Every parent wants the best for our children but even if your kids don’t have a career as a high paid athlete, find fortune running the next tech firm that makes billions of dollars or invents the cure for cancer, we do all want them to be safe. Safe is a funny word and it can be viewed in lots of ways. I wrote a post about how we need to let our children get hurt some time back on the Prepper Journal. By hurt I meant normal childhood injuries that come with exploring and learning your boundaries. In that article I tried to highlight some of the absurdities that people have come up with to keep anything bad from happening to little junior to the point that they were nearly wrapped head to toe in protective gear when they stepped onto the child safe playgrounds. My grandfather would have gagged.
No, when I am talking about safe, I mean safe from truly bad people. I am not talking about some scraped knees or even a broken arm from a skateboard accident; I am referring to horrible acts that parents everywhere fear deeply, even if we don’t dwell on it too much. One of my frequent prayers is that my family is safe when I am away or not with them. I don’t worry excessively but there is that tingle in the back of your mind when you think about how horrible you would feel if something bad happened to one of your precious offspring.
Praying certainly is something we can all do and I don’t mean to get off on a tangent here at the Prepper Journal. I believe in prayer, but there are other steps I think we can additionally take to help our kids be better equipped to deal with some of the unfortunate aspects of life today. The more we can help our kids with information I think, the better we can prepare them to act when it counts. It may not do anything, but it could be the one thing that keeps them alive. Have you thought about equipping your children to survive?
Equipping them with Knowledge
I think that one of the simplest acts we can do as parents is talk to our children. This is a fine line we walk as parents though because I don’t mean that we should make them fearful of their shadow. At the same time, different children at different ages can handle varying degrees of information so without painting with too broad a brush I think it is perfectly fine to give children information about the world, appropriate to their age that could help them if they were faced with a dangerous situation. Like most parents, I am sure the old “don’t talk to strangers” and “never get into a car with anyone” come to mind and these are perfect examples of the type of instructions I am talking about. We usually start off with this type of information when the children we have raised are away from us and I don’t think this makes them overly fearful; it just gives them some advice for their safety,
As children get older, they are able to handle more information, concepts and theories and depending on how things are in your family, they may be exposed to more news which seems to constantly deliver something to worry about. As it relates to your children, you can share your knowledge with them about threats. What you expect them to do in various situations and some of those may even be counter to what they are told by the authorities over them at various locations. For example I told one child of mine to run like their lives depended on it if they were ever in a situation where someone was shooting and none of their family was near obviously. If they were in school or the mall, they are to run until they get far away from that building. This might rub someone the wrong way, but I think it is crazy to hide while someone walks slowly around shooting everyone they find. Running puts distance between you and who is shooting at you and I want all of my children to do that if possible and they are in the same situation.
Another aspect of knowledge could be simply how to get from wherever they are to your house or a safe location. Have you ever had your children tell you which way to turn as you were driving in order to get back home or to their school? This might sound foolish, but we must have watched every single episode of Bear Grylls TV show Man VS. Wild with our kids. They can all make fires, build shelters and know the basics of a boatload of survival concepts. They aren’t going to parachute into the Alps of course, but if they are watching TV at least it was something I could say exposed them to methods they could use if they found themselves in a survival scenario. Hopefully that counters all the Hanna Montana they saw…
Equipping them with Confidence
This is something I need to do more of but as often as I can, I try to reinforce with my children that they are not helpless. Just because their age or size limits what I or society will let them get away with, that doesn’t mean that they can’t do great things. Your children need to have confidence in their abilities. This could be physical abilities like athletics, but I am talking more about the ability to deal with situations that are or should be out of their league. What will your child do if they become lost? Will they wilt and sit in the floor crying (age appropriate again of course) or would they use the knowledge you have shared with them above to stop and think about how to react to this situation they have found themselves in?
Confidence can be learned in a lot of ways and some parents might even be teaching your kids without even thinking. Confidence can be things so small you might not even consider them like ordering at a restaurant. Can your children clearly and confidently make decisions and communicate those to a stranger? Do you ask them what they would do in certain circumstances to test them?
Confidence is usually increased in an environment in which children aren’t coddled. It may seem counter intuitive to want to protect your children so much but at the same time letting them go to see how they do when they are on their own. Remember that your job is to raise healthy, mature adults who are going to go out into the world and make their mark. At some point they are going to need to rely on the lessons they learned, mostly from you about how to act and what to do and confidence could be the trait they have that gives them the power to get up and move as opposed to freezing in panic.
Equipping them with Tools
One of these days I am going to write an entire post on a Kids EDC kit even though there have been a lot of people who already tackled this subject. Children are a little more difficult to plan an Every Day Carry kit for two reasons. The first is that they can’t usually carry the fun tools that adults can like a concealed weapon or a knife. Can you pack fishing kits and Band-Aids in your kids school pack? Sure, but how helpful would this really be.
The second reason in my case anyway is that no matter how much thought and effort you put into creating supplies they can use, it would get lost, used and not replenished or forgotten. The one day there is an emergency, their survival gear will have fallen out in the library or left at some friends house. That being said, there are some things you can give your children to give them an edge that might not be so easily left.
There are bulletproof clipboards you can purchase that could save them from a bullet or knife. Granted, they would have to have this either in their hands and have the presence of mind to use it, or tucked away in their pack. The pack would additionally need to be on them for this to work, but if you are buying a clipboard anyway this one might be a good option.
Another option would be a bulletproof backpack. Infidel Body Armor sells backpacks with a built-in compartment for body armor panels. With this on, your kids could be saved if someone was shooting at them. Again, something to consider.
In conclusion, just because our children are small or at least not adults, that doesn’t mean they aren’t capable. Size and age are only one measure of what a person can do, but it is their inner strength that can make them accomplish anything. Are you nurturing these abilities in your child?