Including Children in the Discussion, part 2

October 2, 2012


Teaching your kids about prepping

Making It Relevant to Kids

It’s a scary world out there. So what do you tell the children? How can you introduce complex concepts to them in a way that they can understand, in a way that sparks thinking and contemplation in them?

Yesterday, I discussed the need for introducing your kids to prepping. Today, I’d like to share ways to talk about prepping that we have found helpful in our family.

Discussions at the Dinner Table

Recently at dinner, we were talking about taking 2 more of our cows to auction.  One of the children asked why and that turned into a discussion of how the summer drought harmed many crops and the yields are way down this year.  It also reduced the amount of hay that was cut this year.  That will effect not only the price of those food sources, but their availability as well.

We talked about how the price we will get at auction will probably drop soon since many ranchers are selling off their herds. Farmer have little grass and can’t afford carry them through the winter.

A couple paragraphs about supply and demand in a textbook won’t stick with them like something they are witnessing, but to be successful entrepreneurs in the future, they need to understand this.

Thinking Through Projects

When the children have wanted to purchase something we were reluctant about or take on a new project, we have asked them to build a case for why they should be allowed to and then present it to us.

If they can defend their idea well enough, we allow them to proceed within established parameters.  We want them to think through what they are getting into and why.

ducklingsSometimes, during the “thinking through” stage, they come to the conclusion that they didn’t really want to follow through on it after all.  Not long ago, our oldest asked if he could buy a flock of ducks from me.  They are better layers than any of our chickens, so he was thinking of the money he might make with an egg business.  I had him work out how much feed they would need, get commitments for regular egg purchases, and so on.

After a short time, he realized it was more work than he really wanted to do for the amount of money he was likely to make.  Better to know that beforehand.

Talking About Current Events

We regularly include our children in discussions about current events. We ask them how they think an event or circumstance may effect an outcome.  We talk about the motivations of people involved, ask our kids’ opinions about what they think would be the best course of action, and even slip some history in while they are unaware!

This helps to get them to think, to put two and two together, and conveys to them that we value their thoughts and insight.

Discussing Shared Books

One great tool we’ve found for including children in the discussion is shared books.  As I’ve mentioned in the past, we almost always listen to audio books while running errands or going to lessons.  The doors are hardly closed before someone asks if we can “turn on the story.”  It doesn’t matter to them if we are only going a mile down the road or not, they really enjoy this.

The Great BrainWe’ve listened to all kinds of things, but most books offer some discussion possibilities.  With The Great Brain recently, we had some good conversations about what the narrator’s brother, Tom, was up to, whether it was “right”, and who can decide what is “right”.  We had them guess about how it would work out.

We all love to predict what will happen next, down to the very youngest child who can speak.  Joe and I always speak last since we don’t want to curtail their thinking or imaginations.  While this just seems like a fun activity to them, it’s really a whole lot more.

We’ve covered a lot of book reviews here over the past year and half, but soon I want to share a couple of books that have been really excellent for thinking through a post-disaster and rebuilding scenario with children.

Related Posts

4 Comments on “Including Children in the Discussion, part 2”

  1. Tricia Says:

    The Great Brain series was one of my favorites as a kid. I attended a Christian school where the “library” was donated books from people in the community. I read every book during my 5 years.


  2. Deron Says:

    I have no kids of my own but both my sisters live nearby and I’m everybody’s favorite uncle. Fortunately, both sisters and their husbands are on board at least to some extent. One thing we’ve done to get the kids involved is to stage a Low Tech Day. No electric lighting or cooking. No use of household appliances. We don’t want to unplug the fridge but no food can be taken out of it. Coleman lanterns and solar lights outdoors. Oil lamps and candles for indoor light and solar showers for bathing – but suspended in the showers indoors. For cooking we use either a campfire, solar oven or japanese-style smoker. And all drinking water is filtered from rain barrels.

    I have the kids help in the garden. Then we hand mill flour from stored wheat and I have them help me use the sourdough starter. I also try to teach something like soap making, fire starting, marksmanship. My BiL is an excellent musician and he brings his guitar over for campfire sing along with marshmallows. The kids get to use their sleeping bags and the younger ones think it’s a blast. Some of the older ones are teens who get surly without their cell phones and iPads but I think even they appreciate the hours of uninterrupted interaction with their parents and other adult family members.

    We DON’T force them to haul in water to replenish the toilet tanks after each flush. The intention is to give them a combination of family time in a big block as well as teach them and give them a taste of what might happen.



  1. Kids & Preparedness | Ed That Matters - October 2, 2012

    […] Including Children in the Discussion – Click Here October 2nd, 2012 | Tags: children, preparedness | Category: Preparedness […]

  2. Teaching Your Kids to Homestead | - November 26, 2012

    […] Including Children in the Discussion, part 2 […]

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: