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My kids are sheltered. They are, I'll be the first to admit it.
So I have been trying to think of ways to get them prepared for things to come. They are preschoolers/kindergarten age.

How do you explain these things? I straddle the fence between wanting to protect their innocence, and telling them that things are about to change in the world because - I know they are. It isn't just a feeling any more.


As for survival skills:
I tried teaching the oldest to use a can opener. Kid1 doesn't have enough strength to manipulate it. First on my list is finding a can opener they can use.
Any ideas?

I have drilled into them what they do in an earthquake - having drills etc.
They know about emergency bags and emergency food.
I don't know what else I should do.

Have you told your kids things are changing? About war?

Parents, what are your plans?
 

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I like the Kuhn Rikon can openers with the safety lid lifter. No way for the kids to be cut. Amazon.com: Kuhn Rikon Auto Safety Lid Lifter, Black: Kitchen & Dining That's the black one but it comes in other colors.

As in another thread, when you read bedtime stories, say something like "Boy, reading about those pancakes made me hungry, let's try and make some." Or "Do you think we could ______ just like (the character) did?" You'll be "cool mom" for trying things out of the stories. It doesn't scream prepping either. Also pick stories like "Sign of the Beaver" and other historical ones that show how life used to be and might be again.

You might like the "Prepare and Pray" curriculum.
http://www.prepareandpray.com/ They have toddler tales. Your kids wouldn't be old enough to do all of it but a little at a time would work.
 

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Kids are adaptable but too many kids at a young age already have their own phone, iPod, tv, DVD unit, computer, computer games and more. If SHTF then I doubt there will be many services to drive this stuff. So hopefully they won't go into deep depression if it gets cut off. Try to help them to be not so dependent on this stuff .
Even now the only reason I bought Internet service at all is because of the job hunt .

The challenge is more than just for preschoolers. I have 7 grandkids. Two 16 y.o. Grandsons say I won't eat this or that...no way. If SHTF, they will eat the food placed before them after about 3 days of being stubborn and hungry. I know poor and being very limited on groceries. We ate but I swear I can't stand to look at minute prepared foods if I can help it.
So kids may have to learn the hard way. I have a kindergarten grandson who will spaz out without his computer games.
Best of luck.
 

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Fly on the Wall
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I think it's also important to have good discipline over the kids, not that you don't or that any of us wouldn't--but that when you say "SHHHH" they do. When you say "STOP" -- they do. That sort of discipline. A crying baby at the wrong time was always on my list to prep for--pacifier, diaper cream, candy and other "Shut UP!" items are always handy, but by age 4 or less most kids should be able to do that much.

Teaching them to listen and that there are times when they will have to just do and ask questions later is one of the hardest. My girls finally got it around age 7-8, my son? Who knows. :xeye: But it could save their or your lives.

My kids were and are sheltered, the oldest is in college and tells me that. But she also admits she has valuable skills and tools none of her friends do. She is the dorm fix-it person. She cooks. She can garden and sew and make things out of nothing. All quite popular with the broke student crowd! Another daughter is learning to weld and taking high school shop classes as fillers in her schedule. She also cooks, helps me can, and helps keep my inventory. I started teaching them self-sufficiency fairly young, doing that has little to do with keeping them sheltered and innocent.
 

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I always took the policy to wait until the kids asked questions. No point in giving them information that will be hard for them to handle. They are smart enough to know that they depend on you at this time in their life and talking in more than just the most general way about world events should be more than enough. You are their world. They need kid sized bites of info, but mostly at that age their world revolves around you. I'd make sure you take lots of walks, Use lanterns or candles or whatever will be your alternative sources of light, do things you may do in a bug out situation, or a bug in one.. just to let them get used to the idea that it is a normal part of life at your place. That way you won't have to change everything all at once, they will be used to the concepts.
do things you may do in hard times, like cook outdoors, hang laundry on the line, sleep in sleeping bags, For your own peace of mind, do you have somebody who can be second or third in line to recieve the kids if things get hard (you can't take care of them due to injury, illness, death??) It might give you peace of mind to work on this end of things with dear friends or family members. Even if the chosen folk don't believe SHTF may arrive, you will know they will do their best for your little ones. It sounds to me like you are worried about how they will survive if you are not there???
 

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Did you bring beer???
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My Monster is 6 going on 7

My kids are sheltered. They are, I'll be the first to admit it.
So I have been trying to think of ways to get them prepared for things to come. They are preschoolers/kindergarten age.

How do you explain these things? I straddle the fence between wanting to protect their innocence, and telling them that things are about to change in the world because - I know they are. It isn't just a feeling any more.


As for survival skills:
I tried teaching the oldest to use a can opener. Kid1 doesn't have enough strength to manipulate it. First on my list is finding a can opener they can use.
Any ideas?

I have drilled into them what they do in an earthquake - having drills etc.
They know about emergency bags and emergency food.
I don't know what else I should do.

Have you told your kids things are changing? About war?

Parents, what are your plans?


Oh hunny, we ALL have these questions! My son had his first BOB when he was 4. We called it an adventure pack. I explained to him that when we go camping, this was the bag that he carried with him all the time. It had (2) MRE's, 3 bottles of water, first aid kit, snake bite kit, change of clothes, disposable blanket, TP, whistle, battery lantern with red flashing light, sunscreen, coloring book and crayons, etc. ALL things he can minipulate, utilize and take advantage of. Think like a kid. If you were 6, what would you do if you fell down a hill and couldn't find your way out? Yell, scream, blow a whistle. I'm pretty sure there are some threads here on child BOB's.

As for the discussions, I explained to him that the ONLY time he was ever to use it was if he got lost from Mommy, or if something bad happened (earthquake, sever storm, kidnapping, etc). Now granted 4 is very young, but now that he is older (almost 7), he understands SOOO much more. He realizes that being prepared for bad situations is a way of life, not just worrying.

My son and I talk about Obama, the war in Iraq, even the natural disasters. He doesn't understand all of it, and I would never push my opinions on politics or religion on him, but simply telling him things helps him understand better. For instance......"Sometimes people do bad things. When people do bad things like some of the people in the middle east, Americans help that country bring order so that they can be happy like we are. Just like here in America, Police Officers take the bad people away so we can be safe and happy".

Now again, he won't understand all of it, but the concepts themselves are good enough for my little guy at such a young age. As long as you understand that they are going to have questions you have to sugarcoat, telling them some things is great. The more they know now, the more they'll know later.

Hope some of this helps!
 

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One thing I did when my children were young is to play "Mousie" with them; when you say 'Mousie", they go quickly to a safe, pre-determined spot. They do not question, they GO! We played with me and them doing it, then moved on to them by themselves or with sibling. My daughter does this with her children now.

I also agree that there are times when they MUST be silent; this shouldn't be when you want peace and quiet from the noises, but an emergency situation only. Maybe use a code word for this, not "please be quiet"...something like "be a marshmallow" (or something that doesn't have a sound...bunnies?)

Another thing to tell them is how to dial 911 if Mommy is asleep and they can't wake her up. Play the game, use different scenarios..."Mommy fell and isn't getting up" "Mommy is in the shower,but she's sleeping" "Mommy has blood on her face " etc. Make sure they know what to do...

In a SHTF, you won't know the circumstances until they happen, but having them be able to be still and quiet, and not to panic is imperative. If they have a BOB, put a picture of you and them in it, just in case they get separated from you; it brings comfort.

They don't really need to open cans at their age...make sure they have granola bars, dried fruit and veggies in their bags, as well as water.
 

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For me, the problem is the exact opposite. My parents are the ones who are complacent, and I feel like I need to push them along.

Let me think...

Off the top of my head (I'm sure more will come to me later):

-Take them camping/hiking. A lot. In a real life catastrophe, you may have to put those skills to use. Camping is also by its nature an experience that is supposed to deprive you of comfort.

-Get them in the Boy Scouts when they're older. Find a troop that seems active. Trust me, despite the fact that it is certainly "not cool", the experiences there are invaluable. I would be more wary of joining Cub scouts, as it is much more "dumbed down". If you can find a good pack, though, go for it.
 

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I plan to recompile the bug out bags this summer, and to have the grandkids help.

The plan is to get all the various things together, lay them out on the floor, and go over them and what they do and are used for with the grandkids handing them to me and making sure they are able to use it.

I keep trying to remember how old I was when I knew how to use things like a match, or a hammer, or a pocket knife.

I know I got my first single shot .22 at age 9, but we had moved out to grandmas farm by then. I do not think mom would have given me the rifle if we were still living in the city.
 

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Did you bring beer???
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One thing I did when my children were young is to play "Mousie" with them; when you say 'Mousie", they go quickly to a safe, pre-determined spot. They do not question, they GO! We played with me and them doing it, then moved on to them by themselves or with sibling. My daughter does this with her children now.

I also agree that there are times when they MUST be silent; this shouldn't be when you want peace and quiet from the noises, but an emergency situation only. Maybe use a code word for this, not "please be quiet"...something like "be a marshmallow" (or something that doesn't have a sound...bunnies?)

Another thing to tell them is how to dial 911 if Mommy is asleep and they can't wake her up. Play the game, use different scenarios..."Mommy fell and isn't getting up" "Mommy is in the shower,but she's sleeping" "Mommy has blood on her face " etc. Make sure they know what to do...

In a SHTF, you won't know the circumstances until they happen, but having them be able to be still and quiet, and not to panic is imperative. If they have a BOB, put a picture of you and them in it, just in case they get separated from you; it brings comfort.

They don't really need to open cans at their age...make sure they have granola bars, dried fruit and veggies in their bags, as well as water.

Wow, I actually got choked up reading this. It's cheesy, but it breaks my heart when we have to do things like this. It's for the best, but sometimes it scares me on how quickly our children grow up.
 

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Im younger than most here, and It really bothers me the addiction my friends have on TV/videogames... dont keep a PS3 or an Xbox in the house... just don't let them get used to it/have it in their lives...

also, toughen them up a bit... next time they skin their knee and start to cry, tell them its no big deal. dont get upset and if they do get upset leave them alone untill they realize its not so bad.

let them fend for themselves a bit... don't baby them more than you have to.
 

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I just thought of something else from when mine were little; each one had a "secret word or phrase" that only she and I knew. I told her that if I EVER sent someone to pick her up, they would use the secret phrase. Not that long ago, I saw her sign into a site where we sometimes chat, but I wasn't sure it was her and not one of her children; something sounded strange. I asked if it was her, and she replied with the code...I knew then it was her, for sure. if they're in their hidey hole and playing Mousie they shouldn't come out unless they hear you, or someone uses their 'secret' word.
 

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rosesandtea, practice makes perfect. Maybe make it a game to see who can be quiet the longest, winner (always the child!) gets a prize of some sort off and on, and always congratulations. Signal to start "the game" can be physical, as well as "shhhh"... like putting your hand over your mouth, or the child's... cues that can't be missed once he/she is conditioned to them? The more the game is repeated, the more likely it is to be in working order when it is needed 'for real' .
 

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Knowing each child's personality and how they process information makes the teaching and the learning a true pleasure. Some things we can generalize about, but many things need to be addressed in a tailored way.
Carefully chosen words, analogies they can relate to and the fun factor are all critical in my opinion.

We used to have a family "motto" when they were young.
'No matter what, we stick together'. Corny, yeah I know, but they liked it and we would recite it on every outing when they were toddlers.

Something to try to bear in mind - kids, especially young ones, notice and remember more than we realize.
If you, as the parent, demonstrate through action and word that you are capable, confident, honest and fair minded they will use you as their 'model' whether they realize it or not.
It will help off-set what they are about to pick-up from the outside world/school system, or are you homeschooling?

In my opinion, the world is already too full of children who lost out on the magic of being able to be a kid while they still were one. Might explain a little about where we are as modern humans today.

Enjoy your children, they're the best thing you'll ever do.
 

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mine have never been sheltered from anything. they are exposed to all of lifes experiences and have been ready to make their way in the world from not long after they reached their teen years. through out history and through out the world humans have been capable of self determination far earlier than present western society gives them credit for.
 

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Sorry About Your Feelings
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I was sheltered very little as a small child and now as a teenager.
My life story has been (and is) very unusual and turbulent, but honestly I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world.

It is best if kids are exposed to and understand all the harsh realities of this world early on in life.


Not to tell anyone how to raise their kids, and certainly not to sound arrogant... if you like what you see in me and want to replicate it in your children, I have one piece of advice for you.

Stop sheltering them, and don't be overprotective.
 

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The good thing is that we are not reinventing the wheel here, we have many lessons from the past. My children are grown except my 15 year old son, he is well aware of what might happen to our nation and some of the problems our nation is facing.

However, I don't over burden him with it. He's just having the time of his life riding his dirt bike, camping out, hunting and trapping, football and just being a 15 year old boy.

I think children need the security and confidence in their parents. They need to feel you have things well in order and all is well. Both of my daughters have told me they loved growing up knowing I was there for them and they have always felt safe and secure. I think girls need that more from their fathers than do boys.

If we have rasied your children with love and have given them values that last, they will endure whatever comes our way. Our foundation in our home is our faith in God, the walls are constructed in His word and the roof is His love for us...and that love will weather any storm!
 

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Prep and be calm
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I would say focus on skills and make them general. Skills build confidence and help children feel they have some form of power. They too sense tense situations and over hear much more than we realize. There is no point in scaring children or involving them too much in the downside possibilities. These are, after all, speculation until they happen.

I still remember being 12 and on the road on a driving trip during the Cuban missile crisis. My parents were VERY worried. There was talk of nuclear attack. My mother had brought along a store of extra food in the back of our car. It was surreal and I still have nightmares about that and about my father later building a fall out shelter in our basement. I knew what was going on even if I didn't understand it all.

So I would say avoid unnecessarily scaring your children. But allow them to develop strong skills. I think scouts are great for this and it socializes the skill building. It also disarms some of the fears.

The idea of playing games like "mousie" explained above are really good. Any kind of signal games that are generic but do train responses you believe they might need are good. But in reality, children pick up so many clues from the adults around them. When things are really bad, they focus really fast and watch the adults intensely for their cues. Most children will, if they have any good training at all, behave and obey when its really clear their safety is at stake. (Most older children older than 7 or 8 -- some little ones still don't have enough experience to interpret dangers.) For the younger crowd that is where the games are very important.
 
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