Our daugh­ter wants to be a me­chanic

Western Leader - - HEALTH & BEAUTY -

Q: My al­most 18-year-old daugh­ter has just told us she’s changed her plans and is not go­ing to univer­sity this year, as planned. She has spent much of the sum­mer work­ing in her boyfriend’s garage and now she says she wants to be a me­chanic. He says she’s good at the job es­pe­cially the wiring. My wife wants her to go to univer­sity. I don’t mind if she gets an ap­pren­tice­ship but I can’t bear the thought of her work­ing in that cold dirty en­vi­ron­ment for­ever.

A: I think you should sep­a­rate the is­sues here. It’s a shock that your daugh­ter has changed her plans with­out dis­cussing them with you, her par­ents. It’s dis­ap­point­ing but now it’s done, you’d be bet­ter off ac­cept­ing this and get­ting on with help­ing her make fu­ture good choices.

As a car me­chanic, your daugh­ter will have less trou­ble get­ting work than in many other ca­reer op­tions. Ac­cord­ing to NZTA fig­ures, there are more than four mil­lion reg­is­tered ve­hi­cles in New Zealand to­day.

Elec­tric cars are be­com­ing a big­ger part of our fu­ture and a good mo­tor me­chanic will al­ways be in de­mand. She has ex­pressed a par­tic­u­lar in­ter­est in wiring and this is also an area of con­stantly grow­ing de­mand.

Rather than fo­cus on the neg­a­tives, like her work en­vi­ron­ment be­ing cold and drafty, or the prob­a­bil­ity of her spend­ing most of her day with grease-stained hands, you’d be bet­ter off sup­port­ing her and mak­ing the most out of this de­ci­sion.

Is she go­ing to use her boyfriend’s garage as the base for her ap­pren­tice­ship? Do some re­search and seek some ad­vice to find the best way for your daugh­ter to com­plete her train­ing. To be­come cer­ti­fied, it is usu­ally a three- or four-year train­ing pro­gramme.

As with many young peo­ple, her plans may evolve or change and she could end up go­ing to univer­sity later, or train­ing in a com­pletely dif­fer­ent field. Even if this all falls over, learn­ing how to fix a car is a use­ful life skill for any of us.

Mary-anne Scott has raised four boys and writ­ten two nov­els for young adults in­clud­ing Com­ing Home to Roost. As one of seven sis­ters, there aren’t many par­ent­ing prob­lems she hasn’t talked over. To send her a ques­tion email life.style@stuff.co.nz with Dear Mary-anne in the sub­ject line. Your anonymity is as­sured.


Be­ing a me­chanic may not be what you had in mind for your daugh­ter, but make the most of it, ad­vises Mary-anne.

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