It’s tempting to assume that the world’s going to end by 3:00 p.m. tomorrow afternoon. So why bother? Why go to work? Why get dressed? Everyone’s going to be a zombie in a week anyway, right?
Wrong. Prepping extends beyond keeping a stash of supplies or investing in home defense; it also involves helping the next generation learn the survival skills needed to thrive. Are you doing enough to teach your teen these vital skills?
Being Prepared for the Future
The truth is, the future is incredibly difficult to predict.The “88 reasons Jesus is coming in ‘88” movement had people recklessly selling all of their belongings in preparation for a hard deadline that never occurred. Y2K saw loads of resources spent on what ended up being a non-event. Global warming was supposed to have destroyed us by the end of the last century.
That’s not to say that preparing for that ever-looming doom isn’t a wise thing to do. The point is to be cautious assuming you understand how, when, or why it’s going to happen.
Just because you see catastrophe up ahead doesn’t mean you should shirk your duties in the present, especially when it comes to preparing the next generation of humans for an uncertain time ahead. After all, children still are the future.
7 Skills for the Next Generation
With all of that in mind, here are some essential survival tips and tricks that you’re going to want to make sure to teach your kids in order to ensure that they’re raised in the ways of proper doomsday survival.
1. The Value of a Plan
One of the basic tenets of the prepared life is planning ahead. Make sure that your kids grow up understanding how to prepare themselves for every possibility. This starts with teaching them to have sound financial sense. Show them how to budget and save cash in order to be prepared for an emergency.
In addition to the financial aspect, make sure that you have a clear crisis management plan in place within your family, your community, or (ideally) both. Set up a chain of command and make sure everyone can contact each other in a crisis. Make sure to keep your child by your side as you plan everything out so that they can learn from the experience.
2. Self Protection
Next up, there’s self-protection. From knowing how to use a gun to knowing when to run from an unnecessary or lopsided fight, it’s critical to show your kids how to defend themselves and their possessions. Show them how you protect your property from home invasions, whether it’s through alarm systems, panic rooms, or a good, old-fashioned bull horn.
On top of that, make sure to teach them self defense against an aggressor and even the basics of sexual consent and assault. Regardless of the form of aggression, there likely won’t be any law enforcement available in the event of a catastrophe, and they’ll need to be able to take care of themselves.
3. Driving Skills
Teaching a child to drive is a hallmark of parenthood and a rite of passage for kids. However, humanity is rapidly approaching an era of self-driving cars. In a decade or two, people may actually be able to move around on their own without knowing how to drive.
One of the most important things any parent can teach their child in order to give them an edge over the competition is how to operate and maintain a vehicle. That second part is key. There’s no taking your car to the shop when a hurricane strikes or a nuclear apocalypse kicks off. Make sure they know how to keep that check engine light off and those wheels turning.
This one may seem trivial, but you need to take it seriously. Truly knowing how to cook is a critical life skill. In a post-apocalyptic scenario, you can live off of canned food and bottled water for only so long.
At a certain point, you may need to start scavenging for things like plants and berries or go hunting. If that’s the case, the ability to cook is vital. A severe case of botulism is the last thing you want when you’re trying to survive a disaster.
5. Self Care
No, we’re not talking about the modern trend to go to the spa or take a vacation. We’re talking about healthcare. If there comes a point where the health industry is unavailable, you’re going to want your kids to know how to take care of rudimentary healthcare concerns on their own.
Teach your kids how to manage basic health issues like sickness, infections, and even allergies. In addition, show them ways to help prevent diseases and health issues from creeping up in the first place, such as proper rest, eating well, and avoiding smoking.
Finally, make sure you’re on the same page when it comes to caring for family members struggling with poor health, diagnosing the health needs of those you love, and so on.
6. Teach to Learn
It’s easy to show your kids your own skills and preparation, but the way you do things today might not be the way they should do them 20 years from now. That’s why it’s important not just to teach your kids basic survival skills but also foster within them the wherewithal to learn those skills themselves.
In other words, teach the actual skill of learning itself. If your kids genuinely desire to learn, they’ll be able to find a way around any problem or challenge that pops up.
7. Hard Work
Finally, there’s the age-old concept of hard work. Any child facing the potential threats of the modern world should be accustomed to a hard day’s labor.
The conveniences of the modern era make it tempting to let machines do the work. That’s why, at the end of the day, it’s important to teach your kids the value of rolling up their sleeves and doing the work themselves. If they’re willing to work, they’re much more likely to adapt to whatever catastrophic situation they might find themselves in without too much trouble.
Preparing Your Teen for the Future
Preparing your children for the future is a critical part of parenting. On the one hand, parents should be demonstrating basic, hands-on skills like driving, cooking, and physical protection. On the other, they should be teaching their children a strong work ethic, an understanding of the importance of sexual consent, and the skill to set their own budget.
Either way, it falls to the parents of today to prepare the next generation to handle the threat of future catastrophe. One of the best ways to do this is by equipping them with skills that will serve them well, no matter what life throws their way.
About the Author:
Adrian Johansen loves to write, teach, and create. She believes in that a combination self-sufficiency and teamwork can help anyone live an intentional, meaningful life. Check out more of her writing on twitter!