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    Gypsy Wanderer Husky
    Gypsy Wanderer Husky

    Teaching kids about survival is a tough thing to do, mostly because it’s often difficult for them to imagine that life as they’ve always known it can change in a blink.

    Regardless, it’s imperative that they know what to do because they will most certainly need to play an active role in your survival plan.

    Whether it’s defense, or simply taking care of their siblings and carrying their own bags, kids need to know what to do if SHTF.

    Before we get into what your kids should know at a bare minimum, it’s important that you have a serious talk with them about why you’re preparing for an emergency. If they’re old enough, point out current events that lead you to believe that your concerns are valid. Discuss other events, such as wars or natural disasters, where average people were forced quickly into survival situations. They need to understand WHY, not just HOW to prep.

    Basic Information

    From the time your kids are 3 or so, they can begin to learn their basic information. This includes their full name, address, town, and phone number. They should also know your full name.

    As they get older, teach them how to contact other family members or emergency contacts. Young kids also need to be taught basic “stranger danger” skills because if SHTF, they’ll certainly need that knowledge.

    Include them in your plans and in your practice sessions. Give them specific duties as they get older. This will be valuable in two ways: first, you’re going to need all the help that you can get. Second, knowing what to do will help kids control their fears and will give them a sense of purpose.

    Escape Routes

    If your kids are young, draw maps of the house and yard and practice fire/emergency drills. Use different exits depending upon where they are in the house. Assign a safe place to meet up and make sure that they get there. Include that in your drills and try not to change the location!

    If your kids are older, teach them how to get to designated meet-up spots from school and from various places such as the mall, ball practice, and other places where they may be if SHTF. Maps are great for this practice. Create a phone list that they carry in their backpack and impress upon them that their phones probably won’t work in many emergency situations.

    How to Build a Fire without Matches or a Lighter

    This is one of the basic skills that Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts learn at an early age. In case SHTF, knowing how to start a fire is a skill that they can use in any number of situations.

    If they’re alone, they can use it to signal for help, or they can use it to keep warm or cook. If they’re in a group, it’s a skill that will help give them a sense of usefulness and purpose.

    Get them their own fire kit for their bags when they’re old enough.

    Basic First Aid

    First aid is a skill that kids can begin to learn at a very early age. Begin when they’re young with simple skills such as applying a bandage or cleaning a boo-boo. As they get older and more capable, teach them more advanced skills including how to treat burns, cuts and fevers. Most fire stations or emergency squads teach first aid and CPR courses to community members. Enroll your kids when they’re old enough to do so. These are valuable life skills for anyone to have.


    Even if you decide not to teach your kids to use weapons, it’s still a good idea to teach them how to defend themselves.

    If you opt to teach them to use weapons, be sure to train them thoroughly both in safety and in use.

    Even if they know how to use weapons, self-defense classes are still a good idea. It’s a great form of mental and physical exercise even if they never need to use it for its intended purpose.

    These are just a few things that kids should know if SHTF.

    This list is in no way inclusive but it’s a place to start. Other valuable information that kids should have include:

    Their exact role in your emergency plan

    How to find/filter water

    What local plants are edible.With today being Easter start with a easter egg hunt with younger ones. Then move on to using color photos of different plants.

    How to fish. Take them fishing and after showing them have them show you.

    How to sharpen a knife

    How to use hand tools

    How to tie different knots

    What you should teach them depends upon what you’re preparing for. The most important thing is that you include your kids in your plan and encourage them to take an active role in drills and practices. Give them all of the information that you have as they get older so that should anything happen to you, they have the tools that they need to survive.

    In the end, that’s really all that you can do!

    Prepare for the unknown by studying how others in the past have coped with the unforeseeable and the unpredictable.
    George S. Patton


    Very useful and potentially life saving topic. My son learned much that is helpful in emergencies through camping and hunting. I’ve been sure to help him with skills associated with urban jungle. Best to think of all family members responding individually and collectively. My wife is up to speed on all fronts but still warming up on marksmanship skills.


    Good information

    “.. how one should approach working with kids vs. adults. Systema for an adult is typically a question of personal safety and a confidence builder. These are not yet important for the young kids. They don’t care about the end result as much as they enjoy the training process itself. Of course, that changes with teenagers, and goal-setting starts to play an important role.

    The goal of your classes for this age group should be the discovery and development of important physical and psychological traits and the cultivation of basic skills. For example:
    – Harmonious body development, correct body form;
    – Natural movement, ability to control the body, and overall coordination;
    – Correct breathing;
    – Moving without unnecessary tension, ability to relax as needed;
    – Control of emotions and psyche;
    – Ability to fall smoothly and safely, overcoming pain;
    – Sensing and understanding distance;
    – Interacting productively with a partner;
    – And the list goes on and on…

    All of these things can be taught through simple games and exercises, both individual and with a partner / group. A large part of this work should hinge on interaction rather than competition, sensing rather than understanding. It is difficult for kids to grasp abstract concepts, but they are good at feeling things.

    It’s helpful to do much falling, working on the floor, crawling, especially from under a partner, pushing, wrestling, and, in general, work with a lot of physical interaction. This teaches sensitivity to your partner, providing the right amount of effort and general body awareness. Don’t be afraid of these types of work: it’s not injury-prone. Kids fall more softly and more naturally than adults. The goal is not to teach kids classical acrobatics or prescribed ways of falling, but to achieve free, easy, and safe transitions from the ground and back up again, removing fear of falls from the body and psyche. Prescribed moves or structures will make kids stiffer. Give them freedom, let them do exercises to the best of their ability, and eventually, with small suggestions and corrections, they will be doing it right.

    You shouldn’t focus too much on stationary work. It’s much better to encourage constant movement; crawling, rolls, walking, or running. It’s not worth relying on strength; rather work through relaxation and mobility.

    Classes should also include practice with your eyes closed – training for sensitivity, hearing, a sense of direction, memory, the ability to make decisions in complex situations, etc. Kids love working with their eyes closed and do it easily – think of the popular Russian game “zhmurki” (“blind man’s buff”), in which one blindfolded person is “it” and tries to catch 3 to 10 other participants in a limited space.

    It’s always helpful to provide as much physical contact as possible using a variety of games.
    The beginning of the class should focus on physically challenging activities involving a lot of movement, followed by work to slow and calm the class, such as slow push-ups or squats, in a game format. All of this is intended to shed surplus energy, allowing you to spend a productive 30-40 minutes working on your chosen topic for the class. At the very end, you should conclude with an entertaining activity or game to leave off on a high note. The most important thing is to avoid formalizing the classes or using rigid constraints. Improvise more. Let the kids release the tensions and fly free – they have more than enough constraints already at school and at home.

    … ” Read more link

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    My youngest is my son 14 years old. I have been teaching him for about two years now. I will use this information to improve and add something that I missed. Thank you Gyspy.

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