Episode 315 S10-6
Given that I have a younger child, I found this my research for this episode very disheartening. I started with investigating the role of children in the revolutionary war. During this historical conflict, boys were used as drummer boys to signal troop movements or messenger boys to run intel from group to group. The girls were usually doing domestic and farm work with their mothers. They ate decently. The food was all salted, pickled, dried, smoked, or canned due to the lack of refrigeration and preserving knowledge.
The children of the revolution lived in a highly stressful environment. Many lost their families and saw a lot of death. Often, children shared one room with all of their siblings. They had little privacy and shared their problems. Children six to eight learned to read and write, but only wealthy children continued schooling after that. During this time, the colleges were shut down. Their clothing was typically made by hand.
Next, I wondered what happens to children in a country that has already experienced a collapse. Venezuelan children are struggling after their societal collapse. Twenty-four out of a thousand children are murdered each year. They are fleeing the country alone and falling behind educationally. One in thirty-two children dies before their fifth birthday. That’s five times the amount in the US. Sixteen percent of girls, ages fifteen to nineteen, are married, and one in twelve girls in that same age group have already given birth. Children are forced into child labor positions, mining, doing domestic work, or sexually exploited for commercial gain. With the Covid restrictions, aid has halted, and the situation is becoming worse.
Another aspect I wanted to explore was the prospect of children living on their own or in packs of survivors. There have been many “feral” children cases. Kids separated from human contact at a young age. Primates, wolves, dogs, bears, sheep, cattle, goats, or ostriches have raised these children. Some survive alone in the wild.
Projecting this information into a future collapse of America, I became even more concerned for the future of my young son. The reality is that if our reliable supply of food and medicines were cut off in the United States, a large portion of the total population would die within the first six months. That death number will include many children, given their age group and the elderly are most susceptible to death from malnutrition and starvation. The foods that will be available may not agree with the pallet of most American children. In addition, the children that do survive may have watched their family die or many of their friends and neighbors.
The disease that will stem from all the death is going to be a challenge to overcome. Chemical contamination of food and water sources will also be a problem. Children will have to have robust immune systems to survive. Let your kids play in the dirt and test their immune systems now while they can grow strong and have help available if they get dangerously sick.
Today’s American children live effortless lives. The average chore list of a household is small, and many times the adults handle it, so they don’t have to deal with the children’s learning curve. After a collapse, the lifestyle will become much more physically demanding, which will be a huge adjustment. The hours spent on electronics will turn into hours of gardening and food preservation.
Children grow fast, and without a steady supply of department store clothing and shoes, obtaining new clothing will be a challenge. Shoes are essential when all you have is your feet to carry you around. If you have children of multiple ages, consider saving any shoes in decent conditions for younger ones, just in case. Also, learning sewing skills and teaching your children how to sew will ensure they can mend their clothing and gear and make new if necessary.
When you are in a self-defense situation, and your children are present, it creates a whole new set of issues. You may become distracted in your concern over their safety. Practice in a safe environment with them now. Airsoft is an excellent way to do this. Yes, the b.b.s sting but not like a bullet. Challenge yourself and your child to stay safe and follow directions. Teach your children to reload magazines so you can keep firing without pausing. However, children have sensitive hearing, and you need to protect them. The earplugs are very inexpensive. Put a jar in each go-bag as a precaution.
After a collapse, there is considerable potential for children to go feral. Make sure you talk to your child. Teach them how to survive and defend themselves without you so they can make educated decisions on whom they should trust.
The Changing Earth Series
Chin Gibson is the mystery prepper. Friend to all and known to none. His real identity hidden from the public, Chin is well known to the online prepper community as the go to resource for finding a community member to solve your problem. He is an awesome people connector and does his best to unite the voices educating the masses about being ready for a unforeseen life challenge. Chin will be joining Sara to co-host The Changing Earth Podcast.