xmlns:og='http://ogp.me/ns#' September 2015 ~ The Prepared Guy

Monday, September 21, 2015

17 Skills I want my kids to learn

Preparation, or prepping, is not just about acquiring the supplies you will need to survive a disaster or societal collapse.  Even more so it is critical to acquire skills.  It's not just about survival and it's not just about "the apocalypse" but rather it's about everyday living and quality of life.  It's about thriving and ultimately enjoying life not only right now in this messed up world but also in what some would call a post-apocalyptic world.

This post-apocalyptic world is coming sooner than many may imagine.  There isn't much time left to prepare appropriately so you had better take it seriously, if not for your sake but for your children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.  We don't know when "the end of the world" (whatever your interpretation of that statement may be) will come so you had better take up the attitude that you may not be preparing for yourselves but rather for your progenitors. 

I can hardly even get my teenage kids to come home on time or clean their room when I ask.  How can I prepare them now for what may ultimately come to pass in decades?  Keep reading and i'll tell you how.    

When I see what is happening in the world right now it is difficult for me to fathom that this chaos we are seeing can continue for more than a few more years, without extremely serious consequences and calamities affecting us directly very soon.  While it is essential to monitor events and happenings around the world in order to properly prepare, this kind of perspective can be detrimental to our preparations.  Allow me to explain.  

The attacks on morality and what we commonly call "old fashioned" values or lifestyle is peaking.  It's hard for me to imaging it getting much worse.  Continually surrounding ourselves with negative and frankly disturbing information, while essential to being prepared, can be disruptive to our quality of life.  We prepare now so that we will be comfortable later.  But how is it affecting our life now?  Are we continually stressed out because we are not 100% ready for and EMP or dollar collapse?  Changing our lifestyle now can help. 

How does someone who needs to lose lots of weight do it successfully?  Everyone knows that it only occurs when they change their lifestyle.  You can't just sign up for a TV weight loss program, have them ship you all their specialty food and just expect the pounds to come off.  Ok, it may happen sometimes but as their disclaimer says on the TV screen:  "Results not typical".  The same is true with prepping.  You can not expect to be prepared for the future if all you do is buy your 1 year supply of food and supplies and watch the alternative media to tell you when everything is collapsing.  Staying informed is critical but just because you are informed does not mean you are adequately prepared.

How do we change our lifestyle to prepare for the future?  The answer: We look to the past.  We learn how our ancestors lived and we practice the skills and acquire the tools that allowed them to thrive.  

The more technologically advanced we become the more vulnerable we are.  Technology is great, especially when it come to having stronger steels, better quality tools and more reliable and accurate firearms but does it really do us any good to have an app for everything?  Does having a self driving car truly benefit us?  Has the GPS really helped us out or has it taught us to be less self-reliant and more dependent?  Sure it can get us to our destination more quickly and with less stress but what is the sacrifice if we haven't also learned to navigate using a map and compass or engender an internal sense of direction?

Learning and developing skills will not only allow us to change our lifestyle but also prepare us for the future.  Here is a list of skills that not only am I working on but am also teaching my kids.  These skills help to give them an appreciation of the past, prepare them for the future and help to keep them grounded in a highly toxic world.

1.  Sewing.  Using a sewing machine is pretty simple but it takes practice to build confidence in your skills and to get to know your machine.  Using a needle and thread is also just about as basic as it comes but it teaches youth that items can be fixed instead of just thrown out, thus also teaches them recognition of value and thrift.  

2.  Fire building.  Possibly the most basic and essential of all human skills.  Although, be careful.  You may just raise a Pyromaniac.   

3.  Archery.  While it is not necessary for most of us to hunt for our food teaching our kids to master the use of a bow and arrow teaches confidence.  Learning any kind of real world skills teaches self-confidence, self-mastery and self-sufficiency.  If it comes down to it they'll have the ability to hit their target whether for self defense or to feed themselves.  Like riding a bike, kids don't forget these kinds of skills.

4.  Marksmanship.  At our last outing my 7 year old hit all 10 of his first 10 targets, without a single miss.  The same could not be said for his older siblings.  If you guessed that he talks about this often and occasionally rubs it in, you would be correct.  Confidence and self worth are extremely important traits children need to develop while they are young.  Confidence erases fear.    

5.  Fishing.  Give a man a fish and feed him for a day; teach a man to fish, feed him for a lifetime.  A truer statement could never be said.  As with fire building; fishing, hunting and gathering are some of the most basic human skills.  How advanced are you if you can program a computer but can't catch a fish to save your life?   

6.  Cooking.  It's about self-reliance.  Cooking can be as basic as boiling a cup of water to cook some noodles or using a dutch oven to bake a cobbler.  Once you know the basics, common sense kicks in.  Learning to prepare the bulk food storage items you have is critical.  I often say; To prepare for the future you must look to the past, or some variation thereof.  Making a cake from "scratch" is different than simply opening a box of cake mix, blending the ingredients, setting the timer and sticking it in the oven.         

7.  Construction.   Another one of the most basic of human skills is the necessity of having shelter.  Construction includes shelter building and much more.  Working with your hands generates creativity as well as satisfaction from a completed project.  

8.  Personal Finance.  This is about responsibility and truth.  What the world now teaches about personal fiances and the way it "used to be" is vastly different.  Again, we need to look to the past.  Teach accountability, avoiding debt, the value of hard work and what real money is and how to be responsible with it.    

9.  Observation.  Observation is about being aware not only of dangers and how to avoid them but also awareness of opportunities and how to take advantage of them.  I am constantly looking for teaching opportunities.  This task by itself is a practice of observation.  There's no better way than to teach by example.    

10.  Patience.  The saying "Good things come to those who wait." is only partially true.  You must not just wait but act and wait patiently.  You can't just wait and expect for good things to happen, but you must make them happen.  This takes both hard work and patience.  

11.  Gardening.  This truly is a skill that takes not only practice but also hard work and patience.  When God told Adam and Eve "In the sweat of they face shalt thou eat bread," he wasn't kidding.  There are many different lessons learned here. 

12.  Hard work.  Being self sufficient isn't easy.  Most everything now days is about getting something done quick and easily with minimal effort.  Most of the items on this list require physical effort and persistence.  Teach your children they can do hard things.   

13.  Fitness.  In any shtf situation it will be very important for you and your family to be physically fit.  It will not only make everyday life easier but even more so when you have hard work to do.  Being healthy and fit can ensure that you will be ready for any situation.  Lead by example. 

14.  Nutrition.  This goes hand in hand with fitness, hard work and gardening.  Knowing how to eat right ensures that they can stay healthy and fit.  That's one less thing to worry about during a crisis.  

15.  First Aid.  Teach your kids CPR and first aid.  Having the knowledge to help others is empowering and confidence building.  Knowing what to do during an emergency can help children to stay calm and take care of themselves.

16.  Government.  Although this can be a heavy and mostly uninteresting topic especially for children, it is important for them to know how our government should be working.  There are ways to keep it interesting and fun.  Most of all, teaching them about this topic will let them know that we take it seriously.  That we care enough for them to understand too. 

17.   Orienteering.  Our smart phones make things like traveling and navigating much more convenient, but they also handicap us.  A sense of direction and the ability to read and understand where you are on a map, in relation to the sun and landmarks is, again, critical in an emergency.  

Knowledge plus experience equals confidence.  All to often, with the most basic of tasks, my kids exclaim "I don't know how to do that!"  My goal is to empower them with the skills necessary for them to take on most any task or obstacle with confidence.

For some of us starting a garden. learning to fish, how to build a cabin and living within our means is not a complete lifestyle change but rather just some tweaking of current habits.  These tweaks will help your kids to not only cope with today's trials but also the even more difficult ones that are coming.        

The purpose of this site is to provide you with information about what I have learned, my experience, and what my motivations are as a Prepared Guy. I have always felt driven to be ready for any situation by something powerful deep inside me. Being prepared has always served me well. I feel compelled to help others do the same.
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