Since the pandemic has rendered all teens’ favorite hangout spots off-limits, your teens probably keep themselves entertained at home by surfing the net or playing video games. While those activities aren’t bad per se, they can make them less productive. Not to mention potentially addicted.
If not addicted, then web surfing or playing video games all day can eventually make them sick of their screens. They’re surely missing their friends and the outdoors now, so don’t be concerned if you notice them looking sulky or bored. Chances are they want to do something different but don’t know what.
To encourage them to put down their gadgets for a time, consider teaching them some basic household repairs. It may be the last thing in your teen’s mind, but they’ll thank you for introducing them to the task. Just be patient because they may not show enthusiasm at first.
Why Should Teens Learn Basic Household Repairs?
If you can fix a leaky faucet or change a light bulb yourself, why does your teen have to learn those? They won’t be leaving the nest yet! Well, that’s exactly why you have to teach them — they aren’t leaving the nest yet, but they will in a few years. They should know how to fix things around the house while they’re still with you than be forced to learn them because they live alone.
Knowing how to repair minor maintenance issues is a basic life skill. Plus, it teaches them that calling a professional isn’t always necessary. A pro will certainly scratch their heads if they see a problem so simple a child could mend it.
Furthermore, life skills can help teens overcome the anxiety they might be experiencing due to the pandemic. Polishing a tile, for example, can distract them from the dreadful news on TV or social media. It can make them feel a little more in control, which even adults need during these tough times.
Basic Household Repairs to Teach to Your Teens
1. Testing Safety Devices and Changing Their Batteries
If you have safety devices, like smoke detectors, installed in your home, those things need to be tested periodically. Your teen can take notes on a paper or tablet while you test the devices. If a unit fails to work, you can ask your teen to grab new batteries and put them into the unit. Then let them test the device themselves this time.
Teaching a teen how to repair safety devices shows them that safety in the home is everyone’s responsibility. So don’t go easy on them during this task!
2. Replacing HVAC or Furnace Filters
As they become more possessive of their spaces, teens should also learn how to maintain those spaces. Aside from regularly reminding them to clean their room, point out that they should change the filters of their HVAC units or furnaces as needed.
3. Cleaning the Faucet or Shower Aerator
If they complain about their bathroom faucets or showers spraying out water sideways, no, they don’t need new fixtures. Often, a sideways release of water means that the aerator screen has gone dirty. So take them to their bathrooms with a pair of pliers, an old rag, and a bowl of vinegar, then start cleaning out the culprit.
4. Fixing Squeaky Door Hinges
A noisy door hinge needs lubrication. Olive oil or petroleum jelly can do the trick if you don’t have a lubricant. Tell your teen to use any of the two, and instruct them to wipe off the excess with a rag.
5. Silencing Squeaky Floors
Hardwood floors that squeak don’t need lubrication but a sprinkle of talcum powder, soapstone powder, or powdered graphite. Guide your teen as they put the powder in between the noisy floors’ gap.
6. Tightening Cabinet and Drawer Handles
Before those handles fall off completely, teach your teen to tighten those using a screwdriver. If the loose handles are no good already, buy new ones, and let your teen install them themselves.
You don’t need a pro to repaint a whole wall. Older teens can learn how to mix paints, use a primer, and paint an entire wall flawlessly.
8. Cleaning Gutters
If rainwater has been soaking your siding, chances are your gutters are filled with debris. Let your teen join you as you go up the roof and remove the blockage. But if your gutters are already rusty, damaged, and outdated, you and your teen can no longer fix that. Gutter issues are often serious, so don’t rule out seamless gutter repair services in this scenario. Experienced gutter repairmen and installers can save you time and energy when the damage has become irreparable.
By teaching your teens these basic household repairs this summer, they’re going to develop an essential life skill, which can spark their sense of accomplishment. And many teens can use that now, with the challenges the online school has been giving them.