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How to teach kids how to use tools?

Posts: 858
Location: N.E.Ohio 5b6a
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I agree Annette.  I have ben lucky enough to teach quite a few girls things that most guys will never know how to do.  My wife's sister is about 5 years younger than my wife and I.  When I married my wife, my sister in-law would always come out to the shop and help.  She is quite handy with tools and smart too.  The difference between teaching her and the boys was she has the ability to listen much better.  She easily would do things step by step that I taught her.  Not so with the boys, many times they only heard half the instructions.  They often would get stuck, because they skipped a step.  From my point of view, the boys learn better by hard knocks and the girls would rather just follow along.  Boys don't seem to care as much for other's opinions.  

My sister in-law can rebuild a weed eater carb much faster than me now.  Her hands are much smaller and she can put the tiny parts in with her little fingers.  I get a kick out of watching her work. Now when she is out yard saleing she finds all sorts of tools for me and knows how to use them.  To look at her you would never guess that a feminine woman like her would ever get her hands dirty.

I personally don't care who someone is, if they want to learn I'll teach them.  Watching someone who has been freed to do something for them selves is quite rewarding for me.
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Location: WV
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I was a tomboy and in junior high we were required to take nine weeks of shop class.  I loved it and since my freshman year was there, four of us girls decided we wanted to take shop instead of home ec. that year.  There was opposition of course, but that was also the year the shop was moved and remodeled, so I got lots of hands-on experience with framing and drywall.  My mom and grandma tackled moving a window and installing a door to the garage in grandma's house after they got tired of waiting for dad to do it.  We've just been a family of women who will tackle just about anything and I'm the carpenter in the family.

But this thread has been a wake-up call for me!  My daughter has special needs and honestly I'm not sure I'd trust her with a hammer or sewing machine just yet, but it's made me realize that I can't keep sheltering her.  She does help in the garden but I think this year I'll give her a bed and let her do as she pleases.  Probably time to invest in some hand tools for kids as well as I can see that helping with hand and eye coordination. Maybe it's time to put some of those birdhouse kits together.  I also have a kiddie model sewing machine and after a little training with hand sewing we'll move on to that.  

My husband's parents felt it was easier to do stuff themselves than to teach their sons how to do anything.   I remember the day my husband and I planted a garden the size of a football field and when it came time to hoe, my husband looked at me with a blank stare and asked how do you do that?  It was at that moment I knew I was in trouble.  I definitely don't want to raise a child like that.

So if you're apprehensive,  feel free to take the leap with me and let the kids do what they can and be sure to give them plenty of praise even if it's not a stellar job.
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