Never Underestimate What Your Kid Can Do

Stuart enjoys making things in the garage.  He is great with woodworking but also working with metal.  He volunteered to make two metal braces for a sleigh in our theater production of Narnia.  The project required welding and none of the other "builder dads" knew how to weld or had a welder.

Stuart let Nicholas watch him make the pieces.  It was the first time Nicholas had watched him use a welder.  Nicholas thought the welding helmets were really cool, especially the one that auto darkens when it "sees" the bright fire of the welder.

Once the braces were welded together, Stuart taught Nicholas how to use the drill press.  Nicholas then used it to drill the 6 holes in the metal braces they just made.  It was the first time he used a drill press. 

After the required work was done, Stuart let Nicholas do a little bit of welding himself.  There was a little bit more in-depth teaching time.

Then Nicholas made his first weld!

It is easy to underestimate our kids and their abilities.  But if we take the time to teach them the skills and especially the safety issues around using tools, they can do more than we imagined, even at 9 years old.

Nicholas is very proud of his new ability and I love that he is learning a unique skill that let him make his own creations with metal.


  1. Oh, this is fantastic. I'm always aiming to help my children feel competent and skilled. Each one of my children ARE competent and skilled, naturally and I think a part of that is as a parent who expects them to be competent, they build the confidence it takes.

    Your son is an inspiration!

  2. I am so impressed that you guys included your son in the work. I'm sure everyone was so proud, and it looks like he rose to the occasion. I think that as we have become more of a computer-centric society, that we are doing less "handiwork" … not that its ably less valuable and that people don't need to know how though! Its great that you are teaching him safely at an early age.