Your love of treasure hunting is so fierce you think anyone who shares your DNA should enjoy it too. It doesn’t work like that. Your child might want to have nothing to do with metal detecting right now. It might be something he’ll become interested in later in life, or maybe he’ll never see the appeal.
There are ways to introduce the hobby to him that might give you a better chance of getting him interested.
Focus on What He/She Likes
Is he into adventure movies or stories of pirate treasure? If so, play up that aspect of metal detecting. Stress that metal detecting never yields the same results on any given day.
Go detecting on the beach where you can talk about the possibility of finding pirate’s treasure or coins from shipwrecks. Almost every kid can appreciate the adventure that possibility offers.
Take Them on Good Hunts
No, you don’t automatically know which hunts are going to be fruitful and which aren’t. But you have a pretty good idea sometimes. If you’re hunting in a park that has been picked over by every detectorist in town, you could still get lucky and find something, but chances are it will be a dull hunt.
If you have fresh ground to cover, and you know it used to be a public place, that means it has the potential to be a great hunting site. Take your child where you think the action will be if you want to show him the exciting side of metal detecting.
Play up the Sense of History
Metal detecting can make history come alive for children in a way that no textbook can. Let your child help you search online for the items you’ve found. He’ll learn more about the world and its past, and he’ll have fun trying to figure out how much each item is worth.
Show and Tell Finds
If your child is young enough to still have show-and-tell sessions at school, let him take a few of the lesser valuable items to show his class. When he explains that he dug them up, the other kids will naturally be interested. All their questions and comments will make him feel important and cool. And if he feels cool because of metal detecting, he’ll be much more likely to keep doing it.
Let your child tinker with settings. Let her dig a plug her way and see how messy it is compared to the nice, neat one you’ve dug. Let her go off by herself for a few minutes and dig signals that you know will only be nails. One of the best ways to learn is through failure. Every wrong move they make will let them step closer to figuring out the right way.
Don’t Make Them Worry About Breaking a Machine
If you’re hovering over your child, warning him not to press too many buttons on your expensive machine, you’ll suck all the joy out of it. When you’re a kid, buttons were made to be pressed. If you’re worried about your child messing up your $1,000 machine, give her an alternative to use. Find your old starter machine or buy a low-end $150 model just for her.
Make it Fun
If your idea of going detecting together is him standing there watching while you have all the fun, your child probably won’t enjoy it at all. Let him use the detector, pinpointer and shovel once in a while and you can be the one standing there watching.
Go on Mini Hunts
Don’t expect your child to go on all-day hunts. They might not have the stamina or interest for that. Kids naturally have shorter attention spans than most adults. Mini hunts lasting an hour or two will be much more appropriate for them. You don’t want them to see metal detecting as an awful punishment or they will never want to go.