Latch-Key Kids

  1. Whether they're headed by a single parent or a pair of working parents, many families wrestle with the pros and cons of letting their school-age children stay home alone after school.

    What are the positive and negative effects of self-care?

    What are if any are the pros and cons of leaving your kids home alone ?


    What are your thoughts and experiences ?
     
  2. I cannot imagine leaving my kids home alone. But then I can never imagine my kids doing lots of things (going to camp, playing outside alone, etc..) until the time actually comes.
    I think 14 is a good age...maybe then I would consider it!!
     
  3. I have raised two teenagers and I can tell you they need more supervision than EVER at 14! :lol:
     
  4. OK..now I feel better....they can NEVER stay at home alone:smile: !! I was being very generous with the staying home at 14 thing....thought that maybe I would be uncool if I didn't! I have now decided that even when they are married if they plan on being there without their SO...I am COMING OVER!!!!:smile:
     
  5. I have a 2nd grader and either my hubby or myself picks her up everyday and is home. We live in an upper class/ more affluent area and there are still classmates of my girl who go home alone until parents are home from work. I think it's soooo important for a parent (or responsible family member) to be home w/ kids infant on up to high schoolers. Yes, kids need to be indepent and self suffecient, but there are ways/options to give your kids responsiblity and freedom.

    It seems the problems teens deals w/ issues and situations now days that weren't prevelent when I was a teen (and I'm only 28). I think a lot of it has to do w/ the fact there isn't supervision at home, family time, dinner time, too much crap on TV, someone needs to be home w/ kids. Everyone has their own set of circumstances and in some cases both parents need to work. But, where I live, people could afford for a parent to not work or work part time, but they've made the decision the big house, big TV and STUFF is more important to work for. It's very sad for the kids who are being raised by a TV.

    Just my 2 cents, no offense to anyone out there.
     
  6. I wouldn't let my son stay home alone after school until he's about 15-16 and even than just for about 1 1/2 hours. I think he needs to know that I still care and want to be part of his life. I don't have a problem with it to give him the freedom and space he needs because I already do it (I never just go into his room without being invited)I won't hang around him all day but if he needs me I'm there.
     
  7. My DH and I occassionally leave his 14-yr-old alone at our house when we are doing something that would kill him if he had to participate---which, him being 14, is pretty much everything. But we live out in the country and there's very little naughtiness he can get up to save perhaps going through my lingerie drawer or wanking off with the Victoria's Secret catalogue. We never leave for more than a few hours and we've got both our cell phone numbers prominently posted on the fridge. I think it's good for him to have a little "alone time" once in a while, especially considering he's got 12-yr-old twin brothers in addition to Pa and Step-ma.
     
  8. hrm. this is interesting to me b/c i've been staying home alone since elementary school.

    when i was 8 or 9 (spring of 3rd grade but i was a year younger than everyone in my class) i patently refused to go to the babysitters anymore. i did NOT like her, her husband, her house, the other kids she babysat...the whole place had a VERY bad vibe. instead of walking up the hill to her house, i would walk the four blocks to mine. (we found out later that her husband was a pedophile. definately taught me to trust my instincts)

    after it was obvious that i would NOT go anywhere but home after school (i was kind of willful)....my mom and i set up a system. we lived on a very tight knit street with quite a few kids around the same age. my neighbors on either side of us were home, as well as my best friend's mom up the street. i called my own mom when i got home, then she called again at four thirty. if i went to my bestfriend's, i had to call her. i also wasn't allowed to make anything that involved cutting or cooking.

    it worked really well. then again, i was a good kid and very very afraid my parents would change their mind and make me go back to a babysitter. i usually just sat on the couch and read a book.

    i think it really depends on the maturity of the kid in question and the support system they have set up incase something goes wrong. my brother got to try staying home at 11 but lost the privlege soon after and my sister played sports so it wasn't an issue. my husband's parents let him stay home starting around 9 or 10 (with an older brother who was 15ish)...maybe it's just our area?

    i think it's good for kids to get some alone time and independence. if my child had the right kind of personality i wouldn't have an issue with leaving them alone.
     
  9. i think it deoends on teh child. not the age ^ as mentioned above it really depends on that..

    i could stay alone at home and do loas of things on my own.. i was flying to australia at the age of 4 ( with a stewardess of course) but your on a flight on ur own.. and my sister who is 12 cant get on a flight thats 2 hrs cuz of fear. when my parents fly for business shes in hysterics where i loved being on my own..

    it all depends on the personality of the child..
     
  10. I am not sure...my kids are 6, 3 & 2 so they are way too young for me to even consider at this point.
     
  11. I was a LKK since the age on 9. I was quite precocious and know how to look after myself for a few hours. the only consequence ~I can think of is that now I'm too used to my own company.
     
  12. My sister and I were latch key kids in the 1970s. We are 15 months apart in age, our school was across the street, and everyday from 2nd grade on we went home after school by ourselves. My sister and I never did anything dangerous and never invited other kids over. When we were in high school, we could have friends over, but it was select group of kids approved by my mother. And we knew boyfriends were not allowed over, EVER. Oh and both of us graduated high school as virgins and never touched an illegal drug until pur mid-20s (and even then it was *only* marijuana).

    I agree that it depends on the child. I'm a single mom and my son is 5 years old and has mild autism (PDD-NOS) and I would NEVER leave him in the house alone. No way!
     
  13. Depends on the child of course, but I have raised 4 and have never had any of them home alone on a daily/regular basis. Once and a while -- while you are going off to the store etc -- is fine, but an adult presence is good IMO. Not necessarily a "babysitter" but just someone at home.
     
  14. One thing I need to add is that we lived in a large apartment building with lots of families with kids our age. In case of an emergency, we were to go across the hall to my sister's best friend's apartment where her mom was a SAHM. :yes:
     
  15. I was a latchkey kid in the 70s from about 4th grade on. I got into some **** I shouldn't have (smoking, etc.) in the afternoons, so I'm very watchful with my own son. But I think it depends highly on the individual kid. I know people with teenagers that I wouldn't trust alone for ten minutes, and I know younger kids who have the maturity to handle it. I think in my state the law says it's OK at age 12.

    My boy (now 13) has been staying home by himself for a couple of hours after school for a few years, and we've had no problems. We have plenty of rules (including "don't cook anything!), and I am always reachable by mobile phone. We live out in the middle of nowhere, so he's reasonably safe, and he has good common sense most of the time. He has plenty of homework and band practice to keep him busy for 2 hours. We have neighbors across the street who are always home. But I'm still on the lookout for any sign of trouble, just because I remember what I was up to at that age.:angel: