How to Garden with Children

There are days that kids just do not want to be out there, hands dirty and noses poked to the soil. But the kids want your attention. So does your garden. How will you divide your attention up between the two loves of your life? Set down rules and regulations of garden time.

If the kids do not want to help you, make sure they know you will be busy in the garden. This doesn't mean you won't be available if something of an emergency nature comes up, such as splinters and bruised knees. Just let them know that you want parent time.

You can get your significant other to help as well. Tell your kids that they will direct any requests for assistance to your spouse or partner. That way you have no worries and can focus on the garden.

Sometimes the kids want to be near you but not help you. Make sure they know the boundaries. Little ones can play along the edge of the garden with their toy trucks and dolls, but let them know they can't get in the way. Give the kids something else to do. Let them have the water hose when you aren't using it and tell them they can play with it.

You can compromise and join in the fun when you need a break from the garden. If the kids don't mind, ask them to count things in the garden and take inventory of those things in a log or journal. It will keep them busy and let you do some transplanting or weeding.

My Gardening Rules (these were written with a jovial attitude, although some seem very forceful)

  1. I am the master gardener. What I say goes in my garden.

  2. Unless you are helping me, you have no say in the garden.

  3. You will not trample, nor set foot in my garden unless I tell you to do so. This will lead to bad feelings and irritation for the rest of the day.

  4. Did I mention that I am master gardener? Oh yes, see #1.

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