Reading each of your accounts I was struck by the fact that you all spoke of your family's in positive ways. Your parents didn't leave you home alone because they wanted to buy a boat or so that your mom could be more fulfilled or because caring for the kid(s) was unimportant or because your mom decided that having a dad around wasn't important. And, I think that's the difference. If I were to speak about being a latchkey kid, my account wouldn't be positive. My parents' reasoning was flawed and selfish -- in many ways they were ahead of their time.
The increase in latchkey kids are just another symptom of a culture gone astray. Have uninvolved parents is going to have negative effects on children. Absent, uninvolved parents have increased negative effects.
I'd like to see a study of the reasons given by parents for their kids being left alone. I'm generally not one to wager, but I'd bet that if the study were correctly done, it could be easily shown that most latchkey kids are home alone because their parents simply have higher priorities.
Thanks for your nice response.
I happen to live in an affluent town and most of the parents work,using nannies,day-care,afterschool care,and camp to take care of the kids.Some of these little ones are my own grandchildren,but I stay out of it.
I don't get it! I stayed home with my kids and am glad I did,especially after I realized how hard it must have been for my mother.
You touched on the constant disagreement I have with my sister. She works full-time, as does her husband so that she can have vacations, two new cars, and so her kids "won't have to want for anything." She thinks my husband and I are foolish to risk financial insecurity "just so I can stay home and bake cookies." It leaves me at such a loss when talking to her that she can't see the real reason we do what we do - it's also hard to explain to her exactly why I am home with the baby without insulting her choice, I guess.
We aren't that close, needless to say. And for the record, my mom stayed home with us and baked cookies. I don't remember much about what we got for Christmas, Birthdays, or other gifts. I just remember Mom being there in the afternoon so she could read to me. I want the same for our son. :-)