3 Ways Yard Work Instills Responsibility in Children
For any Birmingham parent, teaching responsibility is an ongoing task that requires focused attention and effort in raising children. In a society where most children are plugged into some form of screened entertainment it can be hard to introduce ways to teach responsibility.
Here are a few considerable ways to help your child become more responsible by being outdoors this season:
1. Mowing the Lawn
Giving a child full reign of a powered machine can be hard for some parents but children as young as ten years old should have the maturity to mow the lawn with the proper precautions and supervision. Make sure to give a thorough lesson to your child about how the lawn mower works, including the dangers of a moving blade, in order to properly teach them how to mow the lawn. Including safety precautions like always wearing closed toe shoes, long pants, and safety glasses while mowing is important as well.
Not only will your child get a good workout from pushing the lawn mower around, but they will also become more responsible in getting the job done every week. Children will be introduced to the proper way to operate machinery which will encourage responsibility as they grow into operating other outdoor power tools. Being able to see the finished product of a nicely cut lawn will instill pride in a job well done for your child. If you are still weary of letting your child mow the lawn by themselves, consider doing it together until you feel comfortable with your child doing it alone.
Source: Woodlandwonderworks (CC BY 2.0)
2. Pulling Weeds
Most adults can look back on their childhood and remember a time when they had to go pick weeds out in the yard and there is no reason why your own children shouldn’t do the same! The early onset of Birmingham springs can jumpstart garden weeds and giving your child the task of pulling weeds is a great way to teach responsibility. It is one of those tough jobs that no one really wants to do but is necessary for healthy grass growth. The combination of hotter Birmingham temperatures and the need for focused tedious weed picking will help to teach your child endurance and patience in completing a task when they would probably rather be off playing with friends.
Teaching your child the difference between weeds–like crabgrass, and what is not a weed, like the planted Kentucky bluegrass–is important in making sure that they are successful in this task. Children as young as 4 years old can learn to spot those pesky foxtails or plantain varieties that may be hiding in your garden. Sending your child outside to pull weeds right after a rainstorm is another way to make sure that they can easily pull weeds without becoming discouraged. Set boundaries for your child based on their age level and maturity with smaller areas for younger children and larger areas for older ones. Giving your child a bucket to fill with weeds is another good way for the child to measure their work and become responsible in seeing that the job is done well.
3. Spring Planting Help
The subtropical climate of Birmingham brings about warmer temperatures and an early growing season. Allow your child to help you plant those new bushes, flowers, or trees that you plan on adding to your garden. Children as young as two years old can help dig a hole in some capacity even if it is just a scoop here and there. Older children should be able to manage an entire hole themselves.
Giving your child the task of digging a hole by themselves will make them feel more responsible in getting the job done and will raise their self-esteem. Educating your child on the proper way to dig a hole and plant new additions to the garden will help them in being successful and more responsible.
There are many benefits to getting your child’s help outdoors. Not only will your child learn responsibility in doing a task that needs to be completed, but they will also get the added benefits of a great workout and some added Vitamin D. Teach your children how to be responsible by asking them to complete outdoor work, either alongside you or for you, this upcoming spring season.