The Survival Mom » Kids http://thesurvivalmom.com Helping moms worry less & enjoy life! Thu, 20 Nov 2014 11:00:40 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.1 “I’m a Survival Girl” contest! http://thesurvivalmom.com/survival-girls-contest-barbies/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/survival-girls-contest-barbies/#comments Tue, 18 Nov 2014 16:17:00 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=18722 Attention girls, ages 8-12! Show off your Survival Girl skills and knowledge in this fun contest! We’d love to hear all about what you have done to become better prepared for everyday emergencies. Have you learned how to sew or Read More

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Survival Girls 2Attention girls, ages 8-12! Show off your Survival Girl skills and knowledge in this fun contest!

We’d love to hear all about what you have done to become better prepared for everyday emergencies. Have you learned how to sew or grow a garden? Have you packed your own emergency kit or taken a first aid class?

Here’s your chance to show off and win some cool prizes at the same time!

RULES

You must be a girl, ages 8-12, and live in the United States.

Your entry must consist of both photos and a written paragraph documenting what you have done.

Submit at least 4 photos, but no more than 8. They don’t have to be professional quality but should provide a clear image of what you have done. Example:  A photo of the contents of your emergency bag.

The written paragraph should explain and give details about what you have done, what you’ve learned, and why you consider yourself to be a Survival Girl. This isn’t Language Arts class, so don’t worry too much about grammar and spelling, but we can’t judge what we can’t understand! Ask a grown up to double-check what you’ve written, just to be sure it’s clear.

Please email entries to admin@thesurvivalmom.com with the paragraph in the body (message section) of the email and the photos attached. Entries must be received by midnight on Friday, December 5. Winners will be announced on or before Monday, December 15.

HOW ENTRIES WILL BE JUDGED

It’s easy to pick up a few tips and pointers about a lot of different subjects, but it takes a lot of time (sometimes years!) to become an expert. We’re looking for Survival Girls who have gone beyond that first step of just picking up a few bits of information about a lot of areas and have started down the path toward being an expert.

Judging will be based on the entire entry, with photos and the paragraph carrying equal weight, as it demonstrates to our judging panel what you have learned and what you have accomplished as a Survival Girl.

PRIZES

5 winners will be selected.

Each winner will receive an Entrepreneur Barbie to recognize your pioneering and impressive efforts and a certificate of recognition.

In addition, the First and Second place winners will receive a birdhouse and 5 lbs of bird seed from Audubon Park.

First place winner will also receive a beautiful sterling silver Lovely Hearts Bracelet from IsabelleGrace.

 

 

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32 Mental and Urban Survival Skills for Kids http://thesurvivalmom.com/32-mental-urban-survival-skills-kids/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/32-mental-urban-survival-skills-kids/#comments Mon, 17 Nov 2014 07:00:00 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=19308 Kids come in all ages, abilities, and levels of emotional and mental maturity. As you read this list, keep in mind that not all skills are appropriate for younger kids, in particular. Although these are listed as urban survival skills, Read More

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32 mental and urban skills for kids

Kids in the cities and suburbs need to know these skills.

Kids come in all ages, abilities, and levels of emotional and mental maturity. As you read this list, keep in mind that not all skills are appropriate for younger kids, in particular.

Although these are listed as urban survival skills, the truth is they are relevant for most kids living a modern life, not just those in cities. Some of these, particularly escape and evasion, aren’t things most of us need in daily life (sibling issues aside), but kids should use and practice most of these skills in their regular daily life.

Cyber and Personal Security

1. Know who to trust with personal information
2. Recognize the sound of gunfire and know what to do if you hear it
3. Identify and know how to escape elevators and other potential “trap points” in your daily life
4. Online safety – not sharing personal information, etc.
5. Identifying dangerous people and groups online, and where to find help
6. If the family has an emergency stash of food and supplies, know where it is and how to access it

Emotional Well-Being

7. Set goals and know how to achieve them
8. Be responsible for themselves
9. Develop problem solving skills
10. Work hard: be a self-starter and a family helper not a complainer!
11. Have a strong faith in something greater than yourself (live morally, memorize religious verses, pray, sing, etc.)
12. Stay calm
13. Manage boredom
14. Handle disappointment, manage anger, and overcome fear

Escape and Evasion

15. Conceal vs. cover
16. What to do if they ever get lost
17. Blend in when necessary
18. Where to hide if in danger, both inside and outside
19. Know where family and friends live if they need to find them
20. Where to find water and shelter in a city
21. Be aware of the nearest exit, and the next-nearest
22. How, why and when to stay hidden
23. Assist an injured or otherwise handicapped person getting to safety when there is no power

Financial Savvy

24. Money management – saving, spending wisely, balancing a checkbook, using a credit or debit card (and the differences between them)
25. Bargain and trade (kids naturally do this with their toys so teach them at garage sales)
26. Hiding their assets and knowing how to find any “emergency cash stash” their family has
27. Identify items of higher value in different situations (e.g., batteries may become very valuable with power out, but not with it running)

Self Defense

28. Basic unarmed self defense
29. Shoot a sling shot
30. Make and use a basic weapon
31. Understand and use basic gun safety procedures, even if they can’t shoot
32. Shoot a gun, including basic eye and ear protection

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32 Wilderness Survival Skills for Kids http://thesurvivalmom.com/wilderness-survival-skills-kids/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/wilderness-survival-skills-kids/#comments Mon, 10 Nov 2014 07:00:11 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=19287 Our very popular list, 32 Survival Skills Your Child Should Know and Be Able To Do ASAP, has been well received but we noticed there were important skills and pieces of knowledge that were missing. So, we went to work Read More

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32 wilderness survival skillsOur very popular list, 32 Survival Skills Your Child Should Know and Be Able To Do ASAP, has been well received but we noticed there were important skills and pieces of knowledge that were missing. So, we went to work and created this wilderness skill set and an urban survival skill set, which is coming up next week.

Keep Kids come in all ages. Not all skills are appropriate for younger kids, in particular.

Basic Wilderness Survival Skills for Kids

1. Rowing and steering a rowboat, canoe, and any other watercraft common in your area

2. Safely use an axe and/or hatchet

3. Safely build, start, maintain, and extinguish fires, including fires for signaling, warmth, and cooking

4. Prep wood for fire, from kindling through larger logs

5. Make firestarters from a variety of resources, including those you can find in the woods

6. Keep a blade tool clean and sharp

7. Tie different types of knots

8. Water safety, beyond just swimming

9. Camouflage

Camping

10. Find or build a shelter in the wilderness

11. Select a campsite, including weather and safety considerations

12. Make a tarp shelter

13. Camping in multiple weather zones and environments (beach, snow)

14. Local edible and medicinal plant foraging skills

15. Stay warm, cool, and dry in the elements

16. Pitch a tent

17. Understand dietary needs and how to meet them using wild plants and game

Finding Their Way

18. Climb a tree to get away from predators, to get directional bearings, and to hunt

19. Read several kinds of maps (including topographic) and use at least one kind of compass

20. Read the sky for directions, time and approaching bad weather

21. Use a GPS

Food

22. Dutch oven cooking

23. Raise food livestock

24. Slaughter and prepare food livestock for eating

25. Build and use a cooking fire

Local Wildlife

26. Identify and understand animal tracks and scat

27. Understand basic feral animal behavior

28. Recognize dangerous local animals, their habitats, and signs they are nearby

29. Identify local poisonous animals, their habitats

30. Identify local edible plants and animals, their habitat

31. Fish and hunt using a bow and a gun

32. Clean and prepare fish and wild game for eating

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Sensible Strategies for Teaching Gun Safety: Guns and fire are a lot alike http://thesurvivalmom.com/gun-safety-for-kids/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/gun-safety-for-kids/#comments Wed, 05 Nov 2014 07:00:04 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=18380 Continuing with my series on the topic of gun safety for kids, here is my next tip. Tip #4:  Guns and fire are a lot alike. One of the earliest safety rules I ever taught my kids was to never Read More

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gun safety for kids

Continuing with my series on the topic of gun safety for kids, here is my next tip.

Tip #4:  Guns and fire are a lot alike.

One of the earliest safety rules I ever taught my kids was to never touch fire. You would think it was obvious, with the heat and all, but there’s something alluring about a beautiful flickering, orange and gold flame that draws kids like, well, a moth. Those brightly colored flames can be just as alluring as the handguns and rifles we have in our homes.

It only takes a single close encounter with a flame to make a memorable impression. An encounter with a 12-gauge shotgun does the same.

Several years ago, my husband purchased a shotgun while I was away on a business trip. When I returned, my son couldn’t wait to show me the new gun in the closet. He was completely entranced with this new firearm and asked to see it over and over again.

A few days later we were at the range, and he was practically giddy over finally having the chance to fire this cool, new gun. Well, he fired it exactly once. With my husband crouched down behind him and supporting him, the recoil still scared him silly. Three years later, and much taller and stronger, he again fired the shotgun at the range. He hated the recoil, it left a bruise on his shoulder, and he’s not crazy about shooting it again, any time soon.

The gun did, indeed, look very cool, but a close encounter can change a young mind pretty quickly.

In many ways, a gun is a lot like fire. They can both be used to save lives and both play important roles in our homes and communities, but we need to learn now how to use them safely. We manage to teach fire safety to kids just fine. Why not apply those same rules to teaching gun safety?

  • Both fire and guns are tools and not toys.
  • Fire can save lives but can also be deadly. This holds true for guns.
  • Equipment used to start fires should be kept out of the reach of children. Guns and ammunition should be stored safely as well.
  • ‘Don’t touch!’ is a good, basic rule for young ones.
  • Supervision is a key component to good safety training.
  • Both a fire and a gun can quickly cause a dangerous scene that can get out of control.

 

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5 Halloween items to buy for your safety (it’s not what you think!) http://thesurvivalmom.com/5-halloween-items-buy-safety-think/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/5-halloween-items-buy-safety-think/#comments Sat, 01 Nov 2014 06:00:02 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=19103 Did you know there are several Halloween props that can be useful for your safety? I’m not talking about glow sticks and paper products (although those are great to have) – I’m talking about the makeup, body parts and costumes. Read More

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halloween

Did you know there are several Halloween props that can be useful for your safety? I’m not talking about glow sticks and paper products (although those are great to have) – I’m talking about the makeup, body parts and costumes.

Imagine a long power outage where people start scavenging for food. Imagine a long-term lockdown or quarantine where supplies might be in demand or confiscated.

Dress Up for You and Your Home

There could be a time and place where you might want to stage your house to deter unwanted visitors and by scouring the after Halloween sales, you can come up with quite a few supplies for cheap that could be useful.

  • Costumes, wigs, and temporary hair coloring
  • Makeup
  • Fake blood and body parts
  • Caution tape and cobwebs
  • Spray paint

Caution tape and a little makeup could make your house an instant quarantine area.

Various body part decorations could make your house look like it’s already been attacked. Coupled with some caution tape, it’s a crime scene.

Spray paint and cobwebs can make a house look abandoned. And costumes, along with wigs and makeup, can change how a person looks.

Makeup and fake blood could also be used to create various medical conditions that could keep people away or help you get whisked to safety.

Use your imagination …

I’m not advocating out-right lying or deceiving people about serious situations for fun. I’m also not advocating anything criminal, like impersonating a police officer, but how many doctors do you think actually have things like scrubs or a lab coat – “doctor-y clothing” – with them outside of the office? It is entirely possible that you, someone you know, or a stranger you shelter could be an off-duty professional and a few select items could give them some instant credibility for their profession.

A few prop weapons, and you could fake an attack on someone that scares off would-be intruders without actually hurting anyone. Some glow-in-the-dark hair spray, body paint, etc. and it’s suddenly easier to find the kids or follow each other on a path in the darkness. Of course, it’s also easier for others to find you without you seeing them.

If we ever did face desperate times, it could call for desperate measures to keep our loved ones and property safe. If  you needed your kid out of school right now in an emergency and wearing a simple costume like a lab coat or gas mask would make it happen, would you really hesitate?

By making your house look abandoned and already rifled through or already searched by authorities, people may steer clear and move on to another area, keeping you safe. If you wonder why this would be good, just think about what happened in New Orleans post-Katrina.

Go take a look at the Halloween supplies and imagine what ways you could change the look of your home, and possibly even your loved ones.

Have you thought about staging your house? What supplies do you have on hand or would you recommend people getting to change its look?+

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Common Sense Strategies for Teaching Gun Safety: Never Underestimate the Stupid Factor http://thesurvivalmom.com/instant-survival-tip-sensible-strategies-teaching-gun-safety-part-3-7/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/instant-survival-tip-sensible-strategies-teaching-gun-safety-part-3-7/#comments Wed, 29 Oct 2014 06:00:49 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=18377 Our 2 kids began learning how to shoot a .22 rifle when they were 7 and 9 years old. Our approach to the shooting skills and gun safety was very casual and low key. You might have thought we were Read More

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gun safety

Our 2 kids began learning how to shoot a .22 rifle when they were 7 and 9 years old. Our approach to the shooting skills and gun safety was very casual and low key. You might have thought we were teaching them how to use nail clippers for all the excitement we displayed!

They learned and had plenty of time to practice basic safety rules. My son was corrected by a range officer more than once for forgetting the safety procedures. Never once have they indicated a worrisome level of curiosity or obsession with our firearms.

Still, I remain cautious with our use of guns for one reason, and this is my third tip in a series of 7:

#3 Never under-estimate the Stupid Factor

In spite of an Eddie Eagle education and constant reminders, kids are kids. They act impulsively. They sometimes make poor and stupid choices.

Sooner or later, most kids will encounter a real live gun somewhere.  The gun may or may not be supervised by an adult.  It may or may not be loaded, and my kids may or may not be inclined to use the common sense God gave them.  As parents, we increase the chances our kids will do the smart thing and stay safe when there’s a gun around when we train, educate and remind, remind, remind.

Recently a few parents voiced their complete confidence in their kids’ safety around guns because they had been trained and they are very aware of the damage that can be done when a gun is played with or misused. I believe that assumption is a bit naive. We may know what our kids are like when they are around us, but we don’t always know what they’re like when they’re around their peers or someone they want to impress.

My advice? Continue training and educating but remain cautious. If you choose to keep a loaded firearm in one or more locations around the house for home defense, they should be out of sight from the kids. I’m not a believer in storing firearms and ammo separate from each other — what’s the point in having a firearm for home defense??

However, do be smart about where you place those loaded weapons and very choosey about the people who know those locations. Something like a gun magnet can be used to store a gun under a desktop or tabletop. Something like The GunBox can contain a handgun and open with the touch of a finger. SentrySafe makes gun safes that can be purchased in many stores around the country. Guns can be concealed in specially designed furniture — hidden but at the ready when needed.

Here’s my own true story. When my brother was an older teen, he became part of the drug crowd at high school. At times he would be angry and combative with my parents, especially my Dad. In his wisdom, one day my Dad took the entire collection of family guns out of the house and placed them elsewhere. My brother was in a place in his life that we couldn’t be certain of his mental or emotional stability at any given time. Removing all guns in that scenario was the smartest thing my Dad could have done for our protection and that of my brother.

Think twice about assuming that your kids would never do something stupid around guns.

This gun safety tip has been sponsored by The GunBox, a revolutionary product that gives gun owners rapid access to their firearms while keeping the guns safe.

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4 Children’s Organizations that Introduce Survival Basics http://thesurvivalmom.com/4-childrens-organizations-introduce-survival-basics/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/4-childrens-organizations-introduce-survival-basics/#comments Mon, 29 Sep 2014 14:45:34 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=17763 Along with the back to school season comes the gamut of fall sports, organized youth activities and club sign-ups. Summer vacations, lazy days at the pool and barbecues are replaced with Crockpot meals, homework, and the frantic race to the Read More

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Children's Organization the Introduce Survival BasicsAlong with the back to school season comes the gamut of fall sports, organized youth activities and club sign-ups. Summer vacations, lazy days at the pool and barbecues are replaced with Crockpot meals, homework, and the frantic race to the next football practice or cross country meet.

Some opportunities presented to your child could be more involved than teaching team work and how to win/lose gracefully. Many youth organizations are excellent introductions to basic survival and homesteading techniques.

Below are brief summaries of four (4) children’s organizations that can teach your child important skills while having fun, making friends and developing a sense of accomplishment.

Scouting

Whether it be Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts, organized Scouting programs teach many survivalist skills.

Through a reward system of badges, pins, and patches that show others his or her accomplishments, Scouting can teach your child:

  • Camping
  • Personal fitness
  • Fishing
  • First Aid
  • Swimming
  • Archery / Rifle Shooting
  • Cooking
  • Wilderness Survival
  • Environmental Science
  • Pioneering
  • Gardening
  • Trailblazing/Hiking
  • Textiles / Sewing

Scouting organizations generally start accepting members as young as going into kindergarten (Girl Scouts) or finishing kindergarten (Cub Scouts) and continue on through adulthood. The typical Scouting program follows the fall through spring school year with additional outdoor and camping programs over the summer.

Sources: (Boy Scouts of America, 2014), (Girl Scouts of the United States of America, 2014)

4-H

4-H (Head, Heart, Hands, Health) is a youth organization which encourages children to develop skills through taking specialized projects over the course of the 4-H year. Typically, projects are showcased at local fairs in recognition of the child’s hard work and accomplishment. Animal projects are rewarded with the sale of raised livestock by local supporting businesses and individuals.

Some examples of projects that teach several homesteading skills include:

  • Fishing
  • Canning & Freezing
  • Exploring the Outdoors
  • Archery/Guns
  • Gardening
  • Numerous Baking & Cooking projects
  • Tractor Operations
  • Sewing
  • First Aid
  • Staying Healthy

Detailed projects on breeding and raising livestock include:

  • Cattle
  • Goats
  • Hogs
  • Poultry
  • Rabbits
  • Lambs
  • Horses

Children going into the third grade and above can join 4-H, show their projects, and sell their livestock at local fairs. Younger children can join as a Cloverbud member depending on the group but have limitations on what they can present during fair season.

The typical 4-H year follows the calendar year beginning in January or February depending on the area and generally ends after their county fair the end of summer or early fall. Other summer programs and camps are generally offered.

Source: (4-H, 2014)

Boys & Girls Club

The Boys & Girls Club originally began to provide a safe and positive environment to get boys off the streets. Today, the club still provides a place for both boys and girls to be safe and supervised away from home. Although the program may not go as far as to teach in-depth survivalist skills, the club does offer many activities to encourage a healthy and active lifestyle.

Participating in a program that is open to all personalities, ethnicities, and backgrounds requires adaptation on all those involved.  The club is generally open to school-age children but some locations may offer programs for younger children as well. Most facilities are open year-round and hours of operation may vary.

Source: (Boys & Girls Club, 2014)

National FFA Organization

Future Farmers of America or FFA is an agricultural education program typically available to high school students either during school or as an after school program. Many children even in small-town and rural areas are unaware of the skills needed and traditional methods of successful farming. FFA goes above and beyond teaching kids how to grow their own food.

The program teaches students the science beyond farming, the importance and value of agriculture, and its role in feeding the world. The program provides a foundation for many types of careers including biologists, chemists, veterinarians, engineers, and more. There are many conferences, camps, and other events for furthering agricultural education. Many different awards and incentives are in place for achieving goals, including scholarships.

Source: (National FFA Organization, 2014)

Introducing Survival Basics

Not all children’s activities will result in a room full of trophies and shiny medals. The skills learned in the programs above provide a foundation of both basic and detailed survivalist intelligence. Many other programs exist that can assist in furthering your child’s homesteading dexterity. Some organizations may be localized so be sure to check with area schools, daycares, and other well-known children facilities for programs that introduce survival basics in your area.

Babbling bonus: Parents learn a lot as well when helping their children with projects, badges, etc. Scouts honor!


Bibliography

4-H. (2014). Retrieved August 25, 2014, from 4-H: http://www.4-h.org/

Boy Scouts of America. (2014). Retrieved August 25, 2014, from Boy Scouts of America: http://www.scouting.org/

Boys & Girls Club. (2014). Retrieved August 25, 2014, from Boys & Girls Club: http://www.bgca.org/Pages/index.aspx

Girl Scouts. (2014). Retrieved August 25, 2014, from Girl Scouts: https://www.girlscouts.org/

National FFA Organization. (2014). Retrieved August 25, 2014, from National FFA Organization: https://www.ffa.org/Pages/default.aspx

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A Life Skills Test For Kids: Does Your Child Pass? http://thesurvivalmom.com/life-skills-test-kids-child-pass/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/life-skills-test-kids-child-pass/#comments Sat, 27 Sep 2014 06:00:39 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=16906 With kids back in school their focus is often on passing their math final, or English test – but what about a test for everyday life skills? In the past, Home Economic classes where the norm, but the quality and existence Read More

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life skills test for kids

With kids back in school their focus is often on passing their math final, or English test – but what about a test for everyday life skills?

In the past, Home Economic classes where the norm, but the quality and existence of them are dwindling with time. These classes taught many of the skills needed to live a self-sustaining lifestyle.

Over the past few decades many of us have lost touch with those basic skills and principles that were once taught in high school home economics programs around the country, says Karen Leonas

Leonas has seen students who don’t know the essentials—like balancing a check book or sewing on a button. Recovering home economics skills may be valuable in surviving the current economic situation, says Leonas. (Whatever Happened to Home Economics?)

The Importance of Life Skills

So is it important to teach home economics (or life skills) to students, or is it a thing of the past?

I know many of my friends are choosing the homeschooling route, primarily because they believe teaching their children practical life skills is a critical part of education. They are not alone in this thinking either; other countries are recognizing the importance of such classes…

The Japanese—along with other countries such as Finland and South Korea where children are excelling in math, science and language arts—understand that in addition to teaching children math, reading and science, they also need to teach home economics and other practical life skills. (Who Says Home-ec Isn’t a Core Subject?)

Children are absolutely brilliant these days, and can do things far beyond what I did at their age, but are we doing them a favor by skipping teaching them the fundamental basics of everyday living? They may be a master at arithmetic and art, but can they change a tire, or sew on a button?

Can we really consider ourselves prepared for life beyond Hockaday when many of us cannot even cook an adequate meal for ourselves?

But a “Life Skills” or “Independent Living” course would in no way perpetuate this stereotype; it would fill in a major gap in the Hockaday education; it would go beyond cooking and cleaning to paying taxes, balancing checkbooks, basic car maintenance, skills that every woman—as well as every man—requires to live a self-sufficient lifestyle.  (Home Economics vs Feminis – An Uneasy Union)

I think it’s extremely important to teach our children life skills – not only does it give them confidence to eventually be on their own, but it teaches them to be more self-reliant.

Think about it. If you don’t teach these skills to your kids, or find someone else to do the teaching, then who will?

A Life Skills Test for Kids

Here’s a basic life skills test to see how much your kids know about everyday living. In no way is this a complete list of all the things they need to know or should know, that is up to you – the parent!

See which of the following your child can do…

Cooking Skills

  • create a shopping list
  • select groceries
  • find the best deals
  • use a microwave
  • read nutrition labels and know what’s good and what’s not
  • prepare, serve and store food to avoid spoilage
  • cook a well-balanced meal
  • know which kitchen tools and equipment to use for which tasks

Money Skills

  • make a weekly or monthly budget and stick to it
  • use an ATM
  • open, use and balance a checking account
  • apply for a credit card and use it responsibly
  • save up to buy a desired item
  • set aside money for charity
  • keep track of important papers
  • how to use a debit card
  • track purchases
  • pay monthly bills, including utilities

Clothing Skills

  • complete simple repairs when needed
  • sew on a button
  • mend a seam
  • iron garments
  • fold and put away clothing
  • follow fabric-care labels
  • do laundry, including treating simple stains
  • wash and dry items by hand
  • fold clothes
  • pack a suitcase

At-Home Skills

  • able to clean the house
  • clean toilets
  • find the circuit breaker and use it
  • locate and use water and furnace shutoffs
  • use a fire extinguisher
  • perform basic first aid
  • fix a running toilet
  • do laundry, including treating simple stains
  • use all household appliances, like loading the dishwasher the right way

Car Skills

  • basic auto maintenance
  • check tire pressure
  • pump gas
  • check oil level and add oil if needed
  • check washer fluid and add more if necessary
  • arrange routine maintenance
  • jump-start car
  • change tire
  • add air to tires
  • produce documents if stopped by police
  • know what to look for in buying their first car

Other Life Skills

  • change a mailing address
  • register to vote
  • how to vote
  • who to call and what to do in emergency situations
  • basic first aid or CPR
  • how to apply for a job
  • interview skills
  • how to select proper clothing for an interview
  • what to look for in a first apartment
  • who to contact to turn on utilities
  • where to have a document notarized
  • how to use public transportation

And the most important Life Skill of all (at least if you don’t want your kids still living at home when they are 30) is…

  • Can they handle their own problems when they arise and work things out on their own?

How did your child do?

Here is a great resource with numerous ways you can teach your kids the life skills they probably are not learning at school – Teach Your Kids About… Home Ec

What are some of the life skills that you consider essential for your children to know before they leave home?

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Common-Sense Strategies for Teaching Gun Safety: A Gun is No Big Deal http://thesurvivalmom.com/teaching-gun-safety-part-1/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/teaching-gun-safety-part-1/#comments Thu, 25 Sep 2014 18:00:51 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=18373 I don’t know if the anti-gun trend is still fashionable or not, but when I was raising my young children, it certainly was. I decided that my two year-old son would not be playing with a Buzz Lightyear Astro Blaster Read More

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I don’t know if the anti-gun trend is still fashionable or not, but when I was raising my young children, it certainly was. I decided that my two year-old son would not be playing with a Buzz Lightyear Astro Blaster or, for that matter, any gun. I have to admit it made me feel a little superior to take that stand, but one day my son turned a pizza crust into a small handgun, started shooting at the waitress, and I knew this was not a hill I cared to die on. I bought the Astro Blaster the next day.

Over the years, my son’s collection of toy guns accumulated and, as a family, we began making frequent trips to the shooting range when he was seven years old. Incorporating shooting sports in our everyday, ordinary lives has become, well, ordinary.

Our approach from the beginning is matter-of-fact, focused on the fundamentals of gun safety and skills, and age appropriate. I have 7 common-sense strategies for teaching gun safety that I’m going to pass along to you over the next 7 weeks.

#1   A gun is no big deal.

(Remember, this is the first of seven tips.)

One of the first lessons I wanted my kids to learn is that a gun is no big deal. It’s a tool, much like a hammer. I didn’t want them to become so attracted to the gun as a forbidden fruit that they would someday give in to temptation and endanger themselves and others.

Remember the scene in The Sixth Sense when a young teen boy says to the main character, Cole, “Wanna see my dad’s gun?”  He turns toward the bedroom and we see a huge gunshot wound in the side of his head. I never wanted that scene played out in our home, with one of our children, eager to impress a friend, shows off by handling a loaded firearm.

In fact, what we wanted was the exact opposite. We don’t want guns to be so fascinating that safety rules are quickly forgotten. After all, what is more alluring to a child? Something they’re not allowed to see and touch or something so ordinary that it’s no big deal? So, both kids have gone to shooting ranges many, many times. They have both participated in an Appleseed weekend and a summer camp held at an indoor range.

I am not precluding the possibility of either of our children doing something stupid someday while around a firearm, but if they do, it certainly won’t be because they view a gun as something exciting and glamorous. The last thing I want my kids to do is wait until we are gone from home and then seek out a hidden gun to “play with.”

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Where are my children? 3 questions to ask about your school’s safety plan http://thesurvivalmom.com/school-safety-plan/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/school-safety-plan/#comments Tue, 09 Sep 2014 07:09:06 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=17704 Disasters can happen anytime, including when your children are at school. Do you know exactly where they will be if it strikes? 1. Where is my child in the building? Ask your children or their teachers where the students will Read More

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School Safety

Disasters can happen anytime, including when your children are at school. Do you know exactly where they will be if it strikes?

1. Where is my child in the building?

Ask your children or their teachers where the students will be during any type of drill – fire, tornado, earthquake and lockdown drills. Think through where the children would be when they are in different parts of the building, too, such as lunchtime and specials. Keep a copy of your children’s daily schedule on hand. I often keep a copy on the refrigerator and take a picture to keep in my phone.

Speaking of lockdown drills, make sure to take the time to talk to your children about what they would do if one happened when they were in various locations in the school. One of my children once asked what she should do if she was in the bathroom when they called for a lockdown – that made for an interesting discussion.

2. What is the evacuation plan?

If the school is damaged, find out where the school will take the children. Sometimes there is a church or community center nearby that the school plans to use. Some school may plan to use a nearby field or parking lot if there is not a big enough building nearby. If your children are the kind that like reassurance (mine do), let them know that you know where they will be taken to during an evacuation and that you will come get them.

3. What hospital does the school use in its’ school safety plan?

Sometimes a disaster is a more personal one where children get hurt or collapse at school. If they have to transport your child to a hospital, do you know which one they would use? Knowing that could save you time by knowing ahead of time exactly how to get there. It is good to know what emergency services your school would call as well. Do you have specific people lined up who can get your children in emergencies if you are not available? Make sure to let your children know who is and is not allowed to pick them up. One good idea is to establish a family code word that a person who picks them up should know.

Now you know

Ask these questions and you can be prepared in case a disaster happens while your children are in school. You can also apply these questions to any event that you leave your children at – scouts, church, sports, and friends’ houses. Knowing where they are means you will be able to get to them quicker in case of an emergency.

What other questions would you ask about your school’s emergency plan?

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