The following is a repost (with some editing) of an older article of mine that got very little attention when I first published it (mostly due to bad timing - it got "lost in the shuffle" during a very big news week). It is an incredibly important topic, in my opinion, so I am reposting it now.
Six Important Skills to Teach Your Children
1) Attitude of Self-Reliance -- Teach your children to start taking personal responsibility now for their own lives. Taking personal responsibility is the core of self-reliance. And self-reliance is the core of preparedness and survivalism.
Teach them that taking responsibility means doing what needs to be done, not just what is fun or what you want to do. Taking responsibility means not waiting around for others to do it for you. Taking responsibility means not assuming if you don’t do it then someone else will. Take the initiative and do it yourself.
2) Strong Work Ethic -- Having a strong work ethic is a major key to success in life in any situation, not just in survival situations. Teach your children the value of hard work. Hard work is good, healthy, and effective. Its importance is revealed throughout God's Word. The idea of "an honest day's work for an honest day's pay" is part of the traditional American value system.
Children, even young children, should have chores that they are expected to do. And make them actually do their chores. Of course, the chores should be age-appropriate, but their responsibilities should increase as they grow older and gain maturity and skills. Older children can work part-time jobs outside the home. You are not helping your kids by shielding them from hard work.
3) Biblical and Traditional Values -- Teach your children to have a relationship with God. Make prayer, scripture reading, and worship a regular part of their lives. Teach them the Commandments and the teachings of Jesus. Teach them to look to the perfection of God's Word as the ultimate authority for what is right and wrong, instead of the whim of worldly opinion. Don't just teach them what you believe, but why you believe it. Prepare them for a world that is telling them that Biblical and traditional values are wrong.
Also, teach them traditional American values - including the importance of individual freedom & self-reliance, the importance of our Constitution and the Bill of Rights, the importance of private property rights (see my article), the morality of capitalism (an excellent book on the subject by Fr Robert Sirico), the value of hard work, the value of human life, common decency towards others, and the traditional monogamous family unit as the basic building block of society. Be sure to teach them that our rights come from God, not from government.
Three Additional Shills
4) First Aid (including knowledge of wild medicinals) -- If your children are old enough to be in school, they are old enough to learn basic first aid. They can advance their skills as they grow older.
I would also start teaching them early on how to identify wild edibles and medicinals, adding to their skill sets collecting, preserving and using wild medicinals, as they mature. Consider having them start and tend a medicinal herb garden. Again, start with the basics, and help them grow their skills as they get older.
5) Self-Defense Skills -- Teach your children situational awareness, which is more than just paying attention to what is going on around you, though that is an important start. It means both knowing what to look for, and how to assess (make decisions about) your surroundings. Check out my article on Situational Awareness and start teaching your children these skills.
I also urge parents to enroll your children in a good martial arts class. Learning a martial art such as karate or judo can be a fun hobby, provide considerable health and fitness benefits, improve self-confidence, and is a life-long self-defense skill set.
If your family or group has guns, then your children need to learn gun safety at a very young age. Two good resources on gun safety for kids are the Eddie Eagle GunSafe Club (a program of the NRA) and the book
It is up to you to judge the maturity level of your children and decide when they should start firearms training. I grew up around guns and was shooting and hunting with my grandfathers when I was still in my single digits. They were with me to provide guidance and supervision, but I was carrying and shooting my own gun. I also had to help clean anything I shot, even at that early age.
6) Gardening Skills -- This covers planting, growing and preserving food, as well as saving seeds for the next year. Have your kids help with your garden, or even set aside a small part as their garden (letting them choose what to plant and making them do the bulk of the work). I realize this may be difficult to do in the city, but perhaps you can join in a community garden in your area, or encourage your church to start one. At the very least, take your children on a field trip to a farm so they can learn that food comes from somewhere other than the store. ----------------
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