Children are very resilient and can usually adapt to change well. However, they can also be easily traumatized when a situation gets scary, as will occur should a long-term disaster strike. Life as we know it will cease, and there will be new ways of doing things that can be overwhelming for the kids. It is important to start preparing them now for the most likely scenarios, but it is also vital to prepare them in a natural way. This is not about giving them shooting lessons or survival skills, but rather preparing them mentally and emotionally and even physically, for what life may be like, all without them even knowing you are doing this.
Plan Monthly Black Out Days
Electricity and other power may be hard to come by and need to be heavily conserved. Make living without it seem like fun and a normal part. Start small, such as shutting off the power to your home for just a few hours during the day. Eventually, you want to increase the time without power and include a night. Eventually, you may even want to try going without power for more than a day.
How do I know this works? My own kids are used to frequently power outages from storms. When the power goes out, they react calmly, even at night, knowing that being without power does not have to be scary.
Get Their Pallets Ready
Kids can be picky about food. That is why it is important to get their young pallets ready for the type of diet they will need to eat in the future. Get them used to inexpensive food and ingredients (dried beans and oats), food that store well (dried fruit and prepared meals), and a diet low in food that is likely to be scarce or expensive (refined sugar and flour, and processed food).
It is true that your pallet gets used to what you know. This is especially true for young taste buds.
Encourage Creativity and Physical Exercise
We had an interesting experience in our home a couple of weeks ago when some friends of my children came over to play. The friends immediately asked what kind of video games we had. When told that they wouldn’t be able to play video games (or watch a movie, or surf the Internet), the visitors announced they were bored. Ignoring the backyard play set, the creek in the back, the trees just right for climbing, and a garage full of outdoor toys, they eventually went home. Thankfully, my kids just shrugged it off and asked if we could bake cookies or cut paper snowflakes.
While I hate the thought that we might be dubbed the house without the fun, I shudder to think what these poor kids will do when all of those electronics are no longer available, and physical fitness plus a strong attention span will become factors in survival. Don’t you?
The important thing to focus on, however, is the fact that there are steps that you can take right now to reduce the trauma in your own children before a disaster or traumatic event occurs.