It can be difficult introducing children to preparedness… We all want our children to be ready for anything, yet we do not want to add unnecessary fear. Determining how to teach your child about the realities of the world today and possible future scenarios for which they need to be prepared is not easy, but it is a necessity.
For me, teaching my younger son about preparedness is much like talking him through being left out. Yes, it’s a bummer to be left out. Yes, it can be mentally scary in terms of fearing that others don’t like you. But that’s just the way life is sometimes. I have no interest in having my son be unable to handle rejection or fear as he grows older, especially since he could be on either end of rejection or fear in a SHTF scenario… He needs to have an understanding of the more difficult (and totally normal) parts of life and understand the importance of skills and knowledge are, regardless of feeling left out or sad.
An article that discusses this “left out” issue is from CNN.com and discusses empowering your kid, but not going overboard making him think he’s great so he’ll feell better:
Don’t reassure your kid he’s such a great kid. Of course he’s great but you’re actually telling him he can’t change his fate, says Merryman. “Think about it from the kid’s perspective: ‘I’m really a wonderful kid and they still hate me, what chance do I have?'” says Merryman. “Parents can change that dynamic by telling their kid, ‘They did a bad thing. You did a klutzy thing but you can be different tomorrow.'”
Overall, kids need to be praised for their efforts, not their innate abilities. “The more you praise them for who they are, the more you are telling them that success depends on innate skill rather than what they do,” she says. “You are telling them not to try. It’s really hard to change who you are, not what you do.”
We try our best to teach our young son appropriate social skills, to be a kind person, and to be prepared. Proper skills and knowledge can go a very long way in a bad situation, and we believe it is important to teach our children all sorts of skills now, when they hopefully still have lots of time to practice.
We also try to take advantage of teaching opportunities whenever possible. For example, the other night our younger son sat down with us while we were watching a preparedness show on TV. It Only took a few minutes for our kiddo to start asking questions, and it was fantastic! We got the chance to discuss somewhat frightening situations without stressing out our son. The conversation was great, which is very important.
A huge part of teaching children about preparedness is the dialogue. Not just being available to answer kids’ questions and bark orders, but also to ask them questions. If what they just showed on TV happened, what would you do? What would take With you if we had to leave our home? What do you think we can do to be better prepared, and how you help us do it?
Our son’s answers to those questions opened new doors in his mind. He is now interested in assisting me raising my worms and preparing my dirt for planting, he helps me find coupons so we can stock up on the things we need, and he simply hasn’t stopped asking questions about all sorts of preparedness scenarios, processes, etc.
Seeing someone so young gain an interest in living a more self-sufficient, prepared lifestyle is incredible.