I was a latch-key kid and survived!
It would be nice if every woman that chose to stay home with her young children was able to. But stay-at-home moms is not the issue. The true feminist perspective is choice with both roles ( career, job and family) deserving of respect.
Both my parents had to work. I was left alone from when I got home from to school till about 6pm. No day care, no special programs. I was told what to do and not do during that time. A snack was an apple or orange. When my parents got home we all ate dinner together (take out was rare). I did homework, my parents read or my dad played the piano to relax; mom knitted sometimes. We watched an hour or so of tv together. It was unheard of going out on a school night. There was plenty of talking and interaction time with my parents. The weekends were chores (another marvelous family bonding experience!) and family get togethers were priority.
I will agree that the consumerism driven society today puts "things" ahead of family. And lots of parents don't want to discipline, its just too much of a hassle.
I too was a latchkey kid in the early 60's when my parents divorced, my dad skipped town, and my mom went to work to support her 5 kids. I was 10 years old, taking care of my 8 and 6 year siblings after school, plus cleaning the house, and cooking easy meals. Did I develop some bipolar mind disorder? Hardly, I went on to graduate with honors from high school and college and have a work ethic that few people can hope to achieve.
Parents need to stop blaming their kid's problems on everything except where it truly lies.....themselves (the parents). They're all too quick to resort to medicine or God forbid...it's the school's fault. Wake up and smell the coffee parents, it's YOUR fault your kid is screwed up. Time to take some responsibility for how your children turned out and not blame it on everything else in the world to make yourself feel better at what a lousy parent you are. Maybe if parents would act like parents and not their kid's best friends and buddy, we wouldn't have half the problems that we do in our schools today.
My kids grew up witha parent working nights (mom) and a parent working days (me). She got them off to school and I was there right after the came home. They knew that the old man would be there and there was no chance for shennanigans. It worked well till they got freedom and then it all went to hell in a handbasket!
My older brother, sister and I were all 'Latch Key Kids" before the term was ever invented. Mom and Dad both worked. So we kids has lots to keep ourselves occupied. Homework. Chores. A huge back yard with trees to climb later in the day. After a dinner we all sat down to every night.
The telephone and television were off-limits until after Mom and Dady got home. We'd watch the news during dinner (Which started my life-long dispisal of Walter Cronkite) and maybe an hour later in the evening.
That was in the 1960s, so I'd imagine some kids were kinda F-ed Up in the 70s, 80. and 90s. F-ed Up, ignored kids grow up to "manage", not "raise" F-ed Up, ignored kids.