If you are practicing the strategy of survival prepping, it’s important that you understand this is not a one person tactic. If you have a spouse and children, this is something you need the entire family in on.
Not only does it help you achieve your goals of prepping faster when everyone is on board, but it also delivers peace of mind and greater effectiveness when your children are raised to understand how survival works.
Nothing is more jarring than having a major survival event occur and being the only one in the room who knows what to do, or how. By raising your family to be involved in your survival prepper plans, you will be arming them with the knowledge they need to whether any terrible situation in a worst case scenario.
There are 10 things you can do to cultivate a survival mindset among your entire family. These are done without using fear. Instead, you will be teaching your loved ones these lessons by using an empowering tone and action plan.
Begin Teaching Your Kids Survival Fundamentals
One of the most basic things you will need to do in order to prepare your family for survival situations is begin teaching the most fundamental skills they will need to survive.
You never know if you will be there to help them, so it’s imperative that you help them learn how to do this on their own. Because it is the most important resource, you will want to start by teaching your children and spouse how to find or create clean water from and unclean source.
For example, you will want to teach them the difference between a running water source and a stagnant one, and explain to them the dangers that they cannot see. Show them how to use water purifying products and also how to boil water to disinfect it.
You will also want to teach your family how to find food if they are without the proper resources that you have been storing over time. There may be an instance where they have to bug out of the area and our unable to take their bug out bag with them.
They need to know how to forage off of the land as well as how to trap small animals or gather other food to keep them alive. If there is a possibility that they will not be in your local area, then you want to teach them how to source plants, and that’s that are edible in whatever location they may be in.
After you teach them about food and water, you will want to go over the basics of setting up a shelter using both the products that you have purchased, such as a tent, and also creating one from what is found in nature.
Buy Survival Products That Are Right for Their Age and Size
If you are getting your family involved in the survival process, it’s important that you shop smart when you are stocking up on supplies and choose items that are a good fit for their age and size.
Younger children may not be able to carry the same kind of load than an older child or adult can. They may have less energy then you, and will be unable to carry as much weight.
When you are packing their bug out bag, make sure you are including age appropriate items that will help them with both their physical and mental needs. For example, if your child has a small stuffed animal that is extremely important to them, it may be something you can fit in the bag to offer support in a stressful situation.
You want to put items in their bug out bag that they will know how to use on their own. Again, there is always a possibility that you will not be with them at some point. They need the essentials as well as items that will make survival easy on them.
Create Plans and Practice Implementing Them
One thing you want to do with your family in order to give them peace of mind with all survival situations is to create plans for each possible event. You have to practice what to do, and not just talk about it.
Make sure that you have a plan for everyone to meet at a certain spot. Make a contingency plan in case the family is unable to meet at home. This is especially important if you have teenagers who are driving and may not be with the family when an event unfolds.
You want to teach your family how to analyze whether or not an area is safe to enter. Have several different backup plans and make sure everyone knows in which order they are to adhere to them.
Practicing these plans is something that should be done periodically, but not on a regular basis. For example, you don’t want to teach then what to do in the event of a wildfire every single weekend.
A better way to schedule the practice of your survival plans is to look for news that discusses the possibility of something happening, such as a hurricane forming off the coast.
Try to make the experience exciting and fun for your family, and don’t base it on fear or get angry and lecture them if they forget a step. They are more likely to remember it if it is an enjoyable situation, even if you are discussing something serious.
Get Them in Physical Shape for Survival
It’s important that you help your family get in physical shape for survival situations. This is not something where you need to harp on a young teenager to lose weight, and destroy their self-confidence.
Instead, make it about the physical tasks that they will be required to do in the event of an emergency, such as having to walk from one place to another if there is no possibility to fill the car with gas.
You can get your family on a regular walking schedule, which is even more effective if you do it outdoors in case of a bug out situation. You can also help them learn how to hike in other settings, such as the wilderness, and you can start them on a strength training regimen.
Prepare Their Mind for Survival
Besides helping your family prepare their body for survival, you also want to help them ready their mindset. The stress of a survival situation unfolding can be a heavy burden on all ages, but especially on children who feel very vulnerable.
It’s important that you talk to your kids and let them know that just because you are preparing for certain situations, doesn’t mean that they are inevitable. You want them to feel empowered and brave, rather than terrified and shy of confronting the situation.
Your children will likely pick up on your attitude about survival preparations. Make sure that you are not ranting about what’s in the news and instilling fear in their mind. You may be blowing off steam, but to your child, it will seem like the end of the world.
Teach Them How to Use First Aid Products and Strategies
Every survival prepper needs to know how to use a variety of first aid products. It may end up being you that is hurt, and you will need your family to help treat your medical issues.
Again, there also may be a situation where your loved ones are separated from you and they will need to know how to use the first aid kit that is in their bug out bag. Take time to go through it and teach them how to use each item in it.
They will need to know things like how to dress wounds so that they don’t get infected, how to deal with rashes or pain from the sting of an insect, and even more serious things such as how to perform CPR and save a life.
Take Them to Different Survival Settings
To prepare your family for survival, you have to understand that it won’t always take place within the four walls of your home. It may occur elsewhere, such as if your house is destroyed or the area is uninhabitable.
If you have to bug out to another location, you don’t want it to be an unfamiliar and stressful situation for your family. You need to get them familiar with how to live in nature, or at least survive in it temporarily.
This will include things like learning how to forage for food, teaching them about wild animals that they may encounter (as well as how to protect themselves from them), and how to safely start a fire for both warmth and cooking purposes.
You can go on simple camping trips to various locations so that they can begin to see what it would be like to sleep in a tent or under a tarp. They need to be familiar with what it sounds like to sleep under the stars, and how it feels when you do not have the convenience of a heater or air conditioner to regulate your body temperature.
Get Your Children Trained in Self Defense
In a survival situation, you will often encounter many unsavory characters. Whether they are trying to steal your supplies, or simply bringing chaos to the community, you want your children and spouse to know how to protect themselves.
There are many different forms of self-defense that you can teach children from a young age. There are also martial arts that are great self-defense classes for women. Make sure everyone is trained to the best of their ability, but also teach them what to do in the event of an attack.
It’s always best to evacuate a situation as opposed to standing your ground and fighting someone about something. But you also have some inevitable situations where fighting is your only option, so they need to know what to do if faced with that situation.
For example, if a dangerous situation occurs, you don’t want to have to tell your family what to do in front of the attacker. It should already be decided that the children stand back out of the way, but the entire family should gang up on the individual if necessary.
Let Kids Know How to Alleviate Stress in Survival Situations
Because of the stress of a survival situation, even if it’s simply the grid going down temporarily, you want to teach your kids how to combat stress on their own. There are many ways for children to learn how to self soothe that are healthy.
First, it helps for children to keep their mind occupied by doing tasks rather than sitting there fretting about an event. You can keep them involved in helping around the house or campsite so that they feel useful.
Another thing you can do to help teach your child how to alleviate stress is to make sure that you have some age appropriate books that they would enjoy. A book is a great way to become immersed in a different storyline than the one they are currently living.
If they are unable to read, then you can read to them. You can also become adept at having them learn how to make up stories of their own to keep themselves entertained and keep their mind on something else.
It’s important that you pack some sort of entertainment in the bug out bag for your children to keep stress at bay. The toys don’t have to be large or heavy, but they can go a long way in helping your child stay calm in the midst of chaos.
There are so many different games your family can play that do not require you carrying any type of supplies or toys. For example, you can tell your child a Riddle that they have to figure out, or play I Spy with them.
Have Your Kids Tested for Allergies in Case of a Bug Out Scenario
In the event of a survival situation, you may have to bug out in the outdoors, which can often cause certain family members to feel as if they are becoming sick. The reality is, they are allergic to some of the local plant life.
Because you will be consuming nuts, or possibly having to be around insects such as bees, you want to make sure that the allergy issue is not serious enough for you to have to carry an Epi pen for them.
If your child is found to have certain local allergies to plant life, it may be helpful for you to invest in a supply of local, pure honey. Have your child begin taking one tablespoon of this per day, and it should help their body acclimate to the local levels of pollen and other irritants.
Raising a family of preppers it can be both a fun and rewarding journey. When everyone is involved, you will see more getting done towards your goal of being fully prepared for any and all survival situations.
Get them involved in every decision, both small and large. If you’re shopping and want to pick up a couple of extra items for the food storage, have them help pick them out using you for extra guidance.
Even if you are shopping for a plot of land for a homestead, take them with you and let them voice their opinion about the land, even if you are the final decision maker. They need to feel empowered about this issue, and having a voice will do that.