For the Children’s Sake ~ Part II Wednesday, Jan 6 2010 

“I must say the biggest lesson you can learn in life, or teach your children, is that life is not castles in the skies, happily ever after. The biggest lesson we have to give our children is truth.”  Goldie Hawn

I’ve had people ask me if my prepping is teaching my children to be afraid. In my experience it’s doing the exact opposite.

I know my children will face difficult times in their lives. I owe it to them to provide them with the tools to face those moments and persevere.

Part of that is being prepared on a material level for whatever comes our way, as in my previous post. Children learn best by example and mine are growing up with the opportunity to see how preparing ahead of time helps make things simpler and less fearful on a practical level.

But even beyond having their physical needs met, my children gain distinct emotional and mental benefits from my committment to this.

To the degree that I am prepared in my own life (not just pantry- or supply-wise, but in my own mind and spirit), the kids have a mother who, in hard times, is not thrown off-balance or unnerved and can remain calm (ok, well, let’s be honest…mostly calm, depending on the crisis).

That lets me turn my full attention to helping them get through instead of being anxious and distracted with what to do next. And since they take cues from me on how to respond to situations, my own personal preparedness (on all levels) has a trickle-down calming effect on them, decreasing the anxiety and chaos in the situation.

And when I have considered and prepared for difficult possibilities instead of playing ostrich, my children also benefit in another way. It sets a tone in our home where the hard things in life are not hidden, not denied. Instead, they’re acknowledged and a strategy for dealing with them implemented. By facing them head-on, armed with truth and determination, much of their power and fear are taken away. 

In the long run, that may be one of the most important prep lessons of all for my children.


For the Children’s Sake ~ Part I Wednesday, Jan 6 2010 

“Difficulties mastered are opportunities won.”   Winston Churchill

We’ve had many times that our prepping lifestyle has helped our children deal with situations, sudden and ongoing, large and small. Even at their young ages they see the value in being prepared. 

We live in an area where tornadoes are common. The storms can be scary for children but are not quite as bad because I have helped them prepare ahead of time: they know the tornado drill routine and have emergency backpacks filled with supplies. The “unknown” factor is greatly diminished, making it less fearful for them. 

One night a few years ago there were six of us (plus pets in carriers) in a small, dark bathroom. The electricity was out, both tv stations and several radio stations had been knocked off the air, tornado sirens were blaring and our only contact with the outside world was the computer voice on the emergency radio. 

It was dramatic, but still only a few steps beyond our usual tornado drill. The routine leading up to that point helped smooth the way through the more intense parts. (And the next morning when the power was out and the grocery stores were flooded with people looking for batteries, water and supplies we were well ahead of the game, too.) 

The area in which we live is also prone to water outages. The kids know from personal experience the value of keeping water on hand. They’ve also learned to recognize the signs of impending water loss and know to fill extra containers of water, run water in the tub for flushing, etc. They don’t think twice about how to react quickly to the situation, when even other adults don’t know exactly what to do.

Other situations are smaller but equally intense, like one of the children waking up sick in the night. How reassuring to go to the cabinet and have all I need. The little one doesn’t have to wait for relief. I don’t have the stress of trying to “make do” until the morning or going to the store in the middle of the night, hoping to find what I need. 

Prepping helps with more than just sudden crisis situations, too. It has made a difference in times of ongoing need. We’ve had health and economic issues periodically that made it difficult to get to the grocery store. But the kids knew we had food in the cabinet. It might not be the most exciting, but I’m pretty handy at jazzing it up and it keeps them full.

It does this mother’s heart good to know my preps make my children’s lives easier during difficult times. But so very rewarding, too, is their knowing grin when we face yet another situation, prepped and ready to go, “I’m so glad we do all that emergency stuff, Mom.” 🙂