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5 survival skills your child should know

5 survival skills that every child should know

How many times have you said to yourself, “If I only knew then what I know now”?

It takes time to develop our knowledge and gain life experience, and what we do learn we should pass on to our kids, so they are better able to survive this unpredictable world that we live in. And if heaven forbid, our children are left to fend for themselves in some weird horrible turn of events, we need to make sure that our kids have a handful of basic survival skills under their belt, even if it’s just to get to the phone and ask for help. So, here are 5 survival skills that your child should know now:

How to call for help

Whether this means running out of the house and to the neighbours to ask for help, or picking up the phone and dialling 999, kids need to know what to do when there is a crisis and they find their parents in some sort of trouble. Ingrain into their heads your phone number, address, and medical details, if they’re old enough to retain the information. Teach them how to call for an ambulance or the police and keep reminding them that if anything happens, they are to call the police/ambulance first. They should know where family and friends live so that they can run away from imminent danger.

How to feed themselves


Kids feeding themselves

If kids find themselves on their own, they need to know how to make food and feed themselves until help arrives. I have taught my boys how to make toast and cereal, as well as grab things out of the fridge and cupboard. I’ve also shown them what spoiled food looks like and to smell the food before they eat it. My husband has taught them the basics of what not to eat from the bushes and trees.

How to practice safe hygiene

Since they were old enough to use their motor skills, I have drummed the importance of hygiene into my boys’ brains. They still forget now and again, but washing hands is fundamentally important to minimising harmful germs entering their systems and making them ill. The adage, “what won’t kill you will only make you stronger,” isn’t exactly correct. If you’re really sick your body takes a huge knock, which it almost never recovers from. The more of these knocks you get the weaker your body becomes. Having said that, it’s great to build up your baby’s immunity, but within reason. They are naturally building their immunity from the air they breathe and the things they touch. There’s no need to add extra germs that could potentially make them very ill.

How to stay strong and healthy

We are a very active family who practices eating healthy and staying positive. Since the boys could walk, they were on scooters and then bikes. Now, at 6 and 7 they participate in a multitude of sports, including football, gymnastics and swimming. We are buying them skateboards and in-line rollerblades for their birthdays because it’s very important to make sports fun and to teach them that exercising and staying fit and healthy is vitally important to surviving in the outside world if the forces of nature are against you. Since the boys were babies they have watched me exercise at home, so I’m hoping that this ethic will be ingrained into their heads and they keep it up way into adulthood.

How to make money

Girls making money from a lemonade stand

Unfortunately, money does make the world go around and, even though it may not directly bring you happiness, it does buy you choices. Being poor hurts and constantly grafting for money on the table hurts the family. So, I try to teach the boys entrepreneurial skills so that they can watch out for gaps in the market and find their own way of making money. I am also instilling in them a good work ethic. They do £1 chores in the house, so they learn the value of the pound and I am teaching them to save money rather than spend it. If you haven’t started doing this yet, it’s never too late. The earlier you teach them, the more likely they are to become savers rather than spenders later on in life.

There are many other survival skills that children should learn now, like working hard and being responsible for themselves, as well as be aware of their surroundings at all times. Another important skill is to judge the change in weather and teach them how they to protect themselves during harsh weather conditions. Some schools in the US are now integrating a weather curriculum which helps children collect and analyse weather data. This is so they can understand what the weather changes mean and how they can work with them, especially thunder and lightning, which can be dangerous if you’re not in a safe environment at the time. Technology that includes lightning detection, helps children to predict further changes in weather patterns so that they are better prepared during climate changes. Plus, it’s a great way to get them interested in how nature and the environment works.

*Collaborative feature post*
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Leyla Preston (525 Posts)

Leyla Preston is the owner and Editor of Motherhood Diaries global magazine for parents. Leyla is a busy mother of two even busier boys; Aron, 5, and Aidan, 4. When Leyla isn’t feeding, managing a gazillion tasks or cleaning the infinite mess at home, she is busy working on this magazine and a new cooking channel coming very soon – no rest for the wicked! You can follow Leyla on Twitter (@M_Diaries) or join the busy Motherhood Diaries Facebook group where all mums get together and share stories and solutions with one another: https://www.facebook.com//groups/motherhooddiaries/