Child labour - when did you start you kids off in DIY

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paulrbarnard

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Apple just delivered me a ‘memory’ from my photos. It was a good one 😀

Ive always involved my kids in projects since they were little and as a consequence they are all pretty handy today.

When did you first involve your kids in DIY?

Here are two of mine fitting a hardwood floor. Six and seven if my maths is correct. P2010013.jpegP2010012.jpegP2010011.jpegP1310010.jpegP1310009.jpeg
 
The sooner the better in my opinion.

My son is 4 and 1/2 and pretty good at handling common tools;- hammer, saw, file, screwdriver etc. He started as soon as he was big enough to really, can't quite remember but from around 3 years old I think.
He's not really useful as such yet, apart from passing things. He probably knows the names of more tools, and how to use them, than a lot of blokes, but just doesn't have the finesse yet. That'll come so I'll be putting him to work by 6 I reckon!
 
The sooner the better in my opinion.

My son is 4 and 1/2 and pretty good at handling common tools;- hammer, saw, file, screwdriver etc. He started as soon as he was big enough to really, can't quite remember but from around 3 years old I think.
He's not really useful as such yet, apart from passing things. He probably knows the names of more tools, and how to use them, than a lot of blokes, but just doesn't have the finesse yet. That'll come so I'll be putting him to work by 6 I reckon!
I waited until seven before letting them loose on electrical work. I have a picture of one of the girls replacing a light switch somewhere. She has actually finished up as a field applications engineer in the automotive space and regularly gets involved in setting up and wiring vehicles for sensors and data collection.

Good practical skills are never wasted.
 
A colleague, who used to have the workshop, adjacent to my old one, used to work for his father, along with his two brothers during their school holidays. Their main complaint, was that they were never paid for the work done, :) However, it didn't stop any of them pursuing woodwork as a career.
 
Yes, I won't be letting him anywhere near electrical work for a few years yet. I've always warned him off, in no uncertain terms, touching any wires. A combination of little, curious hands and live wires concerns me.

Glad it's worked out well for your daughter, always good to hear stories like that. I'm sure her early years stood her in good stead.

Good practical skills are largely missing from the current world from what I can see. I'm convinced that human hands need something to occupy them, more than just typing on a keyboard or consuming goods made by someone else. I'm sure being able to make things yourself is beneficial to both mental and physical health, just the satisfaction to be gained is a big boost, apart from anything else
 
My son was exposed to diy from day one really and I'd explain what i was doing and why. He wasn't really able to do much until about 4 if I remember correctly. I bought him a junior hacksaw and he has a hand drill and a few other things of his own as he kept nicking mine! Trouble is he was pretty keen and once he'd learnt to use a screwdriver he would look for things to undo - including the door threshold :D

He's 6 now and will make various things cutting and gluing and drilling, it normally doesn't look like anything in particular but he loves doing it so I'm happy for him to get on with it. I try to give advice on how to hold the tools better or safety etc but let him make his own decisions about what he's doing. I'll make him wear safety glasses as well, hopefully it will just become second nature.

This weekend he decided he wanted to knit after watching his Granny. So she showed him and he's off and running with barely any help.
 
I have tried repeatedly from about age 5 and mine continue to show little interest or enthusiasm. My eldest (12) has the mentality that after 5minutes of any activity he should be an expert (sport, school, or diy) so getting him to practice anything is hard work. My youngest (10) will definitely be either management or an evil dictator, nuff said.
 
my youngest daughter was tought early...certainly could change a spare tyre and do an oil and coolant check by the age of ten.....
she can hang a shelf securely but dont get her to hang a door.....hahaha...fencing is a breeze now......
last tme I visited her she had the Henry hoover in bits.....1 broken wire that she couldn't find but tries.....
her sister was tought the same but she hopeless....
last time we spoke the toaster was making a lot of smoke, asked if she cleaned the crumb tray.....?
whats that....?
doesn't matter now as I have new toaster thats a better colour......!!!!!!!!!

I worked for a multi million $ engineering firm.....the boss had around 20 letter's after his name inc IMI Mech E....
still didn't know which way to loosen a bolt.....!!!!!!!
 
Our boys are 33 and 29. At 18 months old the eldest could identify and say dovetail joints that could be seen in drawers I was making. He liked to hammer and bang in nails, make simple wooden toys, as did his younger brother up until late junior school age.
They then both totally lost interest, although the youngest did decide to take GCSE Product Design to water me off, as I taught the subject. He totally blocked me out of that area and went on to get an A grade.
Skip forward to early 20's and our eldest becomes interested in farming, making full use of his History degree, and he will now tackle most things practical.
Our youngest, at a similar age, following a Politics degree becomes interested in the building trade. He now works on site in Australia, having started on form work for large concrete pours such as multi-story car parks, before moving onto anything "Chippy" related on one off building refurbs and expensive extensions.
Something in them both obviously lay dormant. You can never tell.

Colin
 
I’m still trying and my eldest is 37! When they were youngsters I fitted all sorts of stuff to stop them being able to access or if they got in without me get their hands where they shouldn’t. Complete waste of my time and money. Asking them to go to Dads workshop was considered a punishment😂
Everyone’s different and I would have given both my arms to have had access to a workshop like mine when I was a rug rat!
 
Father of 3 girls here and despite my best efforts I haven't managed to persuade any of them to take any interest in woodwork or DIY, although I'm pretty sure that they may discover how useful some practical skills are when they have homes and independent lives of their own. I gave my eldest daughter a nice Victorinox camper knife when she left home for college this year, a "little toolbox in a knife" and she loves it! Practical skills are very much missing in today's world. When I was growing up there were always things to be mended and bodged, biggest problem was lack of proper tools for the job. No body knowshow to oanything know and it's a case of getting somebody in for even the simplest of jobs. The irony of it all is that with youtube and online resources in general you can learn to do pretty much much anything!
 
Yes, I won't be letting him anywhere near electrical work for a few years yet. I've always warned him off, in no uncertain terms, touching any wires. A combination of little, curious hands and live wires concerns me.
I received a shock holding a light up for my father.
Rather than warn them off, how about showing them how to check for live - perhaps then show them what 240V can do?
 
I was inquisitive from the very start . Aged 4, I dismantled my Fathers antique portable Robert valve Radio , the one with the huge accumulator batteries. By the time I was 5, I managed to remove a light bulb and stick my fingers in the socket ! luckily for me I was standing on my bed in stocking feet at the time. That episode taught me a lot about electricity ! :).
It was the hand-me-down Meccano set from next door that gave me the opportunity to learn about design, construction and structures .
I've never had kids but if I had they would have been introduced to everything DIY from the earliest moment .I think its all about feeding enquiring minds at the earliest age ,sparking their imagination and opening their eyes to all the wonderful opportunities in the World.....the rest is up to them.
 
I had an itch to try pen turning for a while so I bought some kits and diamondcast blanks a couple of years back everyone got one for Christmas. My eldest was curious, helped me make one and then spent a while happily making a couple more of her own.

You never quite know when someone will get inspired. I keep intending to introduce my wife to TIG welding :)
 
In the same vein as this discussion I think; I've just bought my son his first penknife. It's one of those Opinels for children, with the rounded end, no sharp point. A Christmas present for him. Hopefully I won't regret it.

He keeps on about a hatchet of his own. We think no way - we'd rather he keeps his full compliment of intact fingers!
 

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