Our son turns 4 this summer. My husband was mowing the lawn (gas powered push mower) this evening when I needed to go and leave our son with him. He had our son walk next to him as he was mowing, on the side where the grass was NOT being blown out.
How does CPS, or other government agencies, view this? We have snoopy neighbors that report almost anything and its scary but we also have a life to live. It didn't seem worth it to take our son up to my sister's (about a mile away) so that he doesn't need to be with his daddy for the 30ish min. needed for my husband to finish. Is this better, or worse, than a child riding along on a riding mower? I work almost every evening, and evening is often when it suits my husband to mow.
Not safe and I wouldn't do it. This thread was still on the first page of this forum and discusses this: http://www.mothering.com/community/t/1399109/lawn-mowing-with-little-ones-in-the-yard
By 4 I could leave her in front of the tv
I would be very concerned about rocks and stuff being kicked up from the mower with anyone near me, either side
We don't have a TV; a video from Youtube may or may not work, and I'm not sure if my husband would notice if it isn't while he's mowing. It would scare me even worse to have Billy try to go out to Mike while he's mowing and Mike not being aware; this way, Mike did know Billy's out there and exactly where. I hope it doesn't happen too often. When I'm home, I keep Billy occupied indoors while Mike is mowing, of course.
It's only 30 minutes once a week (per your post) - while it might not be his preference maybe mowing in the morning or afternoon when you are available would be a better option.
Well, it takes my husband quite a long while to mow the lawn, 30ish minutes was all that was left to do that evening.
We live in central PA. Our grass grows fast and thick early in the season, then in the middle of summer it's often dry and hot and doesn't grow much.
Could you set your son up with some toys on a deck or porch or some kind of defined area where he could clearly understand the boundaries of where he was allowed to go?
I think it's a little too hyper cautious to say that a 4-yr-old can't be outside at all while dad is mowing but, yes, rocks and sticks can be thrown great distances and with great force so precautions need to be taken. If you have a plan in place then you should have no worries about reporting neighbors.
Household manager for 1 husband, a 13-yr-old son, a 9-yr-old son, 2 dogs, 2 cats, 2 goats, and too many chickens.
I don't think your husband would ever put your son in harms way. Back in the day it was normal for dads to involve their sons in what they were doing. There were far more dangerous toys for kids to play (lawn darts, anyone?). Although, parents and society are more cautious now than ever before, there is a movement of parents wanting to bring some risk back into kids lives so kids can learn how to be safe. It's not like your son was made to mow the grass himself. Yeah, there are some projectiles, even with a manual mower. But, come on. Are your neighbors going to call CPS every time your child falls off his bike? Jumps on a trampoline? Ideally, it would have been better if your husband stopped mowing the grass. But I'm guessing your husband wanted to take it as an opportunity to have your son learn how to do a household task and get used to loud machines. A push mower is better than a ride along and having your son by his side is better than your son running free, where your husband may not always see or hear where he is, resulting in him running off of or into the lawn mower. If your son was inside, who knows what he could get into and it only takes a moment, even at that age. Again, your husband wouldn't been able to hear or see your son.
We always regarded the mower as one of the most dangerous things we owned. My father mowed in steel-toed boots and my sister and I had to stay well-away. I don't live somewhere I need to mow, otherwise I'd treat it the same way. I don't think it's the same as the hyper-protective helicoptering that may be doing its own damage. Lawnmowers do chuck out little bits of stuff all the time, and they are always one side spinning blade. When my kids were 4, I definitely didn't have them always in my sight, but that was in low-risk places. I just wouldn't do this. I think there are several safer options than having him near the mower. Take a break from the lawn, sit the kid inside with a video (mine don't watch very many so that guarantees they won't move), if he'll cooperate tell him to stay in a space like Daisy suggested.
Last edited by Letitia; 07-26-2015 at 05:37 PM. Reason: Edited for clarity.