Home Improvement with Children

Why You Should Let Your Children Help Fix Your House

August is a great time to finish up all of your summer projects. If you have children, it’s always tempting to do these projects without their help. You might feel like working in the middle of the night, not showering for long enough that your smell knocks out everyone within a few hundred yards, or installing a theme park in your backyard to distract your children from the bewitching fascinations of wet paint, toxic solvents, and electric wiring.

But think again before attempting any of these drastic solutions: there are important advantages to allowing your children to participate in your home improvement projects.

One advantage to allowing your children to spill paint on their best lace dresses is the confidence it will give them when they are older. Imagine your little girl, grown to adulthood and faced with a stubborn piece of computer software. You want her to have the confidence to tackle the problem herself. You want her to think: I may be a lawyer, completely clueless about computers, but I’m not going to let a bunch of software intimidate me. You want her to spend three months letting her legal work pile up, while she tears out her hair trying to decompile and debug a computer program, and then receive a summons for copyright violation.

A second reason to include your children in your attempts at home repair is the close bond that the shared experience can bring. In the future, you and your children will fondly recall the time that little Vim put a bucket of paint on the floor right where you put your foot when you jumped off the stepladder. The mess may take months to clean up, but the memories will last a lifetime.

And, of course, one important benefit of allowing your children to help is that, if anything goes wrong with your repairs, you have someone else to blame.

Photo by Infrogmation of New Orleans. CC-BY-SA-3.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

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