Chip Gaines Explains Why He Brings His Kids with Him to Construction Sites — Despite the Risks
Chip Gaines is well aware of the risks involved with bringing his kids to construction sites, but he believes in the long run it's actually more dangerous to leave them at home.
"Since I spend a majority of my working day hopping between job sites, I've found that the easiest way to help my kids experience new things is by bringing them along when they get out of school," he explained.
"I feel pretty well-educated on the myriad reasons one should not bring children to a construction site — potential for injury, skinned knees, whining, potty breaks (with no working toilets), or the inevitable stray puppy or kitten they beg me to let them bring home. There are surely a million more," he said before explaining "why I do it anyway."
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The father of five added that when his children are onsite, they're challenged in a way that simply wouldn't be possible if they were hanging out at home.
"I see firsthand what types of things catch their attention and how they problem solve," he explained, adding that "there always seem to be these teachable moments, where they watch me wrangle us out of a situation and learn something from it or they embrace the courage to jump in and give me a hand."
While Chip went on to admit he typically gets "a few weird looks from passersby" whenever he brings his children to work, he feels like "there's too much at stake" to be bothered by what other people think.
"The alternative would be leaving them at home, and frankly, I think that's more dangerous," he added. "There's just too much at stake. What they could miss out on is far too important to risk."
"Sometimes I imagine that I've got all these five arrows in a quiver. Each one is a child, and my job is to sharpen them while they're still with me, so that when it's time for them to launch into the world, they are powerful and effective," Chip wrote, as he described his parenting philosophy in detail.
While he went on to explain that not all of his kids are equally willing to take adventures head on, he added, "I just want them to know that they can tackle everything."
Pick up the fall issue of Magnolia Journal to read Chip's full essay and much more.