We now proudly present our second essay entry in the "Safecastle LLC Freedom Awards Self-sufficiency Essay and/or Video Contest" as well as an automatic entry in our "Rural Revolution Essay Contest"
Be sure to check out all the great potential prizes over at: SafeCastle LLC., and remember, even though we are only allowed to pass on one winner from here to the folks at Safe Castle for the final judging of the grand prizes, we here at Rural Revolution have ten prizes to give out to those of you who submit your original essay or video on self-sufficiency, survivalism, and prepping.
Our prize, the coveted Rural Revolution Tankard
(Will look something like this,
but will also include the words
"2011 contest winner" and your name.)
So without further ado, here is our second entry:
My Kids are Preppers Too!
(Name withheld at authors request)
I have two sons, currently 13 and 11. They have always been a part of our strategic planning meetings. We feel our children need to know as much as we do about our situation. Your kids are going to know that something is going on, it is better to include them than to keep them in the dark. Trust me; if they do not fully understand your situation, they ARE going to discuss it at school or with their friends. Children are curious by nature and that curiosity has led my kids to becoming well educated about survival topics. Your children also need to know how to use every piece of equipment as well as you do. You owe it to them, as their parents, to ensure that they have all the necessary skills to survive if you are somehow injured or unavailable.
My eldest is an avid reader. Along with numerous other genres of books, he is currently reading all the apocalyptic books that he can get his hands on. I read the same adolescent novels that he enjoys. This opens the lines of communication and leads to interesting conversations. Conversations ranging from: Are the teenagers in real-life as ignorant as the teenagers in the books? (He says they are—SCARY if true) How he would handle the situation of surviving on his own? Is he ready to protect himself and his family?
My younger son is the gun enthusiast. He can list more weapon make and models than my husband. He is more athletic then my older son, but he is also more indolent and stubborn.
Both of our children are required to help in the garden, target practice, and help can. Being a contributing member of the family is not something that can be taught overnight. Nor will it be a lesson easily learned when the times are more desperate. Because of their hard work, responsibility, and maturity they are rewarded in several forms. They are often the hosts of sleepovers. Besides my loving to have the extra 2-8 kids over, I consider it a form of prepping education. Do you know how much and how often 10 teenage boys will eat? I do. A lot! Increase your food stores if you plan on teenage boys being a part of your group. I know which kids have no problem running out in the dark to chase off a stray cat that is threatening our kittens. I know which kids are willing to help in the garden and mash applesauce. This is all important for when the time comes and my home may become a safe haven for parentless children. I know, it sounds frightening and alarming.
I bring up the point about the extra kids for several reasons. First, I consider the sleepovers to be an essential par t of our prepping training. I need to know that that I can trust my kids with our secrets around other kids. I like to see how the girls and boys react with a good ole’fashioned game of ghost in the graveyard. I also like to make note of the kids that pitch in with the chores and who can be counted on to follow instructions. Secondly, I use the guise of hosting sleepovers to hide several of my preps in plain sight. Do you know how many kids will come over without proper winter gear? All of them. So it of no surprise that I have numerous pairs of boots, jackets, hats, and gloves stored in my closet. Lastly, tactically their games of hide-and-go-seek outside in the dark along are great practice. Now, I know that most of you are going to scoff at the suggestions that such childish endeavors have any real practical application. But I know exactly which one of the kids are willing to lie silently in a patch of raspberries for an hour hiding from the rest of the seekers. I also know which kids go running screaming into the night at the first hint of movement. My children have learned every hiding place outside and inside. That sounds practical to me.
Educational opportunities come every day and around every turn. It is our duty as parents to help our children recognize these occasions and step back and allow them to learn. Talking to your kids is not as productive as talking with your kids.
One such learning opportunity came with our first thunderstorm of the season. I was just leaving work when my son called to inform me that our power was out. By the time that I arrived home five minutes later, he had learned that a transformer was struck by lightning and that we would be without power for several hours. I took the opportunity to open the door for conversation and teach my kids a lesson; little did I know they were going to teach me one. I asked them, what if not only the power was out but also the phones? (a common occurrence around our place) No problem, they have their cell phones. Well, what if the cell phones were out also? The first things my sons’ ascertained was that I was referring to an EMP blast. Wow, they’re good. Yes, my eldest had been reading One Second Later and my youngest watches way too much History and Military channels. They went on to explain that one of them would “stand guard” at the best look out window in the house (but not too close to the window so no one from the outside can see them), while the other locks all the doors and pulls all the blinds and secures the property. Pretty good plan for never having discussed it with them. So now, because I’m mom I’ve got to keep throwing curve balls at them. “But what if mom and dad don’t make it home quickly?” They would consume the perishables in the refrigerator first, eating them cold or reheating them over the sternos that we have. Great, so they wouldn’t starve. “But what about if someone came up our driveway?” Besides wanting to hide inside the house they told me they know how to access the weapons and better yet they know how not to use them unless they are fired upon first. Okay, so I was pretty dang proud of them. We went on to discuss other problems, an injury, the pets, picking up the stairway so they didn’t break their necks in the dark. Now, for the real kicker. What if they weren’t home when this happened? Hmmm, Yes! I stumped them for a moment. They immediately said they would leave school and head for home. “But how would I know that they were even allowed to leave school?” They hadn’t thought of that. They developed a route for making it from school to my work (less than ½ mile away) and we would walk home together. “But, what if they do not allow the grade school children to be dismissed?” My eldest is in the high school located right next door to the grade school. We discussed how the he would go and try to convince the younger son’s teacher to allow him to released into his care. If the elder son was not successful he was not to leave the grade school without his brother. If they do not meet me at my work in a timely manner, I would travel the route (backwards) and pick them both up.
They are better prepared than most of the adults I know. That is a reassuring notion for a mother to carry with her. Times will be difficult enough; I will be worrying about my children every minute. But can you imagine how much harder it would be for my husband and I to function if our children were not well prepped? I’m sure some of you are saying that you don’t want to unduly frighten your children. I agree. During our discussions my youngest son expressed some fears about being able to carry out his duties and “pulling his weight.” It is better to opening address these fears now before they become a reality than to shelve them for a rainy day. No, I do not want my kids to live their life in fear nor do I want them to grow up too fast. It is just like training for a sport, if you don’t practice you cannot succeed. The same is true for prepping.
I know that in whatever situation we are faced with, be it tomorrow, next month, or in a year, or never, that my kids will be responsible and mature. I know I will be able to count on my kids to be able to survive TEOTWAWKI, high school, or the real world with confidence and dignity. Please talk with your kids, start right now, because a family that preps together survives together.
A reminder, gentle readers, to please consider sending us an essay on your plans, thoughts and experiences in self-sufficiency and prepping. Your entry can be a far reaching as TEOTWAWKI or as narrow as why brown rice is a better storable food than white rice. I know a lot of you have skills and training on these important topics. You have a real shot at some great prizes (ours and especially theirs) by simply putting on e-paper, or video, things you've already considered and practiced that might be of great help to others just starting out. If you're shy, we'll gladly keep your identity under wraps.
Come on and give Patrice a night off by writing something we can put in her place.
Don (The Husband of the Boss)