How to Teach Your Children About Cutting the Grass

As parents, we are always looking for more ways that our children can help around the house and build a sense of responsibility and trust. In this age of instant gratification, it is even more important that children be taught to take a share of family duties. Helping the family with basic chores is a great way for a child to build self-esteem and a sense of accomplishment.

Many older children and teens can be trusted with cutting the grass. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children be no less than 12 years old before mowing a lawn with a push mower or electric mower, and 16 years of age before operating a riding lawn mower.

Before allowing a child or teen to mow the lawn, you must be sure that he or she can operate it safely. Go over the machine’s instructions, both those printed on the lawn mower and the instruction manual, before you start.

Personal safety must also be considered before mowing. Make sure the child is wearing closed-toe shoes with non-slip soles. Long pants and a long-sleeved shirt are recommended. Make sure your child’s clothes can’t become entangled in the mower.

The first step you need to teach your child is how to prepare the lawn for mowing. Make sure that the weather is good and that the grass is not wet. Remove all rocks, sticks, toys, and other objects from the lawn. This is a great job for younger children and will give them the sense that they are helping with the lawn. Ensure that younger children or pets are out of the way before you start mowing.

Show your child how to get the best coverage with the lawn mower. Make sure that the paths he or she takes are safe. For a push mower, be extra careful on slopes. Make sure to mow them across rather than up and down. With a riding lawn mower, mow them up and down to reduce the risk of tipping over.

Teach your child to watch out for obstacles and give them a wide berth. If the mower hits a stone or another object, the mower should be turned off and a parent should make sure it is not damaged before returning to mowing.

Mowing the lawn can be a great way for your child or teen to build a sense of responsibility, and it can also be a part-time job for the entrepreneur. Children and teens who take a share of responsibility around the house are more appreciative of parents’ efforts. They also learn important life lessons like saving money and working toward a goal.