Age … te_fed.htm

See the MINIMUM AGE STANDARDS FOR EMPLOYMENT section where it deals with kids under 14. The only issue would be what takes precendence…minor chore around the home or prohibition against operating motorized machinery. If it’s a non-engine, non-electrical mower, then there’s no issue.

It is for a chore around the house to learn some responsibilty. When he wants something new or go out with his friends. He does extra chores to earn money. Is that wrong???

No, I don’t think so, and it’s a battle we’ve been having at our house too. The STBX is a stay-at-home who doesn’t believe that kids should have to do chores, one of the many parenting disagreements between her and my BF.

I think it depends on the maturity of the child. My son mowed the grass when he was 11. I supervised, of course, but he was tall enough and strong enough to push the mower. It was his chore. It was also his way to earn some money. He took pride in his work so it was a good experience all the way around.

I personally think ALL children should have chores. It is a disservice to children when the parents do everything for them and require nothing. Makes for very incapable adults who do not appreciate what they have.

Hmmm… the age guidelines though are for employment of a minor child and basically fall under labor laws for minors.

But does that mean household chores fall under labor laws since you don’t pay your child to do basic chores and it is under the supervision of their guardian/parent.

If a kid mowing their lawn is “illegal” how do farmers get away with having their children help them with the fields and such?

I don’t see anything wrong with it (my 11 year old just mowed the lawn the first time this past weekend.) I’m curious to see what the attorneys say.

your ex is bluffing in an effort to gain more control. If he wants to spend thousand of dollars in lawyer and court fees than let him. The judge will probably laugh him out of court, but it would be more appropriate if he was fined or cited for a frivolous lawsuit. No lawyer would touch that.
Now, if the child is complaining about this to dad you need to get to the bottom of this quickly or it will become an ongoing issue but with just different things that you are at odds about. If it seems that the child playing one parent against another.
My husband’s 11 yr old mows the lawn at his mother’s but not at ours - too many slopes while her lawn is flat. He’s been mowing the lawn for about a year. I could see him complaining about having to sweep the porch, fortunately not even this ex would take us to court over that.
I’d make sure he is safe and he understands that chores are a part of the household. If he doesn’t want to mow the lawn what else can he do to help around the house?

I have been there too…my husbands ex is the same way - she don’t think he should do work like that. My step-son is 11 also. He mows the grass at our house with a riding mower of course supervised. They need to learn now or they will never learn how to do anything…before long they will not want to do anything. He enjoys mowing the grass because he feels like he is helping out.

Thank you for all our replies…the grass mowing is all supervised and I have talked to my son about this and he said he does not mind mowing the grass. It only takes him 30 minutes to push mow the grass. Very small yard and he only has to mow the front yard because our dog is a digger and there are many holes in the back yard. He does this to earn extra money. I think it also teaches responsibilty and helps to teach good work ethic. My ex on the other hand has had everything handed to him by his mother his whole life and still does and he pushing 40 years old. She has not cut the cord yet.

Your ex must not have mowed grass when he was young!!!

[:D] [:p] [:o)]

My earlier point EXACTLY!

Nah, atmywitsend, if you look at the whole page, there’s an exemption to the laws for minor household chores.

We’re kinda going through a similar thing at the moment. The STBX thinks that none of the kids should have chores, much less even pick up after themselves. (My personal belief is that it is a way to infantilize the kids so that they are always dependent on mom.) It was one of the ongoing arguments during their marriage. Needless to say, we believe in chores.

The way I look at it, without teaching kids to do chores and be a partner within the household, you are doing the child a disservice. The world will not be so willing to clean up after them. Kids that pick up after themselves will be more likely to be invited places with their friends’ parents because they aren’t such a bother to clean up after. In addition, they will make better roommates in college and husbands/wives in their marriage simply because they will be partners in that respect.

While I know this is a headache for you, it helps me and others to see that there are a lot of Xs out there that are as bad as the one we deal with or worse…

Both my stepsons (10 & 13) push mow the lawn, supervised. (The 10 year old is big for his age.) They also carry their laundry downstairs, vacuume their rooms, clean their own bathroom and rooms every weekend they are at our house, take out the garbage, and we have gotten them to occasionally wash dishes. They do not get an allowance but they do have online game subscriptions that get paid for. At their mother’s house they have to do everything for themselves so the little that we ask them to do is really teaching them to appreciate all that we do for them.
I, myself, washed dishes before I was even old enough to reach the sink. Then as I got older, my sister and I had a list of things that had to be done every day in the hour between when we got off the bus and my mom got home. We also mowed the lawn. I hated it at the time, but I’m glad that my mom made us responsible for ourselves.

Let your ex read up on the law and don’t let him “bother” you with empty threats. If he has you served with court papers, then you have something to worry about. Until then, tell him to get used to the fact that you are going to raise your child as you see fit and he should worry more about what goes on at his own house instead of at yours. If you quit letting him bother you with his whining about every little thing he may eventually realize that there’s no point in even discussing it with you.
Hang in there. It does get easier.

No, there is no law that says he can’t use a push mower.

P.S. Please feel free to bring up this or any other topic on our live call-in show every Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. EST. Visit for details

Helena M. Nevicosi
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm

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Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
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Okay my ex husband says he is going to take me court because I have my 11 year old son push mow the grass. He says this is wrong and at that age he does not need to be doing this kind of work. I know this is silly, but this is the crap i have to deal with everyday!! Does any one know if their is a age requirment for mowing the grass in NC. He told me to check the NC laws