“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.