I agree, Rich. Every time I've dropped one of my four kids off at college, I've brought my own tools to help them, but I've failed to pass the habit along to them. Jon's right: It's definitely in their best interest to give them the tools and aquaint them with the everyday chores he mentions.
milld01, I did the very same thing. We have three boys and as soon as they turned 10 years old I bought them a tool box. I don't mean plastic tools; I mean real tools you can use to get a job accomplished. They have been adding to their boxes for some years now. The oldest is 45, then 43, then 33-- they all have their individual tools. Like you, I don't have an engineer in the family except me. (Feel like a failure here but that's how it goes.) I think this is a great idea and I'm really surprised more families don't do it.
Hello, Rob. Students can always use their time-management skills and say, "I'm busy now, come back at..." A college education goes beyond studying and homework and should include some fun, whether playing a sport or helping someone troubleshoot a car problem. If you trust your friends and neighbors, let them borrow your truck and tell them to return it with a full tank of gas. You could mention it's only a quarter full now and it takes xx gallons (or liters).
Don't do it. I own a pickup truck and ALL of my friends think I'm a moving company. Your kids should be studying but instead will be "helping" the others to repair everything from their cars to their stereos.
Hi, Rich. I don't understand why dorms don't have some type of cove moulding along the upper edge of walls so students could use an "S" hook and hang things with wire. We ran into the same problem when our kids went to college--nothing on the concrete walls. The concrete was full of Teflon because nothing would stick for any time. ;-)
Excellent. Kids enjoy working with grownups and they like to learn about practical things. It's also important to help them understand things like fasteners, cutting tools, adhesives and glues, and so on. That type of knowledge comes from working on projects. We also should let kids know that before they can do things well they first must have the fortitude to stick with them as they learn and when projects don't turn out as expected. We all went through that phase.
We bought my son a tool box for his first Christmas and have been adding a tool set every year. He's 10 now and starting to help with projects. He recently helped worked on the riding lawn mowers stuck starter solenoid and with replacing the slave cylinder on my car's clutch. He really enjoyed operating the clutch pedal as I bleed it.
The toolbox shouls also include a top-of-the-line Leatherman tool, a large and small pair of Vice-Grip pliers, one 13" "plumbe's special" slip-jhoint pliers, a rool of duct tape (make sure it actually sticks), and a can of WD-40. Thus equpped, the kids can do anything including assist McGuyver in defusing H-Bombs.
With two kids in college and each having their own cars, it was a rule that they first understand oil changes, jumper cables and changing a flat tire. I wish I had also thought to arm them with a tool box as Jon's article summarizes, but I didn't. Even so, I think they would have "accidently" forgotten to pack it at the last minute, as they never really gravitated toward my engineering mentality. Their mentality was always, "Dad can fix it." This article makes me hope they are slowly realizing Dad won't be there forever. Great article, Jon, Thanks. A little tool box might be under the tree this Christmas,,,,
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