KidsPrimary School

Survival skills every 12-year-old should know

If your 12-year-old was lost and alone, would he or she be able to take care of themselves and siblings/friends until they could get to help or until help reached them?  Does your 12-year-old know how to: Not panic One of the most basic of survival skills is not to panic. In panic-mode, we make …

If your 12-year-old was lost and alone, would he or she be able to take care of themselves and siblings/friends until they could get to help or until help reached them? 

Does your 12-year-old know how to:

Not panic

One of the most basic of survival skills is not to panic. In panic-mode, we make big mistakes, we get confused, we get scared, we do stupid things. Does your child know how to control that panic and make good decisions?

Be aware?

If ever your child is caught in an active shooter situation, a mob experience or being chased by the neighbourhood bully or bad guy, does your child know how to decide if they should run, hide or fight back? Does she spend all of her time on her phone texting her friends instead of paying attention to what’s going on around her? Does your son pay attention to where you are driving, especially in areas he’s not familiar with, so he has some sense of where he is if he had to go and bring help? Do they understand the places that are dangerous for them to go, the things that are dangerous for them to do, the people that are dangerous to be with? At some point, every child needs to understand that what happens in his or her surroundings has a direct impact on them and they can’t continually act as if nothing bad ever happens. Bad stuff happens, and they need to become aware of how to handle it.

Give first aid?

Can your child stop bleeding, perform CPR, use a splint, treat a burn? This might be the time to enrol them in a CPR/First Aid class, grab the Boy Scout Book for First Aid or other ways to make sure that they can perform these most basic of First Aid skills by the time they are twelve.

Feed themselves?

Can your daughter open a can of food from the pantry without an electric can opener?  Does your son know how to work the stove and oven? Do they know how to prepare a basic cut of meat safely? Know safe, basic knife skills? Do they understand what water is safe to drink?

Defend themselves?

Does your child understand how to defend him/herself if attacked? Can they use basic defence moves against an adult to try to save themselves? Do they understand when it’s time to fight and when it’s time to run? Have they taken any self-defence classes or martial arts training?

Find their way home?

Does your child know how to find out where they are? Can they get themselves home if they ride a little too far on their bike? Do they understand the basic principles of using a compass or reading a map? Can they find their way home from church without a GPS? And respectively do they understand how to use the GPS on your phone? Do they know the major streets where they live, major arteries near their house, major landmarks in their area?

Work with tools?

Does your child know how to use a knife? A hammer? A screw driver? A saw? Do they understand how to put a basic structure together?

Stay warm?

Building a shelter from nothing, using clothes to bundle up, blocking off entrances with blankets, starting a fire? Does your child understand the basics of doing these things and why staying warm and dry is so important?

Get help?

Besides knowing who to ask in a situation where they are lost and look for the community helpers and moms, do your children know how to leave clues if they are lost and trying to find their way home, do they know how to signal for help?

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