It is that time of the year where children are heading back to school, and many parents are heading back to work. This means many children are the last to leave the house in the morning and the first to arrive home in the afternoon. While individual states have mandates as to the age a child can be left home alone, many parents are more protective than the states demand and choose to keep their children with a nanny, a sitter, or an after school program for several years after the state mandates. As a parent, you may wonder, when it is appropriate to give you child a key to the house, letting your child stay home alone, even if just for a few minutes.
No Two Children Alike
The first rule of thumb is to know your child. No two children are alike. Even two children from the same parents can be drastically different. Having a key to the home is a big responsibility. Not only is your child expected to keep the key safe and always know its whereabouts, but your child must be able to be trusted to keep the home safe as well. Do not assume that because your older child was mature enough at 12 to have a key, your younger child would be as well. Each child has his or her own personality and will reach that level of maturity in his or her own time.
Respect for the Rules
In order to know that your home is going to remain safe and your child will remain unharmed, you must know your child has respect for the rules. Once you give your child a key to the home, a set of ground rules must be put into place. The child must be aware of the rules and the consequences of breaking them (both internal punishments and outside consequences). If you feel confident that your child respects the rules, he or she is likely ready for a key.
If you need to have new keys made, or locks replaced due to keys being lost, call the experts at Rapid Key Recovery at (612) 370-0222.