This week on the podcast we have a special guest Morgan from RoguePreparedness on with us to talk about preparedness with children and some challenges she recently encountered.

Morgan recently went on a multi-state 30 day trip with her husband and 2 children and shared some of her takeaways with us. Experiences like this are a great way to find the flaws in your bug out plans, and gives you an idea about how difficult bugging out with children could actually be.

Morgan is very active on social media and has some great videos on YouTube. If you have small children and have any questions, she is definitely the person to ask.

Below are some of the topics we covered in this weeks show, but make sure and listen because we went through so much more.

Tips for Preparing With Children

Sometimes in any given household only one of the parents is concerned about preparedness, and most of the time the children in that household could care less, after all their idea of doomsday is losing a girlfriend or their cell phone breaking.

If we do this correctly we can at the very least increase awareness about preparedness without turning them off to the idea all together. This article is about teaching your children about preparedness, but some of the principals can be applied to your other family members as well.

We need to remember that each person, child or adult, has a different personality and will take a different approach when we discuss prepping. Some people learn better by reading from a book, and some people need to be hands. Some people are more analytical, and some people are more emotional. It’s up to us to figure out what the best teaching method is for each child.

The age of your children needs to also be taken into account. As Lisa and I talked about in the show, we got serious about prepping when our children were already teenagers, and while it is possible to teach an old dog new tricks, it is far more challenging than teaching them right in the first place.

I came up with 9 ideas that might help build your child’s (or children) awareness about preparedness, these might need to be changed here and there depending on your child’s needs, but the principals remain the same.

1. Teach Them to Respect the Essentials

Children these days have no idea about what life is like without technology, and they have no idea where food and water actually come from. If the internet goes out for just an hour they have no idea what to do, and when all the spaghettiO’s are gone they act like there is nothing in the house to eat.

Teach them about food and water, teach them about electricity. Teaching them not to take for granted that the lights just magically come on when you flip a switch, and the water might not always flow from the faucet will give them an appreciation for what they have.

2. Teach the Basics of Prepping

You hear the stories all the time, and it might even be you. “I’ve been a prepper my whole life, and didn’t know It.” Teaching your children about canning, gardening, food storage and self-reliance will teach them that it’s just what smart people do.

Camping and survivalist skills are also a great way to get the ball rolling. Teaching them the basics of fire, water safety, building shelter can introduce your children to the importance of preparing.

3. Get Them Involved in Prepping

Children are always trying to emulate their parents, this can be good or bad. If we teach our children good habits and give them a few small things that they are responsible for they will have a bigger sense of involvement.

Let them join in when you are cooking, gardening or building something. They might not actually be “helping” you, but the fact that they are involved gives them an idea about how the process works.

4. Watch What You (and They) Say

Be careful about labeling what you are doing as “prepping” to children, they love to brag and because they talk to others who might not understand what prepping is, it might lead to unwanted attention. We know what prepping is all about, but because of shows like Doomsday Preppers some people have misconceptions.

Also take the opportunity to teach them about operational security when you can. This is the same concept as “never take candy from a stranger”, we spend so much time thinking about security we need to make sure our children don’t give away the farm.

5. Let Small Children Build Their Own Emergency Bag (With Your Help)

Even if they build a bug out bag full of toys let them put what they want in the bag. Ask them why they decided they needed that and use this as an opportunity to teach them about emergency preparedness.

As time goes on you will see that some of the toys will be replaced with more useful supplies. As they become more responsible you can give them supplies to add and explain how important they are.

6. Teach Them the 6 Areas of Preparedness

The 6 areas of preparedness are food, water, shelter, security and sanitation, and first aid. Just about everything we do is an opportunity to teach children about the 6 areas of preparedness.

When we are cooking or gardening we can teach them where food actually comes from, when we are working around the house we can teach them about shelter and security. You might even be able to get them a little more excited about cleaning…good luck with that through.

7. Plan and Practice

Just like fire drills at school we need to practice and teach our children the plans we have in place. This might seem a little repetitive to them, but when the time comes, the more they practice, the smoother the plan will go.

Make sure children of all ages know what to do if and when an emergency when the family is separated. Small children might have the assistance of adults, but teenage children might not be where you think they are and will need to know how to reunite with the family.

8. Games and Movies

Games and movies are a great way to open up the dialog and ask the “what if” questions about emergency preparedness. Games are good for small children, and movies might be better for older children.

Make sure whatever you do it’s at their learning level, you want to extend their interest in preparedness, not scare them away from it. This article from Urban Survival Site has a great article about getting your kids involved with prepping.

9. Don’t Scare Them Away From Preparedness

When we are teaching our children about preparedness we are going to be walking a thin line between scaring them and preparing them. We need to remember that children look to us for safety and we can’t put too much on their plate.

This article from Survivopedia about mistakes to avoid explains in more detail about what we should and shouldn’t do when teaching our kids about preparedness.

Have Ideas or Questions?

Let me know if you have any ideas in the comments below? Preparing with children can be a challenge, and is different for every family.

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Survival and being prepared should not only be a passion, it should be a lifestyle. The definition of a prepper is "An individual or group that prepares or makes preparations in advance of, or prior to, any change in normal circumstances, without substantial resources from outside sources" Like the Government, police etc. I don't believe that the end of the world will be the "end of the world" I believe it will be the end of the world as we know it now. You can also find me on Google Plus and Twitter

    1 Response to "Tips for Preparing With Children"

    • The Wiseman

      I’m not talking about a hurricane or a snowstorm here, but instead, “S.H.T.F.” Perhaps an asteroid crash into South America, or a pandemic in Canada. In other words, Real “DOOMSDAY”.
      In such a situation, you are solely responsible for the survival of those kids. And the preparations that you have made is all that stands between your kids and real starvation. Therefore, you cannot, you must not, SHARE your preps with neighbors!
      Because, they will shortly clean you out and then all your preparations are for naught!
      Because of the importance of your preps in a real disaster situation, YOU CANNOT LET YOUR NEIGHBORS KNOW WHAT YOU HAVE PREPARED! If Mary next door comes to you three days into the disaster with her baby on her hip, and confesses to you that her dog ate all her preps and can you spare a hundred pounds of dry milk, a dozen freeze dried hamburgers and a quart of Vodka, what are you going to say, if you took her downstairs last Summer and showed her “what a real preparation layout looks like…”?
      If you and your kids can’t keep a secret, don’t bother to prep!

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