Living off the grid is a challenge, especially if you’re not set up with alternate sources of power. It’s a different lifestyle and one that kids may find difficult. It may very well become a necessity though, and if SHTF, your kids need to know how to survive without all of the modern niceties.
For that matter, prepping with kids for off-grid survival is a great way to teach them independence and respect for the Earth that so many kids today are lacking.
If SHTF, the entire family needs to be able to work together to get things done so it’s imperative that you prep your kids for off-grid survival.
Here are a few tips to help you get started.
Start Young if You Can
First, your kids need to be involved from an early age. Teach them the ideals and values that accompany living off the grid. Whether you’re living in the country and pursuing a lifestyle completely independent of external resources or you’re living a sustainable lifestyle in the city where you can’t really go off the grid, involve your kids.
Your kids can’t be expected to learn how your solar panels work or how to make bio-diesel when they’re little but they can certainly learn how to take care of the chickens, gather eggs and perform other small but necessary tasks. Starting small when they’re young has several advantages.
First, it builds self-esteem and gives them a stake in your lifestyle. They have a role to play and are essential to your family. Also, they’re learning from the ground up how to live off the grid, or sustainably. Baby steps lead to competence in many areas. Finally, it teaches them the value of the lifestyle and keeps them close to the land. They’ll already be in survival mode and it will be totally natural to them.
Let Them Tag Along and Talk to Them
If you have to fix the solar panel or do some work in the garden, let the kids tag along as long as it’s safe. There’s no reason that you can’t be explaining how things work at a level that your child can understand long before they’re actually capable of doing the work. Then when they ARE able to really help, they’ll have a good understanding of the process. Also, this builds self-esteem because you’re taking the time to show them that you believe in them.
When you go out to buy supplies for the farm or feed for the animals, take them with you. Show them the different types of supplies and feeds and explain why you’ve chosen to use the ones that you do.
Make no part of your lifestyle a secret that’s “too complicated for them right now” because kids are sponges. Just when you think they’re not listening to a word you’re saying, they’re actually taking it ALL in. Use that to your advantage and respect them as intelligent people who are willing to learn.
Have “No Power” Days
Even if you have solar panels and are completely off the grid, it’s still a good idea to teach your kids how to live without access to power. Start in the morning and perform all of your chores and household stuff without any power. Cook meals, do dishes and perform hygiene without the convenience of hitting the light switch. You can make this a fun, regular thing by incorporating family games and special foods into the mix.
For instance, if you do this once per month, plan dinner around their favorite barbeque foods or campfire desserts. Have S’mores and sing songs. Camping trips are great for this, too. There’s no reason why living without power should be drudgery; we happily did it for centuries before the light bulb was invented.
Video first seen on An American Homestead.
Things can go really simple with the kids, if you turn prepping into a game that they would later keep in mind. They just need to learn how to stay safe, so don’t waste time and learnt hem the basics of survival!
This article has been written by Theresa Crouse for Survivopedia.