Operation Latchkey ®
TIPS FOR WORKING PARENTS
- If your children are to be in charge of themselves at home, talk about activities they can do and the routines they are to follow. Discuss family policies on entertaining and visiting friends and what to do when the phone or door bell rings.
- Have children - teens too - check in with you at work or with a neighbor when they come home from school. Be sure they memorize your work phone number and give this number to a neighbor too. Post it next to the phone, along with numbers for a neighbor, police, and fire department. Let your kids know when you will be home.
- Check out babysitters and day care centers carefully. Ask for references and call them!
- Instruct children and babysitters not to give out any information about who is at home. who is out, and for how long.
- Get together with your neighbors, PTA, Boys Club/Girls Club, and schools to provide after school activities as an alternative to leaving a child at home alone
- Talk to your employer about employer-supported child care options. These can range from an on-site day care center to summer day camps, information and referral services, and financial assistance.
- Establish a block parent program to keep kids safe as they walk to and from school. Rely on elderly residents, housekeepers, and mothers at home with young children and reward them with parties, a home-cooked meal, or babysitting vouchers.
- Encourage schools to offer survival skills training where children learn safety measures such as fire safety, accident prevention, and first aid, as well as personal safety and sexual abuse prevention tips.
- Work with the PTA, youth clubs, local Y, or churches to establish a warm line that latchkey children can call if they're scared or lonely.
- See if churches or other community groups offer "rap" sessions for teenagers.
- Take time to listen to your kids - what they're doing, what's going on with their friends and school, their high points and low points.
Vallance Security can offer you a piece of mind. The security systems that we use when combined with our cell/radio technology can tex/sms you when our child arrives home from school and turns off the security system.