We hear a lot about life skills today, and even more about the fact that many children and teens simply don’t have them. What are these life skills that everyone is referring to? The World Health Organization and UNICEF define life skills as the abilities for adaptive and positive behavior that enable individuals to deal effectively with the demands and challenges of everyday life. Sounds simple, right? As our lives become increasingly modern more and more young people are growing up in a world where they might not always be challenged and asked to do things for themselves. While many parents or educators are quite concerned about children’s lack of basic skills, some may not know exactly where to begin. One way that you can start to give children and teens some of these necessary and very valuable life skills is through basic automotive repair. There are some things children won’t be able to help with, such as maintaining the wear and tear of your car like the tires. If your tires get completely destroyed then this is something your children can’t help with. You can maintain these aspects of your car by using coupons for Goodyear tires as this will help you save money on your new tires. Once you have your new tires, it will then be safe to continue their learning process with the car. Children are naturally curious and love to help their parents, and they’ll likely relish the chance to learn more about the car and get their hands a little dirty in the process. Plus, you’ll have a dedicated helper. Also, it’s never too early to teach your kids about the amazing wonders of cars, especially since one day they’re going to need find things like good cheap car insurance for themselves. Here are some ways to get started, and car repair projects that are perfect for little hands to get involved with. Introduce the Tools It’s likely that your children are already fascinated by your set of tools, and they’d love to know more about how they work. Spend some time explaining the various tools used in basic car repair, and allow your child to try them out. For instance, a securely anchored board can allow your child to try their hand at driving screws. You can also gather the tools that you’ll need for specific automotive work. Let your kids become familiar with the jack before you change the tire, or show them how an oil filter wrench works before you start the oil change. Choose Your Project For younger children it’s best to keep things simple, which is why an oil change is a great place to start. Explain what the oil does for the engine and the purpose of the oil filter, and allow your little ones to crawl under the car with you to see how it all works. This is also a great time to discuss the proper disposal of used engine oil. For older kids or teens, a larger project is more likely to capture their interest. If you need to change an engine component ask your child to join you for a trip to the salvage yard. Not only is this a great way for them to learn about the cost benefits of used car parts, but salvage yards are also interesting places that will grab their attention. Don’t forget to include a tire change in your project calendar. This is one of the most practical automotive skills to have and everyone, young or old, needs to know how to do it. Teachable Moments While planning car repair projects is fun and gives your children something to look forward to, every time you drive with your kids you’ll have the opportunity to give them more information about the car and how it works. When you start the car you can tell them a little bit about internal combustion engines how they function. When you accelerate from a stop light you can give them a lesson on pistons and propulsion. While it might not be a good idea to let a young child pump gasoline, you can use a visit to the gas station to increase their knowledge. Tell them about the difference between diesel fuel and gas, or describe the concept of fuel injection. Older children can help by checking the engine oil level or by using a tire pressure gauge to check each tire. When it comes to life skills those that revolve around cars are among the most important. Kids feel empowered when they have the skills and the knowledge to complete basic tasks, and since cars and their engines are typically off limits for children, they’ll be doubly excited to learn more about them. By allowing your children to help with automotive repair you’re not only giving them vital information that will help them be more confident when they become licensed drivers, but they’re also learning ways to save money by performing their own car maintenance in the future. It might also be a good idea to inform your children about the benefit of having a lawyer on your side if you were unlucky enough to end up in a car crash that is. My friend told me that they decided to tell their kids about a New Mexico Auto Accident Lawyer as an example to explain the concept to them. And the added bonus? Precious time with your children and with your car. It’s a win for everyone.
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