Were you a latchkey kid?

Looney

Lifer
Jun 13, 2000
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To those that don't know, latchkey kid is a term applied to kids that come home to an empty house, while the parents work.

So were you one growing up? And if so, do you think it affected the way you were raised?

Personally, i dont' think it bothered me. I became one at around the age of 11 or 12, when my grandmother died. My house key was tied to my shoeless (like in the middle of the lacing), because i was way too active to have it as a string around my neck. I would come home alone, take off my shoe to open the door, and let myself in. Normally there would be snacks or food available, and i would take a bite, then head right back out again. I spent almost my entire childhood outside... my parents didn't like me having friends over when they weren't home, so i needed to go outside.

Anyways, i think it was fine for me. I didn't feel neglected by my parents... i spent most weekends with my dad either fishing, at the beach, sledding, etc.

But i do think i got in more trouble though. Actually, i know i got in more trouble because my parents weren't there... and i think this (and the lack of attention kids get) is one of the problems with being a latchkey kid.

 

Parrotheader

Diamond Member
Dec 22, 1999
3,434
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I was sort of one at about the same age (10+). My Dad had a traditional job and my mom was a librarian at my elementary school. I could have gone home with her each day, but I liked taking the bus to be with my friends and to get home a little earlier. I was usually only home for about 45min. to an hour before she got home. I never thought anything of i since I'd almost immediately leave our house to go play outside with friends. The neighborhood moms all knew who was home and who wasn't and they looked out for each other. Geez, that sounds like I'm talking about the 50s, but it was the 80s. Oh to be a kid again.
 

hans007

Lifer
Feb 1, 2000
20,212
17
81
i was one when i was 10-11. walked home, cooked noodles for myself. later i took care of my brother. my parents were busy trying to accomplish the american dream or something like that. i guess, it taught me a lot of independance, besides i learned a lot about computers in my boredom while waiting at home.
 

ChrichtonsGirl

Platinum Member
Aug 24, 2000
2,454
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I was, and it definitely affected me. My mom went back to work when I was 10, and I had my two younger brothers to take care of. It was incredibly stressful and undoubtedly has a whole lot to do with my need to be in total control now. I felt (and still do feel, to some extent) very neglected - I have an ingrained belief that my parents decided I didn't need to be taken care of and they didn't pay much attention to me at all. Maybe if I hadn't been so ignored, my parents could have figured out that I was being molested.

I have a very vivid memory of having to watch my brothers in the summertime, and being responsible for getting them in the house whenever there was a tornado warning (we had a lot in the late 70's). They would go off to their friends' houses, and I'd be panicking like crazy because I didn't know where they were and I knew my parents depended on me to keep them safe.

Maybe I go overboard compensating, but my child will NEVER be a latchkey kid. Until he's a teenager and would prefer that I not be around, I will always find ways to work my schedule around being home before and after school.

Damn, now I'm depressed. :(
 

no0b

Diamond Member
Jul 23, 2001
3,804
1
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yea i was/am one but i had a brother (he went to college) but sadly there was never food left out i would have to fend for myself.
 

Ameesh

Lifer
Apr 3, 2001
23,686
0
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11 on, i think it was fine, in fact i learned to appreciat all the hard work my parents did. When we did get time to together it was more valuable to me.
 

Looney

Lifer
Jun 13, 2000
21,941
5
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The neighborhood moms all knew who was home and who wasn't and they looked out for each other. Geez, that sounds like I'm talking about the 50s, but it was the 80s. Oh to be a kid again.


My neighborhood was the same way too.


Damn, now I'm depressed.

Sorry about that, didn't really expect anybody to have that bad of a childhood... but your story is very typical of those latchykey kids that have bad experiences: they're not only left alone to take care of themselves for a couple of hours, but they're left alone and expected to take the role of an adult, and feel they've been deprived of a childhood themselves.


 

hans007

Lifer
Feb 1, 2000
20,212
17
81
deprived of a childhood..... i 'll raise my hand to that. i was mr. be responsible and take care of your brother , sister oh and these 3 cousins of yours. and do it for free. and dont go out, because you are indebted forever to the family because we took the time to bother letting you be born.


thank you parents. they called me an ingrate too. I kinda laugh about it now because my brother and sister, couldn't fend for theirselves ever. and i have become a responsible , far too mature for my age adult. hell i was practically my moms psychologist as a teenager, she'd tell me all the crap she didnt like at work. yay!