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You Need a Toolbox: A Case for Being Handy

You Need a Toolbox: A Case for Being Handy

There are a lot of good reasons to become at least a little bit “handy”. Your ability to do your own basic home maintenance will save you thousands over the years. Often the simple practice of keeping a major appliance clean prevents it from falling into disrepair. And testing, inspecting, and maintaining your smoke detectors and fire extinguishers could save lives.

Even if you don’t own your home, you shouldn't rely on your landlord or building superintendent. They likely won't give your unit the care and attention it needs. There’s also a delicious sense of accomplishment when you fix, assemble, or build something new with your own hands.

But the most important reason for moms and dads to know their way around a basic set of tools and their functions is for your kids. Our goal as parents is to raise fully functional, highly capable, independent adults. The self-reliance that comes with handiness is invaluable to that goal.

When your kids see you building, fixing, or working on something—even something small—they’ll be curious. They may even want to help. That gives you an opportunity to pass your skills on. And it gives you the opportunity to spend some quality time together, doing work. That is priceless.

Moms, your facility with a set of tools will reinforce in your daughters (and sons!) that girls can do all the things boys can do. Dads, make sure you teach your little girl all the things you teach your little boy when it comes to being handy. She’ll need those skills every bit as much as he does when she moves into her first apartment.

Nobody expects you to be the next Mike Holmes or Nicole Curtis. There are times when calling the pros is the right thing to do—and you should teach your kids that as well.

But when they see you tackling a DIY project, their image of you changes. It’s one more thing mom and dad are capable of doing. One more way their respect for you grows. One more way you'll inspire them to learn a worthwhile skill or try their hands at a productive hobby. And when your kids come to you, wanting you to help them build a birdhouse or a tree fort, you’ll be able to say “yes”.

YouTube is a wonderful resource for learning DIY. It’s full of tutorials on how to do everything from changing the battery in a smoke detector to building a shed in your backyard from scratch. Need help putting together your toolbox? We’ll post a follow-up article soon listing all the must-have tools you need for basic home maintenance and a little DIY.

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