A topic that is not talked much about is the survival preparation of our children. We are always talking about us the adult and how we should live a life of preparation, but why not include our children in our knowledge. Perhaps some folks feels, why fill their minds with things that can cause you fear? And if you think like that, then you are making a huge mistake. First I want to clarify that if a Prepper lives in fear of the events for which we’re preparing for, then you’re wasting your time and money, and simply should focus on something else and ask God for peace for your soul. Fear is our worst enemy and it might be a good theme to write in another article. But let’s go back to the main topic of education…the preparation of our children.
How many of us were Boy Scouts ? I personally was in the “Cruzados de America” cadet program and when I was teenager, on the Civil Air Patrol. The Boy Scouts have a comprehensive training program focused on preparation of the youth. When I say prepare, I mean they provide education on topics like “bush-craft”, exposing the children to the survival skills in the forest. Depending on the unit and the child’s age, they learn from basic things like preparing to go camping, and how to make a bonfire and more. But why as their parents not teach these skills to them.
I remember when my children were little, we used to go camping very often. At that time we lived in north Florida and had several state parks nearby and the preferred one was Torrella State Park. Being out of the four walls of the house once in a while and go camping can become a nice family therapy, it brings the family together. Don’t think of the home comforts because then you will not enjoy a minute away from home, it’s better if you don’t go at all. Back in those days I was not a Prepper, but the few things that I learned when I was a cadet and when I was in the Army, I shared with my children. Kids are curious by nature and they love to explore, so you have to find a way to teach your knowledge but not as their dad, instead as their Prepper with more experience. So you have to go down to their level and not be their dad always bossy. You have to play with them, expressing emotions of joy, talk like them (level wise). When you see a flying butterfly or falcon, or when you walk collecting wood for the fire, in short, everything you do, let them see how excited you are of what you’re doing. Remember you should enjoy outdoor big and they will do the same and you will see how they express joy and interest. Do not push them to their limits, if you see them tired, take a few minutes and rest. I committed a lot that mistakes and saw many moments of discouragements in them. Children can have a lot of energy, but can get mentally tired quickly, unless THEY ARE HAVING FUN.
Recognize Their Achievements
There is no greater motivation for a child than recognition of achievements. Even us as adults, we enjoy the recognition in our careers and in our personal lives. A child feels that what they have learned it is important when they are recognize their achievements. I do not mean to compensated them with candies. You need to give an incentive that they can keep for years and they remember that they got it because they learned an important skill.
“There is no greater motivation for a child, than the recognition of his achievements”
Boy Scouts and like many others organizations working with children, uses cloth patches with symbols of specifics crafts that they can wear on their uniforms to show that they have learned specific skills. You can do the same. You can buy a shirt that they can wear when you are teaching them a skill and at the end of the course gives them a patch that they can sew or iron on the shirts (I recommend sewing, as your child will grow and will buy for sure several shirts in their growth). I do not recommend a paper certificate, as most of the time will finished in a wastebasket before the end of the day. These patches you can buy them in Amazon or specialty craft stores.
What To Teach?
Believe it or not, you can teach your child almost any survival skill. Of course, depending on their age, you may not teach a few topics in full detail, but you should be honest with your children and talk about every possible survival topic. For example, in the times in which we live, it is important to talk about mass shootings and school shootings or on the streets (a drive by). What should I do? Perhaps (God forbid), something happened at school, YOU WILL NOT BE THERE to protect your child, but what if you teach them, when they hear a loud explosion or hear screams, they should immediately seek for a place to hide, or if they are very close to a door to run to the outside, run to the schoolyard. These are realities so difficult to imagine, but your child can learn these skills and prepared himself for the worst (always hoping for the best). Apart from that, also teach them to survive to any environment and use techniques learned on camping. Teach them to prepare a place to sleep, make a fire, hunting and fishing, handling a knife, know how to use a map, have a common sense on navigation. It is so sad to see so many adults who you ask where the North or South is, or where is the rising of the sun or the moon and really they do not know jack. Teach them how to get home, alternative meeting places and routes if they are in school. YOU MUST LEARN TO TRUST YOUR CHILDREN, and believe me that was the most difficult part for me. Now days things are so complicated. When I was 12, I was allowed to travel in town using the local buses to go to the pet store, pay the utilities bill for my parents since they were both working. I remember when I was 15, my dad let me go to my first airshow in Chicago alone. It was one of my most nicest experience on my youth and since then, I am a huge fan of airshows. But times have changed and now there are villains everywhere, but believe me that back then we also had bad people. When they get to be teenagers and reach the age of 14 to 16 years, everything is more difficult for the parents, because that is to me the age when friends know more than parents. But if you taught them well from when they were small, to survive and to be part of the family, that adolescence episode will happen smoothly (God’s will).
Your family depends on you. Finally, create an environment in your home that each member of the family is important and each has its place. Prepare a bug-out bag for your children and show them how important they are wearing their backpacks if an emergency occurs. Depending on his/her age, give them some responsibility and practice with them. Something important to do, we can’t skimp their early age. For example, tell them to check that all doors and windows are closed and secured or any other position of importance. I assure you that these will pay off on time and this will lift the child self-esteem, which incidentally is one of the factors today to see so many youngsters in drugs. A high self-esteem child will have a healthy mind and does not require acceptance of others to succeed (no needs for gangs).