Kids eh. They grow up so fast.
First they’re crawling, then toddling, holding your hand into infant school and seemingly in no time, now they’re off to ‘big’ school.
Then they really are growing up and it’s time for an always big parental decision, especially if you’re a busy working parent. At what age should you trust them with a house key so they can let themselves into home now?
There is no legal age after all and while the NSPCC recommends no child below 12 should be on their own at home, for many kids that milestone does seem to happen when secondary school starts at 11.
And trusting them with a house key will probably only promote their self reliance and confidence but it’s always one of them ‘are we really sure they’re ready?’ calls and only you know your child well enough to make it.
But should they get that key, have a talk with them. No, not that one yet, but one that explains the responsibility that comes with their new acquisition and how important it is to keep it safe.
Because if, heaven forbid, they do lose that house key the worst isn’t they have to sit on the doorstep for a while until you return home, now the security of your home and whole family has been compromised.
You may be forced to change the lock just in case and even at our low prices that’s still a few weeks of pocket money.
So just a suggestion, if your kid does have their own key why not make their key harder to lose. You may not want a key with a Darth Vader figure on it but if you give them a chunky keyring with a few big decorations on it, now it really becomes ‘theirs’ and you’ve cunningly made it heavier and bulkier to be noticeable if it wasn’t in their pocket or school bag. It makes a bigger noise if they dropped it too. You might want to take the option to attach it to a cord inside of their school bag as well.
Because the days when the term ‘latchkey kid’ was used in a more derogatory way are gone and having the means and assurance to let themselves into a home unsupervised is a big step in any child’s development. So well done to them and you. You are officially a good parent.
As long as it’s your home obviously.