LONG time no see! Hope you and yours have been well.
ANYWAY...my soon to be ex-wife was the same way with my daughter. I had my daughter doing a lot of "things" with weapons from a VERY early age. In terms of guns, I had her training with airsoft replicas of what I actually have, and shooting pellet guns. The pellet guns/rifles my soon to be ex-wife could stomach. However, I then graduated my daughter to the real steel stuff. This is where I appreciated the fact of teaching her with the airsoft replicas. Because they replicate almost exactly what their real steel counterparts do in terms of oh let's say, blowback slides, mag release, slide lock on empty, etc...when she handled my G22 it was like second nature. When she was in early grade school, she could name all the basic parts of a shotgun, AR-15, as well as parts of the revolver and semi-auto's. Down to discerning the diff between the de-cock lever and slide release on a SIG! I'm so proud of her...
Anyway by the time she was in 7th grade she could safely inspect the G22 and give it back to me "cleared". I may get reamed for this, but I would give her the G22 LOADED, sometimes one in the chamber and say, "Okay. Clear it and give it back to dad." She had gone through this many times with the airsoft Glock, so she'd drop the mag, rack the slide, out flies a .40 round, rack again, and once more, lock the slide back manually, check the barrel, then give the G22 back to me, handle first, then hand me the mag after she retrieved the round that flew out. By the time she was in 9th grade, she could field strip an AR-15, reassemble, and function check it. And all that shooting with the airsoft as well as pellet guns taught her not only nomenclature, but gun safety, as well as trigger press, AND going through shooting drills not allowed on any straight down the line range. She also learned the difference's between many different semi-auto pistols, revolver's, and rifles thanks to her uncle who has tons of everything. Reason being for example, she's at a friend's house, perps breaking in successfully, friend's dad owns a gun, friend doesn't know how to use it. But my daughter would.
With the way thing's are going on in the world, I'm glad I taught her the thing's I did. Yes, some might deem them "unsafe", but that's a relative word.
I too, like Deac', grew up without a dad. I shot a LOT of BB/pellet guns at an early age though, and did not shoot a real gun (H&K USP 45) until I was out of high school. However, all that shooting with BB/pellet guns, learning trigger press, breathing, muzzle awareness,sight pic, etc. taught me a lot. So much so that I won Top Gun in my Corrections basic training and have yet to be beaten during our annual re-qualifications after almost 13 years. I got laughed at in BCT when asked if I was shooting to practice for the Top Gun and I said, "Yeah." Classmates were like, "With what? Revolver? 357? .38?" My answer, "Revolver...Crosman. .177"
No one laughed after I was received my Top Gun Award from the Department Director. My daughter shot several real guns for the first time several years back, only because we don't have a range here. We went to this spot where hunters zero their guns. She was bored with my Ruger 22, so I let her shoot my G17. It kept stove piping on her, so i thought her wrist was limp, she said it wasn't. I then let her shoot my G22 and she was hooked. So much so I got her her very own matching G22 like dad's. I showed her my Taurus Judge SS that day and she was like, "Hmmmm, no. I'll pass on that one."
Train her Tony. I am sure you love the heck outta her like how I love my daughter. Oh yeah, last year I was cleaning a Beretta and my daughter's boyfriend saw it and oohed and ahhed over it because it was, "a gun he uses from one of his video games". I locked the slide back and said, "Here. Feel the real thing. Go ahead, check out the trigger." He stared at it for awhile, my daughter watching the whole time. Several minutes went by, and she grabs the Beretta from him and goes, "Oh here! You do it like this! CLACK!" He had no idea how to unlock the slide!!!
Right on Tony for posting this. Good to see you again sir.