For serious preppers, including your family in your efforts is not only desirable, it’s imperative. You may find that you are the one leading the pack and doing most of the legwork, but we owe it to our children and partners to provide them with explanations and understanding about why we are doing this. This talk may come easy to some, especially those who were prepping before marriage and children. Chances are, they have been around your efforts so much that talking about it is second nature and just part of the family dynamic. However, if your passion for disaster prepping is new, it may not come as easily.
Here’s the truth. We as preppers get the reputation of being a bit irrational for preparing for the unknown. We know this is untrue, but our families are subjected to more than just our personal teachings. Finding a middle ground in talking about it is the key. Preparing for things in life is a normal and responsible thing to do, but it’s important that we don’t focus so much on the fear driven side of things. We do not want to instill this worry in our children. That is our job. We get to be the worriers. We can and should make prepping fun for them while educating them about the importance of it.
Here are some suggestions on how you can have this talk with your family.
Communicating as a family on a regular basis is positive for family relationships. Set a scheduled time each week that the family sets aside just for talking. You may do this over a board game or have some snacks and catch up on your personal lives as a group. Once you decide how this best fits your family dynamic, use this opportunity to talk about prepping efforts. If you attempt to provide children or partners who are not too keen on prepping yet with too much information at once, you risk overwhelming them versus involving them. Allow them to ask questions, and be open to their thoughts and ideas. Remember, this concept was new to you at one point too.
Find Their Strengths
It shouldn’t be your goal to force your passion onto the entire crew, however, it takes a family to get some things accomplished. Help your family members come up with things they can do based on their own strengths and talents to participate in prepping. Does your wife like to shop on a budget? Great! Give her $50 and a list for some Dollar Store essentials. Maybe your son is very good at math. Give him the task of calculating how many cans of food your family will need for various kits. Accept their level of engagement at the start, and make it more fun for everyone.
Don’t Overwhelm Them
During those weekly chats, maybe run through a different scenario to prepare for. Be mindful not to scare your family but rather to prepare them. Allow them to come up with the scenarios and solutions while you help guide some suggestions. Offer praise for their good ideas. One scenario per week is plenty. You want time to take action on preparing for what you discussed while also making sure nobody is getting overwhelmed or hyper focused with fear. Start small with these scenarios. Try discussing 24 hours without power versus a zombie apocalypse.
Talking to your family about prepping should be intentional and once you get rolling it will come more naturally to all. The best thing you can do is take it slow and allow them to ease into your passion. Return the same level of investment back into the things that they find important. This mutual respect for one another will go a long way and prepare your family for learning how to work well together, which is a prepper’s dream for when SHTF anyway!