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Jen explains what the term latchkey kid means, and discusses the positive and negative effects of growing up in such a fashion.
Tags:The Pros and Cons of Latchkey Kids,care,family,independence,kids,latchkey,parenting,parents,responsibility,safety
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Hi! I am Jen. When I was grown up my two brothers and I were latchkey kids and my parents both worked, so we had to come home and find stuff to do with ourselves until my parents got home. I am going to tell you a little bit about what it was like for us and what it means to be a latchkey kid.
First I'll explain to you what the term Latchkey Kid actually means. This is the term used for children who come home from school and have to let themselves in because their parents are working and the reason they are called Latchkey is these kids actually wear the key around their neck.
Now being a latchkey kid can have positive and negative effects. Positive effects are a sense of independence, learning to define yourself and the kind of things you like and creating your own structure. Coming home as a kid and having to make sure you get your homework done, don't watch too much TV, make your own dinner, but that's also a sense of empowerment.
There can be some negative consequences for the latchkey kid, over 15% of the children in America are latchkey kids and along with all of the positive effects, there are dangers, I mean there's just the dangers of fire. Child getting hurt being home alone, the lack parental guidance. This can effect the child's self-esteem or just their behavior, kids can sit at home and if someone is not there to tell them what to do, they can end up just watching TV all day. Eating, that leads to some of the problems of obesity in America today.
With millions of kids in America today being latchkey kids and not a part of a nuclear family, this is a reality that we definitely have to focus on. There are a lots of ways that you can help make sure that your children are okay. Things such as the Call Reassurance Program, this is when they will call your kid at home and the child has to positively respond, let you know that they are okay and if they don't calls will go out to parents or to a police station.
There is also a Community Check-in programs where maybe police will come and stop by and check on the children. All of these are just some ideas of how to make sure that your child is okay.
If you are a latchkey kid or the parent of a latchkey kid, there are lots of things to be aware of all the positive benefits, but also the dangers and the pitfalls.