Be a Teacher
It’s easy to forget if you’ve grown up yourself with basic knowledge of DIY, but today’s world is very different. Unless you have specifically instructed them before, your kids will have absolutely no experience or knowledge of DIY. To be a good teacher to them, you’re going to have to be patient. Give them a positive experience early on, and soon they’ll be eager to learn as much as possible. Remember to take them clearly and slowly through everything and soon they’ll pick it up in no time.
Also, be selective in what you ask them to get involved in. It’s a typical trope of family life for the kids to be hanging around unable to help while a parent cracks on with the DIY project, but who likes to hang around with nothing to do? Pick moments in your next DIY endeavour that are simple enough for your young trainee to get involved in, and don’t be afraid to let them go do something else when it’s time for you to step in for the more complicated work. They will learn much more by being taught how to do more complex work when they’re ready than having to watch and associating DIY with being bored and useless.
Another easy way to get them excited is to think of a few projects that benefit them. You could come up with some ideas about how their bedroom could be improved, ask for their opinion, then work together to make it a reality. There are always little things you can do, from coming up with creative storage solutions, to something as simple as a fresh coat of paint or putting up shelves. Once they see what they can make for themselves, you can be sure they’ll have the DIY bug!
What’s the Point?
In a culture where time is extremely short, even for kids, it’s important to show why DIY is worth it. This is a great opportunity for you to lead by example. If the drain gets blocked and you do the job yourself, why not treat the kids with the money you saved by not having to pay a plumber? Treats are a big part of children’s vocabulary, and if they understand how DIY allowed them to enjoy something they wouldn’t have otherwise, they’ll understand the benefit straight away.
While giving your children the knowledge and passion to use DIY skills to solve problems or improve their home in later life is great in itself, you may discover more benefits than you expect. A good DIY project is a great bonding experience, whether it’s getting a new home ready or simply painting a room, and once the groundwork is laid it’s something you’ll be able to share for life.
You never know, you might just become the next Choon Ng, inventor of the Rainbow Loom. Choon just wanted to make his children happy when he experimented with them making a homemade device to weave bracelets out of rubber bands, but now the Rainbow Loom is worth millions as a bestselling toy. There’s no end to the rewards that are possible from the creativity and self-sufficiency of DIY, what better gift to give your kids!
Do you or your children get involved in any DIY? We’d love to see photos of any projects you’ve undertaken.