Saturday, March 7, 2015

Mike Holmes: Building Strong, Confident Women Begins at Home

Mike Holmes is and has always has been a huge advocate of women in the trades. When it comes to getting women involved on the job site, Mike not only talks a good game, but he also puts his money where his mouth is. In fact, some of Mike's most famous crew alumni are female, including Kate Campbell and his very own daughter Sherry Holmes. Mike believes that teaching women renovation skills from a young age benefits them and helps develop them into strong confident women. March 8, 2015 is International Women's Day, and this year, Mike is encouraging dads to get their daughters involved with home improvement projects around the house. In the article below, Mike talks about how his father shaped his life by involving him in home maintenance projects and how he thinks its a shame that many fathers and mothers overlook their daughters when it comes to involving children in such projects. By handing down valuable life skills such as how to change a tire or a leaky faucet to young women, parents are teaching their daughters to be independent, confident, and self-reliant.

From the National Post:

Mike Holmes: Teach your daughters reno skills and you’ll help set them up for life

Mike Holmes, Postmedia News | March 7, 2015 | Last Updated: Mar 7 9:38 AM ET

The other day I saw an interesting post a father made about his four-year-old daughter. She wanted a step stool to help her reach the sink. He said, “Let’s go make one,” and you know what she said? “OK!” The next thing you know, she’s helping him choose materials and even assisting with sanding.

March 8 is International Women’s Day, and I think that dad was a great example of how parents can help shape tomorrow’s leaders, just through simple things like involving kids — especially daughters — in small projects around the house.

It’s a good step toward building self-confidence and provides a great opportunity for them to learn a new skill, how things work and general home maintenance — important stuff for every one to know.

When parents work on home repairs, small projects, general maintenance and even renovations, they might try to get their sons involved, but not too often do they ask their daughters to  help. Typically, if dad’s working on the house, mom might take the girls out or get them to do something else — and that’s a shame.

Some parents might think their children aren’t interested in this kind of work, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned about kids — boys and girls — it’s that they love to learn how to use tools properly. You can see their faces just light up. You know the saying: “Get them while they’re young.” I couldn’t agree more.

Knowing how to hang a picture, change a door knob, fix a leaky faucet or install a light are great skills for anyone to have. Learning how different tools work and how they can make a job easier is just smart, for everyone. It helps them be more self-reliant. They don’t have to wait for someone to come fix a problem, because they can do it themselves.

It teaches them they can change things, and make them right. That’s huge. I know that watching my own dad work on our house shaped who I am.

Some people might think learning about simple home maintenance is small stuff, but knowing how to do something yourself gives you control, even if you don’t do the work yourself, because you will know the difference between shoddy work and a job done right.

For example, I love it when women tell me about contractors, subcontractors or so-called handymen who try to take them for a ride and not do a repair or reno the right way.

But because these women did their homework and have some experience doing repairs and minor renos around the house, they can tell them straight away that’s not the way to do it. And when they go into detail, step-by-step on how they expect the work to be done, the look on some of these contractors’ faces, they say, is priceless.

This year’s theme for International Women’s Day is Make It Happen. I encourage all parents to get their daughters more involved in jobs around the home, no matter what it is. Whether it’s helping to change a tire or a furnace filter, knowing how to do something right — and why — is a lesson that no one forgets and that helps them for life.

Watch what happens next time you ask your daughter to help install a shelf, build a bookcase or fix the fence. Nine times out of 10 she will say, “OK!” and jump at the chance. I guarantee they will impress you — as a dad of two daughters, I know.

Let’s make it happen, and make it right because building strong, confident women begins at home.

Watch Mike Holmes on Holmes Makes It Right on HGTV. For more information visit

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