When do you let your kids handle...

Discussion in 'Countryside Families' started by Sharon in NY, Jan 21, 2007.

  1. Sharon in NY

    Sharon in NY Well-Known Member

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    Knives, axes and other sharp tools? My Dad was of the "show 'em how, warn 'em to be careful and keep a plentiful supply of bandages around" school of parenting. I remember "chopping" wood with an axe I could barely get up above my head at maybe 5 or 6, and I have a scar on my finger from my first experiment with whittling at 7. I'm not sure his strategy is the best one in the long term - I've still got all my fingers and toes, but it was a near thing :) . So how old were you when you let your kids chop wood? Chop food? Use a saw? Cut their own meat? We've already done a couple of these under close supervision, but when do you stop staring?

    Sharon
     
  2. DocM

    DocM Well-Known Member

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    About 8. I guess it depends on the kid, but mine have just modeled my behavior with sharp instruments. If they have good role models, then whenver they can physically handle the tool. Yeah, all my kids have cut themselves with a knife.
     

  3. mamalisa

    mamalisa Well-Known Member

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    oh heavens--I taught my kids to use knives at 3 or 4, under supervision, and they were independent by 5 or 6...depending on birth order and general co-ordination. Kids learn well if you teach them caution. Remember that around a hundred years ago, a 5 year old was capable of minding her younger siblings. Read the little house books and think about how old those kids were....
     
  4. Zipporah

    Zipporah Well-Known Member

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    I have one ds who at seven could handle an ax quite well and another who's sixteen and still scares the bee jeevies out of me.Depends on the child.
     
  5. moopups

    moopups In Remembrance

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    14 is the usual age to allow supervised access to fire arms, before that the attention span is too short, knives are carried here at about age 8, knives that do not have razor type edges. Razor type edges usually come into the picture at about age 12, when the hand - eye coordination has started to develops. No, I am not a parent.
     
  6. Faustus

    Faustus Übernerd

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    I got my first pocket knife when I was eight or nine, I think, maybe a little older. We went and bought a Girl Scout knife, and my parents sat down with me and spelled out exactly what was expected of me as far as knife safety. Still in possession of all fingers and toes, so I guess they did okay. My brother got his knife when he earned his Whittling Chip in Cub Scouts- they had to do a bunch of sessions on knife safety and pass a test, I think. He would have been about the same age.
     
  7. mistletoad

    mistletoad Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I don't really remember them ever not being alowed to use knives etc. Certainly they used table knives as soon as they were old enough to feed themselves, I still had to cut their meat but it was with the knife that was laid at their place setting. The next use of knives would have been fishing - from about 3-4 the boys were cutting their own bait but it took a while longer until they could get it to stay on the hook. Hatchets came about age 5, the machete too. I remember our youngest catching his shin with a hatchet when he was in 1st grade and he got so angry when the school nurse said he shouldn't have been playing with it - he wasn't playing, he was helping us clear up after the tornado! I know I had pocket knives from about age 8, but they are getting hard to find and the boys didn't get theirs until they were 9 - they borrowed mine before that.
     
  8. hmsteader71

    hmsteader71 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Depends on the kid. Our 12 year old has knives and swords. Our 10 year old won't own either one until he's a teenager or out on his own. Can't be trusted and is not mature enough.
     
  9. AlaOutlaw

    AlaOutlaw Well-Known Member

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    When I was seven I was allowed to help in the wood shop. I ended up cutting my pinkey off in a plainer. I was always careful but my attention span wasn't that great that day I guess. My uncle turned around to get another board and I just ran my hand right through the guard with the board I was plaining. I guess no matter how responsible your young ones are please always keep an eye on them when working with saws.
     
  10. MelissaW

    MelissaW Well-Known Member

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    My nine year old has a multi-tool, cuts his own meat (with a butter knife, if it requires a steak knife, I do it to save my plates!), and uses a compound bow with practice arrows, and an air rifle with supervision. Like everyone else said, it really depends on the kid. Mine is a cautious sort, so we are pretty confident about him acting safely.
     
  11. ginnie5

    ginnie5 wife,mom,taxi driver,cook Supporter

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    10yo dd helped me process deer meat this year. I went and bought her her own knife after the first deer. 7yo helped some with a duller knife.
     
  12. organicfarmer

    organicfarmer Well-Known Member

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    Our children all get a pocket knife/multi-tool for their sixth birthday. My 3 year old gets a regular knife at the table at every meal. My children are around sharp tools at the farm every day, and they know how to use them. The boys are 9, 10, and 13 and they all have a multitude of knives, machetes, hatchets, pellet guns, bows, etc. and the oldest has had a crossbow for several years. My 5 year old daughter has asked when she can start wearing skirts (we are dresses only). I laughed and asked why. She said, "Mommy, I can't wear a belt with a knife with my dresses." She knows her 13 year old brother will get her a multi-tool for her 6th birthday, if he has anything to say about it.

    I depends on the child, but we teach our children young to respect sharp tools and give them plenty of age appropriate responsibility. I personally think most children today are coddled for too many years.
     
  13. perennial

    perennial Well-Known Member

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    Coming from a suburb, knives and kids didn't go together - any kind - life has been sterilized there and knives, etc. mean violence.


    We moved to a rural place and after we got to know a neighbor, he gave each of the kids a really small pocket knife. Then, they started saving their allowance for them. They each have a few with simple rules and they have been great with them.

    They get steakknives at dinner. 9 yr old has a wrist rocket slingshot, 10 yr. old has a bebe gun. Both take a firearms course now.

    Oldest child knows how and likes to start a fire in the woodstove (per our approval - and yes, we keep an eye on the situation). My oldest wants to chop wood, but we haven't got that far yet -

    Also, both kids help in the kitchen with knives/chopping, etc. both have gotten small cuts, but continue on. I show them proper cutting and ways not to get cut.


    Both of my kids do know how to sauder wires together with a sauder iron (very hot) because they like to build robots.

    They like to use my hot glue gun and someone always touches the glue early or the tip. I just keep bandaids handy and an icepack.

    It's not always easy having the kids grow up BUT cutting those apron strings is so important.
     
  14. travlnusa

    travlnusa Well-Known Member

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    We teach our new Boy Scouts each year about knife, saw, and ax skills at age 11. Some come in knowing all about it, some have never seen them before.

    Once they have proven they know the rules and use, they are given a card that allows them to carry and use each tool.

    Some we never think twice about, some we watch around the clock.
     
  15. cricket

    cricket Well-Known Member

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    My son has always been fascinated by knives and other sharp objects/tools. When he was about 4 he decided to peel an orange and almost cut off his hand... From that point on, he was constantly taught caution and the "rules" of sharp stuff. So far he hasn't injured himself again...I'm still keeping fingers crosssed though. He's NOT the cautious type but I figured if I didn't go ahead and start working with him, he'd kill himself for sure. Both of my kids cook and use kitchen knives to chop, etc. Dh won't let either of them use the chainsaw though... Nor will he allow me to use it. Funny, he's the only one that's hurt himself with it...He almost took off his leg after hurricane Ivan cutting over his head after giving me a lecture about NOT doing that same thing. I almost kept the pain pills away from him over that one...And he still hasn't heard the end of it 2 yrs later.
     
  16. Faustus

    Faustus Übernerd

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    I have to say, chainsaws are the one thing that give me the willies. My dad passed away before he could show me how to use one, so I've never learned, but I'm not entirely sure I'd want to, aside from the practical use of having one more skill. It's just so easy to really do yourself some permanent injury with one of those things- which safe use should prevent, I know, but it still creeps me out a little.
     
  17. MWG

    MWG Well-Known Member

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    I got to use knives at 7-8 and bb guns at 9-10, real guns at 12...

    I still have all my fingers and only a couple of small wounds... :)
     
  18. seedspreader

    seedspreader AFKA ZealYouthGuy

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    Bought my son a multi tool with a sharp knife on it for christmas this year... he was technically 5 but he turned 6 in two days.

    Bought him bb gun about a year ago. Think he was 4 at the time.

    He was closing the knife (under our supervision) on Chritmas day, knicked himself, bled a little bit, and doesn't open the knife anymore. He's a little afraid of it, but I think that's a good thing.
     
  19. Vere My Sone

    Vere My Sone Well-Known Member

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    My brother gave my son his first pocketknife at about 4, I think. But his first accident was the other day with a new one and he is now 14. :)

    I can't remember how many times my daughter forgot to take hers out of her pocket and asked her teacher to keep it for her. Now, she's in college and I tell her it's a whole nother ball of wax. She MUST not enter campus with anything in the car, much less in her pocket. Of course, that has happened several times anyway, when my son unloads his pockets, or the machete or hatchet get left in the car. Although, personally, I would feel better if she took something with her.
     
  20. jen74145

    jen74145 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Oh, me too. I even get nervous around someone using them... I'm usually the one verrryyy busy hauling off some debris a quarter mile away, lol.