When Your Kids are Away from Home

Dear Fellow Survivalist;

I’ve reached a point where I no longer have kids in the home. They’ve all grown up and gotten married; buying or building their own homes. Yet I clearly remember them being under my roof, the responsibility of teaching them and of protecting them from harm. That last part can be challenging in the world we find ourselves living in; not just physical harm, but being led astray by those with evil intentions. Sadly, there are no shortage of these people in our world today.

Looking back, I still think it might have been easier at times, if I could have locked my kids in a cage and thrown away the key. I don’t say that because they were bad kids; but because of all the bad around them. The world didn’t need to be protected from them; they needed to be protected from the world. But, not only would it have been illegal, it wouldn’t have been good parenting. While it might have protected them for a while, it wouldn’t have prepared them to deal with the world, once they were on their own. That’s an important part of parenting too.

It’s one thing to protect our children from harm, when they are at home; but it’s something else entirely protecting them when they are out. Since we can’t lock them in a cage, most of us do a lot of worrying, every time they are outside the home. It’s just too easy to come up with 1,001 “what if” scenarios in which something happens to our kids. Something outside our control.

Yet there is much that we can do to protect our children, even when they are away. Expecting the schools or others to take care of them is an unreasonable expectation. While the schools put some effort into physical security, we’ve all seen the spectacular failures that have occurred in those regards. When it comes to other things, the schools have no power to protect our children and might even be counted amongst those who wish to do them harm, depending on how you define that harm.

It is up to us to protect them, even when they are away.

1. Give them a moral compass

The first thing we need to do is to give our children a moral compass that they can compare things to. It is easy for those who have an agenda to corrupt our children, when they don’t have any convictions of their own. When people in positions of authority tell them something, they expect that to be the truth. Sadly, it is often ideology, rather than truth; even though it is presented as if it was graven on stone tablets.

2. Teach them how to defend themselves

An important part of protecting our children from danger, is teaching them how to defend themselves. Granted, they can’t take a sidearm to school or even a sharpened toothpick. But there are still things they can do. Children who don’t know how to defend themselves from bullies are bullied. But children who know how to defend themselves and when to defend themselves, are able to put a stop to those bullies. Nobody else is going to do it for them.

The other important part here is knowing what to do in active shooter situations. Obviously, our children won’t be in a position to shoot back and they really shouldn’t be. But they should know what makes a good hiding place and how to take advantage of cover and concealment.

3. Teach them basic survival skills

Just getting home from school, in a time of crisis or disaster, could be a major challenge. Especially when earthquakes tear down bridges or tornadoes litter the roads with debris. Our children need to know not only how to negotiate those dangers, but when they should leave school to make their way home on their own. While most of our children should only have to walk an hour or less to get home, the vagrancies of a disaster could make that much longer. They might need to find another way home, if the streets are blocked and may even need to find shelter, if the weather worsens.

While I wouldn’t expect a child to need to start a fire (without matches or a lighter) on their way home or build themselves a shelter, I’d rather have my children know those skills and not need them, than have them need those skills and not know them.

4. Make sure they’re equipped

As we all know, preparation is an important part of survival. That not only means training; but also having the right gear to survive. While our children are limited in what they can carry into the school, as well as by weight, there are things that they can carry, such as a rain poncho, a local map, and a flashlight. Think through various scenarios and see what you can provide them with, that will help them make it safely home, while not going against the school’s rules.

The other thing to consider is adding a ballistic protective pad in their backpacks. If you do this, I’d recommend one made of SpectraShield or Dyneema, as these materials are considerably lighter. Such a pad provides your children with portable cover, should there be an active shooting incident in their school.

There are probably other things that you can to, helping your children help themselves. Take some time to think about it and even to talk it over with them. Don’t try to scare them; but rather, find our what they are afraid of and help them come up with answers to those potential risks. After all, for our children, it’s not just about keeping our powder dry and our survival gear close at hand.

Dr. Rich

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