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Mom Furious After Neighbor Refuses To Hire Her Teen Son To Mow Their Small Lawn

Rémi Müller / Unsplash

It’s summer, meaning some children are learning how to work their first little businesses. While selling lemonade may come to mind, others are trying their hand at mowing some lawns.

Unfortunately, Redditor waddlewaddle14 isn’t interested in hiring their teen neighbor for help with their lawn. The original poster (OP) likes handling it themself.

However, some of OP’s neighbors, including the boys mother, think they’re being a jerk because of it. OP isn’t so sure and decided to get a second opinion from the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit.

Hopefully, they’ll see things from their perspective.

“AITA for refusing to hire my neighbor to cut my grass”

But couldn’t OP just indulge the kid?

“I cut my own lawn, always have. A neighbor kid came to my door last week and asked if I wanted him to cut it for me once a week for $15 each time.”

“I said no.”

“My yard isn’t big and it takes me MAYBE 45 minutes, that’s if I’m really thorough. Otherwise I can get it done in a half hour.”

“Well neighbor kid left and life went on.”

“Then Sunday his mom came to my door and offered her son’s services again. I said thanks but no thanks.”

“She went on to explain that he’s already doing her yard, my next door neighbor (house between us) and my next door neighbor on the other side, that it would be easier for him to just go straight across all 4 yards instead of having to do 2, shut the lawnmower off and do the other house.”

“I just kinda shrugged and said ‘sorry but I’m good’.”

“Today my nextdoor neighbor brought it up, said ‘he’s a kid trying to make some extra money, help him out don’t make his life more difficult. It’s only 15 bucks a week’.”

“Thing is that’s 15 dollars I don’t want to spend when I can easily do it myself.”


On Reddit, the users of the board judged OP for refusing to hire his teen neighbor to mow his lawn by including one of the following in their response:

  • NTA – Not the A**hole
  • YTA – You’re the A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everybody Sucks Here

While it can be nice to support a neighbor as he learns to work hard, it’s also not a requirement. The teen offering the service to those who can’t or at least don’t want to maintain their own lawn is helpful.

However, OP isn’t someone like that. OP likes to maintain their own lawn and letting the teen do it would not only take away a task they enjoy, but also put them out money.

OP is not the bad guy for saying no.

“NTA. you shouldn’t have to pay for something you don’t want. they need to respect other peoples lives and choices lol.” – 1-800-deadgirl

“This. I’m a control freak about my lawn and my husband won’t even mow because I’m that bad. It’s a character flaw.”

“I admit it, but I just can’t help it. I’m not paying someone else to do something I’ll just redo myself anyway” – lisa_37743

“I’m the same! I like my lines going a certain direction, I know how to do all the fiddly bits and I like knowing the mower is cleaned thoroughly and properly after the mow.”

“I hate it when my partner does it mainly because the mower’s never cleaned properly and the fiddly bits are just ignored so they’re harder to do next time I mow and there’s a ton of clippings left under and around the blades 🙄 – SheDidWhaaaat

“NTA. Admittedly I’m kind of a chump for neighbour kids looking for odd jobs or collecting empties etc, and usually oblige them. But $15 a week isn’t nothing, especially for a chore you seem to enjoy handling by yourself.”

“Maybe next time you have a side project you can offer him a job for the day helping you out? I like to see kids who are out there hustling, but I also totally get where you’re coming from.” – BrokenArmsFrigidMom

“I grew up mowing lawns of various neighbors. The idea that a particular neighbor ‘should’ hire This kid is ridiculous.”

“He has to learn that not everything is easy, and that he cant count on mom solving all his problems.”

“Selling your services is part of the job. And that includes rejection.”

“At this point, imo, you are giving him more by refusing.”

“NTA” – johnxman

“NTA they are basically asking you to give $60 a month for job you want to do yourself to a kid for pocket money he can easily go to the next house over and ask or put up flyer round the neighbour hood offering the mowing service….”

“Also people cut their lawn once a week? Ours gets done like once every 2-3 weeks but maybe our grass just doesn’t grow fast 🤔 – KiwiKid_96

“NTA. I have a half acre yard that I mow with a push mower. As odd as it sounds I like doing it.”

“I find it cathartic to pop in an earphone and get a hard one hour workout in while I listen to my favorite tunes from years past. And while I have a physical job it certainly doesn’t provide me with the workout that my lawn does.”

“If the mom and neighbor are so concerned about the kid’s earning potential maybe they could each pay him another $10 bucks and leave you out of it.” – rogerkjones

“NTA, I admire the kid for his entrepreneurial attitude but he needs to learn to take no for an answer and move on, and his mommy needs to stop harassing the neighbors on behalf of her son.”

“Some people really enjoy doing their own yardwork and they shouldn’t be harassed for not hiring the neighborhood kids to do something they don’t want to pay to have done. And people need to realize that a lot of people are doing small jobs like this themselves because of the economy.” – Wisdomofpearl


“No is a complete sentence especially as you were not rude. I have no clue if $15 is a reasonable price or not.”

“I understand that a lot of adults want to encourage a kid’s entreprenial spirit, but if you don’t want him to mow your lawn then the situation is settled.”

“I will add though that this might hurt your relations with your neighbors. This would be unfortunate.”

“May I suggest doing a little something for that neighbor and mother, like invite them over for dinner or something? You have no obligation to do so but a little gesture might be appreciated.” – AtomicBlastCandy

While “no” should be plenty, there are other reasons to refuse the service. Depending on the laws in OP’s area, they could be liable for injuries to the teen if something happened while working on the lawn.

There’s plenty of ways for this to go wrong.


“I read through several comments and didn’t see it mentioned, my point of view is insurance. If you allow the kid to mow and he gets hurt, who will be blamed?”

“Who’s insurance will be called? Not mom’s. Yours. Highly doubt your homeowners insurance would be cool with paying out a medical claim on an unlicensed, uninsured, MINOR providing lawn care services.”

“I had my (adult) neighbor ask if he could cut my lawn because I have a service come do it. He said he would beat their price.”

“No. I hired them because they are licensed and insured and I don’t have to live next to them if I don’t like something they did.” – redthoughtful


“I’ve had similar. My neighbour wants her GROWN son to do my gardening.”

“I refused. (He does her garden, the neighbour’s next to her, one across the road and one just up the hill.) He’s also doing it cash in hand only, because he claims social security.”

“I got home from giving the neighbour a lift to hospital. Her son had cut my hedge. He’d ruined the shape, so far as I’m concerned.”

“I felt obligated to offer him the money for the work. He took it. (I half expected him to decline since I’d given his mother umpteen rides to and from hospital.)”

“I made it clear I wanted to do my garden myself.”

“A couple of months ago, I got home from work to discover someone had butchered a tree my late husband had planted for me. Also left the branches for me to clear up.”

“Two days later: ‘Did you see I’d cut your tree?’”

“‘Yes. It was a shock.’”

“‘I noticed that the branches were hitting your greenhouse.’”

“‘I understand that you were helping…’ and walked off. I offered no payment this time.” – PurpleAquilegia

“We were approached a couple of months ago by a 15 yr old neighbor kid about taking over our landscaping work He doesn’t drive so his dad would need to deliver mulch, tools, etc and bc he’s a minor and can’t sign a legal contract, we asked that his dad come to speak with us.”

“After a few texts, dad never appeared and but we did find out that he wasn’t bonded, had no idea of insurance/liability issues. We kept the landscaper we’ve had for several years.”

“It may not seem like a big deal but if that kid injures himself on your property, you’ll pay a LOT more than $15!!” – Rbuff187

OP may not need the extra reasons, but maybe they’ll help if they can give the boy’s mother some other excuses to leave them alone.

Written by Ben Acosta

Ben Acosta is an Arizona-based fiction author and freelance writer. In his free time, he critiques media and acts in local stage productions.