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View Full Version : At what age did you give your child a key to the house?


inspiringmind
October 1st, 2008, 3:43pm
My youngest son is in 5th grade (11 in a few months) and has actually asked me a few times, "Mom, why can't you get us a key?" Kinda funny how he says it. He is a very responsible kid, gets good grades, takes the extra cell phone when he goes out on his bike. A few weeks ago he and his brother came home and DH and I had to go up to the school, they had already gotten on the bus, but we left the door open and as soon as he got home he called me. "Mom? - We are home -- Where are you?" Anyways, we finally went and had a key made for him today.

I was still wondering when you gave the key to your kids? (They grow up so fast don't they?)

daydreamer2
October 1st, 2008, 3:54pm
I said 15 or older for an actual key, but we don't even use the house keys ourselves. We go through the garage and use the code from the garage door opener. I'm usually home, so this never becomes an issue. My middle child is 7 and she knows the code to get in.

zelda
October 1st, 2008, 3:58pm
i live in a small town and never loc kmy doors so they don't have house keys.


But when i was a kid I got my first house key around the age of 8 because when I would get hoem from school there was usually no one home, and I would get home at least 30-45 minutes before my older brother and sisters.


It depends on if you think the child is responsible enough to not lose the key. Some kids are more responsible at 8 than some kids are at 15-16.....My oldest son at 8 I would have given a key, my youngest son at 13 I would not....


If a child is responsible, and you don't think they would lose the key why not give them one?

butlori
October 1st, 2008, 4:01pm
I answered 7 or younger, because my daughter was 7 (she's 8 now) when we gave her the code to open our garage door from the keypad. We don't use a key to go in and out of our house, we just use the garage. We have a coded key box on our front porch if we ever need to go in and out and don't have power, but she does not have the code to that.

That being said, she does not come home when we aren't home, so she does not NEED the code to get into the house. She usually uses it when she wants to ride her bike with her friends.

When I was young, my family had a key hidden outside our house to get in if we needed it, which was rare. It was on a nail and had a couple of different hiding places - behind bushes or out of sight where we hung the key, not under a rock. (At night, we had additional deadbolt locks on our doors, but the key was never missing). There is almost always someone home at my mom's house (even today - she is a foster parent of many children and if she is not home, the babysitter or my step-father is) so they leave the door unlocked during the day.

HistoryMystery
October 1st, 2008, 4:11pm
We always had one in a secret place in the garage, but I also had my own copy around the time I was in 3rd or 4th grade. My parents just wanted me to have one in the event that I ever had to come home from school without them for any reason.

HASAMA
October 1st, 2008, 4:14pm
i know times where different 45 years ago, but i grew up in nyc and had a key when i was 5 had a tough time reaching the lock but i had a key

Defenderofthefaith
October 1st, 2008, 4:16pm
I haven't given my children keys to the house yet but will decide when they are 14 or older.

EllaBarns
October 1st, 2008, 4:16pm
Well, I do not have a kid, but I remember I've had my own since I was 6 years old - my dad was sick a lot from something crappy and sometimes I would come home and he would be at the hospital so I had to let myself in and wait until someone came from the hospital to get me (usually a few hours).

I was pretty responsible, though I think seeing a family member suffering like that helps you to mature real fast.

I think a lot of young kids can be more responsible than their parents ever give them credit for.

Mickeyfan
October 1st, 2008, 4:18pm
In our tiny town, I don't even have a key to my house. One of the benefits of small town life.

KathBrat
October 1st, 2008, 4:24pm
I would think a key to a kid - would be at the same time as that child (individually) is mature enough (or by local law of their age) to stay alone.

txblessings
October 1st, 2008, 4:38pm
You mean I was suppose to give them a key? Oh goodness.. I thought that's what windows were for.... and I never found the "barn door" my parents kept asking me about.. "Why did you leave the door open..do you think you were raised in a barn?"

Happy Sweeps :jump:

Traumajunky
October 1st, 2008, 4:39pm
Well, my daughter is 6 and she has one.

Why? Well, some days she rides the bus straight home and others she goes to a sitter. I am paranoid that even with all the measures I take to make sure she gets on the right bus to the right place, that one day someone will make an error and she will be standing at the front door with no way to get in.

So, she has a key, she knows how to use it and I hope that all the adults in her life continue to do the things they are supposed to do and she never has to use it. If she does have to use it though, I rather she be in the house for 20-30 minutes by herself until I can get here to get her rather than standing outside on a busy street by herself.

rockcandi68
October 1st, 2008, 4:40pm
I think it depends on your situation and your individual child.

marthajane
October 1st, 2008, 4:40pm
I said 10, but I really don't remember. When I was married to his dad, there was always a key hidden on the enclosed porch, and he's always known where it was. We lived kind of in the country, so he rarely went home by himself. He went to a babysitter after school until he was 9 or 10, which was when we divorced. After that, he went to his grandparents houses after school (depending on which parent he was with at the time).
At around 10, after the divorce, he stayed by himself for short periods of time during the day, which is why I answered 10.

jesjaime
October 1st, 2008, 4:40pm
Both my kids got keys to the house when they started middle school. Its about 10yrs old. They have very busy social schedules and sometimes they get picked up or dropped off by other parents, I didn't want them to get locked out of the house.

inspiringmind
October 1st, 2008, 5:17pm
You mean I was suppose to give them a key? Oh goodness.. I thought that's what windows were for.... and I never found the "barn door" my parents kept asking me about.. "Why did you leave the door open..do you think you were raised in a barn?"

Happy Sweeps :jump:

LMAO!! My parents said that to me and I say it to my kids now. That was funny!

About two months ago we started letting the kids stay home for a few hours by themselves. They are 10 and 12. I gave the key to the 10 year old though.

IrishRose23
October 1st, 2008, 6:44pm
When my sister and I were in middle school, my mom and dad used to always work until about 6pm. So, my grandmother would come pick us and up would drop us off at the house. So, mom & dad gave us each a key to the house. We knew what to do when we got in and to never answer the phone or the door for anyone.

meeeee
October 1st, 2008, 6:49pm
they never really needed one - I think they were teens maybe ?

stah
October 1st, 2008, 6:53pm
Both my folks house and my house were always unlocked. We didn't worry about crime where we lived.

vtvixen469
October 1st, 2008, 6:57pm
I was raised by my grandmother who thought it was ok to leave me locked out of the house for several hours at a time. God forbid I not be sitting and waiting for her. I always felt so lousy sitting outside while my friends could go in and cool off or heat up and go to the bathroom, eat, etc. I hated it! My kids got keys as early as 7 years old. We are always home, but it was a just in case thing. I needed to know they could get in if something happened and we were not home.

Captain Nemo
October 1st, 2008, 7:05pm
police recommend door locks that need a key from both sides.
in a emergency like a fire ,separated from adults how can a kid get out ??:confused:

Armywife5
October 1st, 2008, 7:32pm
I chose age 14 cause that's the age I gave my oldest child a key...but I'll have to give my middle child a key (he's 10) soon since I'm starting nursing school.

caseycupcake
October 1st, 2008, 7:35pm
Neither kid as a key. And they are 18 and 19

havinfunyet
October 1st, 2008, 8:13pm
I tried giving my son a key when he was 9 he went and lost it in 2 days. Lucky we live in a small town and everyone on our street except us and the neighbors to the right are retired. So every step we take some one is watching lol.

Hubby and I went out to lunch today he didn't even bother to close the front door!

skpaw
October 1st, 2008, 9:49pm
My kids got keys in middle school, but I picked them up and they did not need them very often. In high school they did need them to get in.

daskds
October 2nd, 2008, 12:00am
My kiddos are only 6 so no need to think of this yet. But, Sis and I were some of the original latch key kids. We stayed home alone from the time I was in the 3rd grade so 8 yrs old? Sis was in 5th. She had a key. We did have some neighbors that we knew were home if we had emergencies, but just us most of the time.

Gee how times have changed.

Sextant
October 2nd, 2008, 12:17am
I would have to get a key to the house first. I know there must be one around here somewhere. Probably in Junior High as that is when she will start to ride the bus and need to get in after school.

tupik3702
October 2nd, 2008, 12:18am
We figured that if our children lost the key to the house, we'd need to have the locks re-keyed. So to prevent that from happening, we hid a key, in a very special place and if they ever needed a key to enter the house, they'd have it. As the children got older and had keys to the car, we'd also give them their own key to the house with the understanding that if they lost the keys to anything, the cost to have the locks re-keyed would be at their expense! :chat:

michelewa
October 2nd, 2008, 12:25am
Kids are not old enough to give them our garage code...

But when I was a kid I had access to the extra key when I was 9 or 10. It was under the dog bowl in the backyard!

GeekBearingGifts
October 2nd, 2008, 4:35am
Our foster daughter was an older teen when she came to us, and we gave her a key and a unique alarm code the first time we knew we would be away when she came home. Kids fostered through the county have to have an adult who's gone through a background check present any time they are home; she was fostered through our church, so that didn't apply, and her case worker said she could be home alone for short periods.

It was a voluntary foster placement and her birth mother refused permission for us to take her out of state for weddings, funerals, etc., so we would have to make special arrangements for her any time we we were away overnight. Once DD decided to come home while we were at a funeral (she was supposed to be visiting with her family, who knew we were gone, so that shows you what kind of judgement they had.) After that, any time we travelled, we had to disable her alarm code and set the alarm before we left. We would tell DD, her birth mother, whoever she was supposed to be staying with and her case worker so she wouldn't try to bamboozle someone, come home, and set of the alarm, which would summon the police. All the other kids who lived with us were way too young to need a key, and we were always there with them, had a sitter, or came home before they were due home from school, etc.

Janir
October 2nd, 2008, 6:06am
I gave my DD a key when she started Kindergarten, she never used it since I was a SAHM, but I know it was a comfort to her. Every child needs to know they can get into their HOUSE!!!!!

triple*eee
October 2nd, 2008, 7:58am
My two older kids lost so many keys when they were younger, I think the whole neighborhood had a key to our house LOL.


It wasn't until they got cars and they put the key on their key ring that they stopped losing them.


I just gave my 12 yr old daughter a key this year. I am home 99.9% of the time when she gets home (or I have to pick her up from practice) so she rarely uses it.

bigskwinner
October 2nd, 2008, 11:14am
I HAD to give both my kids keys cus guess who would lock her key in the house?

ME !!!!
so i'd go to the school after work and go get my kids key LOL and then go back home

don't think they ever had to use it themselves, but I sure made good use of it

NetworkSweeper
October 2nd, 2008, 11:29am
I haven't given my 15 and 18 year old boys keys to the house, just not trustworthy enough yet

johnpatrick
October 2nd, 2008, 11:36am
Get a key lock. Safe, always there, and you don't have to worry about your kids carrying or losing a key. Works good when you lock yourself out as well. :laugh: They're available at Lowes or Home Depot.

ups91
October 2nd, 2008, 12:58pm
DS was 10 when he got his first key. Last year, he started coming home on the bus. We have always had a key hidden and he has known where it is is for years.

Julieb
October 2nd, 2008, 1:20pm
My youngest son is in 5th grade (11 in a few months) and has actually asked me a few times, "Mom, why can't you get us a key?" Kinda funny how he says it. He is a very responsible kid, gets good grades, takes the extra cell phone when he goes out on his bike. A few weeks ago he and his brother came home and DH and I had to go up to the school, they had already gotten on the bus, but we left the door open and as soon as he got home he called me. "Mom? - We are home -- Where are you?" Anyways, we finally went and had a key made for him today.

I was still wondering when you gave the key to your kids? (They grow up so fast don't they?)


My son was 10 or 11, my daughter got one a month before she turned 10, at the start of this school year. I would rather my kids have a key than to leave the house unlocked. It would give my the creeps for them to walk into a house that has been unlocked all day, or even for a little while. I live out in the country near a small town, but crime happens anywhere, especially as the economy tanks.

inspiringmind
October 2nd, 2008, 1:51pm
police recommend door locks that need a key from both sides.
in a emergency like a fire ,separated from adults how can a kid get out ??:confused:

We have a door lock like that in our back door and I refuse to lock it. I think we are going to buy another one cause it came in a set of two and so right now we just lock the bottom lock.

PBsFroggy
October 2nd, 2008, 2:23pm
I never really gave my kids a key to the house even to this day and they are almost grown. However I did choose 9 years old because they would walk home from school and get there about 15 mins before me. I didn't trust my boys with a house key, at that time they had a hard enough time keeping up with their own shoes. I would spend 10 mins in the mornings asking them why they could never find their shoes. SO I didn't want them standing outside until I got home, so I went and invested in a lockbox for the front door. You have to put a code into it and get the key out, but you couldn't shut the door until the key was back in and locked again. That way they had to always make the sure not to forget to put the key back. When I move, the lockbox goes with me. Best investment I made, never once have we had a lost key and needed to change locks. I LOVE IT!!

However, when we moved here to our new house they were MUCH older and I tired to give the a key, nope, they wanted it in the lockbox because it was eaiser for them, they said.

It's not on my front door, it's beside it now so I really don't have to worry about the door shuting on the door of it anymore, but I do suggest it for small kids.

hellamanic
October 2nd, 2008, 2:25pm
I have no kids, but I had a key when I was 11 years old. we lived in the country. might have had one at a younger age, but we lived in the city and didnt really need it since my mom was always there anyways.

also. we used to hide a spare key in the back yard under a rock just in case i forgot or lost my key. eventually i just always used the spare key.