Basic Survival Skills for Children, by M.L.

Wednesday, Aug 26, 2009

Children play a part in many of our lives. Protecting them becomes an important issue in daily life as well as in an end of the world as you know it moment. However, what happens when adults can’t be there to protect them? What happens when they may need to protect us?
Our government and even many schools across the country, as well as parents and other adults, often do not see the potential in children. I am not talking about the educated potential one might find in the youth of a suburban school, but the potential to rise to the occasion when it is necessary to help themselves or their families.
The key to survival is knowledge. What you do with that knowledge and how you apply it at the right moment determines if you survive or not. Why can’t our children have the same knowledge?
We have many threats facing our world. Swine Flu or even other pandemics have been brought to the fore front this year. The WHO. is telling the world to expect an explosion of H1N1 cases. What happens if you and your spouse get Swine Flu? Who will take care of your children? Your sick neighbors? Your aging grandparents whom live three states away? Give your children the knowledge to take care of themselves and their families.
The following are some ideas on how to engage your children in survival learning (please gauge these ideas on the maturity levels of your own children):

While many of the aforementioned tasks may sound obvious for all parents or care-givers, it always helps to remember your children can accomplish many tasks as long as they are given the chance to try. There are a variety of adult survival activities that you can tailor towards your children. Teach your child about your own family op-sec and basic safety when it comes to dealing with strangers. Above all, always remember to stress safety when teaching your children.

Give them a chance to hone their skills by taking them camping. Allow them to start the campfire (with parental guidance), cook the camp dinner, pitch the tent, etc. Get “lost” in the woods and have them bring you back to camp using a compass and map. Then later, have them look for a cache using your GPS. Teach them about the animal tracks your family sees and what animal crossing look like. In the evening, teach them the major constellations and how they can use those for direction as well.

I personally recommend the book The Boy's Book of Outdoor Survival by Chris McNab. Although it is titled "for boys" and has pictures of boys in the book, I think it is highly appropriate for girls as well. Every child should know how to take care of themselves in survival situations.

If you can help your children and give them the knowledge to help themselves and others, even at a young age, you will enable them to be more responsible for themselves for the rest of their lives. As a parent, you are responsible for teaching your children.

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