So I went to my daughter’s first grade parent-teacher conference the other day, sat down at a kid-sized desk with the teacher and she starts off by handing me THIS:
And says, almost apologetically, that “we’ve been asked to hand these to parents” as she shrugs. It’s a juicy sized 8.5×11 foldout informational piece on earthquakes in Maine. What, you didn’t know Maine is prone to earthquakes? Well, we ain’t no California, but check the historical Maine earthquake map action that manifests itself when you unfold this bad boy of a publication:
No, this post isn’t about earthquakes in Maine – it’s about … the children. Indoctrinating the children, making them SURVIVAL children, like in Lord of the Flies. Maybe not quite that far, but in raising two young children, any logical prepper must ask – how do I teach the children? And at what time?
Prepping, when viewed as a lifestyle, leaves little room such questioning. You tend the garden, you take the kids with you and they learn by default (as an example). Prepping, when viewed simply as getting some food/water/gear stored up, might be approached a little differently when speaking to kids. What do you say to the child that asks, “Dad, why do we have so many buckets of food in the basement? My friends’ parents don’t have this much?”
Do you say:
A) You can’t handle the truth,
B) Because you kids eat too much,
C) Prepping – duh, or
D) Because an apocalypse could happen, and when it does, we’ll be ready; but your friends and their parents – they’ll be dead.
There is no right answer. It depends entirely on the child’s age, situation and state-of-mind. One kid may handle the notion of invading hordes of zombies just fine while the same notion keeps another kid up in fear for nights on end. But surely there must be some guidelines on when to talk to a child about prepping. Guidelines that YOU can give ME.
For example, talking to your kid about having flashlights and spare food in case the power ever goes out can happen at any age. But most of us don’t prep for mere power outages. We prep for a grid-down situation, EMP-style where everything goes downhill and societal order collapses. When do you tell your kid about just-in-time delivery and what it would mean if trucking stopped?
When do you teach your kids how to shoot a gun? I remember growing up with my single shot 20 gauge and a full ammo can sitting in my bedroom closet next to my Star Wars figures. What age is too young? Massad Ayoob offers some insight on this in his article, Of Kids and Guns.
How have you talked with your kids about TEOTWAWKI? How did you do it without filling them with fear?