I was a latch-key kid nearly 40 years ago and so was my husband. Kids today are not as self-sufficient, imo.
I went to a relatively small school and the only kids that ended up being problem children were the ones that were over indulged by their parents.
Never underestimate the disuasive value of the fear of an ass kicking.
That being said, turn off the MTV, it is the absolute worst thing for kids to be exposed to.
BIG BIG difference. today the kids are innundated with societies worst. With no one home to guide them it's no wonder they are having serious emotional problems.