I read this over at Gunfreezone, and I am reminded of some things that happened around my own house.
A few years ago, when my wife still had a Nissan Altima, I was out on the driveway replacing its sway bar, which had snapped while she was driving it. The neighbor lady was at the end of the driveway while out walking the dog and said, “I always see you out here, fixing one thing or another. I wish my husband was handy. He doesn’t know how to fix anything.”
The husband of my tenants can’t fix a thing. He calls me over to do everything, even stuff that isn’t part of my responsibilities as landlord. He called me once because the sink in the kids’ bathroom wasn’t working. It turns out that one of the kids had turned off the water at the valve below the sink.
My electric recliner quit working when one of my grandkids was sitting in it. Investigation found that one of the wires had been cut in half by the mechanical workings of the chair. I soldered it back together and sealed it with electrical shrink wrap, good as new. One of my grandkids, who I let help me by holding the flashlight and handing me the tools, said: “That was cool. My dad doesn’t know how to fix stuff like that.”
It’s important to teach kids, especially young men, how to fix things. Don’t raise useless, soy sipping, video game obsessed, beta males. Don’t raise girls who are dependent on men for everything. The simple act of handing you tools and holding the flashlight when they are young teaches them a lot.
Raising children is more than just sitting them in front of a video screen. Be a parent, a dad, a mom. Actually PARENT your children.
Jonathan · January 30, 2023 at 10:19 am
You should include not just fixing stuff but basic household chores.
For example, both boys and girls should know how to do basic cooking and follow recipes. They also should know enough sewing to replace a button or fix a tear to at least a functional if not pretty level.
They should also learn, at a minimum, how to change a tire and check fluids on a car. Changing oil, checking air filters, and checking brakes are great second tier skills to have.
When CVD hit in 2020, a confident strong willed women I worked with lamented the diaper shortage because she didn’t know how to sew so she couldn’t make them herself – turns out she didn’t even know how to replace a button let alone anything more!
She and her husband don’t know car maintenance either and go to the dealer for everything – despite her having a huge and public focus on saving money.
Anonymous · January 31, 2023 at 1:48 am
They are unwilling to watch youtube tutorials about sewing, auto maintenance, etc.?
Rob · January 31, 2023 at 11:08 am
Also, everyone should be taught basic stuff like following your budget, financial planning (saving), and being able to pay your taxes. Not one minute was spent on any of this when I was in government schools …..
George · January 30, 2023 at 11:30 am
And guys, remember. Things will take longer with your child “helping.” They will mess up. They will drive you crazy with questions.
They will also treasure the time spent with you, they will learn important problem solving skills, and this will help them become skilled, confident men and women able to function in the world.
Elrod · January 30, 2023 at 11:52 am
For more than the last half-century I keep running into Penis-Americans whose tool-using ability is limited to a fork.
We’re f**king doomed.
EN2 SS · January 30, 2023 at 12:46 pm
My daughter is the one that fixes stuff, her husband (oldest of her kids actually) can’t wipe his own ass, reportedly.
Bad Dancer · January 30, 2023 at 3:02 pm
Heartily agree! Teach kids, and reformed adults now-a-days, they can do things and to problem solve. Be there with them too, working on the same problem and mentoring them is a big lesson vs sending them to work outside while you sit and play games or get drunkin saturday morning watching some sportsball.
Tennessee Budd · January 30, 2023 at 8:02 pm
I raised 4 girls and a boy. All of them were taught to shoot (firearms and bow), process the meat from the hunt, plan & manage a garden, do basic auto maintenance & repair, cook, sew, do household repairs, and create a budget, & a thousand other little things.
I may not have cured cancer or anything, but I set the kids up to be self-reliant. That’s enough for me to look back on with satisfaction, now that I’m growing old.
Michael · January 30, 2023 at 9:30 pm
I find kids and millennials (did I repeat myself) if you let them know just trying to fix it is good, most folks will try.
Encourage the success, teach, don’t harass or belittle.
I’ve been teaching basic cooking to more than a few youngsters. I start with how to roast a whole chicken and go from that to cooking carcass for soup.
Most common complaint from my students is all their “friends” want to eat for free at their place.
I try to teach them that most powerful word. NO or bring some cash or food for a homemade meal.
Toastrider · January 30, 2023 at 9:40 pm
It’s not JUST technical skills. It’s the capacity for problem solving.
There’s a Penny Arcade cartoon where one of the characters is confronted with a leak under his sink. He gets the water shut off, and you see him working the problem. ‘The water comes in there, and has to go in there.’
Now, the joke is that it’s no different from a puzzle in a video game, but you know what? A puzzle is a puzzle no matter if it’s real life or video games.
What shocks me is that these people can’t even work their way through the puzzles.
billo · January 30, 2023 at 10:32 pm
I think it’s a lot more than just not being able to do handyman chores. It’s about fear of failure and not having permission to do stuff. When we first got married, my wife was amazed that I was “handy” around the house — fixing the car, putting in electrical sockets, replacing fuses, building raised bed gardens, pouring concrete, etc.
What she didn’t realize was that I hadn’t done most of these things before and I didn’t really know how to do most of the things I was doing. However, I *had* been taught that it was OK to try, and that the cost of failure was small as long as you were careful about the big stuff (e.g. being careful with electricity). There were tons of how-to books (and later vids on computer), and the offer of a beer would get at least one neighbor to offer his (often equally limited expertise). My first projects were pretty squalid, but they *usually* were “good enough.” Each time something came up, I got better. Now, after 32 years of marriage, I could build my house from scratch if I had to. But every step along the way is lined by the graves of some pretty screwed up attempts.
Most young kids I run into are afraid to even try. They are so petrified by fear of failure that they won’t even make the attempt. And they are so passive that they won’t start anything on their own without supervision.
A couple of weeks ago, we had Home Depot put in new counter tops in our kitchen (not an experience I will repeat, by the way). They sent a plumber out to disconnect the pipes from the old sink. After the new counter tops were put in, they said it would be a week before the plumber could come out to put the pipes back in. I decided I didn’t want to wait, so I hoked it up myself and told the plumber to come check it whenever the spirit moved him.
Wean he got here some days later he said I did a fine job. He told me that most people younger than me were petrified of even trying to hook things back up — even though there was really only one way to do it.
Steve · January 30, 2023 at 11:35 pm
My son is OK at car work. He’s done a heater core once, and changed struts, a few electric windows, plus all the basic stuff. He just doesn’t like it. My daughter is the one that really took a shine to it. Did her first brake job by herself when she was about 10, first axle about 12, and last week I asked her to take a break swapping out an engine in her pickup to put a new wheel bearing in her mom’s car.
They both worked their tails off building our house. Concrete, framing, HVAC, plumbing, electrical, drywall, siding, shingling — pretty much everything.
Don W Curton · January 31, 2023 at 8:42 am
Yup, same here. I learned it all from my Dad back in the 60’s and 70’s, I then taught it to my kids. When they were old enough to start driving lessons, the first lessons were basic car maintenance. My oldest has done a top rebuild of his truck engine lately, lots of home repairs, etc. My youngest can do stuff, just too damn lazy to do it on his own. Whenever I kick his ass into gear, though, he’s generally going do a good job despite himself.
Talking to a young female engineer at lunch yesterday. She told me she never learned to cook until she got out of college, got a job, and lived by herself. She had to start learning from scratch. I was shocked and said so. She started to go down that path of feminism BS until I told her I had learned a dozen basic meals before I was ten. Knowing how to cook is pretty basic to eating.
Anyway, it’s pretty hit or miss. Most of the young people I meet are at the extreme right side of the bell curve, engineers and PhD’s straight out of college. Mostly highly motivated, just wet behind the ears. Sometimes I’m shocked, other times I’m amazed.
TechieDude · January 31, 2023 at 9:19 am
I had my kids helping me since they were little. Now, the first thing they do is look and see if they can fix it themselves, whatever it is. Usually they call me to ask how to do it.
My old man was OK around the house. He could do minor things – replace faucet washers, minor repairs. Oddly enough, he was pretty decent at wordworking. He paneled a few rooms in the house, which is unremarkable, but he did the trim with a hand mitre saw, and the joints were decent. He also built a grape arbor that stood for over 20 years. But I learned everything from a neighbor and a friend’s dad. Both grew up poor, both fixed everything, throwing away nothing.
I was absolutely blessed to come of age with these men in my life.
WDS · January 31, 2023 at 9:19 am
All awesome stories. I did help my Dad swap out an engine in his ’60 MGA when I was 13 and managed to hold the flashlight steadt too. I also learned a lot of those special mechanic’s words & phrases you’re not supposed to repeat in polite company.
TechieDude · January 31, 2023 at 9:33 am
The article is about women looking for men at Home Depot. And why not? You’ll surely find them there.
I had a friend at Church that spoiled his adopted daughter. I kind of found her annoying, kind of chubby, kind of brassy. Originally from Russia, she was the type that you’d look at and think, man, if she lost 20-30 lbs she’d be smokin’ hot.
She was in college studying to be an engineer, burnt a bearing and met a man on the interwebs and left the area. That didn’t work out, so the prodigal daughter came home. He was begging her to get back to school.
She got a job at Home Depot, and loved it. The old man hated it. I chatted with her about it at a Church function, and having worked at a hardware store in my youth, agreed with her 100%. Screw it, she seemed happy and well adjusted to me.
The father came to me and asked me to arrange a date with my son (a CS major) for her. I said no way. They know each other. Both would be on to it, and neither would put up with the meddling. There was something weird about they went to therapy and he was told not to meddle in her life like a jewish yenta.
When I asked why, he said he didn’t like it that all those trades guys were coming on to her at work, and didn’t want her dating them. I said, look, she’s a young woman with a pretty face and big tits, and a few extra pounds. For a lot of dudes, and ideal woman. And WTF is wrong with trades guys? I was a trades guy. These guys will treat her better than most.
For all I know she got wifed up by one of them. I lost track of them when I moved. Actually, I lost track of them after that conversation. Dude had issues. No wonder the chick bolted when she did.
Glypto Dropem · January 31, 2023 at 2:23 pm
Anything in my house that breaks or stops working goes to the workbench before the trash. So many things have been repaired and put back into service I have saved myself a shit-ton of money. Yesterday I repaired my dog pooper scooper that I also use to clean my chicken coop. A thorough cleaning, new strip of reinforcing sheet metal, and fresh rivets made it as good as new. That cost me about $40 at the Agway several years back and has been used daily since. Two weeks ago, I converted all my basement 48″ fluorescent light fixtures to use 48″ LED lamps with a conversion kit from GE. Another recent repair was a Ronco food dehydrator that was given to my wife. The standoffs that supported the heating element in the base all rusted away except one. Using it as a pattern, I handmade the four required out of .041″ stainless steel aircraft safety wire. They snapped into place in the base and hold the heating element right where it needs to be. Whether construction projects, electrical work, electronics repairs, appliance repair and installation, automotive repairs, simple gunsmith work and ammo reloading, using all manner of power equipment, etc. I am able to handle it all. It was a combination of my Father, Grandfather, and technical high school education that provided the abilities I have today.
Squardon Blanco · January 31, 2023 at 4:09 pm
No one taught them how to fix anything.
All local HS were getting ride of shop class, HVAC, auto body shops, apprenticeships, when I was graduating.
Stupid useless people are easier to control.
A buddy is a wizard with electronics and he saved a “boom box” that had Coke spilled in it.
Just for fun he went online with a TRS-80 and donated a still working Commodore PET to a museum in California.
Comments are closed.