The term Latchkey Children describes children who are left alone after school, often because their parents are working, and have the responsibility of taking care of themselves. This situation has emerged as a result of modern life. In this article, we will cover a number of important topics to provide more information about latchkey children and help understand the lived experiences of these children.
Who are the Latchkey Kids?
Latchkey children are usually children of families with working parents. These children have to stay alone or with their siblings after school and sometimes during summer holidays until their parents return home. Latchkey children usually carry the keys with them and spend time at home as the first person to arrive.
Why Are There Latchkey Kids?
The existence of Latchkey children is closely related to the business and economic conditions of modern society. Working parents must keep their jobs and support their families, creating the need for children’s after-school care. Economic pressures, single-parent families, long work hours and other factors increase the number of latchkey children.
Difficulties Experienced by Latchkey Children:
Loneliness and Isolation: Latchkey children may feel lonely in their parents’ absence. Opportunities to interact with friends or family members may be limited.
Insecurity: Some latchkey children may experience feelings of insecurity from being left alone at home. This can be a cause for concern, especially for young children.
(POSITIVE) Self-Care Skills: Latchkey children have the opportunity to develop self-care skills. This can help them gain a sense of responsibility and self-confidence.
Education and Academic Performance: Latchkey children’s lack of after-school support and supervision may impact their academic performance. Therefore, the education system can take measures to support these children.
Safety Issues: It is important for Latchkey children to be safe until they return home. A plan should be made for emergencies and children should be taught skills to stay safe.
Latchkey Solutions for Kids:
To help alleviate and support Latchkey children’s difficulties:
After-School Programs: Schools can encourage children to participate in after-school programs. These programs ensure that children are safe and receive academic support.
Communication and Support: Parents should communicate regularly with their children and offer emotional support. Children should feel that their parents listen and care about them.
Education: Parents should teach their children self-care skills and have a plan for emergencies.
Social Support: Families can contact family friends or neighbors they trust who will drop off their children.
Maintaining Balance: Parents should try to maintain balance between their work and family lives. Flexible work hours and supportive family policies can reduce the difficulties experienced by latchkey children.
- Latchkey children are a reality of modern society and it is important to understand and support the needs of these children. Parents, schools and the community can work together to provide latchkey children with a better life experience.
Licensed Clinical Psychologist
Beyhan Perim Seçmen
The articles were prepared by taking from other sources.