10 and 7 year old - should I let them be latchkey kids?
August 4, 2017 1:43 PM Subscribe
We currently pay $450/month for afterschool care for our two boys, 7 and 10. They mostly color or play boardgames in the cafeteria, and they like it OK. We can afford this, though of course it would be nice to have that money freed up for savings or family trips. We already let the kids walk to and from school together (about a 20-minute walk). If we were to stop using afterschool care, the kids would walk home and be home alone for about 45 minutes to an hour before a parent arrived. They are generally pretty responsible and get along with each other OK. They don't seem to have strong feelings about this idea one way or the other. We have experimented with letting them stay home alone for short periods (for instance 20 minutes while I run out to get milk) and it's gone just fine. I can't figure out if this idea is empowering, free-range parenting or short-sighted miserliness! I'm totally torn and would love additional perspectives!