Watching the plumber working to fix my outside faucet I saw that he often had to reach for certain tools in his rather large toolbox to either remove parts or reattach new fixtures that would now allow my outdoor spigot to work properly.  One tool would not work for the entire job.  However being well-trained the plumber was able to know exactly which tool would work best in each situation.  It allowed him to fix a “broken” outdoor spigot and get it working again in a short amount of time.  Also when certain roadblocks presented themselves, the plumber was able to overcome them because he could find the right tool.  


This made me think about our children and teens.  They need the right tools for social situations, critical thinking opportunities, study skills and adulting situations.  Unfortunately for many young adults when they reach into their toolboxes because of a “broken” relationship or a tough test or even to try to figure out how to problem solve their toolbox is almost empty.  The few tools it may contain are not the right one for the situation.  As the young adult struggles to cram or Google the answer or becomes agitated with friends the situation often stays “broken”.  However, what if we could build into each child’s toolbox?  What if instead of having a few tools, every teen would find that she has many tools adjusted just for her to help her when a friend is mean on social media or when she has to read and analyze a difficult piece of literature or even when it comes to handling money or managing her time?  This is possible!  


Parents we can start with adding to our children’s toolbox at a young age.  We can model and teach our children how to problem solve.  We can give them opportunities to use “I feel” statements when they have big feelings.  We can provide chances to have chores at home that grow with them so that they learn the tools necessary to be an adult.  Also we can encourage creativity and curiosity that fosters thinking at all ages.  This builds the tools of critical thinking.  Finally, we can teach how to manage time and be organized in a variety of ways so that our teens have opportunities to practice these important study skills.  


As you connect with your inner handyman remember that you are providing your child with tools.  They are an invaluable resource in their emotional, educational, and social life that will allow them to provide maintenance checks and to “fix” difficult situations.  Helping your child to have a full toolbox will allow the opportunity to be comfortable even in uncomfortable situations.  


If you have more questions or want more information in how to help fill your child or teen’s toolbox please reach out for a free consultation at or email at   There are Parent coaching options as well as Learning coaching options available.