View Full Version : Are your kids mechanically inclined?


tigerbalm2424
05-16-2008, 09:33 AM
I ran across a thread on another forum and it made me wonder. How does one become mechanically inclined, nature or nurture. For the individuals that have kids; Are they mechanical? Did/do you teach them to be? Anyone with kids that grew up with you in the garage buy couldnt work a screwdriver?

I guess I grew up around individuals that are very mechanically inclined and thats how I turned out. Both my neighbors have kids that are in the 12-16 age range and none of them can work a drill or a screwdriver. Noting there parents arent too inclined, I guess I lean more towards nurture.

Any thoughts?

wrigh003
05-16-2008, 09:43 AM
I think it's more just what you're exposed to. I grew up around DIY parents, by default, since mom was home with us she was always doing stuff around the house. I must have paid attention, because I find myself doing a lot of that stuff now, and thankful that I know how. What I DIDN'T grow up around was very much mechanical tinkering, and so I am learning that (slowly and painfully) on my own.

HoustonPSD
05-16-2008, 09:50 AM
My 5 year old son already has his own toolbox. I have to make sure he and his 3 year old sister don't take their bikes apart. They like "working". My dad was mechanical. His way of saving gas was pulling the 428 Cobra Jet out of his 68 and putting a 289 in. I learned from him and out of necessity (read cheap). My brother is NOT mechanical. His first oil change on his 2005 F250 netted him an empty transmission. He called me asking what he had done wrong...I nearly cried with laughter. I enjoy being a DIYer. I am willing to try anything once. I've learned a lot that way. I expect my kids will be the same way.

64merc
05-16-2008, 09:59 AM
That is a great question. I think it is a combination of both nature and nurture. I can relate this to my grandfather, mom, and uncles. My grandfather (mechanic, jack of all trades) was probably the most mechanically inclined people I have ever met, and his brothers were the same way from what I hear. Considering this, it is strange because he had 3 boys and 1 girl who grew up around cars and this was the end result:

1 boy can barely turn a screwdriver
1 boy knows how to tinker but doesn't really enjoy it and doesn't do it
1 boy has been building hotrods since he was a teenager and still builds engines and races today
1 girl (mom) who would have loved to tinker around but didn't learn since she was a "girl"

I guess in this example the "gene" only really passed down to one kid

Now, out of the grandkids (myself included) only one of them got the "gene", and that was me!!

There aren't many of us still left so I am hoping that I can pass this "gene" on to my son. He is 14 months old BTW so it's too early to tell.

So....I still don't know the answer to the question

rsanter
05-16-2008, 10:27 AM
I think it is a combination of natural tendancy, nurture/exposure, and experience

both my parrents were DIY's and mt father is one of thos old world jack of all trades that has and can do just about anything. he grew up on a farm/ranch where you had to work to keep the things going and if you wanted it and couldnt affort it you built it. if you wanted something that they didnt make, you built it. he went to college and got an education, but never lost the ability to DIY.
I did not grow up on the same farm/ranch, but spent pleanty of time there as well as around my father. I think in some areas I have outdone him because I got the knowledge from him and added to that (as well as some better tools). in other areas he can do things that I never took to.
my brother had some mechanical ablilty, but not much and not as much as he thinks he has. you really do not want him around electricity, but he can do a decent job putting something together after first ignoring and then having to study the instructions (non electrical items)

my daughter will never be a mechanic, but displays a good understanding of how things work. she gets a kick out of assembling something with some help (like a desk chair for grandpa) and then of course will brag about it a little (she was 5 or 6 at the time).
from about 4 or 5 she has been good at drilling holes in blocks of wood and can make any block of wood into something that resembles swiss cheese.

one time she was in the garage playing while I was doing some other stuff in there. as small (petite) as she was. she was able to wrangle the floor jack under her barbie jeep and jack up the front. she got the creeper out and some tools out of my box and proceeded with servicing or fixing what ever needed done that day. very cute.
from a young age she liked playing with the sockets, ratchets, extensions, ect as they were fun, shiny,and would snap together. she also liked hammering blocks of wood with the rubber mallet. I got her a set of her own childrens tools and she looked at me like
'you gotta be kidding...this stiff aint real'
she is also very much a girl as far as the playing with dolls and dressing up, but when her and her mom were on a bike ride and the chain came off on moms bike. she was the one that put it back on (10 years old) and the two were off again.
for mothers day she did a good job of painting up a plate for gradma at the local place where where you can paint the raw pottery and then they will fire it for you (11 years old).
so from exposure/enviroment and perhaps genitics, my daughter had her moms artist abilitys and me mechanical

bob

dcjredline
05-16-2008, 10:43 AM
Neither my mom or dad are really mechanical at least around me when I was little. My grandfather (Who I never really knew he died when I was 11) owned a mechanic shop back in the day. Somehow I am a technician at Xerox and when it comes to reading things in a book I cant do it without having the item I am reading about in front of me.

My 5 year old daughter has been around me fixing MULTIPLE things and is very interested in them. She wants to change her own oil someday and loves to watch and learn when I am doing the maint on my cars. Its too early to tell with her but it seems like she is going to be.

I THINK ITS A BUILT IN MECHANICAL ABILITY and it gets better from experience. There is a different BRAIN for engineers and technicians. You cant teach an engineer to be technical.

PAToyota
05-16-2008, 12:53 PM
Both my parents were Do-It-Yourselfers while I was growing up, so I suppose that I just accepted that was what you did...

My maternal grandfather was also a jack-of-all trades and constantly had projects going on. Wanting to be "just like grandpa" when I was young is probably what took me past the level of what my parents were comfortable doing - they often just shake their head at the projects that I take on.

My sister is fairly capable, but didn't take the same interest that I did.

My girlfriend is really capable - didn't accept that BS about it being stuff "girls didn't do." She's in a woodworking club, is helping me to lay the hardwood floor in my woodworking shop, and does maintenance on her car. That hasn't really transfered to her kids, though. They can do some things when they set their mind to it, but the motivation isn't there and I think they're trying to prove their ineptitude at times. Some of it seems to be her ex-husband wasn't one to lift a finger and the kids acquired that - just let mom do everything... :rolleyes:

But I also think that society puts less importance on being capable these days. Most pastimes are electronic these days - computers, video games, tv, and such. I don't see as much interest in the things I had growing up - toy trains, plastic models, woodworking, whatever... With less emphasis put on doing creative things and working with your hands and figuring things out in a mechanical way there is less interest in such things in general.

Some of that no doubt is from the push in the past thirty years to go to colleges - "don't get your hands dirty" - get an office job to be successful. I think some trades schooling is coming back, but I'm also seeing school districts eliminating wood and metal shop and automotive tech due to liability reasons.

All that said, I do think there is a "mechanical gene" of some sort. I've always been one to be able to take things apart, see how they worked, and put them back together. And I can't really explain these things to someone else that doesn't have that "gene" in their makeup. "How do you know that?" I'm always asked... Damned if I know... I just do...

Northstar9126
05-16-2008, 01:16 PM
I think it is financial. My dad always drove a $100 car and we lived in $10,000 houses. The car was always broken down and the house in need of serious help. My parents didn't know how to fix anything and couldn't afford to hire anybody so it fell to my brothers and me to figure things out. I drive newer vehicles and live in a nice house so there isn't as much work that needs to be done. As a result my kids don't have much exposure to fixing things. I was thinking about this a while ago and feel kind of guilty that my kids aren't very handy. I just have to hope that they prosper financially so they can afford to hire things out or I will be spending my golden years repairing their dishwashers.

PhantomEB
05-16-2008, 01:31 PM
Pretty good topic for discussion!!

My folks were DYI'ers as well, as well 95% of my freinds so I thinking its from both.

Wife and I are not trying for kids for a year or so but I already have a wrench set for the first little one!! *crossing fingers*

mikeyr
05-16-2008, 01:51 PM
My wife is very mechanically inclined, loves to get dirty in the garage (keep your mind out of the gutter). She grew up with 2 older brothers and her Dad was a old school Hot Rodder in his youth. My daughter WAS also mechanically inclined, from about 4 years old she was out in the garage with me everyday. In 4th grade she wrote a paper for English class on how a clutch works and how to change a clutch, the teacher later told me she had no idea what my daughter was talking about so she asked her mechanic to look over the paper, his answer was he would hire my daughter. Somewhere about 14 years old (+/- 1 year) she quit playing with cars and although she can still change her own oil, she prefers to have me look over her shoulder as she does.

I think its all from the environment, she grew up in a car related environment and learned, now she is in a boy related environment and I hope she does not learn anything.

JB740i
05-16-2008, 05:46 PM
My 5 year old son already has his own toolbox. I have to make sure he and his 3 year old sister don't take their bikes apart. They like "working". My dad was mechanical. His way of saving gas was pulling the 428 Cobra Jet out of his 68 and putting a 289 in. I learned from him and out of necessity (read cheap). My brother is NOT mechanical. His first oil change on his 2005 F250 netted him an empty transmission. He called me asking what he had done wrong...I nearly cried with laughter. I enjoy being a DIYer. I am willing to try anything once. I've learned a lot that way. I expect my kids will be the same way.

Did that on my Toyota Tacoma when I was 16. Had my dad point out where I needed to drain the oil from. Took it into the dealer that week when the transmission was acting funny.

Still shocked that the engine held all that extra oil I put in there on top of it.

My dad was more mechanical before he had children. He took a diesel repair class at vo-tech so he could work on his 240d. But when my brothers and I came along I think there was just less time to fool around.

kbs2244
05-16-2008, 06:49 PM
First one was a girl.
Followed by four boys.
She was a “mini-mom” that changed all their diapers.
(And won’t let them forget it.)
She may not know the details, but she has the concepts down pretty well.
Won’t let anyone snow her.
Three of the four can fix whatever they have to but have learned that sometimes they can make more in the time it takes to fix it then they can save by doing it them selves.
The forth does cartoon programming. I have no idea what he is doing but people seem to like it and pay him for it.

dreamingmuscle
05-16-2008, 08:58 PM
1st son (23yo) can do most anything he sets his mind to. I just wish he would set it on something.

2nd son (20yo) is very mechanically inclined. He has already dropped two engines in his s10. He is out in the drive way now finishing up a core support replacement on a eclipse his friend hit a deer with.

3rd son (17yo) can barely change a lite bulb. He can change the oil but I always double check his work.

Last one is a girl (11yo). Half tom boy half girly girl. Climbs a rope like a squirrel. Likes making all kinds of stuff from cloths for her webkins to forts out side. She could care less about cars but will mow the lawn.

Glen
________
The Championship by Lexus specifications (http://www.toyota-wiki.com/wiki/The_Championship_by_Lexus)

Mr. Welsh
05-16-2008, 09:58 PM
Jungian psychology recognizes certain personalities that are mechanically inclined.

sam 8
05-16-2008, 10:02 PM
I am 49 and have the gasoline gene.
My father was a heavy equipment mechanic/machinist.
He was a dry lakes racer back in the late 40's.
I have two sons, one 24 and one 20.
Both got starter tool sets for their 10th Birthdays.
I think it is a combo of exposure coupled with interest. If you don't have the interest; being exposed to it won't change you. If you have the interest, and the exposure to the tools and their use; your desire and talent are the only limit as to how sharp you hone your skills, and where you take them.

e-tek
05-16-2008, 10:51 PM
I'm reasonably mechanical (mostly bodywork) and my Dad had a bodyshop that I grew up in. Now I've got two young boys, 4 and 6. The older one usually likes "working" with tools and has his own tollbox. The younger one will play with tools, but usually he makes them guns or rockets, or he may just watch cartoons while I'm working.
http://i305.photobucket.com/albums/nn201/e-tekpics/022_22.jpg

jwhcars
05-17-2008, 08:31 AM
My grandfather and dad where DIYers and my wifes dad was a cabinet maker and builder.
Both of us are not afraid to tackle must prodjects.My wife even likes to do her own work on her fun car.We have three boys two will do there own work and one likes to supervise......so I think it is both nurture ant nature.

tigerbalm2424
05-19-2008, 06:39 AM
I think it is financial. My dad always drove a $100 car and we lived in $10,000 houses. The car was always broken down and the house in need of serious help. My parents didn't know how to fix anything and couldn't afford to hire anybody so it fell to my brothers and me to figure things out. I drive newer vehicles and live in a nice house so there isn't as much work that needs to be done. As a result my kids don't have much exposure to fixing things. I was thinking about this a while ago and feel kind of guilty that my kids aren't very handy. I just have to hope that they prosper financially so they can afford to hire things out or I will be spending my golden years repairing their dishwashers.

Ok, so this is a new angle I never thought of, financial.

nissan_crawler
05-19-2008, 03:05 PM
I think it is financial. My dad always drove a $100 car and we lived in $10,000 houses. The car was always broken down and the house in need of serious help.

That's basically how it worked for me. I grew up on a farm 25 miles from town. If something broke down, it was a minimum $250 just to get them there. We did all of our own maintenance, on everything. I can't count how many times we had that damn furnace torn apart to replace something. I started at 3 years old with an antique big ben clock... mom, can I take this apart? (I had been pestering her about taking my toys apart all day.) Sure... Yep...I had found the clock, and used a stool to get to the plier/screwdriver drawer in the house. Tore that thing apart in no time, she came in to the laundry room with a pile of springs and gears on the floor. :lol_hitti

Dad taught me to weld around 8 years old. At 10 years old I wanted a go-kart like all my friends and relatives had, but we didn't have the money. Dad pointed to the steel pile and the welder. I ended up with a go-kart powered by a 440cc snowmobile engine, with atv tires, independent suspension on the front using springs out of a combine clutch, and shocks from snowmobile skis. I could pass cars along the highway, no sweat. Pffft, 5hp briggs, childs play.:spit:

At 13 years old, I got a '57 chevy pickup to work on. At 15, I built a race car.

Now, in my own cheap home, and being "poor" (mainly due to building up the tool collection and the house remodel), I'm damn glad for all that experience. Working in a hangar full of aviation mechanics, I'm amazed at how few can do simple electrical and such at home.

Heck...I remember the first time my sis wanted to use dad's pickup to go to town...he made her change the oil first. Then, she drove it back up to the house to get ready. Meanwhile, dad goes out and pulls the valve core out and deflates a tire. She comes out to leave, and he tells her it's time to learn how to change a flat. He also made her replace her own car batteries, etc. He didn't care about the big stuff, but he thought anybody that owns a car should know how to do the little stuff.

One day after work, I had a flat tire...so did another guy in the parking lot (office guy, not a mechanic). In about 12 minutes, I was rolling out of the parking lot with the spare tire on. I found out it took 1 hour, 45 minutes just for somebody to arrive to change his tire. :rolleyes: By the time he left the parking lot, I had patched my tire and put it back on the truck.:thumbup:

OctaneMotorsports
05-19-2008, 05:06 PM
I can't answer the original question because I don't have kids - however I guess I am one myself given that I just turned sixteen a few months ago...I would definitely consider myself to be mechanically inclined.

My parents are far from mechanically inclined, especially my dad. I bet I could put a screwdriver and a pair of pliers on a table, say "which one is the ratchet?", and watch him point to the pliers, hahaha. He is a businessman and worked for many years in the food industry - as a chef, owning resturants, writing menus etc. and that is still his passion, which is cool. He grew up on a farm and his dad and brothers were all very mechanically inclined, as the story goes my grandpa asked my dad to cut a piece of wood to a certain length. My dad brought it back and his dad said "could you cut this about 2" longer?" and that was the end of that... :spit:

Where I got the bug, I don't know...I never grew up in a working environment, my grandpa passed away when I was young, I was never exposed to it at all - I think it was out of necessity. I went to a friend's birthday party when I was 8 and his older brother had an old Honda Z50 minibike. He let me ride it and I was obsessed. My parents were concerned mostly about safety etc. but jokingly said if you can save half to show you are dedicated we will buy you a motocross bike. So I saved every cent I could and worked my ass off, then one day in the summer I told my parents that I had saved more than half the cost - they thought I was kidding. Needless to say we all went to the Yamaha dealership and bought a brand new 2003 Yamaha YZ125 that same day. I had no choice but to work on it myself, my dad bought me a $50 tool kit (which was GARBAGE) that got me by for a few years. I did an engine rebuild on it later that year when I was 12 by myself. I did a four-cycle engine that winter.

Since then I have been upgrading my tools and my racing of choice. I raced karts for three years and am now getting into a Formula Vee/1200 race car (see my thread in fabrication and techniques) and I still do every bit of work by myself and pay for almost all of it. Most people I know my age get drunk or high or whatever else to have fun. For me it's making something as fast as possible within the rules (often pushing or working around them) then driving the hell out of it. Good results move you up the ladder to another form of racing and the circle continues. Presentation and professionalism is very important to me so my stuff is way over-maintained and alway perfect. That's the reputation I have built for myself with people I know in racing and that's how it always will be :thumbup: I currently work with a race team and using my tools every day. I'm starting to get more into welding, fabrication, bodywork etc. It's my passion, and I wouldn't want to do anything else.

So yeah, I guess I am mechanically inclined.

snorky18
05-19-2008, 05:19 PM
I think personality/ the way a person's brain is wired deteremines whether or not people are mechinically inclined.

My dad grew up on a farm and knew a lot about horses, mules, tobbaco crops, etc, but he never had much knowledge to share with me about mechanical stuff. His car knowledge stopped at how to change the battery, remove lawn mower blades to sharpen, etc.

When I was younger I was always taking apart, put together, destroying things just to see what it would take (what I now would call "destructive testing" :) ), and I figured out some stuff on my own, but seemed to be this point where I plateaued and didn't really learn anything for awhile during my teenage years. Perhaps I was too interested in other stuff?

Somewhere around age 20 or so I got an inkling to stop paying hundreds of dollars per year to a car mechanic to do something I knew I could figure out how to do myself.

First project was to change girlfriend's driveshafts b/c CV boots were busted. Bought a service manual, read up on it, and went to town. It took me about 30 hours of labor to do both sides. Completely rediculous, I know. But when I finished I was glad I did it.

Over time I started working my way up on cars, and at this point there is very little I haven't done to my car mechanically, and there is no job I would be afraid to tackle. It now takes me about 1.5 hours to change driveshafts on a FWD car.

So I say all that to say, I started out with somewhat of a modest background with respect to mechanical knowledge, but eventually my personality led me to teach myself more and more. Engineering school probably helped some too...

64merc
05-19-2008, 05:39 PM
Growing up, neither my mom nor my dad were able to teach me anything "mechanical". I have something hard-wired in me because as a little kid I was always taking thing apart and putting things back together (or not) to find out how things worked.

I am still a novice, but everything I know has been about 95% self taught through hands on experience or by reading. The only person who taught me anything was my grandfather but it was limited because I lived in a different city. When I finally moved closer to him and got serious, he passed away before I could learn even a fraction of what I wanted to.

About 3 years or so ago my wife and I bought our first house, so I had to learn everything from scratch all by myself. You see, growing up, my parents always rented their houses, so all maintenance was contracted out. I didn't even know how to replace a switch. Now, I'm the go-to person for my entire family (hers and mine) when it comes to home repairs. I really enjoy learning how to do new things.

I would kill to have a relative or close friend who could teach me lots more, but there isn't anyone. None of my friends or relatives are into anything mechanical, so I'm stuck.

dxdexter
05-19-2008, 06:57 PM
Both my sons have little interest in car repair or anything garage related. One of my sons does however have a tool bag with electronic tools and likes to take apart anything computer related. Just today he had an X-box pulled apart and "modded" to play any games from a variety of systems.

ovilla
05-19-2008, 11:47 PM
Right now my son is 10 and is more interested in electronic games and baseball. He does mow lawns (4 of them for $25 per yard) and is learning the value of hard work. Just this past weekend he was complaining a bit about how he didn't want to mow. I said fine, tell all of these folks that today is your last day mowing. Then he said, but I really like the money. We then talked about what jobs teenagers do for money. Anyway, he's exposed to constant DIY stuff at home as I'd rather buy the right tools and tackle it myself. He also sees me working on the basement remodel and doing maintenance on all of our cars. He is coming around a bit and asked if he can help with brake jobs and oil changes so we'll see what happens. My daughter is 7 and can build anything out of paper (some incredible stuff actually).


I think that a big part is simply having someone around that can show you things you want to learn. As a kid, my cousin married a contractor and that's how I learned about construction, electrical, and plumbing. I had another cousin with an old TR6 that he was always tearing apart so that brought a wealth of knowledge. Unfortunately, these days it's only the old timers doing this stuff anymore. Somewhere along the road people in general were instilled with the thought that having a "professional" do a job is much better.

oldgoat
05-20-2008, 02:44 AM
My oldest son is adopted and isn't in to working on cars, but does seem to like working with wood. My daughter I taught to change her own oil just so she would know, but she can also work with wood and paint a room. The youngest son is almost 20 now and by default is stuck with helping with projects around the house and on his car. He is more into computers and electronic games, but he will know the basics of working on his car and around the house. He might not appreciate it now, but unless he gets rich he will probably find it handy later on. I grew up with a Dad that did everything on the house or the cars and built his own campers. Since I usually took the pay cash way I ended up also doing many things myself although in the last few years I'm not as dedicated about it. I've already told the kids when they sell the house that they know absolutely nothing about what I've done.

annoyingrob
05-22-2008, 05:54 AM
ever since I could walk, I was taking things apart around the house. In the last few years, I've figured out how to put them back together too :)

My father was very mechanically inclined, and was always in the garage working on various exotic cars. I was constantly in the garage bugging him "How does this work, how does that work". One day, he showed me the basics of a vehicle's 12v electrical system, sat me in the corner with a box of electrical components, and a battery charger. I didn't have very much interest in mechanics at a young age, but was fascinated with electronics. In my early teens, my interest changed towards computers, which has blossomed into a Computer Engineering degree.

However, it wasn't until I actually bought my first car that my focus shifted towards mechanics. As a broke university student, I don't have a lot of extra money to spend on mechanics. My father always told me "Why pay someone else to do work that you could do yourself", and "Buying tools is never a bad investment". Working on cars is now a passion of mine. I'm very proud to tell people I built a 500whp Supra with my own tools and research. I have the ability to build you a motor, AND build you a computer to run it, which I think is very important in this day and age as cars now have an absolute ton of electronics running them.

My brother was also mechanically inclined as a child (he dis-assembled a working gas meter when he was 4!), but never really showed an interest in it until he became about 16. He has now finished school, and works full time as an automotive mechanic.

I would have to say it started out with the environment I was raised in, but really blossomed due to necessity.

It's starting to rub off on my friends too, who are also broke students.

A good friend of mine got a cool car, but did not know the first thing about maintaining it. We would have conversations like "I need to take my car in for an oil change", which I would respond "Do it yourself". "Yeah, I would like to I guess, but I don't know how". So, I showed him. He now shows all of his friends how to change their oil. The other day I asked him what he did all day. "Well, I just installed a new radiator fan in my car". He's motivated to learn how to do it himself!

My other friend just this weekend had his old beater pack it in. "I need a cheap car, quick" he told me. "You can have this one I have sitting in my garage, but you're going to learn how to replace the head gasket before you get to take it". He's willing to learn, he just needs direction. I think he was proud of himself that he helped me restore an old car destined for the scrap yard to a perfectly running vehicle in a weekend. Tomorrow he helps me bleed the brakes.

dauntless
05-22-2008, 01:55 PM
My dad was a very good carpenter and I learned the art by participating and watching. He would also fix just about anything by simply observing how it worked and why it broke and then figuring out how to fix it. I took heed to his lesson and applied it to everything under the sun. I was soon salvaging broken hardware (alarm clocks, TVs, whatever) and using it to fix whatever was broken. Looking back it's a miracle that I still have all my fingers (and I'm still alive!).

When I was still fairly young my dad bought me my own 100MHz computer. Although I loved the heck out of that computer I wanted desperately to figure out how it worked so I did my best to not break it but it inevitably did (a lot), and when it did I fixed it. Sometimes I spent entire days working on a computer problem. Today I'm an incredibly over-educated computer technician and regular electrical/computer engineer. That's not even mentioning my passion for cars. . .

My dad used to race cars so he taught me to race cars as well. He would always bring me to go-kart tracks and if I didn't at least come close to the track-record he'd verbally abuse me but that was good because I was incredibly determined and dauntless (hah). My dad didn't know much about fixing cars but I took it upon myself to learn so I could be a better driver.

My mom was not very technically inclined but she was more than happy to find something that was broken for me to fix. I did everything from drywall to fixing the (now old-fashioned) camcorder. My parents were both more than happy to let me succeed, fail and occasionally get maimed. I didn't like being formally instructed because I learned much better by observation. Fortunately my dad picked up on that and avoided lecturing.

Whether or not that is nurture or nature is a mixed bag. I believe if it hadn't been for my parents encouragement I wouldn't know as much as I do today but I would nevertheless be drawn to mechanical/electrical systems. I learned nothing about cars from my parents (other than how to drive) but I read about them incessantly and I still do. My parents also bought me tools for most of my birthdays; many are the same tools I use today.

thefairlaneman
05-22-2008, 04:10 PM
Being mechanicaly inclined enough to develope it is discouraged by our society. All the kids wanta be pro sport figures and rich TV idols and cool rappers and figure they will have plenty of cash to pay someone to do all of the 'low class manual labor" for them. Its a shame.

thefairlaneman
05-22-2008, 04:13 PM
ever since I could walk, I was taking things apart around the house. In the last few years, I've figured out how to put them back together too :)

My father was very mechanically inclined, and was always in the garage working on various exotic cars. I was constantly in the garage bugging him "How does this work, how does that work". One day, he showed me the basics of a vehicle's 12v electrical system, sat me in the corner with a box of electrical components, and a battery charger. I didn't have very much interest in mechanics at a young age, but was fascinated with electronics. In my early teens, my interest changed towards computers, which has blossomed into a Computer Engineering degree.

However, it wasn't until I actually bought my first car that my focus shifted towards mechanics. As a broke university student, I don't have a lot of extra money to spend on mechanics. My father always told me "Why pay someone else to do work that you could do yourself", and "Buying tools is never a bad investment". Working on cars is now a passion of mine. I'm very proud to tell people I built a 500whp Supra with my own tools and research. I have the ability to build you a motor, AND build you a computer to run it, which I think is very important in this day and age as cars now have an absolute ton of electronics running them.

My brother was also mechanically inclined as a child (he dis-assembled a working gas meter when he was 4!), but never really showed an interest in it until he became about 16. He has now finished school, and works full time as an automotive mechanic.

I would have to say it started out with the environment I was raised in, but really blossomed due to necessity.

It's starting to rub off on my friends too, who are also broke students.

A good friend of mine got a cool car, but did not know the first thing about maintaining it. We would have conversations like "I need to take my car in for an oil change", which I would respond "Do it yourself". "Yeah, I would like to I guess, but I don't know how". So, I showed him. He now shows all of his friends how to change their oil. The other day I asked him what he did all day. "Well, I just installed a new radiator fan in my car". He's motivated to learn how to do it himself!

My other friend just this weekend had his old beater pack it in. "I need a cheap car, quick" he told me. "You can have this one I have sitting in my garage, but you're going to learn how to replace the head gasket before you get to take it". He's willing to learn, he just needs direction. I think he was proud of himself that he helped me restore an old car destined for the scrap yard to a perfectly running vehicle in a weekend. Tomorrow he helps me bleed the brakes. Your a pretty smart guy, and a "tip of the ole hat" to you

ZRX61
05-22-2008, 04:40 PM
My kid has the gene....
Here she is at work with me:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v317/ZRX61/P51-ManOWar014.jpg

& her she is at home:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v317/ZRX61/MM210a001.jpg

Her '07 christmas present...
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v317/ZRX61/Xmas06.jpg

W-Cummins
05-22-2008, 05:17 PM
My kid has the gene....


http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v317/ZRX61/MM210a001.jpg




Lets hope she doesn't have the gene for a melanoma. :scared:

Just ONE good UV burn when young can cause skin cancer in later life!

William...

ZRX61
05-22-2008, 06:57 PM
Lets hope she doesn't have the gene for a melanoma. :scared:

Just ONE good UV burn when young can cause skin cancer in later life!

William...

She'd finished welding & taken her jacket etc off, then she asked me to take a quick pic for her grandma. Thats the result. :)

64merc
05-22-2008, 08:24 PM
ZRX61, that's really cool that you take the time to teach her and let her hang around. Even if she gets disinterested with mechanics/welding one day, these are times in her life that she'll never forget.

e-tek
05-22-2008, 10:23 PM
Lets hope she doesn't have the gene for a melanoma. :scared:

Just ONE good UV burn when young can cause skin cancer in later life!

William...

OMG Cummins - chill out!:wtf: As if that's gonna happen! And where'd you get that stat? (I've heard that just one dose of knowledge can lead to rediclulous conclusions later in life:bounce:). I've seen people welding with short sleeves and shorts for MANY years - with NO WORRIES!

ZRX61 - What an awesome daughter and a great Dad obviously!:bowdown: She's gotta be one cool kid to want to hang out at work AND she's having fun! I'd LOVE to have a daughter like that!! Way to go.:thumbup:

I've got two sons who are always in the shop. The oldest (6) loves tools and playing mechanic and the youngest (4) is a fire-cracker:bounce: in everyway (as you can tell by his garage attire! [He was out in the yard wearing a turtle towel]), but not overly interested yet in the shop - unless his brother is doing it! (BTW - the oldest has diabetes and a very rare condition called Alopecia, which means he has no hair - at all (no eyebrowns, lashes, etc...)

http://i305.photobucket.com/albums/nn201/e-tekpics/100_0450.jpg

W-Cummins
05-22-2008, 11:51 PM
OMG Cummins - chill out!:wtf: As if that's gonna happen! And where'd you get that stat? (I've heard that just one dose of knowledge can lead to rediclulous conclusions later in life:bounce:). I've seen people welding with short sleeves and shorts for MANY years - with NO WORRIES!

Too bad you missed out on the knowledge part! I see that your conclusions are just wrong!

Here (http://www.bio-medicine.org/medicine-news/UV-Radiation-induces-Melanoma-484-1/) is just one source ( below cut from linked site)

Children who suffer sunburn very early in life are far more likely to suffer the most dangerous form of skin cancer, suggest researchers. In humans, melanocytes, the pigment-producing skin cells where melanoma develops, are on the surface of the skin. It is thought that some melanomas are the result of genetic damage caused when the UV radiation strikes these pigment cells. Babies and young children are thought to be more vulnerable.

// A team of scientists at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland exposed mice, whose skin had been genetically engineered to mimic human skin, to high doses of ultraviolet (UV) rays. The results showed that young mice went on to develop melanoma - the most serious form of skin cancer - in adulthood.

A single dose of UV radiation was enough to induce melanoma in the young mice. In adults, 30 times more UV was needed to achieve the same effect. Glenn Merlino, chief molecular geneticist at the institute, said that although the experiment had been confined to mice, the sun's dangerous rays could have the same impact on human skin. He said: "The big lesson, and certainly the one I'd like to tell parents and doctors who see children, is that you should take whatever steps are necessary to prevent sunburn in children. They should wear hats, use sunscreen and avoid unnecessary exposure to sunlight."

It is feared that this rapid proliferation increases the chance that DNA damaged cells will reproduce and take hold, producing a tumour. Melanoma accounts for roughly 10% of reported cases of skin cancer and can spread rapidly throughout the body, forming secondary tumours in the liver, lungs, bone or brain.

I personally could care a less if you and your friends want to weld in the nude ( as long as I don't have to watch) :shocking:

But young children ARE at risk from UV exposure and should be protected.

William....

Will67
05-23-2008, 04:06 PM
ZRX61

Who made the trebuche?

I have always wanted to make one, but a lot larger.

Sorry about the thread high-jack

Rrumbler
05-24-2008, 04:21 AM
Capable of learning and retaining? Yes. Inclined? NO!!

Both of my sons are too busy making a living and taking care of raising their kids to spend much time messing with stuff. One is a "Long Haul Trucker", and is only home one day a week on average; the other is a computer engineer and teacher, and has his kids so involved in extracurricular activities that they are on the run from get up to lay down. When they need something done, they either hire the help, or call the old man; once in a great while, we can get together for a dad and son learning session, but not very often. When they were kids, I worked very long days most of the time, and when we had a day together, we usually made it a time for an outing of some sort. They did have an occasional force fed learning episode, like the time the older one jumped my Toyota pickup over a speed bump and broke the engine mounts and one spring leaf and shackle, and had to own up to it when I got home from work at seven in the morning and noticed that the truck was sort of lopsided; I made him buy the replacement parts and make the repairs, and I mostly just pointed and said "now do - - - -"; the younger one has had a few sessions of the same sort, but not of the same cause; his are usually financially precipitated - he can't afford to pay someone to do what needs doing.

shocksystems
05-25-2008, 12:25 AM
I am convinced there is a nature component. Or if it is nurture, it happens at a very early age. I love to listen to music but I cannot play music well despite trying. I see that same thing with some people and mechanical skills.

So far my Son is very mechanically inclined, my daughter is just not as interested.

Cheers!

Jim

e-tek
05-25-2008, 11:05 PM
Holy cathartic postings Dr. Psychology:bounce:!! I gotta say, when TigerBalme came up with this thread I thought a few people would post pics of their kids and a few would answer the question posed - but I never saw the full-on confessional that has taken shape! A lot of great stories shared!
Do you all feel better now?:thumbup:

Rickochet
05-26-2008, 07:21 AM
We all have different gifts. No 2 of us are alike and that includes our children. We have 4 children who have a variety of skills that could be taken as mechanically inclined, musically inclined, spiritually inclined, etc. God has given each one of us a vastly different set of skills & talents to use and compliment others. Our 3 young men could collectively fix just about anything that breaks and with their oldest sister's help, could fix a number of physical ailments---as she is the nurse in the family. But she is pretty handy with a wrench too.

KCarGuy
02-26-2009, 08:29 PM
I think that it is a "all in your head" kinda thing. My father worked all day crunching numbers, but was very handy at home...pretty much fixed everything.
My Godfather and Him expanded our garage, replaced windows, added central air and many other home improvement type of projects. But, never really worked on cars, other than maybe some oil changes.
I started working on cars at 15 years old, and I do all my own home improvement projects. I work as a service tech for a Packaging company.

My brother would never work on a car and dials the phone to call me for his home projects...luck would have it, he bought new. Both Car and Home.

I also am very artistic and draw alot...My son, who is 29 now, always had strong mechanical abilities. always tearing down and rebuilding his Bikes when he was young and now, does alot of his own work on his cars. He also is a very good artist, but like me...has a bad case of A.D.D. and decided to work in a field that keeps you moving. So he works construction (although right now, no one is moving much).

Also like me (and most of you) he loves his tools...we are always excited to show the other what cool tool we picked up...or made from scratch.

My Daughter could change her own oil if needed, but Jiffy Lube does just fine for her right now.

My Grandson, now 6 months old is showing real good signs of great Hand-Eye ability...we hope that he too will be able to fix and build things...he should, my daughter-in-law is a gifted clothing designer that recently graduated with write ups in Chicago Magazine. So Young Jaymen should really grow up with great talent.

Oh, I also had 3 sisters...2 were very good with makeup and hair in high school, the other took auto shop. (the first girl in 1974 to do so in that school).

I do think that is a "vision" thing...if you can see it in your mind, you can build or fix it. Some people just can not visualize!

Keep up the great Posts Guys...and Gals.

autoist
02-26-2009, 08:37 PM
My 2-year-old grandon...I walked into my office to answer the phone & when I came back, here's how the conversation went:

"Will, what'cha doing?"

"I'm fixing it, T." He's picked up calling me "T" because all his mother's cousins call me "Uncle T".

"What do you have in your hand?"

"Wrench."

"Where'd you get it?

"From your toolbox, T.".

Now, he has a 7/16" wrench on a 9/16" alternator bracket bolt on an MGB engine front plate; but, he's "fixing it"!

http://www.theautoist.com/P6140249.JPG

& from there he started driving..."Vrooom, vrooom. Look T, I'm Lightning McQueen!"

http://www.theautoist.com/visit05.JPG

WVU Tuba Dale
02-26-2009, 08:42 PM
Between my brother and I, I got the mechanical gene. I was tinkering with legos at first, then tractors and weedwackers far before I could drive, and moved on to cars after. He on the other hand shows little interest in anything mechanical, although I taught him how to change oil a few weeks back. Poor bugger just hated getting his hands dirty. :(

The Muffin Man
02-26-2009, 09:05 PM
My Dad is better described as mechanically retarded... then again pretty much my siblings are too.

Yet I'm studying to be a Civil Engineer :headscrat

I have no idea how I strayed from the pack.

mustangmike68
02-26-2009, 09:33 PM
My son is very hands on, when he was young he was always building things with Legos. Always leaning in the hood of the car asking if he can help. Now almost 21 he can weld, do fabrication on his rock buggy. I take alot of pride on how he turned out. My daughter wants nothing to do with tools and i have tried. Its easier to have me fix it.

My nephew is pretty mechanically inclined but lacks patiants. He is usually in the shop with us. His parents have no clue how to turn a wrench. Nor do they want to now how.
mike

lh4x4
02-26-2009, 11:01 PM
My youngest son has needed to know how every thing works since he was little.
He is now 27 and is a certified ASE master mechanic. He added certificates in mig welding, tig welding, residential electrics, commercial electrics, HVAC and does framing, tiling and dry wall.

There are about 500 employees where he works and after spending the entire past year doing brake jobs, installing furnaces and a/c units and many home improvement projects for coworkers he finally said enough. He has not had time to finish his home remodel.

My oldest is a fair mechanic and a HVAC tech. The middle son couldn't fix a burn out light bulb. He must have gotten his mothers skills.

They all grew up watching me do plumbing and wiring at our homes. I always did the service on my vehicle. They all helped as they grew up and I got them their own set of tools. That didn't work to well they keep getting into mine.

I tried to make fishermen out of them but that didn't take.

Jay H 237
02-27-2009, 12:04 AM
I have always been hands on building model train sets and stuff. In high school I got permanent passes from all my study halls to hang out in the wood or metal shops. I've been buying the tools and restoring my 68 Mustang myself since it's too expensive to have someone else to work on the car. Plus it has turned into another hobby for me.



I'll have to say these days not many kids can do or have interest in working with thier hands compared to other generations. Yes, video games are very popular now but there's also the trend in schools to do away with thier technology classes/programs. Many schools no longer have woodshops, metal shops, automotive, or even electronics classes.

WVU Tuba Dale
02-27-2009, 01:10 AM
My son is very hands on, when he was young he was always building things with Legos.

mike

It must be the Legos.

mrsleeve
02-27-2009, 05:07 AM
Well I dont have kids, nor dose my little brother. We are still kinda young yet (28 & 23) We both are tinker's and are not afraid to tear anything a part or build anything weather it be car, shop, or home improvement stuff you name it. We grew up on a small farm (my brother the early years mostly) and if it was broke we had to fix it as dad was at work and didnt have time to get to it. We had all the fun toys as a kid I remember asking for a dirt bike at about 9, about a week latter dad tells me at dinner there is some thing in the back of the truck out in the shop for me. It was a snowmobile (77ish scorpion 440 with mods) in july of all times, you see we did not have lots of money but we got what we got when it was available. He told me to figure out what was wrong with it and get him a list of parts.

I was about 6 VCR's were still the new thing and were pricey! Well me being 6 and board with my Disney stuff and seeing that spinning read head in there I just had to see how it all worked. I got a sheet out of the closet (dont want to lose parts in the carpet so I spreed a sheet out like when Gpa fixed the Dish washer) and proceeded to dismantle the VCR. I made several trips past my mom in the kitchen doing mom things to get various tools and supplies. Well after while mom noticing that no noise, TV or other wise coming form the living room, must have been a cause for concern to my actions. She come into see the innards of a new VHS sitting out in order as they came out on a sheet on the floor and me studying a circuit board............I have only heard my mother cuss in anger at me 3 times, this occasion equals 2 of those times, fast froward through all the cussing and I got "that thing had better work by the time your father gets home or else". Well needless to say I am here typing this I put it back together had one left over screw and 1 clip and that VCR worked until the late 90's

My brother is going through school to be a MECH engineer, hell half of the projects he has to build he gets accused of steeling something from work, Hes a self taught welder (TIG) has built what will be one of the fastest stock chassis fiero's in the country. In High school he built and put a circle track 289 in his ranger and his shop teacher accused him of having dad doing it for him (dad had been passed on for 3 years by then). Hes live in AZ for the last 12 years and I have stayed north so we dont get to work together as much as either of us likes to, but put us in the shop with a project get out of the way, its funny we dont really need to talk things out we just think alike and things gets done while B.S.ing.

We both have our groups of friends that always have us fix or build their stuff, what comes easy to us dose not to others. We both find it frustrating as to how so many just dont get it, and cant change a light bulb with out call a professional to do it. Some of us are just lucky that way, I think its a combination of all 3 things, the knack for things mechanical, the interest, are the 2 biggest factors and then comes the exposure. Because you have some people that have never been exposed but pick things fast, then on the other side you have people that have all the exposure but dont the difference between a vicegip and a needle nose.

I guess its too much time with Gpa/dad in the shop or fixing stuff around the farm as kids I have been on my own really since I was 17 so I am just getting to a point financially that I can get back to my car hobby, and get a good shop set up going again to get back to tinkering in the winter time rather than sit here on the computer all day.

oregonlinda
02-27-2009, 06:53 AM
My daughter is not!
She is more of fashion and design.

She is like the ordinary girl, no mechanical inclination or anything. :)

robs55
02-27-2009, 06:53 AM
As far as kids being mechanically, I think kids have to be exposed to it, my boys are 13 & 15, & have been riding yamaha pw50"s since they were 3 & have been racing motocross since they were 4yrs.old, so they have been exposed to it basically there whole life, last year my 13 year old, then 12, crashed real hard & bent his neck of his frame,which couldn't be repaired, i had to buy him a new frame,which he stripped everything off the bent frame & transfer it to the new one, motor electrical, everything, & did it basically by himself, he did have a few questions about hooking up the wiring, & Over Christmas vacation, both boys rebuilt the top ends, so I really think they have to be around it & it will come to them, another,real big thing is that the parent HAS to have patience with the kids, or they will lose interest, & not want to learn it

Rob

Jaguar Fan
02-27-2009, 10:55 AM
My daughter is not!
She is more of fashion and design.

She is like the ordinary girl, no mechanical inclination or anything. :)

Ditto for my daughter. We knew at an early age she would not have any such inclination -- she never even pulled pots/pans out of the kitchen cabinets... but she was always "borrowing" Mrs. Jaguar Fan's shoes, jewelry, make-up, etc.

Now that she's a senior in high school, she STILL "borrows" Mrs. Jaguar Fan's clothing & makeup, which pisses off Mrs. Jaguar Fan to no end.

The limit of her mechanical interest was to say, when she was 12, "Daddy, I've been thinking about what car I should get when I get my driver's license. I think I'd look really good in a convertible Porsche Carrera." :)

Nova72
02-27-2009, 11:45 AM
im a younger guy (i turn 21 in a week). I grew up with a very mechanically inclined father and spent a lot of time in the garage. it took me a long time to grow into some confidence and be more mechanical. Lego's and RC cars helped a lot. but it took awhile for the real cars to settle down. I made a lot of mistakes and irritated my father, but he was always a great teacher. I feel i know much more about the hands on stuff than the majority of my friends.

Even now there are still days ill be doing something to my mustang, and have to go inside and "dad can you come help me with this..." but i have to say, ive had a ton of fun wrenching on cars with my old man, and wouldnt trade it for the world.

i think its a little nature and a lot of nurture.

OhNein
02-27-2009, 01:01 PM
Well, from the opposite end of the spectrumb I'm 21. My father is very mechanically inclined and 'handy'. My mom is some what. She'll help my dad with DIY projects and what not but won't go near a car. Thusly growing up I learned what I could from their various projects they did but my mom would never let me around most of them for fear I would hurt myself, but that's a mom for you.

And when it came to cars, short of adding stuff like power steering fluid and checking oil and what not, I never learned a whole lot in that alley. My dad would do what he could but for the most part my mom just insisted that he take the car to the shop to get them to change the oil as doing it himself was too messy. So never really learned to do that (still don't know how to, it's on my list of things to learn).

As far as appliances go, I'm pretty good at that. I generally just do it through observation and extrapolation. Following wires and looking at how the thing should work and what could be making it not work. But I think it's just the way my mind is set up. I was always taking stuff apart (and would sometimes get it back together again!) as a kid so I got a lot of experience at figuring out why this does that. Also I'm a Biomedical Sciences major and am pretty good at picturing how various mechanics of the body work and I think that is related to figuring out the mechanical side of things as well.


But one thing that leaves me completely lost and bewildered is electricity. The most technical thing I can do with electricity is turning off a breaker, replacing a lightbulb, and installing a plug/light switch. That's as far as my electrical knowledge goes and is the primary reason I read this forum (for the electrical section): to try and get an idea as to how to install and use various electrical systems.

Will my kids be mechanically inclined? I don't know. I have a drive and need to learn anything and everything I don't know and I think that's the primary motivator for me. That and I enjoy figuring out how things work and making them do so. It's a puzzle to me and I enjoy that. If they share that same characteristic then it's quite possible, else wise they'll probably not pick up too much from me.



Oh yes and I played with Legos from dawn to dusk. Never had the Knex sets (the ones that moved) but did well enough with making my Legos move, whether they wanted to or not.

Well after while mom noticing that no noise, TV or other wise coming form the living room, must have been a cause for concern to my actions.

Lol, I got that a lot too. My mom said she never really worried about me by myself until I stopped making noise. I guess that's a good thing though just in case I punctured a lung or anything. :thumbup:

66HertzClone
02-27-2009, 01:29 PM
http://memimage.cardomain.com/ride_images/1/2391/1441/5975720159_medium.jpg


We are working on it. He likes to spend time with me in the garage and loves to get tools out and "use" them. In the photo he was according to him checking the brakes and the muffler, he had been doing some driving in the yard and he said something didn't feel right. I in another bay in the garage had the front wheels off my car installing new brakes. Notice the safety glasses, he knows that he will be allowed to use tools only if he works safely.

walrus
02-27-2009, 01:40 PM
My kid can take a computer apart, throw the pieces around and put it back together and get it to work. He's replaced just about everything in a laptop and a desktop. After that, no he isn't interested in cars or tractors etc.

My Dad was a college professor but he grew up on a farm. So he could do just about anything reasonably well. He wouldn't take a tranny apart but he'd fix sickle bar mower or a tedder or whatever he could.

I took clocks and whatever else I could find apart with my dads tools as a kid:bounce:. Most of time they never made it back together:lol_hitti. My car knowledge isn't up to date but I'm not afraid to get into something. I'm confident I could at least get back to where it was. The problem I have is no heated shop, can't wait till I get that built. Built houses, plumbed houses, licensed Electrician, fit pipe, install lifts, fixed air compressors, gas pumps, signs, outline lighting, canopies.

goodfellow
02-27-2009, 01:47 PM
Ditto for my daughter. We knew at an early age she would not have any such inclination -- she never even pulled pots/pans out of the kitchen cabinets... but she was always "borrowing" Mrs. Jaguar Fan's shoes, jewelry, make-up, etc.

Now that she's a senior in high school, she STILL "borrows" Mrs. Jaguar Fan's clothing & makeup, which pisses off Mrs. Jaguar Fan to no end.

The limit of her mechanical interest was to say, when she was 12, "Daddy, I've been thinking about what car I should get when I get my driver's license. I think I'd look really good in a convertible Porsche Carrera." :)

Double Ditto's here as well. My daughter is pretty much a clone of "Jaguar_Fan's". Although she will come spend time in the garage with me just to keep me company and talk. That's a good thing.

So, imagine my surprise when she came home from school one day and mentioned quite casually that she had won several awards for building the fastest CO2 car and Balsa wood airplane in her science class. Who knew!!! She certainly didn't ask for any help from her "old man" like many of her classmates.

Kids never fail to surprise :bounce:

goodfellow
02-27-2009, 01:51 PM
:

I've got two sons who are always in the shop. The oldest (6) loves tools and playing mechanic and the youngest (4) is a fire-cracker:bounce: in everyway (as you can tell by his garage attire! [He was out in the yard wearing a turtle towel]), but not overly interested yet in the shop - unless his brother is doing it! (BTW - the oldest has diabetes and a very rare condition called Alopecia, which means he has no hair - at all (no eyebrowns, lashes, etc...)

http://i305.photobucket.com/albums/nn201/e-tekpics/100_0450.jpg

You're a lucky guy!! If they start early they'll most likely get the "bug"; which goes a long way in keeping them out of trouble when they get to be teenagers.

BTW -- that little fella' looks like a bundle of trouble :lol_hitti

e-tek
02-27-2009, 07:47 PM
You're a lucky guy!! If they start early they'll most likely get the "bug"; which goes a long way in keeping them out of trouble when they get to be teenagers.

BTW -- that little fella' looks like a bundle of trouble :lol_hitti

You couldn't be more RIGHT!! :thumbup: The younger is a total handful, very creative minded, energetic, goofy. He's into STAR WARS right now, so I had him build some LEGO Star ships in the shop. The we built a Bobbafat (some SW character) Helmet/Mask together and a light saber out of a flashlight and a curtian-rod tube...good times. I'm hoping they can stay interested and use it as a place to go to stay out of trouble. We'll see!

autoist
02-27-2009, 07:58 PM
OMG Cummins - chill out!:wtf: As if that's gonna happen! And where'd you get that stat? (I've heard that just one dose of knowledge can lead to rediclulous conclusions later in life:bounce:). I've seen people welding with short sleeves and shorts for MANY years - with NO WORRIES!

ZRX61 - What an awesome daughter and a great Dad obviously!:bowdown: She's gotta be one cool kid to want to hang out at work AND she's having fun! I'd LOVE to have a daughter like that!! Way to go.:thumbup:

I've got two sons who are always in the shop. The oldest (6) loves tools and playing mechanic and the youngest (4) is a fire-cracker:bounce: in everyway (as you can tell by his garage attire! [He was out in the yard wearing a turtle towel]), but not overly interested yet in the shop - unless his brother is doing it! (BTW - the oldest has diabetes and a very rare condition called Alopecia, which means he has no hair - at all (no eyebrowns, lashes, etc...)

http://i305.photobucket.com/albums/nn201/e-tekpics/100_0450.jpg

Tell him some of us understand part of what he's going through...Type II Diabetes for me - from Agent Orange...17 pills in the morning, 15 at night...plus, regular trips to the VA doctor & to my personal doctor every 3 months; 2 sets of full blood tests by both....&, they're telling me that I may soon have to learn to give myself shots.....& will possibly lose one or both feet.

He's a brave young guy!! I've seen other photos of him involved with your garage build & projects!

john37
02-27-2009, 11:13 PM
I'm working on getting mine involved. His interests seem to change every day though.

http://i255.photobucket.com/albums/hh126/Rushlvr/danielwrenching.jpg

BoydS
02-28-2009, 06:49 PM
I have 2 sons in their 20's and both are amazingly mechanically inclined. Although neither of them are as cautious as I am, they both just jump right in there and tackle a problem. I believe if someone has that interest they will pursue it, otherwise their into other things. I'm very proud they can both do things themselves that will save them some money. I do take advantage of their talents at times, as I had the youngest replace the battery in the wifes car the other day :beer:.

My dad wasn't much into fixing things that I remember as he was always at work or fishing and hunting (now nothing wrong with that, as I learned much from him). I guess I always had a tinkering to work on something, possibly got that from my granddad. Now that man was a mechanic and engineer, from which I learned a lot :thumbup:.

I do remember many years back (guess I was about 12) that I took it upon myself to dismantle my dad's lawn mower, just because I needed to know how it worked. Dad wasn't very pleased with my teardown of his mower and we had to get granddad over it fix her up :).

e-tek
02-28-2009, 07:37 PM
I'm working on getting mine involved. His interests seem to change every day though.

http://i255.photobucket.com/albums/hh126/Rushlvr/danielwrenching.jpg

That's a good lookin' boy there - seems to be intensely involved in the job!!

II do remember many years back (guess I was about 12) that I took it upon myself to dismantle my dad's lawn mower, just because I needed to know how it worked. Dad wasn't very pleased with my teardown of his mower and we had to get granddad over it fix her up :).

Great story! :lol_hitti Bet he told it a few times too!

babzog
06-11-2009, 01:02 AM
As a kid, I was steered toward engineering and the like. I never cared for the subject matter so I left university and ended up working as a programmer. I didn't have a DIY mentor growing up so I completely missed that aspect of my early education.

With my own house and family, I'm finding that I really enjoy working on projects, fixing things, etc. Sure it's frustrating at times, due to lack of experience, knowlege and/or not having the right tool, but overall, I derive great satisfaction when the job is done and I know "I did it myself". Not to mention, usually saving a few bucks (for tools, LOL) in the process.

All that to say: The other day, my son was "fixing" his toy car. I'd taken the batteries out (the song was driving me nuts after the 4 millionth time hearing it) and he decided it needed fixing. He had it flipped on it's side and was pretending to wrench on it. I helped him construct a "lift" so he could work on his car. Check these pics out. I definately hope to instill into him (and my daughter too) a "fixit" sensibility, even if it just allows them to know when a job is being done correctly.

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nate379
06-11-2009, 01:26 AM
Well my Dad is a jack of all trades pretty much and both me and my brother took after him. My sister not so much.


I remember me and my brother used to lay under the coffee table or the beds and make believe we were turning wrenches. I was maybe 4 or 5 at the time.

I got my first real tool set when I was around 8 or 9 and I was kept busy keeping the old 74 Ski-Doo running during the winters. I the summer we had bikes, homebuilt go carts, etc.

I just like to tinker and I can't see paying someone to do work for me. I may as well buy the tools and learn how to do it myself if I have never before.

I don't have kids, but darn right they will know how to spin a wrench. At the very least everyone should know how to change oil, change a tire, replace an outlet/light switch, unclog a drain, etc all basic stuff.

The plummer that did the house came by today (was working next door) and offered to install my water softner for $400-500.. I told him no thanks, I'll take care of it. He said ok, but I could tell with his tone that he's waiting for me to call telling him there's a foot of water on the floor and I don't know what to do. haha.

tw33k2514
06-11-2009, 01:52 AM
Dont have kids but my father is like most it seems on here. The jack of all trades. I swear the man can fix anything. Sadly though growing up I was not interested in learning. I believe that this disappointed my father, but he always encouraged me to do what I wanted.

At about 13 I got really into computers and within 6 months I was taking them apart and building them. at about 17 that faded when my Dad bought me a truck. I just fell in love...And I could see that this made him very happy, which makes me happy.

Anyway, three years later I am in school to become a auto tech. So while It may not have happened until later, I do believe my dad being a handy man helped me be who I am.

On the other hand though my 17 y.o. brother doesnt even know how to change oil...

mrussell
06-11-2009, 05:02 AM
Both my parents were Do-It-Yourselfers while I was growing up, so I suppose that I just accepted that was what you did...

My maternal grandfather was also a jack-of-all trades and constantly had projects going on. Wanting to be "just like grandpa" when I was young is probably what took me past the level of what my parents were comfortable doing - they often just shake their head at the projects that I take on.

My sister is fairly capable, but didn't take the same interest that I did.

My girlfriend is really capable - didn't accept that BS about it being stuff "girls didn't do." She's in a woodworking club, is helping me to lay the hardwood floor in my woodworking shop, and does maintenance on her car. That hasn't really transfered to her kids, though. They can do some things when they set their mind to it, but the motivation isn't there and I think they're trying to prove their ineptitude at times. Some of it seems to be her ex-husband wasn't one to lift a finger and the kids acquired that - just let mom do everything... :rolleyes:

But I also think that society puts less importance on being capable these days. Most pastimes are electronic these days - computers, video games, tv, and such. I don't see as much interest in the things I had growing up - toy trains, plastic models, woodworking, whatever... With less emphasis put on doing creative things and working with your hands and figuring things out in a mechanical way there is less interest in such things in general.

Some of that no doubt is from the push in the past thirty years to go to colleges - "don't get your hands dirty" - get an office job to be successful. I think some trades schooling is coming back, but I'm also seeing school districts eliminating wood and metal shop and automotive tech due to liability reasons.

All that said, I do think there is a "mechanical gene" of some sort. I've always been one to be able to take things apart, see how they worked, and put them back together. And I can't really explain these things to someone else that doesn't have that "gene" in their makeup. "How do you know that?" I'm always asked... Damned if I know... I just do...


I stopped reading the rest of the posts at yours to follow up on it. My wife has three boys and I'm going through the same issue. I'm just now getting my 10 year old boy to show interest in what I'm doing with the cars, or in the garage. I've been re-painting and re-doing everything in the garage these past two weeks, I looked up and he was right behind me, said he wanted to help. The other two saw that and then wanted to help to, but my oldest is starting to want to help on his own. My dad was born in 1927, I'm only 24 myself, he worked on a farm all of his life with my grandparents doing things, making things and making a living off the land until he went in to the Coast Guard at 16, then to the Army after that to fight in Korea. He was always doing things outside to cars and around the yard, I always wanted to be with him so naturally, I picked things up from him. My mom is always doing arts and crafts, making things from scratch, so I guess that's where I got everything. I love to make things and work with my hands, I love doing yard work, I actually enjoy cleaning and absolutely love to cook. I believe there's a gene that's past down but it also requires the want, the desire to learn and better ones self.

BeachBum2012
06-11-2009, 12:00 PM
No kids myself yet so I don't know if it will ever get passed down.

I got everything I know from my grandfather, aunt and uncle on my mom's side. Grandpa was better than MacGyver. He could fix or build anything out of the spare junk he had laying around the garage. My uncle learned from him and is very similar, just a little more polished. My aunt was a long haul trucker and can fix just about anything with a motor. I learned all of my auto stuff from her.

As for my folks. I'm not sure if my mom could identify a screwdriver. If she every needs anything fixed I get a call. If I ever wanted to learn how to brake or destroy something all I had to do was watch my dad try to fix it. I spent a lot of my teenage years with a home improvement book following along behind my dad's destruction and fixing his messes. The sad part is he still thinks that he can fix anything. I don't have the heart to tell him that it was me.

Pops moved out of state and I've taken over the house that I grew up in. In the last year I've been trucking along fixing everything that was neglected in that poor house for the last 25 years. Every project I check off the list I find three more to add. I'm loving every minute of it... my wallet isn't.

Kevin003
06-11-2009, 03:12 PM
Well im almost 21 and never had parents growing up but i had grandpa and he knew everything. Sometimes he did things the hillbilly way but i payed attention and the job got done. My son who is 4 doesn't enjoy going in the garage at all. All he wants to do is play on the xbox. My daughter on the other hand who turns 3 this month will use blocks of wood to hold up the front end of her barbie corvette and promptly take the wheels off of it. Shes a hassle in the garage always taking my tools and leaving them out everywhere.

I think it has to do with both nature and exposure. All my daughter wants to do is hang out in the garage with me. I never forced her to go out there thats just where she always wanted to be. But my son on the other hand was the one i tried to get out in the garage with me working on things, but he wanted nothing to do with it. Still its fun to see the little one working on things.

therealjakeg
06-11-2009, 03:16 PM
My self yes... My Brother No... My dad, and his two brothers all are. So I got lucky to get that gene... I guess. Lucky me yeah!

toymn6366
06-11-2009, 08:45 PM
both of my grandpas where master carpenters one of them made the bed wood for my 66 ford pickup then we did the bed of his 61 ford pickup my dad is 70 and is remodeling a house we moved up on farm my stepdad can build about anything out of metal and his dad thought every grandkid needed to be able to weld my brother can do about anything on a car was working in a shop at 16 and remodels houses in spare time works as a fireman so everyone nows he makes alot of money my stepsons [i raised them from time they where 8-6-4 now 23-21-19]they all are mechanically inclined but their "real dad" is not at all so i think its a genes and environment

jay50
06-11-2009, 09:29 PM
both of my grandpas where master carpenters one of them made the bed wood for my 66 ford pickup then we did the bed of his 61 ford pickup my dad is 70 and is remodeling a house we moved up on farm my stepdad can build about anything out of metal and his dad thought every grandkid needed to be able to weld my brother can do about anything on a car was working in a shop at 16 and remodels houses in spare time works as a fireman so everyone nows he makes alot of money my stepsons [i raised them from time they where 8-6-4 now 23-21-19]they all are mechanically inclined but their "real dad" is not at all so i think its a genes and environment


My head is still spinning from try to decipher all that....:lol_hitti
I take it they did not spend much time in the sentence/grammar aspects of writing...:lol_hitti

sammerdog
06-11-2009, 09:34 PM
both of my grandpas where master carpenters one of them made the bed wood for my 66 ford pickup then we did the bed of his 61 ford pickup my dad is 70 and is remodeling a house we moved up on farm my stepdad can build about anything out of metal and his dad thought every grandkid needed to be able to weld my brother can do about anything on a car was working in a shop at 16 and remodels houses in spare time works as a fireman so everyone nows he makes alot of money my stepsons [i raised them from time they where 8-6-4 now 23-21-19]they all are mechanically inclined but their "real dad" is not at all so i think its a genes and environment

toymn6366 - Taking those three boys under your care and helping them get a leg up on hand's on repairs was the right thing to do.

Your writing style is fine by me, Sir.

N8
06-12-2009, 01:26 AM
Its got to be a mixture of everything said. Genetics, environment and economics. I was exposed to general DIY from a very early age. My father was a jack of all trades but master of none and always rigged everything he did. I got my strong work ethic and resourcefulness from him. (environment)
My mother taught me the finer things in life and passed on the brains and artistic genes. (genetics)
We were not rich, but always seemed to have what we needed, yet the inability to pay someone to fix the things that broke forced us to work it out on our own. (economics)
I found at an early age that I had a knack for things mechanical and soon started teaching my dad how to do things "correctly". I remember him starting to ask me around 14 years old "Where the hell did you learn to do that?" I can't explain it but it seemed to just come naturally.
I remember taking school and military aptitude tests and always scoring high, although I never had formal training. Once again it just made sense. (Is that genetics?)

I work as an industrial designer and am an avid car collector and fabricator. I still do everything myself even though I may be able to pay someone to do them for me. Although the economic factor may be gone I still live by one basic rule. "Never pay someone for something you could do yourself."
I now have a two year old son who is exposed to house repair, motorcycles and cars on a daily basis. He knows exactly what most tools are by there name and function.
When I get home from work the first thing he wants to do is put on daddy's helmet and go out to the "vroom vrooms". He won't go to bed without and car in his crib and has his own Black and Decker tool shop and enjoys "helping" me with projects around our house.

He sure has "it" however it is he got it.

Alan
06-12-2009, 05:50 AM
My 5 year old grand daughter is more mechanical then her dad!!!

phartman
06-12-2009, 07:02 AM
My daughter is not!
She is more of fashion and design.

She is like the ordinary girl, no mechanical inclination or anything. :)

That's my house.

Good topic here, I'm very concerned about it.

Advice to young folks: be the master of the stuff you own.

Advice to Garage folks: teach the young 'uns how to repair stuff. My dad and granddad taught me. Pass it on.

Pete

MR. R
06-12-2009, 10:01 AM
I am blessed with a "mechanically inclined" 15 yr. old son. From the time he could walk, he started following me around the house,yard and garage to help. The rule was to help, not make more work for Dad ! He quickly became very interested and his skills have gone beyond mine now that he has taken the shop classes at High School. Letting him go hands on early really made a difference. Encouragement from parents, teachers and coaches all help. Limiting television,video games and internet doesn't hurt.

RobSmith
06-12-2009, 10:21 AM
My dad is an old school panel beater...did airframe fitting during the war. He taught me to weld aluminium with oxy acetelene and straighten steel with heat and patience. I wanted to be a panel beater too but he said no...so I became an electrician. Much to his dismay I spend most of my time building cars. I love it ..He hates it. He repaired cars for a living so I suppose it became a burden. I do it for the challenge. I don't have kids but If I did I would let them choose their own career path. BUT I would definitely show them the basics and try to instill a common sense and practical approach to a problem. It's really sad to see a grown man struggle with any tool. I once had a neighbour that had no idea about how to put a fly screen around a rabbit hutch and threw out an expensive electronic organ because the rabbit chewed the power cord and it wouldn't work any more. I made a pretty good profit on the sale of that organ.

rsanter
06-12-2009, 03:32 PM
I think so
when my daughter was younger, I would le her go in the garage and front yard to play while I was tinkering with one of the cars.
I was changine the oil and doing a general inspection I got up from the creeper to get a tool and my daughter got on the creeper and slid herself under the truck. I got down and asked her what she was doing and she told me that she was helping. very cute.
the next time I went into the garage to work (a few days later) she was running around and having fun. she grabed the floor jack and slid it under the front of her barbie jeep and jacked it up a bit. then she was going back and forth from the toolbox to get tools and place them on the fenders of the barbie jeep.
she has always been good for some entertainment.
at about 5 I let her sit on my lap and drive the truck (silvarado ex cab) from the mailbox to the garage. didnt take very much for her to get good and handling that truck.

bob