Most of what our Survival Mom forbears knew how to do was passed on to their children and grandchildren. Generation after generation knew how to hunt and preserve food. Knowledge and skills were meant to be shared, not only for survival but as a way for the family to share common experiences.
A common complaint of modern families is, “We all live separate lives. The kids have their activities, we have our jobs. We hardly ever see each other!” Look around and you’ll find that the happiest families are those that share the most common interests. A collection of family hobbies, focused on practical skills goes a long way toward drawing families close. When any activity has meaning and a purpose, it suddenly becomes a “grown up” thing to do, and with Mom and Dad setting an example, kids are eager to participate. Oh, don’t let the kids get hung up on “boy” or “girl” activities. Your future daughter-in-law will love the fact that her husband-to-be, your son, can make marinara from scratch and knows how to sew a quilt!
So, when you plant your spring garden, haul the whole clan outside to participate. Pulling weeds and sifting dirt builds character, but more importantly, it provides time for chatting about both important and trivial matters, telling jokes, and just being together. This is how memories are made and heirloom skills are passed from one generation to the next. If possible, be sure to include extended family members and friends to spread the love, and the dirt.
5. Lend a helping hand
Good things are meant to be shared, whether it’s a basket of warm cinnamon muffins or a bar of homemade oatmeal soap. A mom who has few skills and hasn’t bothered to learn helpful information doesn’t have much to share. Preparedness has an element of generosity. It’s not about hoarding for me and mine, but preparing in such a way that you have more to give, and that includes sharing what you know and what you can do.
Let me tell you about a time that I wasn’t able to help someone in need. I was at a movie theater and went into the women’s rest room to find an elderly lady standing over a sink with a severe bloody nose. I paused, thinking, “Wow, that looks bad!” when another woman came out of a stall. She took one look at this helpless lady and immediately went into action. This little brunette was a dynamo, grabbing handfuls of paper towels, placing them over the woman’s nose, and directing her to tilt her head downwards. When a theater employee came into the room, she yelled at her to call for a doctor. Me? I gawked and then scurried into a stall. Four years later I am still kicking myself that I wasn’t able to determine if the woman needed help and how to help her.
What can you do that you haven’t taught your kids? That would be a good place to start to ensure those skills are learned by a new generation. Ask your kids what they would like to learn. Take classes together and look for opportunities to use your new-found abilities to help someone in need.
Coming next: Part 4 in our series will give you ideas for learning skills that will add to your family’s income!
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