One of the challenges of a “car parent” is getting your kids into the hobby. Well, at least getting them to appreciate and respect cool cars. As the father of twin girls and a car guy myself, I’ve navigated this challenge with my kiddos. Hopefully my experiences will help you with your kids (or grand kids) and bring your family closer. Let’s take a look at some ideas and if you have any additional comments, we would greatly appreciate it.
One of the easiest ways to introduce kids to the hobby is to take them to a car show. Pay attention to what cars they are interested in as you walk around. Encourage them to ask questions and share your expertise with them. Make sure you set the ground rules of not touching the cars, being careful with drinks, etc. A car show can be a great and inexpensive way to spend an afternoon with youngsters.
But how can you engage young people with hands-on experiences? I recently picked up a Radio Flyer wagon at a local auction. It cost me less than $25 and has great patina. When my wife asked me what I was going to do with it, I told her “make something for the kids.” I have visions of a go kart like the one above, but I’m not committed to it at this point…We’ll see what happens.
Another good thing to do is get the kids out in the garage. Give them simple tasks to do, explain the tools and give them some basic car knowledge. I think every car owner should have a fundamental knowledge of proper maintenance and this can start when you are young. Speaking from experience though…Don’t have the kids in the garage when you are struggling with a broken bolt or difficult installation. “Mommy, Mommy, Dad taught me new words!” Have them help you check the oil, maybe move the steering wheel back and forth while you look at the linkage. Keep it simple and teach them the basics.
The future of the car hobby depends on the younger generation carrying on the traditions of the past while making improvements. Hopefully you can pass on the love you have for classic cars and they will still be tearing up the streets long after we’re gone.