Many ladies of the older generation grew up being taught how to iron clothing, how to knit and sew. They learned how to cook, bake, and how to tend a garden.
In contrast, many older men grew up learning the ways of the handyman. They were expected to know how to fix plumbing, care for cars, and to see to the general maintenance of the house itself.
These days, many of these once-essential skills have been tossed into the ‘hobby’ pile. Why bother learning to fix your own pipes when you can hire a plumber? Why sew up torn clothing when you can buy a cheap new shirt from a big box store?
Many of these tasks are quite time consuming, and people just can’t afford to spend precious hours of the day to see them done. Time is money, so you might as well pay somebody else to handle it for you!
Still, there are reasons why these skills are still valuable to learn, and some of them are seeing quite a resurgence in the aftermath of the pandemic.
With more time at home, people started looking for ways to become more productive, so it’s no surprise that a renewed burst of interest in DIY (Do-it-yourself) culture followed. Taking up new hobbies and sharing the results to social media provided plenty of fodder and inspiration for crafters and aspiring artists.
Remember that phase in 2020 where everybody became obsessed with making artisanal bread at home? Don’t ask me about my sourdough failures. I don’t want to talk about it.
My struggles in the kitchen aside, reconnecting with old forgotten skills brought up a lot of memories for me. I’m one of those people with ten thousand hobbies, and I learned many of them from people I love.
For example, I remember my grandmother sitting with me when I was little, teaching me the basics of crochet. I taught myself the rest after she passed away, and that’s a connection to her that I’ll always have.
That skill means something to me, far beyond the simple act of passing the time with a crochet hook.
I’ll bet you have some memories like that too, of learning skills and hobbies at the knee of a friend or loved one. It’s easy to lose touch with that these days, but imagine how amazing it would be to pass that legacy on to the next generation!
And if you don’t have traditions in your family of teaching skills like that, then why not start one now? There’s so much value in learning how to do things for yourself, and for your teens, there are a lot of great benefits:
Creativity and innovation:
Sense of accomplishment:
It can reinforce traditions passed down from generation to generation, and practicing a new hobby together is a great way to improve relationships between family members. When I was a kid, I loved building cool stuff with my stepdad.
When I visit my father, we spend lots of time puttering around in his workshop, coming up with ideas for something wacky to throw together. It’s fun, and it’s great to have that time to bond and reconnect when we see each other so rarely.
Learning a DIY skill can help your kids see the world in a new light, increase their confidence, and improve their creativity. It gets them active, it can inspire them, and it can teach them lessons that they’ll take with them through the rest of their lives.
There’s no better time to start.