and operated by Jessica Chekal & Westvon Publishing
© December 2003 All Rights Reserved. No Duplication without Permission. Newly Updated 5-2007

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