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The Need to Train Our Children For Hard Situations: Lessons From Venezuela

Avatar for Jose Martinez Jose Martinez  |  Updated: January 26, 2020
The Need to Train Our Children For Hard Situations: Lessons From Venezuela

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Disclaimer: with this title, I don´t mean to subject our beloved offspring to a USMC training camp. Not at all. I know a couple of girls who are so thought that could left behind other guys I know too with this training, by the way. My own little niece asked for a pump rifle that shoots plastic balls, instead of a doll, for her birthday. (I love that girl, she is cute but though as a little diamond)

This being said, there is a lot of stuff we can do. Establishing a close relationship with them is one of the objectives every parent should achieve.

This is much easier to say than to do, unfortunately. But everyone knows their own kids. I know mine can be terrible if left unsupervised for a while. He was 4 years old and got loose one of the screws of my bike exhaust pipe. Good thing I noticed this before getting myself killed.

I had been looking for my number 10 wrench…and after a few questions, decided to make a raid in his room, jail style. It was INSIDE his mattress. Jee, even made a hole on the mattress to get it in. Where he learned that it´s a mystery for us, to this day.

Anyway, our kiddos are not going to have the kind of entertainment they´re used to after power becomes a scarce commodity and maybe something we have to take care of. That has many advantages if you ask me.

With a disruption of regular activities, children are going to have a lot of free time. Something to avoid at all costs. If you are a parent, I can imagine your smile right now. 

Attending the garden, poultry, and cattle if you have it, keeping a watch, cleaning, there is a lot of stuff to do if you go sustainable and kids can help if shown how.

Supplies are going to run out someday. You´re lucky if you have power enough for freezing stuff. But I see canning as an immediate necessity. Supplies for these should be reusable, and this would be one of my major concerns. This, and have antibiotics enough to combat food poisoning. 

City children maybe are going to have a rough time if anything happens and they have to change their rather comfortable city customs and lifestyle to go living in a cabin in the middle of the countryside. Friends are different. The environment is different. Everything is going to be much different. But I´d rather prefer to combat bare-fisted a hungry bear than having to face a gang in the city to avoid messing with my children.

Trust me on that. 

On the other hand, we have to avoid too much free time. Books on tracking game and hunting, given the wide availability of wildlife, could be useful. However, this brings along the jeopardizing of our offsprings like few other activities. Something that children should NOT do is venturing by themselves in the countryside, roaming into the woods just because.

If you´re isolated far enough, this can be a HUGE mistake, and get them in very deep trouble, especially if kids are not used to be into the wild. I will detail that later with a terrible example that has just occurred these last few days in Venezuela, leading to a deadly tragedy that shaved the lives off the children belonging to several families. 

I´m amazed by how fast kiddos learn. I don´t remember me being so skillful.

Never was good in manual labor. Some other stuff like idioms and math, maybe. I liked biology too, but in activities implying to move my sorry backside over an obstacle…dang. I had a hard time until like 13 years old, when testosterone kicked in and my muscles started to grow.

I´ve quite a bit of endurance, though, as well as agility because of my years of walking into the woods in my mountains. You don´t lose that, trust me. Something in those years must happen in the systems that control your mobility; this learning remains fixated so deep into your muscle memory and continues there for the rest of your life.

I´ve seen older people walking through the jungle on the mountains so effortlessly that I, having grown up there, feel impressed. 

And this is why so important. Tribal people have been starting the training of their children in some important stuff as soon as they reach puberty. In some instances, sometimes even earlier. It is needed for the survival of the tribe and has been paramount for our survival as a species.  

I want to make a very clear point on this. 

Survival skills in our modern society do NOT mean just “getting food on the table”. Hunting and fishing, gardening and all of this is quite important. But if the child has abilities to disarm something, and putting it back together without any leftover parts, that’s something to develop. 

Maybe in some possible future, this is going to be his or her way to make a decent living. Even fixing electronic equipment is going to be important for a while, should a total reset of civilization happens. I´ve written about this with a little more detail and will keep doing it in the future, as soon as I can be immersed 100% in a proper environment. 

These days have been under a lot of pressure, for personal reasons, and haven´t been in the best of the emotional situations to clarify my mind. I´m not the kind of person who just immerses themselves in work or other stuff to escape the situations that can´t be resolved. If there are obstacles, they have to be overcome. 

 No matter what type of society finally we find ourselves in; I believe that the ability to conciliate is going to be paramount. If we make it that far and some kind of disaster does not end with us, every village or community still more or less functional is going to need the assistance of a third party to deal with their differences.

It´s in the history of mankind: differences. 

If your child is good with people, this is as well just another good skill to be developed. 

It´s quite important to start at a young age. The level of attention needed to, for example, track prey, needs to be reached as effortlessly as possible. Children must learn that their setup of abilities are needed for the community they live in. Their siblings, friends, elders, all of them will rely on each other. 

City people do not escape this concept. Basically different situations, but living in a city needs another setup of abilities as well. The population density increases the predators around the potential victims, too.

When things get rough (as I mentioned in one of my videos), they will leave their caves, drooling and thinking how to get to the buffet without getting caught afterward. Most of them are smart. I´ve been close to a couple of them and my alpha male, greyback instinct quickly told me there was something wrong with those people.

Some hormones I must have been producing:.

One of the guys in the middle of a phrase just stood quiet while I was dealing with the urgent wish of getting physical because of his rude, offensive and truly mean words. Good thing I have self-control, and lots. Something to teach as well at early age. This could avoid plenty of trouble in the future. 

Children have to know what to do if an emergency arises. They must have knowledge of what to do under normal circumstances, but a code has to be in place, and they must know what to do if that code is activated.

For instance, a teenager should know that receiving a text with some words like “It looks like we are going to eat Thai tonight” (if you hate Thai food, of course) could mean “Go look for your younger sister to school and head back straight home as fast as you can”.  Make a small list so he can learn it, or have it in his wallet or her purse. Another phrase could mean “be ready to bug out”. Taking alternative routes to home because some main roads can be blocked or be in jeopardy…that sort of stuff, part of the planning. Kids must have training on this. 

I have the firm belief of, one of the most useful skills for kids and young people, is the ability to treat someone wounded. If your kid is good for this, proper formal training is highly advised if the age of the kid allows it. It´s one of the best “mind assets” if you allow me to use such a term. 

Please have this in mind too. Kids need some degree of autonomy. We can´t, as much as we want it, to be looking over their shoulders at every minute. We Latin parents sometimes love to have our kids as close as we can, for as long as we can.

Dang, one of my best friends got divorced after years because his wife didn´t want to leave her mother´s house! This is an unhealthy example, indeed. But we usually sleep with the kid´s cradle inside our bedrooms until the kid reaches like 2 or 3 years. It´s a gradual process, to reassure the kiddos we´re going to be close and they won´t be unprotected at night. And I don´t want to keep digging in the cultural differences, but…there are a few stories of unexplainable things that made me to accept my kiddo sleeping in his cradle next to us until a couple of years.

Won´t come into that sort of detail, but it was creepy as heck. I´m a science professional, and therefore used to get conclusions based on hard facts, observation and measuring. But when these facts point to things that can´t be reasonably explained…oh dear. 

Going back on track, every child needs to be monitored, and every adult responsible for them should already identify the traits making such kid stands out from others, therefore identifying activities that result useful for the community or team, and entertaining for kiddos. Life would be miserable should training is poorly chosen and making kids unhappy. It´s about living, after all. If you hate sunburns why going to the beach?  

Children love dogs, or cats? Good. Those critters (doggos, not kiddos) are going to be useful, SHTF or not. 

Alarm “systems” and pest control are some of the functions these have been assigned by mankind to our furry fellows. Taking care of them is needed. If the group is large enough, it´s a good idea to train someone for this job. 

There is another type of training, which necessity I can see only after the death of 9 children in Cagua, Aragua State, Venezuela.

This is how to combat wildfires. FIRE CONTROL. I don´t mean a full training of course. This is reserved for firemen, and this is so difficult that even seasoned veterans have a hard time to combat them. But it needs to be done because (God forbid) their own lives can depend someday of knowing what to do in a wildfire. I know I had to take some precautions. 

Australia fires horrified the heck out of me. In Venezuela, the dry season is really hot. It´s windy. This is a terrible combination if there is a fire, as you must know. My cottage is in the middle of the forest, with lots of old trees around. Well, one of them, the main one. (The other 5 are so well located that the last time I was there to stash some supplies had a hard time finding Nr. 4). 

This bunch of kids and two young men were catching the rabbits running from the wildfire in a cane field. I guess they never noticed when the flames surrounded them. With the proper training maybe they could have survived. Of course, a fireproof blanket is not going to be available everywhere

I doubt in Venezuela there are more than a dozen fireproof blankets, but something could have been done.

Panicking is the worst thing you can do.

I know it. Fear drove me out of my country when I could have stayed put, and maybe endure with much less damage to my health and to my family. 

I am so sorry for all of those children’s parents, that I can´t think about what happened without crying. As I write this my eyes are watery, while my own kiddo, chubby, healthy, and being a little rascal with his wonderful, gorgeous smile plays and laughs in the other computer next to me.  

Rabbits for food that’s what lead the kids to their death. 

These are not easy to raise. I´ve been researching for a while, indeed. The children I mentioned died trying to catch them. All of them come from poor families. I haven´t read a lot about it, but I have to wonder: if that area had wild rabbits…why no one took the time to catch some of them alive and start their own breeding in their place? 

I know they need to be fed with high-quality stuff, in order to get them ready to dispose of in record time. But I can read between lines because some “specialists” have come to “discourage” (to ME, this mature Greyback who´s gone through all of this mess and is still capable to joke and laugh. Good luck morons) me telling “oh, you go to raise rabbits?

Jeez, the prepared food is going to cost you a LOT…and besides, it´s controlled by the military, and you know…yadda yadda yadda yadda”. I have arrived at the conclusion (until I can prove it wrong by myself) that one of the main reasons why many people are starving. 

Because they don´t truly WANT to make the needed effort to resolve their situation with the means they´ve got on hand. 

What do you do when you know your 13 years old child runs to a burning cane field with his/her friends? Wish him/her good luck? As I said, hunger is a bad advisor. The only adults were just over 18. With a 22 years old adopted kid, I surely know this “adult” was just another kid. 

I don´t pretend to be over anyone, nor better. But I feel pain for my Venezuelan people, and for all the children on the world…and I try to look for solutions, based on what happened.

I have training in root-cause analysis after all, and a taste for research and development highly repressed for quite some time. Hopefully, this is going to end soon. Mark my words. 

And please, include some type of fire protection clothing. Just for the record, as this is a huge burden in my area, I´m designing some type of bee/fire protective layering to take with me when collecting firewood, on patrol, or just camping in some mountain far away. 

Your donations are highly appreciated and a portion of them will be well used in the improvement of my cottage, as you´re going to confirm in the next few weeks, once the REAL test begins.  

Just stay tuned. 

Thanks for your reading, fellows. See you soon.


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4 Responses to “The Need to Train Our Children For Hard Situations: Lessons From Venezuela”

  1. Dear Michael,
    I understand quite clearly what you mean. Never been to the USA (hopefully soon, maybe) but after all of this, I can witness that, if you see the smoke in the horizon you better start to collect water. We never knew something like this could happen, until Hugo died. I started to prep much more seriously after that because we know something bad was coming, but never suspected how bad it would be.
    The best you can do is prepare. not just buying a bunch of stuff, but taking care of your health and being mentally strong.

    • “We never knew something like this could happen”

      Something like that ALWAYS happens, eventually, under socialism and in the absence of free markets. Besides, Venezuela put all its eggs in the oil basket.

  2. I believe the first two problems most of people in the US will have to conquer are normalcy bias and the idea that they are somehow “special”, with no personal responsibility. I can’t count the number of times I heard some version of “it can’t happen here”, “it can’t happen to me”, ” because I deserve it”, or “the government will take care of _______”. It is a huge dis-service to raise kids that way, in fact I’d call it parental neglect.

    • “Because I deserve it” and “the government will take care of___” are commonly repeated mantras under socialism.

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