You're never too savage to take some time to teach your kids survival skills.
Or any skills, for that matter. Sometimes, the greatest lessons we learn in life pop up completely unexpectedly. As parents, we should be sure to capitalize on every opportunity to impart some of our knowledge onto our children...
While I've never claimed to be a "survivalist", I have always been fascinated with learning those kind of skills. The other day, I decided to play around with the bow drill and film myself just so that I could look at my technique. As I was setting up, my daughter Maiverly, wanted to come see what I was up to.
Unsure of how long it was going to take me to get the bow drill to work, I didn't know if my 3-year-old's attention span would last through the process. However, after a few adjustments I had it running pretty smooth and she was excited to see how it worked.
Survival Skills For Children
When it comes to teaching children survival skills, the general consensus is the earlier the better. A lot of folks begin lessons as soon their little ones become mobile. And in terms of "survival" (be it in the wild or even at home) this is a great time to teach what to touch and what not to. Murphy's Law dictates that if there is something dangerous laying around, your kid will undoubtedly find it and try to eat it.
We often forget that the basic tenet for survival is simply just staying alive. This is something that every parent inherently strives to instill in our kids as they grow. Merely instructing them on how to be safe and stay out of danger is survival lessons 1 through 100.
As far as primitive skills go, for me, fire making is one of the most the most important in terms of survival. For that reason, I was particularly pleased that Maiverly took an interest in watching and learning.
Key Points for Teaching Kids
No matter what you are trying to teach your children, there are few things to always keep in mind:
Make it Fun - While this seems pretty obvious, it is sometimes easy to forget that our kids are just that, kids. If you don't believe me, go to any little league game in America and listen out for the mom or dad losing their mind over a bad call or a botched play. If you take things too seriously, you'll suck all the fun out something and your little tike will loose interest quickly. For young children, learning and play time should virtually be identical.
Keep it Short - Speaking of losing interest quickly, always remember that your child's attention span is incredibly short. As such, so should your teaching session. Give a little information and leave it at that. When they start to lose interest, move on to something else. You can always revisit that skill later.
Have Patience - Unless you have dealt with teaching kids for a while, this may be one of the most difficult things to apply. There is a reason not everyone is lining up to become Kindergarten teachers. As a former teacher myself, I know how challenging it can be. Again, remember that it is supposed to be fun for them AND you. If it isn't, maybe they're not quite ready for the task at hand. Don't worry too much about it, just be ready when the time comes that they start to take an interest.
What began as me simply practicing a novel skill, turned out to be something much greater. It was a chance for me to share something I love with my daughter. As the world around us seemingly spins faster and faster each day, it becomes increasingly important to cherish these little moments. Whether or not my daughter learns how to make fire with a bow drill is entirely up to her. At the end of the day, all I really care about is her knowing is that her daddy loves her.
As men, we are capable of many things. We can both create and destroy. Nothing illustrates this more clearly than turning the hide of a once living beast into something entirely different. Everything that lives eventually dies, but is not always put to good use. The fact that we can take something that is dead and fashion it into something new is a gift that we all too often squander...
I am sitting here, at work, embraced in a cocoon of electric blue light, and the cicada like buzzing of computers. Soon, I will start the 3 days a week that I am off and trade that blue light for the rays of the sun, and the buzzing of the computers to that of my beloved ravens, and the hustle of the Tennessee woods...
Too often we misconstrue motivation with inspiration. But motivation isn't something that can be found through Instagram pictures with cool quotes. True motivation (the kind that compels us to actually move), is something that has to come from within...