What is the most effective way of prepper parenting? Parenting at the best of times involves a mix of the responsibility to inform and to protect children, and balancing out the two is rarely easy. When it comes to emergency preparedness, the stakes increase all around – as protection involves both practical preparedness and engagement with the reality that isn’t likely to instill undue fear or anxiety in the day-to-day. Here are some practical pointers for how to prepare your kids effectively for emergency situations without undue mental and emotional cost.
Work Out The Parameters – Planning
The first thing you’re going to have to decide is the degree to which your kids need to be prepared, and the degree to which you are going to take responsibility for this for them. This will depend on a range of factors, including (but not limited to) their age, experience, and day-to-day routine. You need to determine what they need to know, both in terms of what may happen and how to respond to it.
This might sound obvious, but it is important to engage consciously with these decisions before you set about prepping your kids, or you run the risk of either failing to give them the necessary preparation. For this reason, it is a good idea to take time before you begin to approach your kids to determine what exactly you want them to know and why. Things can be simplified if you make a systematic plan for how to impart these things – and this needs to take time and careful consideration.
Detachment From Your Own Perspective – Communication
Parenting requires a certain amount of shielding kids from the burdens proper to adult life, and when it comes to engaging fruitfully with emergency preparedness this is vital. Whatever your fears or convictions may be about what is coming, there is a parental responsibility to avoid passing your personal anxieties onto your children.
This does not mean failing to warn or inform, it means ordering your own emotional response so as not to communicate things in such a way as to induce fear or raise unnecessary concerns for them. Having made a plan as to what you have decided to communicate, you need to decide how you are going to communicate it.
One of the most fundamental factors in how we communicate anything is the place we’re in when we do so. Here’s a checklist of some things you might make sure are in order before you start to educate your kids:
- Is my conviction that my kids need to be prepared contextualized within the broader framework of my parental responsibilities?
- Do I have a sufficient degree of prepping advice to communicate in order to justify raising a particular issue?
- Have I let go of the emotional baggage of any aspect of misunderstanding with other adults who may not see the necessity of prepping, and am I thoroughly convinced my forming of my children is not influenced by my personal desire to ‘have them on my side’?
When you have addressed these (and suchlike concerns), you can approach the task of preparing your children with a certain degree of confidence that your communication will be as objective and as useful to your children as possible. Then what remains is to be attentive to your kids’ responses when you begin to teach them how to prepare. If you notice any signs of concern or anxiety, be attentive and responsive, and be ready to adjust what you need to say, how you say it, and at what pace you impart certain ideas.
Putting in Place Provision – Personal Preparation
As one grows older, the realization (hopefully) dawns that we can’t be in control of everything, that the world isn’t as safe a place as we might like to be and that no human being on earth knows or can do everything. That’s a normal part of growing up. However, there is a certain amount of feeling that one’s parent has the answer to almost everything and is in control that grants security and confidence in childhood that is good for a child’s development.
Whilst you can’t be in control of everything when it comes to prepping for things that are not yet here you can determine to a certain degree what you have done before you communicate the possibilities to your kids. This means that when it comes to helping them to take responsibility for the parts of prepping that they need to, you have (to a certain degree) the capacity to make sure that those responsibilities are framed within the context of your wider preparations, and proportionate to their age and capacities.
The implications of this are simple: Prepare well, and then invite your kids into your preparation, rather than setting them preparation as a task to accomplish. Don’t make inadequate provisions and then run into giving children information that they can’t work with. Don’t fudge your own responsibilities and pass them on in the form of arbitrary concerns without a response.
The more diligently you have put preparation measures in place, the more security you will have in letting your kids know both the extent and the limits of their duties, and then preparation will serve not as a vehicle for anxiety, but a field of education within a secure environment.
Invitation To Come Alongside the Preparation – Prepper Parenting
OK, so general principles in place, what is prepper parenting going to look like on a practical level? To a certain degree this depends on the nature and the extent of your own preparation, but here are some practical tips for engaging in preparation:
Conversation and exposure to unfamiliar possibilities:
Once you have determined the ‘what’s and whys’ pertaining to what you need to communicate to your children, there is the inevitable task of doing so. Whilst you do have to balance out not imparting fear, gradual exposure to the reality of risks and unknown dangers is an inevitable aspect of raising the awareness that is necessary for preparedness. You need to find effective and constructive ways of engaging in this.
Your own verbal communication is primary, but it may also help you to select certain films, news articles, etc. to show particular realities. Obviously, a lot here will depend on your kids’ age and stage. However, your having a more comprehensive engagement with their understanding and what they are exposed to can both help them to be better informed and prepared and avoid the uncertainty of the unknown.
However you choose to communicate realities and potential problems, it will be necessary to help your kids to engage as constructively as possible with the ideas you introduce. One of the best ways to do this verbally can be to help them to engage with potential scenarios. The key here is that rather than being just the generic idea of possibility, it is made concrete and specific.
This will give you the power to take your scenario from point A to point B, explaining clearly the steps on the way in order to help your child grasp how to deal with a situation, rather than just raising it as a general possibility to worry about. The other benefit of scenarios is that they will help your child to begin to enter into a way of problem-solving that is not afraid to contemplate risks or the unknown, which Is likely to be beneficial in the face of an actual emergency.
Practical engagement and practice:
Where you have things in place, you can give your kids the opportunity to engage with them on a practical level. You can invite them to practice, engage with and run through preparatory measures. This is likely to take the idea of the potential catastrophe from being an abstract concept to being something that can be constructively engaged with – which is good both for practical preparedness and general assurance.
So for example, if you’re growing vegetables, invite your kids to help with the plots. If they need to know first aid, let them try using some of the things in the box. If they need to know self-defense, make teaching them a game.
Practical experience is among the best ways to foster readiness in your child. Preparatory measures being a part of any given day’s experience can help to render them normal in the day-to-day, and foster an attitude in your kids that is less prone to confusion should these things suddenly become necessary for survival.
Prepper parenting is not easy. But it’s not rocket science either. As with any other form of parental impartation, it will be most effective when you are firmly grounded in your own convictions, and balanced in your approach to how you share these. Approached correctly, there is no reason that prepper parenting can’t be not only possible – but a fruitful and life-giving element of family life.
Lived preparation is an adventure with tremendous potential for encouraging a balanced outlook in the day-to-day whilst helping kids to learn to take appropriate responsibility for being ready for the unknown.
About the author – Elizabeth Hines is an experienced digital marketer and content writer at UK Writings and State of writing. She regularly writes articles about the latest tech and marketing trends, innovations, and strategies. Elizabeth also writes for Boom Essays, as well as a range of other online magazines and blogs, and enjoys sharing tips with her readers on how to improve and develop their social media marketing strategies. When not writing, Elizabeth enjoys doing street photography and going for long walks.