Limits exist mostly just in your mind

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This is as true for adults as it is for adults’ attitudes to their children.

  • “Oh my god you let him do that!?”
  • Yes, piss off.

This is one example, a workbench I built for my son entirely out of scraps except for the vice which I bought for 20$:

A little bit more real and more solid and a lot more useful than the plastic junk they sell for six-year olds. Let’s go through the list of things in this photo, and see if there are any problems:

  • Normal table legs were cut about 15cm shorter so that the two-year-old can reach things standing on a stool but it will still work for him and his siblings until they’re over ten.
  • The pegboard body is built of 3/4″ plywood so it’s relatively heavy for a small guy. It’s also quite deep so tipping it over is impossible for a small child.
  • The pegboard and pegboard hooks are awesome. It took no time to teach him the correct place for each tool, and he spent months taking tools off and hanging them back when I told him to clean up. These are special pegboard hooks that don’t fall out like the normal ones.
  • There’s a toy drill because he’s had that for a while. It’s kind of useless but it spins when he pushes the button so I didn’t want to throw it out.
  • The black & red powered screwdriver has a dead battery and is not usable in the real workshop but it works well enough for him. This does not spin at high RPMs, there are only screwdriver bits (no drill bits), and he’s learned long before this workbench that he’s only allowed to work on scrap wood clamped in the vice. Yeah, I was surprised too how easy it was to teach him not to damage things.
  • There’s a wood hammer that got such a beating that I later bought him a small metal hammer which he won’t break. Same thing with the hammer – he knows not to go around the house smashing everything he finds, because I let him use it sometimes and he learned when it’s ok.
  • The pliers are great, he’s quite adept at using them for picking things up.
  • He knows the order and names of the different screwdriver types.
  • And yes, that’s a real saw, with teeth that cut.

Honestly, what do you think he’s going to do, stand there and meticulously saw through his finger until it’s detached? He gets a little excited cutting things with the saw sometimes, but he’s learning to use it safely and in the worst case he’s going to cut himself a little bit. That will be a good lesson.

Scary? You think I’m dumb? I’m not – but you are weak, and you’re bringing up your children to be weak. One day there will be an opportunity and my kid will grab it before yours even realizes it exists. Unless you mend your ways, in which case they can conquer the world together!