The Survival Mom » Kids http://thesurvivalmom.com Helping moms worry less & enjoy life! Tue, 29 Jul 2014 15:00:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.1 Training Kids To Be Resilient http://thesurvivalmom.com/training-kids-resilient/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=training-kids-resilient http://thesurvivalmom.com/training-kids-resilient/#comments Thu, 24 Jul 2014 10:00:47 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=15919 Many are familiar with The Stockdale Paradox. This concept, coined by Jim Collins in his book, Good to Great, came to be during a fantastic interview with the late Vice Admiral James Stockdale. For those who do not know the Read More

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training kids resilientMany are familiar with The Stockdale Paradox. This concept, coined by Jim Collins in his book, Good to Great, came to be during a fantastic interview with the late Vice Admiral James Stockdale.

For those who do not know the story, Admiral Stockdale was a Prisoner of War for more than seven years in Vietnam, and became known for his resiliency and leadership.

Admiral Stockdale stated:

“I never lost faith in the end of the story, I never doubted not only that I would get out, but also that I would prevail in the end and turn the experience into the defining event of my life, which, in retrospect, I would not trade.” 

When asked who did not make it in Vietnam, Admiral Stockdale answered,

“Oh, that’s easy, the optimists. Oh, they were the ones who said, ‘We’re going to be out by Christmas.’ And Christmas would come, and Christmas would go. Then they’d say, ‘We’re going to be out by Easter.’ And Easter would come, and Easter would go. And then Thanksgiving, and then it would be Christmas again. And they died of a broken heart.”

Lastly, he asserted,

“This is a very important lesson. You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end—which you can never afford to lose—with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be.”

Though the lesson of The Stockdale Paradox is timeless and invaluable, the story is a bit intense to be explained to my four-year-old. Below are three simple methods I often use to convey this valuable lesson.

Develop Narratives From Personal Experience

Early in my military career, I made the choice to enter a difficult training program. The washout rate was high and my confidence level was low. By focusing on my goal of graduating, throughout multiple small failures, I was able to make it and do more than I originally believed possible.

Use Sports Analogies

Modern sports present numerous examples of underdogs who held on to overcome adversity. Doug Flutie was too small to play quarterback. Herschel Walker was too heavy and slow to even become an athlete. These stories are prevalent, and children can relate to them.

Use Archetypal Stories

These are perhaps the most fun. Shrek experienced a difficult journey. So did Nemo and Dusty Crophopper the crop duster. With each example, children can understand how the characters may have felt.

In a culture flooded with information, the valuable lessons of faith and discipline are constantly available for presentation. Those who enjoy the stories can witness how the characters chose their focus. Children love narratives of this nature, and their parents have the opportunity to emphasize simple, positive concepts. As children mature, stories that once seemed fun and entertaining often become more meaningful, given a little life experience.

 

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Backpack First Aid Kit for Kids — A Must-Have! http://thesurvivalmom.com/first-aid-kit-for-kids/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=first-aid-kit-for-kids http://thesurvivalmom.com/first-aid-kit-for-kids/#comments Wed, 16 Jul 2014 17:00:44 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=16316 You might carry a complete EMT kit in your purse, but it’s only useful if your kids are with you when they’re hurt.  If they go to school, spend the night with friends, or attend sports practices without you, they Read More

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first aid kit for kidsYou might carry a complete EMT kit in your purse, but it’s only useful if your kids are with you when they’re hurt.  If they go to school, spend the night with friends, or attend sports practices without you, they need their own Everyday Carry first aid kit for kids.  The trick is to make it useful and compact enough to keep all the time without breaking their backs—or the bank.

Start with $1

The carry case in the photo came from the Dollar Tree, but I’ve bought similar versions in the travel-size section of Target and Wal-Mart.  Pick up a few. Trust me—once you build them, you’ll want one in the backpack, the bat bag, the sleepover bag, your purse, and several more to restock their contents.

This one came with alcohol swabs, gauze pads, and more than 30 bandages!  I pared it down to 6 bandages and added a giant knee-sized bandage and butterfly bandage from the stash in my medicine cabinet.  Now I can fit in other important stuff.

 $5 Add-ins

Neo-to-Go fits perfectly into this case. Break the seal and show your little guys how to use it.  I LOVE that even my seven-year-old can do it with no mess and no waste.

Eye Drops may require adult help for smaller kids, but at least it will be available. My optometrist sister likes Murine. (The tiny Systane packets take up less room, but they’re a bit pricey.)  My own kit has the re-wetting drops that came free with my contact solution. Bonus! Eye drops are perfect for flushing debris from eyes or squeezing to irrigate a dirty wound. (Gravelly bike wrecks, anyone?)

Advanced Options

Water Jel is a topical analgesic that eases the pain of burns and actually stops the burn from progressing.  You know how a steak continues to cook after it’s removed from the heat? Your skin does that, too.  But for under $15 you can get 25 little 1/8 oz. packets to divvy up among your first aid kits—even the larger ones you have floating around. We’ve used them for campfire mishaps, of course, but they’re also great for soothing sunburns. I have only been able to find this product inexpensively on Amazon.

NasalCease stops nosebleeds instantly! Again, practice with little ones ahead of time—particularly if they are prone to nosebleeds. The product is as flat as a bandage and fits nicely at the bottom of the case. I bought it for wrestling season.  The trainers use tampons to staunch nosebleeds for the big boys, but those just don’t work for tiny little nostrils.  Expect to pay about $10 for a box of 5.

first aid kit for kidsOver-the-counter medications also fit. I included a blister-pouch of (chewable) Benadryl in all but the backpack kit (so nobody gets in trouble at school). My kiddos are allergic to wasp stings, but not badly enough to warrant Epi-pens.  The sooner they get an antihistamine, the less severe the symptoms.  So when they’re stung at a sleepover and not sure how to explain things to the mom-in-charge, they’ll have what they need.

I wrote instructions on the top of the lid with Sharpie: STINGS—1 pink.  I did the same with generic Tylenol.  Many adults don’t carry kid-friendly doses, and I sure don’t want anyone unknowingly giving my kiddos aspirin! But the blister pouch has a label on the back to confirm the lid’s instructions: FEVER—2 purple

For Older Kids (and Moms!)

Tweezers (removing ticks and splinters) and a safety pin (relieving severe blood blisters) will fit, as well.

Pack ‘em Up!

Let the kids help fit everything in; they’ll know the location of every item and its use. They can even decorate with colored sharpies or stickers. Then, go crazy! At just over 3 ounces, you can stash one in every conceivable place–even the tackle box, the golf bag, and the camper. I’m sending one in each backpack for a healthy, self-reliant back-to-school.

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Try it Today! Preparedness Drills to Do with Your Kids http://thesurvivalmom.com/try-it-today-preparedness-drills-kids/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=try-it-today-preparedness-drills-kids http://thesurvivalmom.com/try-it-today-preparedness-drills-kids/#comments Sun, 13 Jul 2014 10:00:56 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=16139 If your kids go to school, they have undoubtedly participated in a school fire drill. Most bus riders have gone through a bus evacuation drill out the back emergency door. Some schools are even conducting active shooter drills as preparedness Read More

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Preparedness Drills If your kids go to school, they have undoubtedly participated in a school fire drill. Most bus riders have gone through a bus evacuation drill out the back emergency door. Some schools are even conducting active shooter drills as preparedness drills.

But have you had a fire drill in your own home? Have you talked about how and when to exit your car after an accident? Do they know what to do in case there is a shooter at the mall?

Parents tend to TELL their kids what to do instead of SHOW them. We say that in case of fire, we will meet at the big oak tree across the street. What we don’t often do is show them how to actually get to that oak tree. We TELL our kids, “Don’t get in a car with strangers,” but we don’t SHOW them how to fight back if someone grabs them.

As children get old enough to be home or out in public on their own, these drills become even more important because they will not have you to give instructions in an emergency. We need to prepare them, using active drills, to protect and potentially save their own lives.

FIRE!

It’s early in the morning. The kids are still asleep and the sun is just starting to rise. I’ve woken to use the restroom but decide, since I’m up, it’s a great time for a drill. I poke the test button for the smoke detector, go into my daughter’s bedroom and yell, “FIRE DRILL! FIRE DRILL! FIRE DRILL!” She realizes what is happening and rolls out of bed. She hurries to the door and places her hand on it. “The door is hot!” I shout. She turns to the window, unlatches and opens it, removes the screen and crawls out the window.

I then proceed to my son’s room. He feels the door for for heat. “The door is not hot!” He grabs a shirt to cover his mouth, opens the door, and begins to low crawl down the hallway. He makes it all the way to the front door, unlocks it, and goes outside to our meeting point across the street where his sister is already waiting.

After the drill, we talk about the possibility of going to a neighbor to call 911 and what, if anything, they could have done differently.

Sometimes during a drill I throw a curve ball. “The windows are stuck! You can’t get them open!” We then talk about it being okay to use a chair to break the window and place a blanket over the window sill to prevent cuts from broken glass. I have them pick up a chair and practice swing it so they get an idea of how heavy it is and the kind of force they would need to use. Another test: “The cat is meowing in the hallway!” As much as we love them, their job is NOT to go after the pets.

The first time we ran through this drill, I learned that not only did my daughter not know how to work the window locks, but that her skinny arms weren’t strong enough to actually open the window. She ended up practicing opening the window every few days until she figured out a way to leverage her body weight and get them open.

If you live in a two story home, you should have a fire ladder. (You do have one in each upstairs bedroom, right?) But have you actually ever used it? Don’t just have it sitting in the box hoping you’ll never need it. You do not want your child to try to figure out how to use it with a fire burning outside the door. 

Some fire ladders are single use for emergencies only while others are multi-use and can actually be used in a full drill to climb out your window. Even with a single use ladder, you can show your children how to attach it to a window sill, what steps to take to deploy it, and tips for climbing out the window to safety. With a multi-use ladder, practicing  climbing to the ground will reduce the level of fear of the ladder itself during a true emergency. 

Children, young ones especially, need to be reminded that firefighters may look scary with all their gear on. Show them what a firefighter looks like and teach them that there is no such thing as a “stranger” when it comes to someone helping them out of a fire or other disaster. They should go with anyone who is there to rescue them.

Don’t just show your kids the multiple ways to get out of the house if it is on fire. Also show them all the ways your home is protected to prevent fire. Show them the smoke detectors and fire extinguishers and explain how they work. Teach them of the importance of not leaving the kitchen when something is cooking on the stove top and to unplug curling irons and toasters. Remind kids that matches, lighters, and candles are not toys and shouldn’t be used except with permission from an adult, while also teaching how to properly use and extinguish them.

TORNADO / EARTHQUAKE / NATURAL DISASTER

These drills follow the same line of thinking as the fire drill. Even if your area isn’t prone to these types of disasters, teaching your children how to respond to them is still a good idea. Show them some short videos on tornado and storm safety, teach them safe earthquake response, and then later start a drill when they aren’t expecting it.

STRANGER DANGER

“Don’t get in a car with strangers.” It’s good advice, but does your child know how to fight off a larger adult who has grabbed them? You’ve probably also taught your children not to hit or kick or bite. But does that include against strangers who are trying to abduct them? Be sure your children understand that any level of violence from them is acceptable when fighting off someone who is trying to hurt them. Find a self defense for kids class in your town so they can not only learn practical ways to fight back, but they can also practice hitting and kicking. Believe it or not, most people, adults included, don’t know how to effectively hit another person in their own defense.

CAR ACCIDENT

I was in a fairly serious car accident a few years ago. No one was badly hurt but three cars were smashed up, and fortunately my children were not in the car with me. In the immediate moments after the crash I sat their dumbfounded and needed to be given instructions to get out of the car. I learned that I needed to discuss this with the kids.

If we are in an accident, what should you do? If the driver or another adult is able to give instruction, kids are to comply. But what if the adult is unconscious or otherwise unable to help? If you are able, undo seat belts and get yourself and your siblings out of the car together. WATCH FOR OTHER CARS when leaving the vehicle. If someone is very injured, leave them in place and get help. If they learn nothing else, the two rules for a car accident are: if you’re able to leave the vehicle, do so… and watch out for other cars.

ACTIVE SHOOTER 

This is the hardest one for a lot of families. We worry about scaring our children. We don’t want to even think about our children being in an active shooter situation. But teaching your kids what gunfire sounds like, the difference between hiding and taking cover, and what to do if they find themselves in this situation could mean the difference between life and death.

The run-hide-barricade-attack training response is good for older children in school who will potentially have the ability to make their own decisions in an active shooter scenario. It is also good information for all children who find themselves at other public places (like malls, sporting events, restaurants, etc) when a shooter arrives.

Sometimes when we are in a store or restaurant, I will ask my kids, “If you heard gunshots right now, what would you do?” Depending on their answers and the situation, I might ask additional questions to get them thinking about a plan. For yourself, or for older children, consider this short video training for active shooter response.

HOME INVADER

What’s one of the cardinal rules when we leave children at home on their own? Don’t open the door to strangers! Have you told your children what to do if a stranger comes in anyway? As soon as someone starts to force their way into the house, your children should leave out another door, preferably on the other side of the home and then go to a trusted neighbor for help. If they cannot leave the house for some reason, grabbing a phone and hiding while calling 911 is the best response. Again, don’t just talk about what to do. Actually practice running out an alternate door and going room to room to identify good hiding places.

CPR AND FIRST AID

My children have been very fortunate to be able to participate in “Be Ready Camp” sponsored by the State of Alabama. One of the most important things they learned was basic first aid. They were taught with a hands on approach how to stop bleeding, splint a broken bone, and more.

Children can also learn CPR and use it effectively. If you can’t find a local class that will teach children, talk to your child’s school about teaching a course to students or purchase a kit to bring home to teach your kids yourself.

SOCIAL PREPAREDNESS

This is a new one for my family. While I had given the “Say no to drugs” and “Don’t get into a car with someone who has been drinking” lectures, we hadn’t had real, applicable discussions about these situations. I read an article recently that talked about this very thing and it was a light bulb moment for me. We can’t just TELL our kids not to drink, but instead we must help them find the words to use when the situation happens. Kids often want to say no, but they just don’t know how. I won’t rehash the whole article, but go read it. Failing to know what to do in these social situations can lead to a personal or family disaster just as devastating as any of the other incidents mentioned here.

Children are capable of handling more information at an earlier age than many parents give them credit for. We’ve all heard of the stories where a very young child calls 911, or a child who has been taught survival techniques is able to save their own life. You know your child better than anyone else. Keep the lessons and skills age appropriate.

The idea is not to scare your children or have their thoughts constantly filled with “what ifs.” The discussions and drills I have with my family my seem extreme to some, but it works for us and my kids are well-adjusted, prepared individuals. Decide how much preparedness you want to teach your own kids and begin to drill them. Without the drill, the information might be lost in time. Every skill you give them is one that might save their lives.

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OpSec lessons from a military wife (and brat) http://thesurvivalmom.com/opsec-lessons-military-wife-brat/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=opsec-lessons-military-wife-brat http://thesurvivalmom.com/opsec-lessons-military-wife-brat/#comments Mon, 07 Jul 2014 10:00:38 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=15822 It only takes putting a few pieces of a puzzle together to start seeing a clear picture. Lessons learned from Wartime I was 10 and living overseas on a military base when the Gulf War happened. Suddenly, OpSec (Operational Security) Read More

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opsec with text It only takes putting a few pieces of a puzzle together to start seeing a clear picture.

Lessons learned from Wartime

I was 10 and living overseas on a military base when the Gulf War happened. Suddenly, OpSec (Operational Security) became the name of the game and more important than ever.

All the building signs that could be seen from outside the fence were covered in black garbage bags. I was just a child, and I pictured the enemy on top of nearby buildings with binoculars watching our every move and trying to gather information on the activity on the base.

All of this gave me an early lesson on the importance of information, and the lessons continued as my father and husband both served during the current conflicts.

Lessons I have Learned

1. Social media is not secure

As a military wife, information became more important for me to keep secure. Social media is not secure and if I were to announce that my husband was going on a work trip and where he was going, that piece of information could be found and become another puzzle piece for the enemy. Privacy settings should be checked often to make sure they are the most secure. Avoid advertising where you are by checking in places on Twitter and Facebook, which also advertises where you are not (at home).

2. Photos give a lot away

Digital photos often have date stamps on them, but if you take them with a smartphone, they can also have location stamps on them. A seemingly innocent family photo on your front porch can let people know where you live and how many people are in your family. You can go into your phone’s setting and disable the location stamp function. Then if you do post a photo to social media, make sure your settings are as secure as they can be.

3. Beware of eavesdroppers

Watch where you are when you talk as well. I knew military wives that were comfortable talking to other military wives no matter where they were, but restaurants and malls can be full of people who don’t need to know details that military wives know. Be aware of where you are when you talk with your friends about your preps.

4. View through a stranger’s eyes

What information do you give out on your vehicles and house? Does your bumper sticker show how many children and pets you have and where you child goes to school or plays soccer? What would someone know about your family by looking through your trash? Remove, and possibly shred, items that give out information you would rather people not have. Then decide what kind of information you do want to present to a stranger. Large size men’s boots (visible on the porch or in your vehicle), a home security sign, a Marine Corps flag, and an NRA sticker might convey a more powerful message to people driving by than just having potted flowers.

5. Have a family code word

There should be a family code word that someone would have to use to pick up your child from an activity if you can’t make it so the child knows that you sent that person.

6. Parents need code, too

Adults should also have code words or signals for situations that may arise. This can be a helpful way for parents to talk about a situation without alarming the children.

7. What is your story?

I’ve learned that you do not need to lie to keep information secure, but you don’t have to tell all the facts. Be general instead of specific in answers to questions – but make sure your family is on the same page. When a store clerk asks why you are buying 10 pounds of rice, it doesn’t help if you say, “We’re having a party,” at the same time your daughter says, “We try to only go grocery shopping once a month.” Answers should have at least some truth to them to also make them easier to sell.

8. Children need reasons

You can’t expect to ask your children to not show their friends the basement and then not have them ask you, “Why can’t they know about it?” You will need to take the time to explain to you children why you are asking them to keep some information private.

It’s important to tell them what they can say – “We like to be prepared for emergencies” – and explain to them that it is a family’s private business how much and what food and supplies they have on hand. You can explain to them that just as we close the blinds when we leave the house so people don’t see the TV and want to break in and steal it, we don’t want to advertise all our supplies to people or they may want to come take those for themselves.

9. Don’t drive yourself crazy

Amidst all this, find someone you can talk to. Make sure your children know whom they can safely talk to. Not talking to anyone about anything about your family could start to drive you crazy. There are like-minded people out there and there is no reason to live your life paranoid about every little detail.

There is a balance to be found between being secretive and being open. We should find ways to encourage our friends and family to be more self-sufficient, but we can be careful about how we do it. What other OpSec lessons would you add to the list?

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Summer Camp Prep http://thesurvivalmom.com/summer-camp-prep/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=summer-camp-prep http://thesurvivalmom.com/summer-camp-prep/#comments Wed, 02 Jul 2014 15:00:22 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=16110 It’s summertime, and summertime means – summer camp for the kids! But how can we really be prepared, or make sure our kids are prepared without us, at summer camp? Sometimes, camp is hours from home by car, days if Read More

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Summer Camp Prep

It’s summertime, and summertime means – summer camp for the kids!

But how can we really be prepared, or make sure our kids are prepared without us, at summer camp? Sometimes, camp is hours from home by car, days if they had to walk home. And disasters can happen at camp, even day camp.

A few years ago, something called a “derecho” came through Virginia. (A real weather event – just one no one had ever heard of before that day.) One man I know was at Scout camp when that happened. He described seeing a huge tree fall exactly where he and two boys had stood less than five minutes earlier.

Twice, now, I have sprained my ankle at Scout camps. As a kid, I remember literally hopping around to keep weight off my injured ankle. As an adult, I was most chagrined to realize that I didn’t have a bandage in my car emergency bag and the camp didn’t have one either. My husband had to bring one from home! And that’s not even getting into true back-country camping or more adventurous activities.

So, what’s a preparedness minded mom to do? Summer camp prep!

Oversee Packing

I have boys, so I don’t have first-hand parental knowledge of how girls would do, but I know my boys would not be practical or thorough in their packing. The older one goes to sleep-away camp with Scouts, and that’s the main sleep-away camp that most kids I know go to. Boy Scout camp sends a list of what to pack, but following the list and really packing properly without help…. Well, they’re kids.

When an adult, especially a mom, sees “sunscreen” or “bug repellant” on the packing list, they automatically understand that means enough for the entire trip and that the bug repellant should be for bugs expected at that location. In other words, if you are going somewhere with lots of ticks, be sure it’s not just mosquito repellant. And while light-weight is always better to carry than heavy, an extra-light bottle of sunscreen is probably almost empty and not the best choice.

However much you help with gathering things and getting ready, make sure your kids actually do the packing. Having them physically handle things and put them in their bag is the best chance you have of making sure they remember what they have with them and where it is.

Do Some Projects in Advance

You can save money, spend time together, and get better quality in the process.

We use bug spray with DEET sometimes – Lyme Disease is no joke – but I’m not comfortable with using it often. My kids and I just made a home-made tick and bug spray that involves essential oils and vinegar (but isn’t supposed to smell vinegary.) Homemade sit-upons and bug balm are good projects too.

My boys have also made their own First Aid kits. Unlike store-bought kits, these address problems they might really encounter. The older one is more likely to take longer hikes with not-always-slim leaders. His kit contains both cayenne pepper (for heart attacks) and an oral rehydration solution. They both have vet wrap to use for sprains and they know how to use it.

Finally, assuming they have an electronic device with a Kindle or other e-reader app, make sure they have a few survival apps and books, including First Aid, weather, and map apps. Confirm all the apps are fully updated before they leave.

A Little Training Never Hurts

We review basic First Aid and disaster topics. They remember several ways to signal for help, basic First Aid, and who to ask for help. We also review how to care for their things, including basic cleaning and packing. (I really, really don’t want the nasty mud-caked boots coming home again – at least remove the caked on mud, kiddo!)

The First Aid kit isn’t much help if no one knows how to use anything other than the bandages. Some items may need instruction labels* and you may want to include a contents list with everything in the kit. Even if your child knows what everything is for, they may be the one needing help.

There are some things you can’t do much about. If there is an EMP and your child is 200 miles away at camp, they aren’t getting home quickly. But you can help your child be prepared for far more likely problems such as tornadoes, flooding, and other natural disasters.

I don’t know about your kids, but mine feel safer and more confident when they know they are well prepared, and I’m betting that will help them feel less homesick at camp. I know it will help me worry a little less!

* Some of our non-standard items include an ID lanyard as part of a sling (it should hold most of the weight of an arm), and having both size large and size small nitrile gloves. The gloves are in small, labeled bags. The kids wear size small, but many adults would need large to work on them.

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Summertime Survival Skills for Young Girls http://thesurvivalmom.com/summertime-survival-skills-young-girls/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=summertime-survival-skills-young-girls http://thesurvivalmom.com/summertime-survival-skills-young-girls/#comments Wed, 18 Jun 2014 17:00:49 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=14645 The Opportunities “Can we have some nails?” my oldest asked me last weekend. “Why?” “We want to make some benches with the scrap wood.” It was an opportunity to teach them a new skill – hammering a nail. My husband Read More

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Summertime survival skills girlsThe Opportunities

“Can we have some nails?” my oldest asked me last weekend.

“Why?”

“We want to make some benches with the scrap wood.”

It was an opportunity to teach them a new skill – hammering a nail. My husband showed them how to do it, found enough hammers and let them loose with their project.

The preschooler quickly got frustrated with crooked nails. The oldest hit her finger with the hammer and cried a bit. But another one kept at it and created four wooden structures that afternoon.

“They’re too young …”

My children are young (8 and younger), but I am forcing myself to look at what they can do this summer instead of what they’re too young to do. I would like to keep them little forever, but they need to have skills to survive in this world. I realized my oldest hasn’t been taught to even use a hand can opener! I will be changing that this summer. I would hate to have them ill prepared if an emergency situation arose.

Summertime Survival Skills 101

They have taken swimming lessons and we have taught them our address and phone number, how to call 911 and how to recognize if someone is choking, but there is so much more to learn! I am putting together a list of things I can teach them this summer.

  • Using a can opener
  • Heating a can of soup
  • Making basic bread
  • Starting a fire (and putting it out!)
  • Basic first aid – bandages, treating bug bites, treating burns
  • Sewing – threading needle, basic stitch, button
  • Basic knife safety skills
  • Basic shooting skills
  • Wildlife recognition
  • Edible plants recognition

We will use all the resources available in our area – backyard fire pit, campgrounds, YouTube videos, rainy, boring days and classes offered by our local parks and recreation department.

This is the start of my list – what would you add?

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Turning Hysterics into Song: How to calm children in a crisis http://thesurvivalmom.com/calm-children-crisis/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=calm-children-crisis http://thesurvivalmom.com/calm-children-crisis/#comments Fri, 06 Jun 2014 10:00:40 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=14647 Emergency situations can be difficult for anyone to face, but it can be especially hard for a child. It’s so important to know how to calm children in a crisis. Picture this situation: Fifteen children under the age of 10 Read More

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calm children in a crisis

From the Library of Congress’ Highsmith (Carol M.) Archive

Emergency situations can be difficult for anyone to face, but it can be especially hard for a child. It’s so important to know how to calm children in a crisis.

Picture this situation:

Fifteen children under the age of 10 and about 8 adults are crowded in a bathroom as a storm rages around the building. The children heard the word “tornado” and are scared. The crying and shaking start.

  • “Are we going to die?”
  • “What about Daddy?”
  • “Where is my friend?”

The adults try to get word out to friends and family that they have taken cover, but the children need attention and assurance, too. One adult suggests saying a prayer. And then one starts singing, “The wheels on the bus …”

And we sang and sang until the noise quieted and the storm passed by. Yes, I was one of the adults in that scenario, and I quickly realized the importance of calming children in a crisis.

Setting an example

Once we adults acted calmly, the children followed suit. Adults need to have self-control over their emotions during an emergency to provide support for the children. The focus should first be on the people with you in an emergency situation, not on trying to contact others. When you are able to get in touch with someone from the outside, ask them to pass on the information for you to others so you can continue to be there for the kids.

Think it through

Whether it is a tornado drill, hurricane evacuation, or even a car accident, thinking through all the different ways to keep children calm will help you be ready if the event ever occurs.

You may have the supply checklist completed, but once you have taken cover or bugged out, what is your plan? Who will you contact and how? How will you comfort those around you? Can you keep your emotions in check for the sake of others?

Here are some ideas:

  • Remind children they are in the safest place they can be right now and you will take care of them.
  • Go over what to do when the incident is over.
  • Have some distractions ready (songs, I Spy, memorization passages, riddles, jokes, children’s books, games, coloring books and crayons).
  • Have them tell you a story.
  • Keep comfort items in your shelter area, bug out bags, and cars (blankies, stuffed animals, toys, and even candy and something to drink).
  • Give children something to do, such as hand out the coloring books and crayons.
  • Answer their questions and encourage them to talk to you.
  • Let children help stock the shelter, bug out bag, and emergency car bag and make sure they know what is there.
  • Have practice drills.

What other ideas do you have to keep children calm during an emergency situation?

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Action step: Create a Babysitter Folder http://thesurvivalmom.com/action-step-create-babysitter-folder/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=action-step-create-babysitter-folder http://thesurvivalmom.com/action-step-create-babysitter-folder/#comments Thu, 05 Jun 2014 10:00:48 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=14643 You have concert tickets, the babysitter is on her way and your county just got put under a tornado watch (conditions are favorable for tornadoes) – what do you do? No judgment – we went to the concert. We felt Read More

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Create a Babysitter FolderYou have concert tickets, the babysitter is on her way and your county just got put under a tornado watch (conditions are favorable for tornadoes) – what do you do?

No judgment – we went to the concert.

We felt comfortable because we had prepared our babysitter for what to do if the county went under a tornado warning. Here’s what I had prepared for her, and you can do this, too.

Prepare a Babysitter Folder

Any kind of emergency could happen while your children are under someone else’s care – tornado, earthquake, fire, or car accident. Before you leave the baby-sitter in charge, make sure he or she knows what to do in those situations. The easiest way is to create a babysitter folder, like a mini-emergency binder, for your sitter.

In the folder, include:

  • Your street address and home phone numbers (in case they need to tell them to emergency responders)
  • Your child(ren)’s daily schedule
  • Your child(ren)’s medical information – especially allergies
  • Emergency contacts (names, addresses and phone numbers of neighbors or relatives who live close by)
  • Medical consent form (you can find samples of these on the Internet or ask your children’s doctor for one)
  • “In case of…” sheets (detailed instructions for what to do in case of specific emergencies, such as fire, tornado warning, earthquake)

Take the time

Have the babysitter come early or schedule a time to go over the information with her and give her a tour of the house. Show her where flashlights, fire extinguishers, and other key emergency items are located. Point out the safest places to go during a tornado warning or earthquake.

Also, leaving phone numbers and addresses of where you will be. It is easy in this world of cell phones and Internet to assume the babysitter will have access to this, but a power outage or uncharged phone could leave her without this information.

We also often leave a vehicle with the car seats in it at home and give the babysitter the keys – just in case she needs to take them somewhere safe.

What other suggestions do you have to help make sure your babysitter is prepared for emergencies? Let us know if you make a folder for your sitters!

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Summer Jobs for Teenagers: Responsibility & Dedication Building Blocks http://thesurvivalmom.com/summer-jobs-for-teenagers/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=summer-jobs-for-teenagers http://thesurvivalmom.com/summer-jobs-for-teenagers/#comments Mon, 02 Jun 2014 17:00:15 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=14785 Whether you consider yourself a prepper, a survivalist or are simply striving to be self-sufficient, the basic building blocks for all these are responsibility and dedication. We teach young children these things through chores, extra-curricular activities, positive reinforcement and most Read More

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Summer Jobs for TeenagersWhether you consider yourself a prepper, a survivalist or are simply striving to be self-sufficient, the basic building blocks for all these are responsibility and dedication.

We teach young children these things through chores, extra-curricular activities, positive reinforcement and most importantly, by example. As children grow older, it is important to encourage them to be responsible and develop a life-long commitment to hard work.

In short, push those teenagers to get summer jobs!

Strict child-labor laws exist to ensure the safety and well-being of minors in the workforce so be sure to read up on those before nudging your teen to get a job. Generally, 16 is the age required to obtain employment without special work permits.

Some Chick-fil-A restaurants hire teens as young as 14 or 15.

However, other restrictions may still apply for those under 18 or even 21 years of age such as: working in a retail establishment that sells tobacco or alcoholic products, industrial businesses that operate heavy machinery or locations that may handle hazardous materials. Visit the Department of Labor website for more information on youth labor laws and be familiar with laws specific to your state as well.


Great beginner Summer Jobs


Mowing Yards/Lawn Care

Lawn care is a great way for teens to turn summer chores into summer cash. By the teenage years, your teen may already be mowing the family lawn and have years of experience helping mom pull weeds.

Parental Considerations:

  • What type of lawns you will permit your child to mow? Are you okay with your teen mowing steep hills, large acreage, etc.?
  • Who provides equipment? Are you willing to allow your teen to tote your Lawn-Boy all over town or do you prefer they find clients who provide their own mowers?
  • What type of lawn care is not acceptable? Are you okay for your child to use weed killers, pruning equipment, etc.?

Washing Cars

Washing cars is generally a fun way to make money for the teen circuit. A small initial investment may be required to purchase items needed such as cleansers, brushes, and towels or start off with an all-inclusive beginner kit such as Armorall’s Car Cleaning Kit  and build on product as you go.

 Parental Considerations:

  • Sun Safety – Make sure your teen understands the dangers of the sun and takes special precautions to be protected.
  • Attire – Discuss the importance of being professional and how working in a bikini may not be appropriate.
  • Discuss with your teen what they should offer based on their capabilities and availability. Detailing the inside of a vehicle requires a lot more work than hosing down the exterior and should be charged accordingly.
  • Give your teen a business boost by purchasing their start up product for them or consider having them pay back half once they have a few jobs under their belt. Discuss with them the importance of setting back a little ‘working capital’ that will be needed to replace expendable supplies.

Local Farms & Greenhouses

Farms and greenhouses are always looking for extra help and cheap labor during the peak summer season and this could be a great summer job for teenagers. Some will advertise for summer help and others may pass the word along through the grapevine. Do not be afraid to mention on social media sites or make phone calls to your friends and family that your teen is interested in finding some outdoor work.

Some farms/greenhouses may have always had their own children and/or children of other family members and friends help them out, but as life gets faster, help gets harder to find. Don’t be afraid to ask the clerk at your favorite farmer’s market or plant stand if they need any summer help or know of anyone who does.

Parental Considerations:

  • Sun Safety – Make sure your teen understands the dangers of the sun and takes special precautions to be protected.
  • Hydration – Farming/Gardening is hard and dirty work. Be sure your teen packs plenty of water to stay hydrated throughout the long, sweaty day. Consider making Frozen Neck Wraps to help stay cool in the blazing summer sun.
  • Realize the outstanding prepping potential and self-sufficiency skills this type of work brings.

Local Pool Summer Jobs for Teenagers

If your town has a pool, aquatic center or water park, then they will always need lifeguards and concession workers. Local watering holes may advertise for their summer help, but if you missed the boat, check with your local city council or village hall to be directed to the right contact to apply.

Parental Considerations:

  • Sun Safety – Make sure your teen understands the dangers of the sun and takes special precautions to be protected.
  • Lifeguard training and certification can be pricey and classes are few and far between. However, the inconvenience can be well worth the effort as lifeguards are often in short supply. Check with your local YMCA or Red Cross to be directed to lifeguard training and certification classes near you.
  • With this training and certification, young people can help coach swim teams or give private swim lessons. These are both for-pay positions.

Babysitting

Babysitting has always been a popular job for teens and is no longer reserved for Friday and Saturday nights. During the summer months, teens can land a babysitting job taking care of younger children while mom and dad are at work.

Babysitting today is way beyond the cliché image of a teen girl chatting on the phone while the little ones destroy the house in the background. Today, it is common to find that parents want a sitter who can not only care for their child, but also provide an enriched environment that includes age-appropriate games and learning activities that keep the child engaged throughout the day.

The American Red Cross provides different levels of babysitter training and pediatric first aid to help prepare older teens and adults to provide the best child care.

Parental Considerations:

  • Clientele – Who will you allow your teen to sit for? Friends, family, neighbors or others?
  • How many children and what age(s) do you feel your teen can handle?

Dog Walking and Pet Sitting

Another oldie but goodie! Plaster a few flyers in areas common for dog walking, land a few clients, build a schedule that works for everyone and get to walking. Be sure to schedule a preliminary meeting between pooches if walking more than one dog at a time to be sure they get along to avoid potential dangers.

Vacationing families very often need a pet-sitter. This could be a viable and profitable option for older teens who can drive to their clients’ homes and are responsible enough to spend the night, if necessary, while the family is away.

Some Red Cross locations offer Pet First Aid classes, but if that’s not available, there’s a great pet first aid app for smartphones.

Parental Considerations:

  • Safety – What locations are okay for your teen to walk safely alone?
  • What breeds are forbidden and is your teen strong enough to control each dog?
  • Is your teen okay with properly handling and disposing of the doggie bags?
  • Is your teen mature and responsible enough to manage one or more pets in a household without supervision?

Local Aid Agencies

Check with government agencies such as your county Department of Job & Family Services or Community Action. Places such as these may offer junior training programs. Teens are placed with partners throughout the county for job training and experience and are paid the state minimum wage. Typical jobs through these kinds of programs may include:

  • Placement with local town or city maintenance crews mowing, weed eating, watering flower gardens, etc.
  • Working with nearby schools and their summer janitorial staff.
  • Placement with other government agency offices learning office fundamentals such as filing, answering phones, data entry, customer service, etc.

Food Service & Retail

Working in the food service or retail industry is a great way to add job experience to a teenage resume and openings are often plentiful. Fast food restaurants and pizza joints are often brimming with teenage employees and usually willing to hire those with no prior employment history.

However, the work can be downright dirty. Those entering the food service industry must be willing to clean public restrooms and greasy equipment as well as deal with numerous amounts of local patrons. Flexibility is typically a little tougher with these first-time jobs as your teen will be at the bottom of the totem pole and the establishment will have specific operating hours needing coverage.

Parental Considerations:

  • The Public – All walks of life may come in contact with your child and often times, have access to their name.
  • Is your teen mature enough to work in team-oriented environments in a professional and adult manner?

Overall Parental Considerations

  • Transportation for non-driving teens or driving teens without a vehicle:
    • Are you willing to help get them to and from work on time?
    • Will they have access to mom or dad’s car to transport themselves?
    • Are you able to help with transportation if it conflicts with your own work schedule?
  • Are you willing to accept your teen’s responsibility to work as scheduled when it comes to summer family events such as reunions, vacations and picnics?
  • Understand that many jobs are cash money such as babysitting and washing cars and therefore may not meet the minimum wage. Do not expect your teen to enter the work force with a high-paying salary but be sure they are paid a fair and honest wage for fair and honest work.
  • If your child is still too young for summer employment, pay attention now to where you see teens currently working so you have a better understanding later where to begin, and begin teaching them basic job skills at home, such as cleaning the kitchen and bathrooms, making change, and telephone communication skills.

Be sure to talk about the importance of employment with your child. Make sure your teen understands that they are to behave in a mature manner and be responsible. Express the importance of being punctual, staying off devices and working hard.

Teenagers will be introduced to a new level of accountability beyond the classroom and consequences could result in loss of employment and an early black mark in ways of references for future job considerations. Discuss with them how to handle any potential conflict in the work place and to respect co-workers; including those who may have different life-styles, beliefs and personalities.

Most importantly, teach your teen how to handle their new financial gain responsibly and provide an ample amount of positive reinforcement as they embark on this new journey.

Would you like fries with that?

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Summer PREP School: 48 Survival Skills for Kids to Learn This Summer! http://thesurvivalmom.com/survival-skills-for-kids-learn-summer/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=survival-skills-for-kids-learn-summer http://thesurvivalmom.com/survival-skills-for-kids-learn-summer/#comments Wed, 21 May 2014 16:00:25 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=13950 About the only survival skills kids seem to have these days is how fast they can text on their phones, so why not broaden their horizons and send them to PREP School this Summer? There are dozens of survival skills for kids Read More

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prep-school-for-kids-survival-skillsAbout the only survival skills kids seem to have these days is how fast they can text on their phones, so why not broaden their horizons and send them to PREP School this Summer? There are dozens of survival skills for kids and summertime is the perfect time to learn them.

As tempting as it might be to have the I-Pad babysit your kids, why don’t you print off the list below and have them learn some Survival Skills?

If they learn and cross off 4 skills a week during the 12 weeks they are off from school, they will complete the entire list before school starts back up. You can even give incentives for each one they master and hold your own graduation at the end!

Some of these survival skills you might think your child isn’t ready for (which may be true), but you also might not be giving your child enough credit. My 5 year old can do each of these to some extent. So depending on how old your child, is you can make these more or less challenging. Plus, who knows? You might learn a few new skills yourself!

Some of these 48 Survival Skills Kids Can Learn are around-the-house skills, others are knowledge, and still others are actually making things. You can download the list here.

Around the House

  1. Cook and Feed Themselves - Depending on your child’s age, they should be able to cook a basic meal using ingredients from the pantry. Find opportunities to have your kids in the kitchen cooking with you! Even my one year old loves dumping in the ingredients to make bread.
  2. Make a Meal Plan - Who says this is just Mom’s job? Let your kids have a crack at putting together a menu. You can even let them experience the joys of grocery shopping and coupon clipping, too. If nothing else, this will help them appreciate Mom more!
  3. Money Management - Too bad most adults don’t know anything about this skill - some still use their parents as a personal ATM. If your kids learn this skill while they are young, just imagine the impact on the rest of their lives (and yours)!
  4. Basic Hygiene (w/o running water) - If you really want to put survival to the test, turn off the water and find other ways to brush your teeth, take a shower, or even go potty.
  5. Wash Clothes - Bonus points if they do it by hand on a washboard, but every kid should at least learn how to spot their clothes, wash, dry, hang-up, and the harderst part, put them back in their closets and drawers!
  6. Memorize Contact Info - Do your kids know their address, phone number, parent’s name, or even their last name? This is something they need to know, because you never know when your family might become separated. If they are too young to learn them, consider putting contact info on a bracelet or necklace they can wear.
  7. Get a Job – Nothing teaches kids a work ethic and responsibility faster then getting their own job. They don’t have to drive or be 16 for this survival skill either. They can mow lawns, pet sit, babysit, do odd jobs for neighbors, or even work for Mom or Dad.
  8. Non-Electric Alternatives - I never realized how practically EVERYTHING I use requires electricity in some form until the power went out for 3 days in our area. Make a list of all the things you use on daily a basis that require electricity and find an alternative for each. Make a game out of it and have a No-Electricity Day and see if you have major withdrawals.
  9. Operate a Generator - If you have a generator, have the kids learn how to properly care for and operate it. It’s good to make sure HENgetbusylivingarticleit’s working properly BEFORE you need it.
  10. Take Care of Animals - Taking care of animals can teach children a lot – responsibility, compassion, and even where food comes from. Kids can pet sit, visit a farm, or even have an animal of their own. (Chickens, anyone?)
  11. Escape From a Window - Maybe this isn’t exactly a skill you want your kids to master, but it’s an important fire safety skill. They should know how to escape safely and without breaking any bones, especially from a 2nd story window. Be sure to add a couple of practice sessions for something this important.
  12. Learn Car Maintenance – It doesn’t matter if your kid is driving yet. I hand mine the mini vacuum and make them clean all the snacks they crush into the seats. You don’t have to be a mechanic to help your child learn how to check the tire pressure and put air in them, check the oil, or even how to ask for help in AutoZone. In the long run, properly maintained vehicles save you money, and doing it yourself saves even more.
  13. Have Chores – Just like mom and dad have jobs, kids need to have some everyday responsibility within the family. Moms shouldn’t be the maid (I tell mine that on a daily basis). Kids can help pull their weight by doing dishes, taking care of the lawn, picking-up their rooms, and so much more. Don’t take away the sense of accomplishment your kids will get from having chores.
  14. Decide on a Code Word - Does your family have a code word for – “please help now” or “someone is threatening me but I can’t say anything with them standing right here?” If not, take some time to come up with a code word, or a even a few with different meanings in case you ever find yourself in a sticky situation!

Outside & Physical Fitness Survival Skills for Kids

  1. Learn Archery - I didn’t realize at what a young age kids could pick up archery, but our kids recently got bows and are already better than I am (which doesn’t say much). They enjoy it and it’s a skill that could really come in handy if you’re ever abandoned in the woods.
  2. Explore Nature - It’s embarrassing to admit, but some days we don’t step outside once. Kids can’t learn about their surroundings if they never have a chance to explore them. If you need ideas on exploring nature take a loot at these 31 Ways to Help Your Child Get Outdoors!
  3. Split Wood - If you need a fire to cook food  or to help you stay warm, you’re going to need some wood! Learn how to split wood properly before the kids sneak an ax and try doing it themselves.
  4. Defend & Protect Themselves - I have small kids and I constantly worry about them getting picked-on at school, so teaching them when and how they can protect themselves is a must. Find a self-defense class, sign them up for karate or another martial art, or discuss with them what they should do if caught in a bad situation.
  5. Ride a Bike – Take some opportunities to help your child learn to ride a bike if they haven’t already. Take them to an open parking lot, work on pedaling, or even get a fun glider bike if they need help learning how to balance. Not only is this great exercise, but it helps your kids realize there are other ways to get around without Mom’s taxi service!
  6. Start a Fire - Knowing how to start a fire is a must in any survival handbook. Go ahead and teach your kids the proper ways to start fires before they attempt to do this unsupervised in your back yard (like mine)!
  7. Go Camping – Even if you just go camping in your backyard, their are numerous survival skills you can learn. Camping requires you to have food, ways of cooking it, somewhere to sleep, and so much more. It’s a great way to practice and see how ready you really are.
  8. Grow a Plant - Last year we planted a watermelon seed my child brought back from school and I was a little surprised how well it actually grew.  The day we were able to eat the watermelon he had taken care of was priceless. Since then our children have gotten more into gardening and they take so much pride in growing and eating their own food.
  9. Stage a Mock Evacuation - What is a real threat in your area? Tornados, fires, hurricanes, floods, or something else? Go ahead and stage a mock evacuation where your family has to get ready to leave in a hurry! You might learn a lot about your family and what they value.
  10. Fitness – Being fit is much more than looking good, it’s having the endurance to walk or hike long distances. Try planning a hike for your child while they carry their own bug out bag or emergency kit. This is good training to see how much they can handle, or if you need to lighten their load.
  11. Learn to Swim - With swimming season approaching water safety is a must! The best way to feel comfortable around or near water is to learn how to swim. There are even classes for babies that will help them know how to float on their backs until help arrives, and once your child is old enough, sign him or her up for swim team. Help your child be a strong swimmer. This is a skill they will use their entire life.
  12. Know How to Hunt & Fish – Being able to get your own meat by hunting or fishing is one of the ultimate survival skills. Sometimes it’s difficult to find places to hunt, but you can usually find a lake or pond nearby to at least go fish. Give your child some opportunities and help them process the meat afterwards.
  13. Purify a Glass of Water – Do you have any filters and purifiers? Have you ever put them to the test? Try actually getting water from a different source other than the home faucet and see if you can properly filter and purify a glass of water.
  14. Navigate Surroundings - We are so accustomed to just asking our phone to navigate us where we want to go, does your child even know how to use a map? Better yet, do you even own a map of your area? It might come in handy when power is down and you need to get around. If you’re really fancy, practice using a compass or even the stars to navigate.

Actually Make Things

  1. Make an Every Day Carry (EDC) BagEDC bags aren’t just for adults. Kids can fill their pockets or carry a bag with important essentials too. If you need ideas for putting one together, you can find tips for creating one here.
  2. Make Their Own Emergency Binder – Kids are never too young to start preparing for the future and make their own grown-up Emergency Preparedness Binder! They can start filling it with recipes they enjoy, survival skills they are learning (or want to learn), important documentation and more.
  3. image by andy coan

    debris hut – image by andy coan

    Make a Paracord Survival Bracelet - Having 8-10 feet of paracord with you at all times could really come in handy, especially in a survival situation. Go ahead and help your child make their own Paracord Survival Bracelet this Summer!

  4. Make a Powerless Cooker (& try cooking on it) - Help teach your kids there are other ways to cook your food besides the microwave by making an alternative cooking method. They get bonus points if they actually make a meal with it afterwards!
  5. Have Basic Sewing Skills – How about learning some basic sewing skills so if your child ever had to make their own poo wipes or needed a wonder oven they could sew it? Sewing skills come in handy for much more then mending clothes.
  6. Use Hand Tools -  Does your child know how to use any of the countless tools lying around in the garage, or even better do you? How about dusting them off, or getting them their own small set of tools? They can learn how to do basic repairs, hang pictures on their wall, or if they really want a challenge, they can build their own bow!
  7. Entertain Themselves without Electricity - I’m not sure if they have labeled a disease yet for kids who are addicted to iPads, phones, TV, & electronics, but about 90% of kids I know seem to suffer from it. Challenge your children to learn how to play a game (or more) that requires NO Electricity!
  8. Make an Emergency Kit for School - When summer vacation is almost over, you might want to consider making an emergency survival kit for school. Depending on where you live, your child might be stuck at school during a snowstorm, tornado, or another situation where it might come in handy.
  9. Forage for Food - This is something I want to learn how to do! Maybe doing it with my kids will give me a chance to finally learn about the different edible (and not so edible) foods in our area. If your kids know how to forage for food you can literally send them out to the backyard for dinner!

Learning

  1. Knowledge - This is one skill that takes time, but it’s also something you don’t have to worry about losing or getting stolen. Check-out books on survival topics your child is interested in at the library, or take a look at this new picture prepper book for kids.
  2. Know How to Keep Cool or Stay Warm - Depending on where you live and the season, these survival skills can be the difference between life and death. We had to do an ER visit last year when my sister got severe heat stroke, and I’ve had friends almost lose finger and toes from not keeping them dry in freezing temperatures.
  3. Learn Some Common Sense – Basic common sense seems to be diminishing with each generation, but it doesn’t mean your child has to suffer from the disease too! Raising competent kids in today’s world can be a true challenge when they are being spoon-fed constantly, but there is hope. Take an honest look at your children and see if there are areas where you can help prepare them for real-life.
  4. Practice Calling for Help - What if you were in trouble and the only one that could help is your toddler? Would they know how to call 911, ask someone for help, or go to a neighbor? Go ahead and practice different situations or scenarios to see if they could help, if they had to.
  5. Safely Use a Pocket Knife - Little boys (and big ones too) are just drawn to anything that is dangerous and could possible harm them, so why not go ahead and teach them how to safely use and maintain their own pocket knife? This way, they won’t secretly steal and stash your kitchen knives!
  6. red crossLearn Basic First Aid - I have to be CPR certified & have basic first aid knowledge for my job, but these are skills that kids can learn too. Once they get down how to put a Band-Aid on, consider signing your kids up for a first aid class or similar age-appropriate class. Older kids can even train as EMTs and ask to volunteer with the fire department.
  7. Gun Safety – Even if you do not now and will never own a gun, kids need to know what to do if they are ever in a situation where there is one. My friends and family have had incidents because kids didn’t know how to properly handle firearms! So whatever you do – at least teach them to not touch, never point them at anyone, and never put your finger on the trigger!
  8. Be Able to Ask for Help – I never realized what a true survival skill this was until recently when I applied my child to a special needs school. The director said they know when a child is ready to leave their school when they can ask for help on their own. Do your children know how (or even who) to ask for help…or do you always do it for them? Do they even place their own order at a restaurant?
  9. Learn History - It’s hard to prepare for the future if you haven’t learned from the past.  Have your child hit the library (or even appropriate websites), visit National Parks, talk to older people (grandparents perhaps)…. There are lots of ways to give kids an opportunity to learn to enjoy real history!
  10. Download a Survival App – I had to throw in at least one thing kids could do with their phones and tablets. Not all disasters will mean you’re losing cell coverage, so downloading emergency apps for your child could really make a difference. Have them take a look at some of the survival apps that are available and download a few that could come in handy.

Last, but Far From Least:

  1. Have a Strong Faith in God – The Survival Mom said it best when she mentioned that kids should have a Strong Faith in God - I couldn’t agree more! Children need to have morals, read and memorize Bible verses, have a hope and belief in heaven, and know they can pray to God and he will hear and answers them (because I know for a fact He does and I hope you do too)!

Want to print out this list to keep track of your kids’ skills? Click here!

So Will Your Child be Attending PREP School?

Let me know if your child participates in PREP school this Summer and what survival skills you plan on teaching them. I would love to hear what they learn or if there are any other survival skills I should add to my list!

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The post Summer PREP School: 48 Survival Skills for Kids to Learn This Summer! by Jamie S. appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

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