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Children Prepping for an Apocalypse or Natural Disaster
When a Child Wants Prepping Supplies
If your teenager or pre-teen wants to spend money on prepping supplies, don't over-react. There's many other things to be more concerned about a child spending money on.
Help a child with seemingly-obsessive concerns about disasters and catastrophes put their concerns into perspective.
- Discuss the issues.
- Listen to what your child says.
- Acknowledge that we don't know what the future might hold.
- Credit your child with being open-minded and prepared for events that may or may not happen.
- You can be supportive without being paranoid.
If prepping for an apocalypse is your child's current passion, it would be a mistake to disregard it. Make sure you include at least a couple of prepping-related gifts among other birthday and Christmas gifts.
Gifts for Teenage Preppers
There's a bunch of really good gifts you can give to teenagers currently obsessed with prepping.
- Camping Supplies
- Books about self-sufficiency
- All kinds of other reference books. (Kids know books will be important if the internet goes down.)
- Vegetable seeds and space in the garden to grow them
- First-aid training course (to learn about applying bandages, administering CPR etc)
- First-aid kit
- Solar-powered flashlight
- Dynamo flashlight
Perhaps the greatest gift you can give a teen prepper is your time and supportive interest.
- If you've never grown vegetables before, learn with your child
- Attend the first-aid course together
- Go camping together (but don't 'take over' the important tasks)
- Find opportunities for your child to use their flashlight, instead of always using your bigger mainstream battery-powered one.
Teen Preppers Don't Need Guns
Remember, the main aim of any prepper should be to survive a disaster or catastrophe by being self-sufficient. This requires developing a range of skills. Help your child identify and develop skills that will make a difference if life as we know it changes.
A gun is not a gift for a teenager. Remind your child they'll get a faster, easier meal from vegetables they grow, instead of waiting for a rabbit to run past. Not only do they have to shoot it, but they then have to clean it and cook it before they can eat it.
In a genuine catastrophe, the prepper with a good garden supplying fresh food (and the ability to spot edible plants) will undoubtedly survive longer than a starving hunter with a gun but no animals, no fire, or lacking the skills and stamina to properly clean and cook the animals they shoot.
A successful prepper should be able to survive without a gun. With the right skills and prepping tools, there's no need to become involved in conflict.
Encourage your child to keep their head down, stay away from riots and public clashes, fly under the radar ... and survive.
Anyone who is seriously interested in surviving apocalyptic events, including teenagers who fear for their future, should be encouraged to become 'peaceful preppers'.
Instead of prepping for war and carnage, prepare for temporary inconvenience (due to natural disasters) or economic collapse.
- Be able to sleep safe and warm without your bed
- Be able to eat without access to a kitchen
- Learn to identify edible foods ... and grow them
- Know how to stay dry during rain outdoors
- Be able to light your way in the night
- Confidently find (and collect) safe water to drink
- Have tools to recharge your phone etc without access to the electricity grid.
These are the basic survival skills of a peaceful prepper.
So where will you sleep?
Disasters on TV News
You can't argue with the television news. Children who are exposed to news footage of chaos and mayhem following natural disasters or other catastrophes have every right to wonder if they may one day be caught up in a similar disaster.
And, sadly, they might be right.
It might not be during your lifetime, but your kids are likely to outlive you. What's wrong with them developing skills (and therefore confidence) to meet the challenges of life head on?
Television news reflects the issues and problems experienced by others. Intelligent children can make the link between the lives of others, and their own. It makes perfectly good sense for them to want to be prepared and equipped to survive.
Children and Teenagers Prepping
Help your children and teenagers identify the most useful items for successful prepping.
- If you live in a flood-prone area, an inflatable raft is probably a very good item to have on hand.
- If you live in tornado territory and may be forced to take refuge in an underground bunker, what will you need?
- A sleeping bag and inflatable bed are incredibly useful for anyone who may need to spend a night sleeping on the floor, irrespective of whether or not they risk losing their home.
- Teaching small pets to be confined in a carry bag or box is a good idea for kids who fear leaving little fluffy behind if ever faced with forced evacuation.
- Wherever you live, kids should learn how to grow edible and medicinal plants they might need one day.
Help your children see that some prepping activities have more relevance to your family's environment and situation than others.
If you live in a flood-prone area ...
Useful Prepping Skills for Children and Teens
The best prepping skills are life skills. If your child, pre-teen or teenager is committed to prepping in anticipation of an unexpected catastrophe, whether it be man-made or natural, this is a perfect opportunity to teach life skills.
Instead of hitting the panic button and rushing your child off to therapy for their 'unnatural' fear of an apocalyptic event, try and be constructive in your advice.
Here's a range of important life skills you should encourage your young prepper to develop.
- Organic gardening
- Tying knots (for a range of applications)
- Map reading (The old-fashioned way.)
Most parents are looking for ways to shift their kids away from computers and technology. If your child wants to start prepping, be happy they're likely to spend more time outdoors.
Learn Useful Skills
As your child grows older, here's some other interesting activities they might choose to pursue:
- Rock climbing
Countless hobbies and interests spring from an interest in prepping and survival. By the time your kids are older teenagers or young adults, they may choose to actively participate in healthy outdoor lifestyle activities.
With a fit, healthy body the whole process of growing up becomes a little easier.
While some of these sports like rock climbing and abseiling may seem 'risky' at first glance, it is important to remember that the vast majority of teenagers pass through a stage of risk taking. For some that means drugs and self-harm.
Other kids, including one of mine, choose to get their thrills from rock climbing with experienced rock climbers with all the safety devices in place. Yes, she's dangled from cliff faces on occasion, but she mainly participates at indoor venues for exercise and fun after work.
An outdoor lifestyle and passion is, in my opinion, much healthier for young people than trips to the pub or nightclubs.
Not All Preppers are Doomsday Preppers
We've all heard about doomsday preppers who bury themselves in the side of a mountain or in a bunker beneath their garage. Some people spend an extraordinary amount of time and money storing edible goods in cans, bottles and heat-sealed packages. They hide away in anticipation of an apocalyptic disaster.
Personally I believe they are far more likely to encounter the use-by date on their stored goods before they have any reason to start eating them.
Doomsday preppers tend to make their lives unnecessarily complicated and isolated. Why build walls and peepholes to protect your food store?
Just plant carrots between the roses in your garden. Most marauding mobs in search of food to steal will walk right past your carrot tops.
Desperados will be floundering around as they try to find food, looking for the stash of a doomsday prepper to plunder, and frustrated by their inability to cope.
Meanwhile, your clever kid will be sitting under a tree watching the drama unfold, safe in the knowledge your family won't starve. If your child keeps their private supply of nutrients stored in the soil exactly where nature intended, they'll have a lot less to worry about if ever they are caught in civil unrest over food supplies.
Their biggest challenge will be to resist the temptation to laugh out loud and draw attention to themselves when chomping on fresh parsley and retrieving fresh root vegetables from hiding spots among the flowers and bushes.
Encourage your children to understand not all preppers are extreme doomsday preppers in the way they see on tv. They can be prepared for catastrophic events without being totally consumed by the process.
Life Continues for Teen Preppers
Perspective is a wonderful tool. With the ability to look back and apply hindsight, having a child with a seemingly unnatural interest in prepping for catastrophes will no doubt be a positive experience.
Like all teenagers, yours will soon enough be ready to leave home and follow their own life path. University, travel, job opportunities, a love interest. Something will inspire them to pack up and move on when they become young adults.
When that day comes, you can thank your lucky stars they spent a year or two devoted to prepping and learning valuable life skills.
- Unlike most kids at university, they'll know how to cook
- Unlike many of their peers, they'll enjoy the taste of fresh fruit and vegetables
- Your child won't be forced to rely on pizza and fast foods
- Better for their health!
- They'll be strong swimmers, so you won't have to worry about them going to the beach with friends
- Equipped with camping and map reading skills, you won't have to stress when they go back-packing
- Armed with a solar/dynamo torch or flashlight, your child will never be lost in the dark
- With first-aid knowledge, your child will be able to help others in need ... and be able to bandage and treat most of their own injuries.
Yes, life will continue for your teenage prepper, and they'll be well prepared to cope with it.
And if the day ever should come when your child is faced with some kind of man-made or natural disaster (no matter how big or small it might be), you can breath a sigh of relief. You'll be pleased you didn't, in a moment of panic, stop your child from prepping for that unseen catastrophe they must have had an early premonition about.
© 2015 LongTimeMother