Let children help out with the projects they can handle. Photo Credit: Bridges4Kids
When tackling remodeling projects, it seems like there are never enough hands to complete a job...until your kids start clamoring to help. Then there's usually too many. But having children help with remodeling jobs can be a positive thing for the entire family; all you have to do is find appropriate tasks for each person, according to their age and ability.
Safety is always important in any construction project, but it is ultra-important when you have small children on the job. Be sure to let the kids know that under no circumstances are they to use power tools. Keep them busy doing other tasks when power tools need to be utilized, and keep the tools unplugged when not in use.
For teens and adults, work goggles may be a bit of a crimp in the fashion statement. But they truly are essential, so be sure to set a good example by wearing them. Kids, on the other hand, will be delighted to be fitted with a new accessory, so take a little shopping excursion to outfit the kids in just-for-them safety goggles and maybe even a mini-tool belt and tape measure.
While your kids may not be able to help with the heavy lifting and major construction phases, they can still be extremely useful. For every large task there are numerous small duties that need to be performed – just try to handle any project on your own and you’ll soon wish you had someone there to assign menial tasks to. Your spouse may not take too well to being ordered to “go fetch me this” and “hand me that,” but the kids will eat it up. No task is too small.
The little things like bringing you alternate tools, handing you nails, screws and staples, and holding the other end of the tape measure or chalk line can be very valuable tasks that children can handle well, saving you time and leaving your hands free for the larger tasks the project demands.
Undoubtedly, there will be times when you’re busy with the task at hand and there’s nothing for the kids to do. For these times it’s best to plan ahead and have a few activities to keep them busy until there’s more important work for them to do.
Try to keep it construction-related so they still feel that they are involved in the project. Perhaps you have some trim molding that needs to be painted, a toolbox that needs to be sorted or extension cords that need to be wound up. These are all great tasks that children can handle when there’s nothing else for them to do.
Another great activity is to provide the kids with some scraps and let them do what they do best – be creative. A few pieces of scrap wood, some nails and a hammer with no specific instructions (except to be safe) can have children inspired for hours trying to create new designs.
To be sure, having an extra set of hands (or two) on the job can be a big help to even the most adept contractor, but the benefits run much deeper than that.
Being able to incorporate your children into your home improvement project, you find new ways to spend quality family time together. It will build a greater sense of closeness, trust and respect between the generations.
Allowing your children to be a part of home remodeling projects also gives them a great sense of pride and involvement. They will know that they’re capable and trusted, and their self-esteem will show it. There’s nothing that makes a parent more fulfilled than a child that beams with pride as they exclaim, “I did it!”
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