You’ll often hear parents say you should teach your kids basic repair and home maintenance skills so they can use them when they’re grown up. But there is more to these lessons than self-efficacy. Letting your children help with cleaning, maintenance or small repairs around the house can show them several valuable skills, for their physical benefit and overall well being.
While self-efficacy is the ability to do something for yourself, it is also knowing and believing you can do something. In an article on DoughMain.com, psychologist Albert Bandura states that when children believe they can do something, they are more likely to try new things and take on new tasks. Show you child how to change batteries, fix a leaky faucet or change a light bulb. They will see the change they made and it will give them the confidence to try new projects.
Putting your child in charge of something can give them a sense of pride and responsibility. The online blog The Dollar Stretcher suggests giving him or her a box or bag of their own real tools. They will be responsible for keeping track of the tools, maintaining them and choosing the right ones when they help you with a repair project. Teach them how to use each one properly and designate a spot for them to put their toolbox when they are done. They will learn to be responsible for their items and excited to bring out their tools when a repair needs to be done.
When you own a home, there is always something to repair or replace. Show your children that it’s ok when something breaks or goes wrong and then invite them to help you solve the problem. Include them in maintenance upkeep around the house and backyard. Give them tasks that encourage them to help figure out what is wrong and what they should do next. For example, swimming pools and hot tubs need lots of attention and care. Hot Tub Works outlined a few common issues pool and spa owners have that can be avoided, but if they happen your kids can help you figure out how to fix them. If the pool water is dirty or has a funny smell, ask your kids what they think is causing it. If the pump is making a noise, ask them what they think would help. Involving your children in everyday problems will help them develop critical thinking skills.
Frugality And Resourcefulness
If something in your house or backyard is broken or a little beat up, show your kids how repairing or repurposing items can not only save money, but also cut down on waste. Instead of running out and buying something new every time something breaks, learning to repair and reuse will teach your children the value of frugality and resourcefulness. Brainpop suggests making repurposing activities fun by letting your kids fix old toys that were broken or painting and adding new fabric to an old chair. Ask your kids to be creative and come up with new ways to repurpose and recycle items.
Sense Of Accomplishment
It can be hard to teach young children about long-term accomplishments. However, with many home repairs, the improvement is instantaneous and kids can see right away the difference they made. Fixing a light bulb or a leak shows an instant result and they can see what they accomplished. Understood.org recommends praising your child on projects they finish and explaining how their hard work produced a result.