by, 08-03-2011 at 11:30 AM (1356 Views)
So if you guys didn't know, I have three kids. An almost 7 year old, a 6 year old and a 6 month old. My wife and I are downsizing into an apartment and we're forced to have her go back to work. She's been able to stay home with the children since she was pregnant with our first child. Now the complexity of working out where the kids will be, made harder by the fact that we decided to send our Kindergartner to a different school than our oldest (who will be in first grade) and the bus drop off time is the same time as the Kindergartner's school let's out (which does not have a bus system-private school). My wife and I were discussing how it would work out and I half-jokingly said, we'll just make Willow a latch key child.
Well that started a "discussion" about the legality of it. She stated it was illegal to leave a child under 10 at home alone. I of course couldn't believe this and did research and found our state actually has no laws regarding it. But her point was she wasn't comfortable with it so I conceded my stance that it was fine.
Let me state that I don't know if I was serious or not, I hadn't really thought about it. On one hand it scares me to death, but then again I'm an over protective parent and my kids don't go anywhereI (or someone that is watching them) can't see them. On the other hand, my mom frequently left me at home alone to go to the grocery store (we lived in the country a grocery store trip took at least an hour) and when my parents divorced, we moved to another state and I was 8, in the middle of second grade (granted a year older than my oldest) and my brother and I were latch key children. It's not like we got home at 3:45 and my mom got home at 5, very often I had to use the stove to make dinner for my brother and I (mostly the microwave, though). I also had a one mile walk to school, the bus system was the public bus, which cost money to ride. I know that sounds like one of those, "in my day, we had to walk three miles to school, uphill both ways, in three feet of snow" but we actually drove it once and it was a mile to school. So it makes me think my oldest would be fine, she'll be getting off the bus with a bunch of other kids that live there, in the apartment complex and it would only be in the 30 minutes it would take my wife to go get our other child. Still, it makes me wonder. My oldest is also very responsible and mature for her age, yet she's also still my baby
My wife was raised in a house where her mom was able to stay home and not work until she was will into Junior High school, so she has a completely different take on the situation.
Feel free to share your thoughts. No need to call the police, my wife has put her foot down so to speak so there will be no latch key children in our family.