One benefit of not hiring a yard crew to take care of our yard, like all our neighbors do, is that it makes a great consequence for bad kid behavior!
A few days before Christmas the 11 year old was relegated outside to put in some time doing leaf duty. (Our autumn is more in December so our yard was covered in leaves.)
I was busy doing some things inside, likely wrapping presents, or some such holiday prep. After a bit I looked out the window to see how the 11 year old was progressing in his chore and I saw his 7 year old brother was out working alongside him.
I took their picture because they were so cute and then continued on with my inside work. When I looked outside a little later, lo and behold now the 11 year old had also recruited his sisters (who were still clad in their pajamas because no school so why change out of jammies) into the backyard to assist him in leaf duty.
I couldn't believe it! How in the world did he convince all 3 of his siblings to help him complete his chore consequence? And they were happily working!! AND he had trained them all to do the various tasks of leaf blowing, raking, scooping and periodically changing the trash bag once it got full!
Sure there was some of this:
But, real work got done. The entire backyard was thoroughly raked and about 6 bags of leaves generated!
My 11 year old son is always telling me when I encourage him to learn to do menial jobs well, that he won't need those skills because he is going to be the boss when he grows up.
Well, I gotta hand it to him, the kid does have some managerial skills!