Raising Kids With The Survivalist Mindset


This was taken the day before my first deployment after having children.

One of the toughest and most rewarding jobs you can have is raising a child from infancy to adulthood, and finding out that you “Did it right”. When my children were born, the biggest thing I remember thinking was how much greater a sense of love and protectiveness I felt for them than I had ever imagined I could. While raising them, there have been many lessons I’ve learned, but I think the greatest one was that of teaching them how to think, not what to think, and how to figure things out for themselves.


Make Survivalist oriented things fun for them.

As much as we’d like to indoctrinate our children, giving them the freedom to come to their own conclusions about different topics is prerequisite to setting them up for success. The biggest hurdle is being a good example and living “what you preach”. You can say whatever you like, but if your actions don’t reflect what you’ve said, it will eventually fall on deaf ears (especially with teenagers), and maybe even push them in the opposite direction.


Top, Bryco “Jennings Jr”, Center “Red Ryder”, Bottom is a Cabelas double barrel cap gun

My children started shooting at the age of 3. Initially, they started out with a Bryco “Jennings Jr.” .22LR (I used a .22, because they could cock the action themselves, Red Ryders were too difficult) shooting Aguila Colibri rounds at cans 15 feet away (kids love and I believe need the immediate feedback of reactive targets, especially at that age). Around 6, they received “Red Ryders”, and were able to go on their own mini safaris while camping or in the back yard. At the age of 10, they both started with an M4 (low recoil, adjustable stock and I have the .22 kit for it) and a Springfield xd 9mm (high capacity, smallish grip, and I like the grip safety for kids). By the time they reached the age of 12, they could put an adult to shame with their shooting ability.


Many a “hunt” they took their “Doubles” on.


Getting ready for the “Big Hunt” in the back yard.

Safety started with Cabelas toy side by side cap shotguns at 4 years old (they didn’t walk around the house with any “gun” ,toy or otherwise, before that. These toy guns had a working safety and cartridges that could be loaded and unloaded, and if they were playing with them, a surprise inspection better show they were in a safe condition.


Kids love those reactive targets with the Red Ryder or the .22LR.. “Enemy bottles, 12 O’clock!”

By the time they received their M4’s and Springfield xd 9mm’s, they were about as safe as one can be in handling a firearm (Muzzle, Trigger, Safety). They have continued to practice and get better over the years, and I have never had to worry about whether they were safe (the most important aspect of firearms training) when given a loaded firearm. From 10 to 12 years of age, they never did any rapid fire shooting with any semi automatic (but they sure wanted to!). Slow aimed fire was the rule (only hits count, right?), so when they finally got to the point of being able to rapid fire, they always hit the target they shot at.


100 Meter practice with the M4


First time rapid fire with the xd. 6 shots, 5 hits at 15 meters

When it comes to survival firearms training, it is important to give them experience on all types of weapons. My children have learned to use most military and civilian type (actions) firearms, simply because you never know what you might pick up and have to use in an emergency.



I have given my children training in basic Small Unit Tactics (they have gone through the same stuff I teach in the Rural Buddy Team Essentials Course [RBTEC].) They have learned the basics of wilderness survival, simply because it is the most basic individual survival skill a person should know. Even if you are anti-violence, ant-gun, an ExCon or whatever, you should know how to survive in the woods.



Down time during a Survival class.


Practicing patrolling techniques


If you can combine survival skills with having fun, what’s not to love?


Cuz deer is yummy, and huntin’ is fun, right?

Although teaching good habits and solid techniques with firearms and other survival skills is important, we have to know how to keep it in perspective, or you will make them sick of it and probably grow to hate it. I am not really a “sports guy”, but I understand it is important to give kids a sense of camaraderie and “team”. Being involved in sports is a good way for them to do that. Another thing about the sports stuff that is important is requiring that they keep it in perspective in regards to what’s really important in life.



When you’re 5, and one of your favorite movies is “Blackhawk Down”, and you’re going on a Halloween “Op”.

I always encourage my kids to find out why something is the way it is. Don’t take anything earthly on blind faith. Question what is the truth, and toss out things that don’t stand up to realistic scrutiny. Do they sometimes question things that I tell them? Sure, what kids don’t? Do I give them places to go to find the same truths I did? Most definitely. That’s my job. Another thing I have stressed is learning the history of where we’ve been as a nation specifically, and the world in general.


Teaching them our national history has a huge part in giving them direction. You can’t know where you are going if you don’t know where you’ve been, right?

If you give your kids a solid foundation that includes personal survival skills, understanding how the real world works, and to always be prepared for the worst outcome happening, while hoping for the best. You will have given your children something upon which to build a lifestyle that exudes confidence, and is free of a lot of the fears the average person has about their future.

A Survivalist should be someone people look to in a time of trouble. They are people who can be decisive because they have the confidence that only being prepared gives them. They have prepared and thought through the possibilities and the probabilities of future bad situations, and they have a plan for the continuity of their lives during those situations. Don’t we owe our children that?


Back from a deployment…….AGAIN!

Don’t be a talker, be a DOER! Back up what you say with an example that endorses your words. Although I plan on having more children (with WMD), these are just some thoughts I have based on how things have gone with the first few. By the way, no blue guns were used in the training mentioned above, and although the term “genetic waste” has been directed towards me and mine, the WORDS of an imbecilic, childless, ne’er do well, who is ignorant of, or ignores, facts, doesn’t stand up to the deeds of someone who has actually DONE the right thing and passed that on to his progeny.


American by BIRTH, Infidel by CHOICE


20 thoughts on “Raising Kids With The Survivalist Mindset

  1. As the father of 4, I try and raise them correctly. I knew I did it right when the oldest was able to point out to a teacher that the hand out they had been given on the syrian conflict was wrong and to correct the teachers ‘factual’ errors. She got in a lot of trouble (from the school) for it but we backed her all the way and it was an eye opener to her that the other side isn’t always willing to accept the truth and is more than willing to punish those who challenge the narrative.

      • Thanks, it was a wake up call when the principal called social services to complain our kids were being raised ‘too conservatively’, the good side is we had all the back and forth emails with the school about the incident and the investigator they sent out had already met the principal and come away with a bad taste from the experience.

        The teacher in question tried to explain that the civil war in Syria was caused because Assad was a christian and the muslim population was being oppressed by the Jews who were controlling the Christians.
        My daughter was able to show, using the liberal media sources that the teacher would allow students to quote, that the syrian conflict was mostly a case of shia vs sunni. The teacher eventually admitted that she got all of her background material on the conflict from a You-tube video which turned out to be a video by Isis.

        The principal was pissed about that incident and a later one where she assigned the kids in a class the task of writing a letter to our new provincial government endorsing their new education policy. The oldest wrote an ‘endorsement’ that was snarky and discussed how effective propaganda in schools was. When I refused to punish her for the letter that’s when the principal called CPS (child protective services).

        PS I found your site through Kenny’s site.

  2. Nice pictures and a great story. I was raised on a ranch and learned very young about hard work, hunting, putting food up (canning and curing), cutting firewood, riding horses etc. I tried to impart the same to my children. One is in law enforcement, followed his mother;s path. The other one a CPA. Both have their firearms, knives, camping gear and other tools of self sufficiency.
    Their school had brought in a guest speaker, a teacher from a big city (so she had to know more, right?). My youngest who was 15 at the time came home and announced with an ever so small grin that he was told by this guest speaker that I was abusing him. I looked at him and his grin and said in what manner am I abusing you. He told me that the guest speaker had said that if parents allowed their children use of guns that it was a form of mental abuse. She had asked how many children had parents that owned guns to raise their hands. A couple of the girls raised their hands but not a single boy. We live in a ranch area. My youngest had already knocked down Antelope and Mule deer. Plus he owned two handguns, three rifles and had shot in 4H shooting sports and had attended hunter safety course (required for children under 21 in our state). He gets an even bigger smile and says; don’t worry dad, I didn’t rat you out. He goes away laughing. My wife shrugs her shoulders and I yell after him … good job.

      • She was never seen again or at least not while my sons were still in school. There were parents who complained to the school about it … I was not one of them but nice some were upset enough. The school they attended, most of the pickups parked out front had rifles in them during hunting season. No one was ever shot or injured. What was that about safety training and training children early? GRIN

  3. Man,glad to see the picture when you got home from overseas as the goodbyes are tough.I went though that with some friends/leaving the send off party wondering if they will come back home,they did!
    One friend did many tours as he had the experience,I asked why you keep going and he said with his experience will keep people alive,on both sides of conflict.I took his Harley hat and when he later asked for it back said was keeping it for him till he got home.He looked pretty ticked till his wife said was a good idea,he then smiled and said fine,next tour,same thing,this time he volunteered it to me!He is now out of the service completely and has his hat!
    Oh,and now out has two kids,was not going to have kids till he got out,glad to say he and family doing great.

  4. Pingback: MDT: Raising Kids With The Survivalist Mindset | Western Rifle Shooters Association

  5. AWESOME article. I get approached now & then to provide firearms training for young ones. It is a task that is very rewarding. Keep up the great work!

  6. Thanks for this story! I’ve got two kids in a VERY liberal school district and I am very proud of having raised them to question things instead of accepting anything on face value, even when presented with it by a figure of authority (the teacher). This is a good lesson for all parents – regardless even of where on the political spectrum they may find themselves. Teach the kids to think for themselves and they’ll never go wrong. They might get into trouble for being ‘rebels’, but that’s a small price to pay, imho.

  7. Well said and I fully agree. However, one photo set off all my alarms… The kids with the deer hanging in front of the Massey tractor — please tell me they’re not standing under a loader bucket that’s holding up the deer. If they are, then please tell me it’s got a mechanical safety that you’ve engaged. I grew up farming and one of the absolute rules of farm machinery is to never put yourself under anything being held up with only hydraulics. I knew personally several people in this area who were crushed to death when they violated that rule. You’d be surprised by how fast a loader/truck bed/3-point/implement/etc. will drop when a line breaks. Just last year we had someone in the area get crushed to death under a nearly new skid-steer bucket — new lines fail too. Old lines fail more often. Please be careful. Now that I have that off my chest, I’ll try to calm down and re-read the article….

    • The loader bucket was actually resting on a frame that the deer was being transferred over to for hanging overnight. Farm machinery is like a firearm. You always consider the firearm loaded, and you always consider farm machinery safety equipment tobe broken, whether it is or not.

  8. Excellent article…and yes, we need to be raising the next generation of Citizens who won’t let go of their Bible and Guns! All four of my girls have been taught to shoot…oldest went to college with a Rifle Team scholarship….and the two oldest can outshoot most men too!

  9. Pingback: Raising Kids With The Survivalist Mindset – Mason Dixon Tactical

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