Have you watched a television show or a report on the internet about the people prepping for “Doomsday,” “The End Of The World As We Know It,” or some terrible catastrophe and asked yourself how these crazies can be allowed to raise kids? It has to bad for children to be raised in this kind of environment, right? Well, hold on now, is it really bad for children to be raised in a prepper family?
The first thing you must understand is that it is because of the children that many people are trying to be more prepared for whatever may come. Every new parent remembers the moment when you brought your baby home from the hospital and it suddenly registers what a immense responsibility you have. There you were holding this innoocent little life in your arms and that life depended upon YOU, the parent, for everything. You had to feed, shelter and love that little bundle and protect him or her from all the perils of life. You thought of many things: car accidents, house fires and household dangers. You baby proofed your home and checked your smoke detectors and bought life insurance. You had put the baby in a car seat to go for even a short ride. You took her when she was sick to the doctor and for checkups when she was well.
Prepper parents take a step, or maybe many steps, beyond what others do. We plan for what to do when the power goes out. We plan for making sure our families are cared for if a tornado, hurricane, earthquake, blizzard or whatever other disaster may happen. We know where the flashlights are when the lights go out. We have plenty of food and supplies so that if something happens that the store is closed or we can’t get to it, our children won’t suffer. The more you think along these lines, the more you see potential problems you want your family to be prepared for.
Every new parent has a diaper bag. In it we keep diapers, ointment, milk or juice, a pacifier, extra clothes and whatever else baby may need. Most parents I know keep the diaper bag ready to go. We change out the perishables and replace what we have used. As the child gets older, a backpack replaces the diaper bag and the contents change.
A Bug Out Bag (often referred to as a BOB in the preparedness community) is the identical idea at a higher level of planning. It brings peace of mind to know that if there’s a chemical spill on the highway or a flood coming and we need to get out of our home fast, everything is there, in the bag, ready to grab and go.
Prepper families focus on having the skills to survive if everything that can go wrong does go wrong. Family preparedness involves a lot of family time together. Time for camping, fishing, hiking, swimming and other pursuits that build self sufficiency are also family bonding time. We want our children to grow up strong, confident and self-reliant. Helping them master skills they will need takes a lot more time than doing everything for them. However, we believe the rewards are well worth it.
It is understandable that some people are concerned about the firearms that many preppers keep for personal defense as well as hunting. Our society is generally disapproving of firearms and fears them, especially around children. All of us must realize that preparedness is about responsibility. Responsible parents have had children and firearms safely in their homes for generations. As parents, we teach children the dangers of firearms and the safety rules for handling them. We realize the consequences of improper storage and keep firearms safely stored. We have no tolerance for the irresponsible or criminal adults who allow children unsupervised access to firearms.
It is obvious that some of the possible disasters that some preppers worry about seem far-fetched to some. Having odd ideas does not, in and of itself, make a person a bad parent. Our goal is not to make our children fearful of disasters that may never occur. The goal is for our children to know that they are safe and that we will take care of them no matter what. It gives a parent incredible peace of mind to know their family is provided for even if the unexpected happens. This, in turn, allows us to relax and truly enjoy every minute that we spend with the ones we love.
So, we all ask (we the Prepper Parents) that before you judge prepper families negatively, that you consider how much love and care we put into making every provision we can for our families’ well being. Consider how happy and secure it makes a child to be certain his parents will be able to take care of him. More importantly, consider the positives of raising children who will be independent, self-sufficient adults ready to take their place in the world someday. These are the ideas that are things of value to prepper parents.