Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Kids Skills

Teaching your kids is an important responsibility. As you are, they will be. Make no mistake, they will do similar, if not the exact, things that you do. Even if you tell them not to do something, and they see your example as the opposite, they will follow your example.
It doesn’t have to be stressful, “Teach them correct principles and let them govern themselves.” Even with preparedness. Teach them preparedness and self-sufficiency. That means you must practice the same.
Here are 5 skills you should teach them.
Gun Safety (Wouldn’t you know I’d start with a gun?)
Start with the Basics: Start by talking to your kids about the basic rules. If they ever find a gun, they should not touch it but should get away and tell an adult immediately.
Test and Retest: If possible, test your kid. Place a real-looking replica of a firearm somewhere in the home where your kid will see it when you're not in the room. They should come tell you about the gun. If they don't, use that opportunity for more instruction. Do NOT use a real gun!
Ask About Unsecured Guns: Before your kids go to a friend's house do two things. 1) Review the safety skills with your kids and 2) Ask the parents if they have guns in their home and, if they do, ask how they store their guns. If you're not comfortable with the answer, have your kids' friends come to your house instead.
Simulate Peer Pressure: If you have teens, add peer pressure to the scenarios. Role play another teen trying to convince your teen to pick up the gun. Make the peer pressure seem real and encourage your teen to practice, even if your teen thinks it is "silly."
You must decide at what age you start teaching in more detail. I think your kids should know how to shoot. I started at age 8. A BB gun is a good starter. I shot many .22’s until I was about 12. By then I knew the adult safety rules and had practiced them. I had also shot real guns so when I shot higher caliber guns I was ready. These guns were both pistols and rifles.
This actually happened to one of my kids when they were a teen. They did pick up the gun. They cleared it and made it safe. I told them that may not be the best thing if the gun was used in a crime, but at least it was safe and they knew what to do to make it that way.
A lost child is a scared child, and usually their first instinct is to begin searching for their family. Train your children to stop and sit as soon as they realize they are lost. Assure them that, no matter how scared they might be, you are searching for them at that very moment; but also that, if they keep moving around, it will take longer to find them. Consider equipping your children with an inexpensive cell phone when venturing outdoors. A few survival items tucked in a backpack or their pockets. Items such as a whistle, a bright bandana and a bottle of water are the beginning of a survival kit that will go a long way to helping them be found more quickly. Teach them what each item does and why they help. Practice. I used to give my kids a whistle and then tell them to hide so I can’t find them. I wanted them to be able to do that too. Then when I give up looking, they blow their whistle to be found. Tell them if they know how to be found then they don’t need to be afraid. Depending on their age teach them how to make simple shelters or a fire. Knowledge brings confidence.
Home alone
Usually the best strategy is to not answer the door! Yes, the person knocking could be a burglar scoping out the neighborhood. But once the door is opened, it’s that much easier for an intruder to enter. Train your child to enforce home security: Keep doors and windows locked and blinds and curtains closed. Noise from a TV or radio is a good idea. Someone with questionable motives will think twice about entering a home if they hear noises inside, even if the house is closed up and no one answers the door. Also, teach your kids that a trusted close neighbor could help. Talk with the neighbor ahead of time to let them keep an eye out.
Medical emergency
From a young age, kids can learn how to dial 911 and report an emergency, but this takes practice. Spend some time rehearsing phone calls, teaching your children to relay detailed information to an operator, follow his or her instructions, and then stay on the line until help arrives. If possible, children should also get the home ready for the arrival of EMTs by putting pets in closed areas and, if it’s nighttime, turning on both indoor and outdoor lights. Summer is an ideal time for children to take first aid and CPR classes that are suitable for kids age 9 and up.
This one skill can help your child avoid many dangerous situations. The concept is simply for children to be aware of the people and events around them. Parents can help their children become more observant and aware—not by scaring them, but by playing games to teach and practice this skill.
When driving in the car, for instance, ask your kids to describe a building or vehicle you just passed. Teach them to pay attention to the route home by asking them to give you driving directions! Tell them to close their eyes and describe what someone in the room is wearing. Encourage them to check out the license plates of passing cars: Which states are they from? What is the sum of the numbers on the license plate?
Kim’s game is a game that teaches observation. Put 10 items on a tray or table. Cover with a towel. Uncover the items and give them 1 minute to look at them. Then cover them up again and have them write down as many of the items as possible. You can stretch these observation and memory skills by re-arranging the items. Taking some away or adding some. Giving them less time to observe or waiting some time before they write the items down would increase the difficulty. You could ask specific questions about each item like color, size or other details. My kids love this game!
Being aware of their surroundings will help them avoid predatory people and other dangerous scenarios. Simple to teach. Fun to practice. And, quite possibly, a life saver.
There are certain skills I think every child should leave their home with. Domestic skills such as mending clothes, washing and cleaning skills, cooking skills. Automotive skills such as changing a tire, changing a wiper blade, jumping a battery. Handyman skills such as fixing leaky plumbing, hanging a picture, turning off gas, electricity, and water. Survival skills such as building and starting a fire, making shelter, finding water, basic first aid.
Most of these things won’t be learned anywhere else. That’s why I like Boy Scouting so much. The skills learned there are very valuable. Public school doesn’t teach much of this anymore. If your child leaves home with these skills they will be ahead of almost every one of their peers and most everyone else.
We want our children to be self-sufficient and able to handle life. Teaching basic skills and safety/security will help them to tackle life and everything that comes before them.

Semper Paratus
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