Spread the Lawn Care Love: Teaching Your Kids to Mow the Lawn
We’re guessing you remember the summer day when your dad or mom taught you to mow the lawn. It was probably a big responsibility for you back then and maybe even your way to start earning an allowance! Mowing the lawn is somewhat of a right of passage for many children in the United States since it’s a fairly simple task to knock out and offers youths the freedom to improve their communities and earn money. Before you let your kids start mowing lawns on their own, however, it’s important that you ensure they are properly prepared.
How Old Should Kids Be Before They Start Mowing?
According to Nationwide Children’s Hospital, you should wait until your children are 12 years old before handing them the reins to the push mower, and 16 years old before they use a ride-on mower. It’s up to you to determine whether your children are responsible enough to follow safety rules and get their jobs done right. They should fully understand that lawn mowers are not toys and be aware of the danger that mishandling a lawn mower can present to them.
Tips to Teach Your Kids Before They Start Mowing
Just as your parents sat you down to talk before you fired up the mower for the first time, you should make sure your child knows the basics of mowing before they get started. Here are a few of the most important points to impart to them.
Follow All Safety Rules
We can’t stress enough how important it is to make sure your child is fully aware of all the safety precautions they should be taking every time they interact with a lawn mower. Each mower is unique in the safety features it offers, so you should familiarize yourself with your machinery well before you introduce your children to it. Basic knowledge like never pulling the mower toward your toes, properly mowing on inclines, and so on should all be within your rulebook. Tailor your advice to the needs of your lawn to start, but make sure you teach more advanced techniques if your child plans to mow other lawns in the future.
Additionally, you should make sure your child has all the proper gear for lawn mowing, including safety glasses, closed-toe shoes, good pants, and plenty of sunscreen. Imparting safety knowledge is the most important step for getting started.
Navigate Trees and Garden Beds
When you have trees with roots that protrude above the ground, hacking at them with a lawn mower can cause severe damage. In situations like these, you may do well to knock out a little prep work before your child starts mowing by creating mulch beds or skirts around your mature trees to indicate which areas to avoid. Give them a lesson on how to safely turn and make sharp corners around beds, trees, and so on.
Mow in Patterns to Complete the Job
Even stripes are more than just aesthetically pleasing – they help us to ensure the entire lawn has been mowed without missing any spots. On their first try, your child may be tempted to follow random paths in the yard, but this can lead to patchiness and weird growth patterns. Show them how to cut even stripes and be sure to remind them to mow in the opposite direction the next time they do it.
Cultivate Enthusiasm for Lawn Care
Encouraging your kids to get involved in lawn care can help them develop new interests and even get on track to a future career in landscaping. According to the National Association of Lawncare Professionals, the market size of the lawn care industry has increased by 2.5% every year between 2016 and 2021, and it shows no sign of slowing down. Even if your kids don’t pursue a job in landscaping, they can learn so much about native plants, insects, plant care, and more once they start working on the lawn.
One of the best ways to incite your kids’ interest in mowing the lawn is to lead by example and work alongside them to shape and grow a gorgeous garden. Before you start introducing your kids to lawn care, make sure your tools are well maintained and ready to roll. For maintenance and mower parts in Longwood, FL, call Gator Mower Parts at 407-260-1292 today.