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I put SAs on IGNORE!
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As I've been working for months now on things, experienced tornado back in April (aka no power for five days) and really just finished our BOBs last night, I had something happen...

The oldest started crying. :(

I am trying to fix his BOB with more stuff to take care of himself and brothers should they not be with us. I didn't say that, but made out if he were alone, etc. And he sarted crying.

I abandoned the preps and we did something else.

Anyone else dealing with this? I realize the worse that could happen is he not be prepared to be alone, but I don't know how to prepare him.

I know we should probably spend some time "playing" in the woods and make him familiar with the items in his BOB, that would be step one.

We are campers, but not rough neckers when it comes to camping.

Anyway...care to discuss what you have done in this area.

Thanks!
 

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performing monkey
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you could turn it into a 'family contest' maybe? kids love to compete

are they old/mature enough to have (some) input into what to put in their BoBs (personalization)?
 

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Just getting started. Always.
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That must be tough, good luck.
I would worry most about turning them into bitter cynics. Unfortunately, it *could* be a fact of life, like death.
Along Blobs lines, turn the teaching into something fun, pretending youre Survivorman or something. Maybe remove the bad inferences, instead of (I'm not saying youre doing this, just an example) "We need to learn this because one day SHTF and the world will all go to hell", be more like "This is the way we used to live back in the day, and these skills are useful, and can be fun". Connecting with nature, that kind of thing.
Turn it into a lesson in economics. Were saving money, and money doesnt grow on trees. Unless you grow food. :)
 

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Survival Doc
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Just had this talk yesterday with my 13yo and 10yo boys. They were asking me about my BOB and then asked if they had one. I told them they did and so they asked why. They have an older brother that lives in Japan and happened to be in Tokyo the day of the tsunami. He was related how he had to walk 7 miles from an event he was at to get back to his hotel because all transportation was shut down and then they were told not to drink the water, they ran to all the local stores and guess what, no water or drinks left. We live in a place called chemical valley and we have potential for major chemical leaks, I asked the boys what would happen if we had to evacuate, they said go to a hotel. Well, the roads would be jam packed and with acity evacuating, we would have to travel at least 300 miles to find a hotel. They said, odds are not great that something would happen, I said when we are on a boat the odds of it sinking are pretty slim to, so why do we always wear a life jacket? My boys love to camp and they are true marksmen with various guns, now they are very excited to work on their own BOB's, I should have let them help sooner.
 

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The wanderer
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4,350 Posts
DJ, it would help to know how old the son you're talking about is. There would be different ways to approach it from an age-appropriate (and mentally ready) perspective.

I love what Dan wrote about playing the question game, about what would/could you do, and keep it going.
 

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Administrator
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Maybe it was just the feeling of not having you around as you stated

I am trying to fix his BOB with more stuff to take care of himself and brothers should they not be with us. I didn't say that, but made out if he were alone, etc. And he sarted crying.
I think as a child I would be OK with prepping, but the thought of having to survive alone or be responsible for siblings is a bit heavy.
 

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edirPsmaP
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1,587 Posts
We talk a lot in the car. Captive audience...my favorite!! LOL! I would ask them "What would you do if?"
What would you do if you were at school and the power went out and you had to walk home?
What would you need if our car broke down on the side of the road and it was 91F? (It happened to me on Saturday!! WAH!!)
Or say "I was reading about this lady online that has six kids and her car broke down on the side of the road and it was 90 some degrees and she did not have good cell phone reception. What do you think she should do?" "And she had to go to the bathroom BAD! While she was waiting for help...what could she have done?" The back brake on my van broke off and sheared off the valve stem on my tire and it went flat!
That would get them thinking without them putting themselves in that position if it is to much for them.
Or "I was reading about this person's brother that had to walk 7 miles home after the tsunami and when he got home they were out of water. What do you think he should have done? What things do you think would have helped him get home?"
Then once all of your kids are used to that then ask them "What do you think WE should do so that we are prepared if we brake down on the side of the road?"
My youngest is 2 and my next youngest is 6 and I talk about this stuff with ALL of my kids at the same time! My oldest is almost 16.
I had the kids pack the 5 gallon buckets with 3 days worth of food for 8 of us. So they all know where it is in case if we have to leave in a hurry. We have put everything in my 12 yo's closet because it is closest to the front door and then we have discussed the procedure and what we need to do and grab if we have to leave in 10 minutes or less. They REALLY enjoyed doing it!

I also try to make them aware of their environment around them. 4th of July was a great example! Where we went to see the one set of fireworks we not a good side of town. So I would point that out by saying "We are not in a good side of town...not bad, but not good either so you need to be watching what is going on around you. A lot of people are drinking and that leads to people causing fights. Let's make sure we sit away from the big crowds and stay near the outside edge of the people so that we can be the first to see and move out of the way if something happens." We sat next to the EMT's and Police on the outside edge of the crowd. We discuss in the moment about what to do if someone grabs you! I say it so my family hears it but I really don't care if others are ease dropping. That stuff takes less than a minute to go over!
My kids are also not allowed to have ipods or ninendo DS's. They become totally oblivious to their surroundings and the family (a big no no at my house) when they have those things!
 

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Supporting Member
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I think it's probably a little more 'real' for your kids than most of us right now, given the tornadoes this past spring. He knows that when you talk about maybe not being there, that could very well happen.

I don't know how old your son is, but maybe letting up on the part about you not being there, and just work in the games as others have suggested. That way you can keep the skills up, but not put him on a psychological overload - he (and lots of folks in your area, young and old alike) may be a little fragile for that right now. You can gently ease back into that concept at a later time, when his psyche is stronger again.
 

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Aesops Ant (not Aunt)
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As others have alluded, it will do little good to prepare a child to survive on their own by giving them physical preparations (food, water, etc) if they are not ready to be on their own MENTALLY. Depending on age, it may be too much to ask of your child at this point but its the MENTAL preparations that you need to be making them aware of (as PamsPride talked about -- reminded me of my mother). You need to prepare food/water for them but they cant handle the responsibility of preparing physically to be by themselves if they are not already prepared for that mentally.

On the other hand, if they are fully prepared mentally (and spiritually too) for anything then they will have a MUCH better chance of surviving a any disaster even if they were not fully prepared physically! Everyone should prepare first spiritually and mentally... and second physically.
 

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I put SAs on IGNORE!
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2,426 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thank you all! Great advice!

little man is about to be 11 .....

We were just talking about the creek and how we need to get down there and do some clearing if we need to go get water ...

He's the oldest of three... Youngest about to be six.
 

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edirPsmaP
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Thank you all! Great advice!

little man is about to be 11 .....

We were just talking about the creek and how we need to get down there and do some clearing if we need to go get water ...

He's the oldest of three... Youngest about to be six.
They are the perfect age to start talking to them! My 12 year old (just turned 12 last week) totally gets why we prepare! I asked my kids one day how much food you should keep at home at all times and his response was "I don't know. One year?" The other kids said a few months or more.
I went over with my 6 and 9 yo about not talking to strangers and where to hit them and what and how to yell after I read the article about the 8 year old that was killed when he got lost. I also remind them that it is important to never be anywhere by themselves. The benefit of having so many siblings is there is near always someone to go with you no matter where you want to go.
I think sometimes as parents we let our boys do more because we think that kidnappings and bad stuff happens to girls but that is not true.
Most of the stuff we do to prepare is everyday stuff for my kids because that is just how we have always done it. But I talk to them a lot and I explain stuff to them. I don't assume that they understand everything or anything. Like why I do certain things and why they should do it too. My friend lost power, only for like 5 hours, but with their family of 6 they ran out of water FAST and had no way of flushing their toilets. I told my kids about it and put some 5 gallon buckets under our gutters. We can not leave them there because of mosquitoes but the next time it rained THE KIDS wanted to put the buckets back out there again!

Take your kids down to the creek and try to get a few buckets of water...to water the garden or whatever. Let them see how hard it is and ask THEM what they think you could do to make it easier. Clear brush? Use a wagon? Bigger buckets? Smaller buckets? Then tell THEM to be on the lookout for those items when you are out and about. When they see one of those items it will bring that memory back to them and remind them why they need to get buckets and reinforce what you did in the practice run and why.
 

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The biggest obstacle to battle is fear. I know this because it happened in the car today, with my eldest (8 y.o.). I was listening to talk radio, and he heard about the debt ceiling and the deadline etc. Being the rather advanced kid that he is, he asked what all that meant and what would happen if the country ran out of money. I asked him what HE thought, and he started talking about entitlement payments not going out and those people getting very angry and stealing. Then he started crying. Oops.

I asked him what was going through his head. He said, "Those people are going to riot and empty out the stores and we'll all starve to death." I saved it with the quick response of, "Who's 'we'? Have you looked in our basement lately?" He stopped crying immediately, got a big grin on his face, and said, "Oh, yeah, we have all that food and stuff. We're good, then."

I told him that I only explained these things because he is so smart and can understand things better than most kids his age. Regardless of that, he's still young, and feels powerless over all the crap in the world, so of course it scares him. It scares me. But once he remembered that we are preparing for tough situations, he gained some internal solidity.

We have been playing the "What If" game for some time now. On a really dark day, I turned out all the lights and said "Powers out. Won't be back on for 3 days. What do we do?" It was a learning experience for both of us as we went through the house on our daily routine, using flashlights, cooking on the grill etc. At the end of about four hours, I ended the exercise, and we did a debrief. So what, right? Except now he keeps shoes by his bed, right next to his flashlight (which is now NOT a toy). No more fear of what to do if the power goes out!

Best of luck with your training.
 

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We have week-ends with our grandchildren, 14,13,11,8,5, I don,t want to scare them but they need to know what to do, we have our plans , if there is an emergency, what to do,where to go. We use our oil lamps, cook out side, make bread, and our newest thing was the fire straws, they all like doing that, and they work really well. It more of a game with Nanny and they love it,we have made a notebook with all kind of things in it, and each time we pick out something new to try.We took my flower bed down and made a nice fire pit this week-end, lol ,Thats what I get for asking what would you do if you needed somewhere outside to cook. It,s not perfect but it worked.And it will stay in the yard. We cooked smores and talk about cooking outside, the older ones got the firewood, we have woods behide our house, and the little ones picked up pinecones for the fire, those fire straws work really good in starting a fire.The girls know how to make bread from scratch in the kitchen , but not outside yet, But our next outing we are going to try it.We have Nanny week-end once a month, they all have there own bags, we have a check list and we don,t talk about our prepping to other people.Just our family, because we all prep.It,s a nice time for me with my grandkids.They ask a lot of questions and we talk about everything.It doesn,t seem to scare them they just want to learn.This works good for us.:flower:
 
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