Although prepping is seen more as an “activity for old-timers” I believe that everyone should stand prepared, regardless of age. If you are preparedness likeminded, you should teach your children about emergency preparedness from a young age as it will help them become more self-reliant.
With all the distractions available in this modern world of ours, kids might not fully understand what is going on around them, from natural disasters to economic crisis that affect families all over the country. If this information is not part of their daily lives this doesn’t mean that they aren’t just as equally affected if it hits the fan. If you want to teach your children about emergency preparedness you should empower them and alleviate their fears of the unknown. A parent’s job is not easy and adding emergency preparedness into the equation will certainly complicate things. However, parents can provide their children with the proper knowledge and tools to boost their confidence during times of chaos.
How to teach your children about emergency preparedness:
Start by talking about it
Every parent should have an age-appropriate conversation with their child regarding the events from their life and the same rule applies when it comes to prepping. You should start by asking them about what would happen during various scenarios, for example if a blizzard hits your area and there is no more power. What would stop working in the house and what can be done about it? This will help trigger an alternative thinking process and they will figure out which alternatives should be used for their electricity and technology needs. If you start to teach your children about emergency preparedness you should expect that some of the scenarios you put on the table may frighten your kids and you need to be ready to comfort them. Explain that even though these types of things happen and you cannot control them, you can definitely control the outcome by preparing supplies to have what would be needed.
Get them involved every time there’s an opportunity
My grandsons are eager to help me pick out groceries that do not require refrigeration and they help me search for foods with extended shelf life. I try to get them involved in all my prepping activities that may seem like a game for them and I believe that learning through playing works. I ask them to help me organize my supplies and look for places to store flashlights or any other items that should be in reach during an emergency. If your kid is adventurous and eager to discover new things, take them out camping and teach them outdoor skills that would prove useful, like building a lean-to shelter for example. Some good friends of ours made a “chores” schedule for their pantry and their kids have specific tasks assigned, they check the temperature, the dates on the cans and so on. This helps them become more responsible and they learn about food preservation.
Related reading: 10 Best survival foods at your grocery store
Make a plan with your kid
When you teach your children about emergency preparedness a big deal of attention should be put into what your child should do if ever you were not together when all hell breaks loose. Every kid should know important phone numbers, meeting places and who to contact depending on the situation. You can quiz them on this information and test their ability to follow through a specific scenario. Even allowing them to follow a map that leads to various meeting spot will help you figure out what needs to be improved. Play the” what if?” game every time you get the chance and analyze how your child responds and how the thinking pattern evolves.
EDC for your kid
Building kids’ consciousness regarding prepping often requires a visual aid and making a small emergency kit provides both confidence and security for your kids. When you teach your children about emergency preparedness you should put yourself in their shoes and think about the items they would need to have, without complicating things too much. Make sure the emergency kit contains items such as water pouches, high-calorie energy bars, a whistle, a light stick, band-aids and an emergency blanket. This may seem overkill at first, but there are now parents buying backpacks with bullet-resistant inserts to keep their kids safe should it hit the fan.
Your kid, your way!
When you start to tech your kids about emergency preparedness, the key is to lead by example. You should make sure you have everything covered for each family member starting with the five basics: water, food, shelter, energy and defense. Your kids are an important part of your life and you should know what triggers their attention, what their limits are and how much you can stretch their comfort zone. Regardless however it is you decide to prepare, remember that your kids have a different perspective of life and they lack the skills needed to survive. As long as you are a part of their life, your prepping plan should be costumed to fit their capabilities.
This crazy world we live in creates more and more opportunities for disaster to strike and I truly believe that you should teach your children about emergency preparedness before it’s too late. I’m not going to discuss about school shootings or social upheaval as you are probably seeing enough of it on TV. Think about what would happen if your kids get trapped in the middle of a crisis… are they prepared to survive?
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