Friday, May 1, 2009

Kids and the various aspects of the survival minded family

Going to the shooting range with my father is one of the best memories I have growing up.
We’ve played tennis and went trekking but there was nothing like shooting.
It’s fun, done properly it’s totally harmless and helps develop skills, what’s not to like?
Most survivalist and preppers include the entire family in the preparedness plan and that’s just how it should be.
I even tell my son about the amount of children just starving to death in our country, and when we come across kids living on the streets I don’t hide what going on.
I’ve been asked “Daddy, why is that boy walking barefoot, isn’t he cold?” “Yes son, but he’s very poor and can’t afford shoes, probably doesn’t have a mom and dad like you do”
When my son refused to eat his food, I even played that video of the crying girl, just to let him see for himself what it’s like.
Throwing away food just isn’t allowed. Braking toys or failing to look after them will usually end up in that toy ending up in a bag for charity.
After that he became a very responsible little 6 year old.
Even something that a lot of people would find very questionable, I encourage my son to fight. If someone hits him first or insults him, instead of telling the teacher he’s allowed to fight. I don’t think that running to another person to take care of his problems is something we want to encourage, unless there’s no other option.
He even steps in to protect the girls in his class or smaller children from bullies, and that's something I'm very proud of.
He once knocked down an older kid with a sucker punch. The kid had been bothering his cousin. He's a brave little guy.
But a child needs to feel safe, specially at home, and this is something I'd like to talk about.
When crime becomes a serious problem, try to not discuss these things in front of the children.
We try not to watch the new when my son is around, or quickly change the channel when they are talking about some nasty crime.
The reality is bad enough, and the amount of unavoidable situations is more reality than a child should be digesting.
For example last year when my wife got mugged by children ( a bunch of kids, with a gun, the oldest one was 10 or 12) my son heard it all and kept asking about it for days. He wanted to go looking for them and kill them.
Today for example, this morning I was with my son and came across a woman that lives near by. She had been robbed by a couple kids wearing school uniforms.
The first one attacked her up front, the other hit her in the back of the head with some hard object, probably a gun.
They beat her up and stole her purse. My son heard it all, saw some of the wounds the woman still had, and that’s not good for a kid. A child should feel safe, specially at home, so avoid talking or discussing home invasions in front of them.
When these things happen, my son will usually be a bit more afraid of the dark or being alone than usual, and will crawl into our bed more.
The other day the teacher told him and the rest of the class that there’s a mosquito that will kill you (Dengue) I don’t think this was a good idea. Till this day he’s afraid of getting stung and will chase around like crazy trying to kill every mosquito he comes across. We have lots of mosquito tablets so we rarely ever see one in our house, but come on, a teacher telling 6 year old kids that they will die if a mosquito stings them? I think that was unnecessary. And I’m usually the one that gets accused of being paranoid. :)
On the other hand, I explained him well the risk of Dengue, as well as various other diseases, and why its important for him to keep his hands clean, specially when coming from the street and before eating.
He now happily washes his hands all the time and drops a few drops of anti bacterial gel that smells like mint, which he likes a lot and therefore looks forward to cleaning his hands well.
Prepare with the family, but there’s a time and age for everything. Some things are better kept aside until a child can understand them better, no need for him to grow up with fear.
Take care, and have a good night.



Anonymous said...

Couldn't agree more about being honest with kids about the systemic problems that create poverty, etc -- not ignoring it and letting the child's imagination run wild. As far as violence, something that scary and random, and out of the kid's control, can't be openly discussed with them -- they're not strong enough to protect themselves or the people they love from that violence, or smart enough to see it ALL coming. This is why its important to teach kids how to be alert, to trust their instincts, and to know that most adults are good, and that if they ever feel scared, they can scream and show it, and people will come to help them.

Your example of explaining poverty, then showing them that if they can't value what they have then it obviously should be cared for by someone who can, is perfect.

Kids can understand logic. They don't have to understand the complxities of poverty, but if you can give them a sense that they can help shape it (by donating toys, appreciating what they have, being compassionate), then it isn't so scary to them.

I grew up on the U.S. West Coast at the time of the LA Riots and when gansta rap and tabloid news shows (A Current Affair, Inside Edition, etc) was at the height of pop culture (which is a kid's entire impression of the outside world.) I remember listening to rap during the time of the riots (must have been 8 or 9 or so), and thinking "I wonder how my Dad survived to grow up?" and thinking that half of boys probably die from guns, riots, car accidnets, etc. before they can grow up and have kids of their own. It sounds silly, but to a kid it just sounds inevitable. I did my best to sneak that music and graphic media, becuase its intense and compelling to kids. This was the height of the "scare them straight" Reagan/Bush era of public service announcements, too where Saturday morning cartoons shared airtime with images of junkies and such in Just Say No Commercials. Adults need to be conscious of what their kids see, how much they understand it, and how much the kids feels like they can do their little part to counteract it -- which builds their self-esteem and sense of security. Its not just good for social training -- studies of inner city US kids exposed to violence, shows that the anxiety gives them PTSD essentially, which inhibits neurlogical growth (nutrition does play a role in this too.)

In a lot of violent situations, where showing feelings can be an opening for someone to attack, its good to teach kids how to open up and flush out their feelings, with people they feel safe with, so that they can move on. Teaching a kid how to keep their head is the best lesson, all that physical stuff can come when their bodies are built for it, and the outside world demands it.

George Donnelly said...


Well done. I don't hide the poverty from mine either. And I think you're right on about there are some threats little kids aren't ready to know about. Great post.

Aggie said...

You're right on. Our kids are grown and we did pretty much the same thing with them.

God Bless Ya'll!

Aggie, Class of '70
An Anglican Firearms "Enthusiast" (ie: Gun Nut)

Suburban Survivalist Blogger said...

This is very interesting, and in the USA, this 'honesty' with children is becoming somewhat of a taboo. Especially encouraging children to fight (in a time of zero tolerance in schools). Although I think your ideas are well founded, I would be interested in how you are able to try to teach your children discernment about when to fight and when to lay low?

Thanks for your blog!

Anonymous said...

In fact, schools actively teach children to surrender - not to even defend themselves - this is what comes from a suicidal "multi-cultural" PC ideal. This keeps them obedient to authority, but if things do get out of hand it will be a very rude awakening for some of them.

Jay21 said...

You are a good man a better father FerFAL. Godd luck in every aspect of your life.

Anonymous said...

This come from a "multicultural" PC ideal.
It could be said kids not being able to stand for themselves come from a from a blame-the-victim ideal that some non-liberals are good at where kids are made to feel that they deserve being bullied if they are not good enough if they are not popular,not nice looking enough, different or too smart. It could also could come from a overly passive stance that is liberal and left-leaning where some folks feel it is never okay to defend yourself in self-defense-individual or otherwise-so the right ain't totally at fault here. My point is that there are reasons for this other than at best accurate ones used to throw potshots at liberals. Anyway, Ferfal, this blog post much needed advice from a reputable source. One that has direct experience who can offer common sense solutions gained from on the ground observations. This is much needed