How old should a child be before they start prepping? I’m asked this question occasionally and I don’t have a specific age per se but I do have some thoughts on the matter.
Generally I think parents should teach their children to be self sufficient and independent from a very early age. These are just plain old good life skills that everyone needs to get by. It’s a plus that preppers are better off when they naturally possess these traits as well.
I’m also of the opinion that learning more specific prepping skills is important as well when it comes to things like camping, fishing, gardening, et cetera… There are skills and knowledge involved with all of these things that can literally take a lifetime to learn. Those that start early certainly have a leg up on those who wait until later in life to pick up these hobbies. Much of what is involved in becoming a good camper, fisherman, or gardener is trial and error. Learning from your mistakes at an early age is much easier than as an adult in a possible do-or-die situation.
There are other skills like cooking, carpentry and other trades that become more appropriate as a child gets a little older. I’m all for early learning but we don’t need the house burned down or any missing fingers from saws or hammers…
Which brings us to the question of firearms. When I was a kid the rule in my house was I was allowed to handle firearms with adult supervision once I was 10. I had to take a safety class first of course. When I turned 12 I was legally eligible to get a state firearms i.d. card and I got my very own BB gun that I was allowed to roam the woods behind our house with plinking cans and chasing squirrels. In my family today I follow a similar standard. I know many will say that they are in favor of teaching kids to use firearms at a much younger age and to that I say, to each his own as long as you’re safe.
While I just gave a lengthy answer to the question of How old a child should be before they start prepping, I didn’t address the point I really want to harp on here. And it’s my blog so I’ll harp all I want. That point is, while I just explained when I would start teaching a child the skills needed to be a good prepper I never talked about alerting the child to the realities of Why we need to prep.
Beginning prepping for a child isn’t that much different than joining the Boy Scouts or 4H. What’s the Boy Scout’s motto? Always Be Prepared. Yes, that’s what I’m talking about. However, sitting a child down and talking about what happens when the SHTF or TEOTWAWKI is a different thing altogether. In my opinion there’s absolutely no reason to scare a child by filling their head with scary possibilities for the future. I see this all the time on that horrible show Doomsday Preppers, which I still watch even though I can hardly stand it. Every week there are parents cramming five year olds into hazmat suits while the kids barely hold back tears. Pathetic.
So, while I believe prepping should be almost automatic and start from a very early age I also believe the reasons behind it can be held back until a person is old enough to handle the realities.