What kinds of problems do latchkey children face?

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asked Oct 19, 2023 in Grade Schooler by Krisb7465 (2,210 points)
What kinds of problems do latchkey children face?

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answered Feb 19 by Kledolock (6,300 points)
The kinds of problems that latchkey children face are loneliness, boredom, fear, academic under-achievement, drug and alcohol abuse, accidental injury, and impairment of the parent-child relationship.

The reason it's called a latchkey kid is because of the key that kids are given in order to unlock the doors at their homes that are vacant.

A latchkey kid is a kid that is responsible for self care before and after school while their parents are away working.

Basically the latchkey kid comes home alone to an empty house and cares for themselves until the parents come home.

The phrase latchkey kid, which specifically refers to a kid who wears a house key around their neck for easy entry into their homes, gained popularity in the 1940s, as many fathers were sent to fight in World War II and mothers entered the workforce to support both their families and the war effort.

Today there are around 7.7 million latchkey kids in the U.S.—double the count in 2000.

One in five children come home to an empty house after school.

State age recommendations for leaving kids home alone range from six in Kansas to 14 in Illinois.

Children being left alone for more than three hours often present with low self esteem, low academic efficacy and high levels of depression.

They are often not well adjusted and sometimes present with behavioral problems.

The effects of being a latchkey child differ with age.

Loneliness, boredom and fear are most common for those younger than ten years of age.

In the early teens, there is a greater susceptibility to peer pressure, potentially resulting in such behavior as alcohol abuse, drug abuse, sexual promiscuity and smoking.

Studies show that nearly 30 percent of all children younger than 14 years of age care for themselves or are cared for by older siblings during non school hours.

The result is that many kids left alone don't develop the social skills of their peers.

In order to stay safe, they aren't out playing with other kids and learning how to get along.

Obesity is common.

Being home alone and staying indoors means that many of these kids aren't running around or biking or playing.

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