Prepping is a way of life. You are constantly working, learning, and doing in order to fend for yourself and your family when you need to. However, if your kids don’t know how to do the same, there’s a big hole in your prepping journey. Preparing everyone in your family, including your kids, is the best way to ensure success and, ultimately, survival.
Once your kids are teenagers, they are capable of learning and doing all sorts of things — so why not include them in tasks? From foraging for food to learning about self-protection, there are many tasks teens can start to take on. They are ready. Plus, the more they know, the safer and better prepared everyone is.
You know better than anyone that basic survival skills can go a long way in ensuring a happy and healthy future. You will be giving your teenager a huge gift by teaching them basic prepping skills that they can practice for years to come.
Food Gathering & Preservation
Food gathering and preservation is at the core of prepping. Being comfortable with foraging, hunting, canning, and pickling is a huge boost that can really help your teenager and your family overall. Perhaps above all else, growing, gathering, and preparing food are some of the most essential prepping skills for your child. No one can survive without food, so mastering these should be among the first things you tackle when introducing new skills to your teenager.
The next time you decide to harvest and pickle vegetables from your garden, ask your child to participate. They can learn alongside you and ask questions along the way. Plus, it will be great bonding time. The same goes for foraging for food in the wild. Take your kids along, show them the difference between good berries and bad berries, and help them learn how to identify certain plants. The more knowledge they have, the better.
You might even offer your teenager their own space in the garden and make them responsible for certain crops. Having ownership and independence over a project can help foster interest from teenagers. When you and your family enjoy the fruits of their labors, they will likely feel proud and accomplished.
There are endless ways to teach your teenagers about food gathering and preservation. Think about involving them in whatever food activities you do throughout your week. Perhaps they will develop an interest in seed saving or planting — and even take some work off your plate!
The Art of Self-Protection
Self-protection is an area of prepping that is sometimes overlooked, but it’s essential to start early. Self-protection can mean anything from knowing how to navigate and read a map to learning self-defense skills and knowing basic first aid. All of these are core survival skills for your teenager.
Consider signing your teenager up for a self-defense or martial arts class. It’s great for overall health and a great way to learn a skill that could save their lives if they ever come up against burglars, potential sexual assault, or the need to protect someone else. It can also give them the opportunity to teach other kids what they know about self-protection.
Home Maintenance Skills
Knowing basic home maintenance skills improves your self-reliance considerably. When you know how basic systems in your home work, it’s fun and rewarding to know that you can fix them yourself whenever you get in a pinch.
Power outages are one of the most common problems in a home. Being familiar with how to run, maintain, and replace parts can be life changing. Whether you’re helping your teenager know which breakers to flip, choose a backup generator, or rewire the place entirely, these skills will give them a sense of accomplishment and provide them with a real trade skill that is sought after in the world.
The other main source of home maintenance problems is water. Perhaps there’s a leaky faucet, a broken pipe, or low water pressure that is causing you distress. Invite your teenager to fix it alongside you. Talk to them about seasonal issues to look for in a preventative way. If your child knows what to do when the pipes freeze, you can rest assured that your home will be safe and stable if you aren’t immediately available. You can even task your teenager with being in charge of the pipes and water system in the house so they can hone their skills over time.
There is an endless number of prepping skills you can teach teenagers. They are capable of a lot. Starting off with food gathering and preservation, self-protection, and home maintenance skills will offer your teenager a little taste of everything. That way, they can determine where their real interests lie and which areas they might want to delve further into. If you can help them stoke their interest and participation, your whole family will be better prepared.