Guest post by Maggie Potter
Parenting while you’re a prepper adds more responsibilities to your plate and new risks and concerns. You have to worry about the survival needs of your kids (which can be different than your own) while trying to balance your role as a parent. If you’re a soon-to-be or new parent, how do you prepare your kids for the future in a way they can understand for their age without causing undue stress and fear? It’s the biggest challenge of parenting as a prepper mom or dad. Fortunately, the task is right up your alley — challenging but not impossible. Here are some ideas on how you can use real-life scenarios as lessons to why your kids need to incorporate more safety and preparation into their lives, just like mommy and daddy do:
Getting your kids into the car and safely buckled in can be a frustrating experience sometimes. They may question or even fight being restrained and don’t understand why it’s necessary. Kids age out of booster seats between the age of 8 and 12, when they’ve reached 4’9” in height. The proper use of seatbelts is critical to their safety. In 2017, NPR reported that 43% of children who died in a car crash were improperly restrained (if at all).
Next time you get into your car, use the experience to blend your parenting and prepping lifestyles into one. Show your kids the different safety features in the car and why you take the time to make sure they’re safely strapped in. Remind your kids that you’re willing to give them plenty of choices as long as they don’t compromise their safety. This means that riding in a car seat is non-negotiable, but they can choose on what side of the rear seat the car seat can be installed in.
While you’re driving, consider playing disaster preparedness games with your kids, asking “what if” questions. Some good questions to ask are:
- What if the locks on the doors don’t open and we need to get out?
- What if we run out of gas?
- Where in the car do we keep spare water and blankets?
- Where is the spare radio?
Adapt the questions to scenarios you’re concerned about.
The Coronavirus Situation
News about the coronavirus in inescapable. It’s on TV, everyone’s talking about it, and the supermarket shelves are empty. Even if your home is a TV and media-free zone, your kids have likely figured out something is wrong. Use the opportunity to provide logical arguments to your kids as to why you choose to be a prepper — to avoid everyday situations like the ones most Americans are currently facing, like food, water, medical supply, and toilet paper shortage.
Vaccinations can be a controversial topic. Some parents are completely opposed, while other parents think vaccines are necessary to stop pandemics. The current coronavirus outbreak can open up a meaningful conversation with your kids on whether you believe vaccines are beneficial or not.
A Dog Bite As A Lesson
Dog bites are some of the most common injuries your child (or someone else’s child) could face. The situation could get you as the parent in trouble with law enforcement if it’s your family’s pet that’s bitten someone. It’s important for all parents to teach their kids about what to do when there’s a dog around. If a dog has bitten your child, or your pet cat clawed him or her, it could provide several valuable learning experiences of what to do in an unpredictable situation.
First of all, your child could learn about being more aware of their surroundings to sense for dangers such as a strange and off-leash dog. Knowing what to do in such a situation is crucial. You can teach your kids to know when to run and when to stand their ground. Enlisting your kids to keep an eye on your dog and be more careful open doors so the dog doesn’t run away could protect other kids in the neighborhood.
Besides learning more about their surroundings, the experience of being clawed or bitten by an animal could teach them more about how to quickly apply first aid to themselves or others. Help them clean up the injury, explaining what is best to use for a bite. Expand into first aid for other types of injuries such as a cut or a burn, and show them what supplies they should always keep handy in case of emergency.
Dealing With Strangers
Imagine a scenario where you’re at the supermarket with your kids, and the lovely cashier offered them some candy or a treat. Although the gesture was probably a kind one, your kids shouldn’t readily accept treats and candy from strangers. Use the experience to reinforce the message to your kids that they should be more careful of their interactions with strangers. Abduction by strangers is statistically low, but safeguarding your kids should still be a high priority.
There are times when your kids may find themselves alone and in need of help from adults they don’t know. Hopefully, these times are rare, but it’s best to be prepared for such scenarios. Helping your kids understand that some strangers may be more trustworthy than others could help them greatly in the moment and in future situations where they may need to judge a person’s character or intentions quickly.
Help your child classify strangers into varying levels of trustworthiness. Although your child should not feel safe with any stranger, they should recognize that in case of an emergency, a mother with kids, an elderly woman, or a uniformed police officer is safer to ask for help than a male adult.
Daily Parenting Lessons That Incorporate the Prepping Lifestyle
Use everyday experiences to reinforce your lifestyle choices with your kids. You don’t have to do much to educate your kids — they are most likely to follow your steps because they love and look up to you, so be the best parent you can be.