As a prepper, getting your kids involved in preparing for an emergency is tough. It involves tact and patience. For example, when they are infant children, they may not be of any help because, at that stage, they pose a security risk. They need to be watched, they are loud, they are highly vulnerable, and you need to do all the planning on their behalf. But, if they are older, you will have better power and strength because they are mobile and can perform helpful tasks.
You need to help your children develop prepping habits that will last them for a lifetime. These prepping activities can be fun and enjoyable if you make them a natural part of their everyday life. We are not talking about strenuous everyday drilling exercises; we are talking about teaching them to be always ready. They will find a lot of joy and security in knowing that they can defend themselves in any situation.
Zero to One Year Old
Infants are the most challenging kind of children to prep with. Even though prepping with infants may be tough, this is what we recommend.
When it comes to having food ready for your infants, it’s safe to say that breast milk is the best option. If you are a lactating mother, you need to pack meals that you will eat, especially calorie-wise. You should have all the extra calories in your diet, and you need to eat much more than an active male prepper.
This way, you can produce food for yourself and your infant. If there is a situation where the mother of the child may be available but unable to breastfeed because of health, situation or choice, you need to get some baby formula.
- You can take your infant anywhere during a bug out using a papoose. This excellent gizmo allows an adult to sling the child to the chest or back while moving in a survival situation.
- Instead of stocking up on only synthetic diapers, we recommend cloth diapers as you can reuse them.
- Pack up heavy clothes and jumpsuits, diaper rash cream, and baby bottles.
- Ensure to treat your environment to avoid exposing your infant to diseases.
One to Three years
At this age, your children become toddlers, and it is easier to prep with them.
As a prepper, you need to wean your child off breast milk and formula once they are about one year old. Start feeding them finely minced or pureed solid foods as soon as practicable. This way, you don’t have to stock up on expensive baby food.
- Potty train them, thereby eliminating the use of diapers during a survival situation.
- Toddlers may still be learning how to walk, and they may go from not walking well to walking too quickly. It is advisable that you carry a baby carrier.
- In case of a bug-out situation, buy a helmet for your toddlers because they fall too often.
- Carry lots of water and juices in your bug-out bag. Toddlers get dehydrated easily.
Three to Ten Years
This is the right age to start introducing your child to prepper and survival training. Kids at this age are more willing to learn. You can teach them these survival skills methodically and slowly.
- Start by teaching the child the things that are hazardous in their environment. Things like electrocution, ponds, pools, fires, insect stings or snake bites, and other hazards. Teaching them what is unsafe and what to avoid will help them in a survival situation.
- Once they are five years old, teach your child about firearms safety. This doesn’t mean they need to learn how to shoot; it means teaching them not to touch a gun. They should be taught to report immediately to you if they find a gun.
- Before they get to ten years old, your child should be able to learn how to make a fire, use a radio, look through binoculars or read a map.
Ten to Twelve
At this age, your child can function as a full-fledged member of the team. They can function independently and should be able to help themselves in a survival situation.
- Your child should be able to firmly defend himself or herself. They need to be accountable to both themselves and their team; the family.
- Depending on their height, at age 12, you may consider teaching them how to drive a car. Just in case they need to move a car during an emergency.
- They should be able to pack their own bug-out bag by this age, and they should be assigned tasks and responsibilities.
Thirteen to Nineteen
From a prepping standpoint, these are functioning adults that should handle any survival situation. They are regarded as adults when it comes to manpower needs, but you still need to treat them as teenagers because they are not adults emotionally.
- At this age, you should teach them tactical training such as fire team movements.
- They should also be independent and reliable.
- You should be able to send them into wooded areas, and they find their way home.
- They should be able to drive and handle other survival skill tasks.
Prepping for emergencies and bug-outs can be tough on even adults. So expect your kids to take some time to get the hang of things. What’s most important, is that they show up and learn something new with every practice session.