One of the trickiest–and most common–difficulties faced by new and experienced survivalists alike has nothing to do with money, ammunition, or food storage. In fact, the reality faced by even the most practical and moderate preppers is that they will encounter resistance from their family and friends as they set out on the road to preparedness.
Talk about surviving a future event is usually met with ingenuous agreement at best and straight ridicule at worst. Even when you understand that the need to prepare just makes good common sense, it’s not always easy to convey that message to the people who matter most in your life. Luckily, there are some simple steps you can take to bring your loved ones around to your viewpoint, and even get them interested in turning preparedness into something that brings you closer together as a family.
Learn a New Skill Together
Your kids aren’t exactly going to jump at the idea of skipping summer camp to be able to attend a blacksmithing academy. But by picking a new skill you can learn together, you just took some of the sting out of it being “prepping” and instead turned a Sunday afternoon into a fun way to spend time together. Check out your local home improvement store for free weekend projects on woodworking, or find online tutorials on everything from making a fire without matches to making hard tack.
Don’t Use Fear as a Tactic
Even if you genuinely believe that we are living in the last days of order and structure, there is no reason why your family has to (or even should) share all of your fears. Instead of using scare tactics as your method of persuasion, you should sit down and have a calm and collected conversation about the practical reasoning behind prepping.
If your spouse can see a genuine benefit to being prepared, then they will be more likely to accept it and even jump in and help. Instead of focusing on pandemics and terror threats, center your argument on natural disaster or downed power scenarios. Everyone can relate to preparing for tornados, earthquakes, power outages, hurricanes and winter storms.
Keep Training Fun
A stocked pantry is fantastic, but nothing beats good old fashioned know-how and skill. Skill building is a great family experience, and is another good way to “disguise” your prepping. Just remember that children, especially, will quickly lose interest in anything that isn’t entertaining and exciting, so it’s important to keep things fun. Sitting little ones in front of stacks of canned goods and asking them to inventory the number of beans you’ve got will start to become a chore in approximately 12.8 seconds. However, hunting, fishing, gardening, and other training exercises also make great bonding time, and your kids will be so engaged that they won’t even notice that you’re honing their survival skills in the meantime.
Try turning more of your training into a game (like seeing who can spot a can with the longest expiration date on canned goods on your next grocery store trip or a competition to see who can make the best meal from nothing but the same 4 ingredients) to get your family involved.
If you want your family to be a part of your prepping, you’ve got to learn to bend to some of their ideas and suggestions. Remember that no matter how much training and reading you’ve done, you are not the single foremost authority on prepping and survival. You’re much more likely to survive any survival scenario as a tight knit group than you would on your own, so make your family a real part of your team by listening to their input.
Maybe your husband wants to dedicate a little more space in your stockpile to creature comforts, or your wife thinks you need more blankets instead of another box of ammunition this month. Letting your family feel like they have genuine input in your prepping will make it a group effort, instead of them catering to your wants.
Don’t Be the “I Told You So” Guy
Seriously, don’t. If your family was resistant to your prepping at first and then become interested, show excitement and interest in their ideas, instead of shouting about how you’ve been right all along. It will save you a lot of unnecessary friction.
By Alec Deacon