Latch key kids

JLM
#1
I see this as a huge factor in how society operates today. I don't think all cases are bad, but I think a lot of cases aren't good. Kids overall are not as happy or well adjusted as they were when we were young. The beginning of another school year brings this out loud and clear. I have 7 grandchildren, covering the gamut as far as levels of adjustment go. One of the things that really blows my mind is what these kids are demanding now that a new year is starting and the second thing that blows my mind is the parents/guardians go along with it. $150 for a pair of jeans isn't unheard of- it don't happen in this family. Then there's all the electronic gadgetry, cell phones, apples, blackberries, raspberries I pops and on and on. When we were kids our communication was comprised of a length of wire stretched between two soup cans and we were happy with that. The most important commodity a kid can have (and there is simply no way to make up for it or replace) it is time and attention. Kids don't need money or at least very little of it. A little bit of time spent and a kid can be taught how to make her own jeans for probably $5 and then she has the benefit of the knowledge and the jeans. Of course the kids get their idiotic ideas from idiotic parents and their peers. Of course before anything will change the television will have to relegated to the scrap heap. I better quit before the white coats show up at my door.
 
Cliffy
#2
Quote: Originally Posted by JLMView Post

I see this as a huge factor in how society operates today. I don't think all cases are bad, but I think a lot of cases aren't good. Kids overall are not as happy or well adjusted as they were when we were young. The beginning of another school year brings this out loud and clear. I have 7 grandchildren, covering the gamut as far as levels of adjustment go. One of the things that really blows my mind is what these kids are demanding now that a new year is starting and the second thing that blows my mind is the parents/guardians go along with it. $150 for a pair of jeans isn't unheard of- it don't happen in this family. Then there's all the electronic gadgetry, cell phones, apples, blackberries, raspberries I pops and on and on. When we were kids our communication was comprised of a length of wire stretched between two soup cans and we were happy with that. The most important commodity a kid can have (and there is simply no way to make up for it or replace) it is time and attention. Kids don't need money or at least very little of it. A little bit of time spent and a kid can be taught how to make her own jeans for probably $5 and then she has the benefit of the knowledge and the jeans. Of course the kids get their idiotic ideas from idiotic parents and their peers. Of course before anything will change the television will have to relegated to the scrap heap. I better quit before the white coats show up at my door.

Quote has been trimmed, See full post: View Post
You are absolutely right. We have substituted electronic gizzmos for parenting. Kids are bombarded with advertising specifically targeted to them to convince them they will never be happy or belong if they don't have the latest and greatest, just like the shining example their parents present in their ever struggling battle to out do the Jones'. They follow our lead and are trapped into mindless consumerism by adults who target their advertising directly at kids. By all means, shoot you TVs and burn all those magazines that are aimed at turning your kids into consuming automatons.
 
Ariadne
#3
I have a latchkey kid. Several years ago, I put a keypad on the door so that I didn't worry about him losing his key and being locked out. I have come home and found the house overrun with loud, boisterous boys eating everything in the cupboard. A few pointed remarks solved that problem. I have arrived home and found the house empty on many occasions, so I gave my son a cell phone. That makes it easier for me to track him down when he doesn't come straight home from school. As a young teenager, he was often hungry after school and needed money for a snack, so I gave him a bank account and we regularly discuss money in/money out. I top up the account with allowance money so he never needs to beg, borrow, or steal. I don't always have time to take him shopping, and I'm in no way qualified to choose his clothes, so I also give him a clothing allowance. He uses his bank card to buy what he needs. This teaches him financial responsibility and budgeting. I don't always want to drive him around, so he has learned to take the bus and taxis ... I prefer taxis after dark. It gives me piece of mind, and relieves me of the responsibility of chauffeuring him around the city. This latchkey kid just turned 15, is trying out for the football team, has a private swim coach (because he wants to perfect the skill), and is generally a responsible and reasonable, independent child. He's helpful, courteous, wants to get a job, and generally relates to the world in respectful, mature manner.

There's an upside to this latchkey kid thing ... some children learn that independence is gifted through being responsible (and of course there are ups and downs during the learning process), while others take the independence and refuse the responsibility. I think it can go either way, depending on the relationship between the child and parents. I'm all for latchkey-ing children that are up for the responsibility.
 
JLM
#4
Quote: Originally Posted by AriadneView Post

I have a latchkey kid. Several years ago, I put a keypad on the door so that I didn't worry about him losing his key and being locked out. I have come home and found the house overrun with loud, boisterous boys eating everything in the cupboard. A few pointed remarks solved that problem. I have arrived home and found the house empty on many occasions, so I gave my son a cell phone. That makes it easier for me to track him down when he doesn't come straight home from school. As a young teenager, he was often hungry after school and needed money for a snack, so I gave him a bank account and we regularly discuss money in/money out. I top up the account with allowance money so he never needs to beg, borrow, or steal. I don't always have time to take him shopping, and I'm in no way qualified to choose his clothes, so I also give him a clothing allowance. He uses his bank card to buy what he needs. This teaches him financial responsibility and budgeting. I don't always want to drive him around, so he has learned to take the bus and taxis ... I prefer taxis after dark. It gives me piece of mind, and relieves me of the responsibility of chauffeuring him around the city. This latchkey kid just turned 15, is trying out for the football team, has a private swim coach (because he wants to perfect the skill), and is generally a responsible and reasonable, independent child. He's helpful, courteous, wants to get a job, and generally relates to the...

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Has this kid been made to work for what he wants? Doesn't this kid walk anywhere? Can this kid do anything without Mummy providing for it. I wouldn't doubt that he is polite and respectful- if someone was handing me money at every turn I'd be VERY polite and respectful. What's going to happen there Mum, when you are not there to provide for his every whim? I suggest you could be raising public enemy #1. Adversity builds character, pampering builds spoiled brats.
 
Ariadne
#5
Quote: Originally Posted by JLMView Post

Has this kid been made to work for what he wants? Doesn't this kid walk anywhere? Can this kid do anything without Mummy providing for it. I wouldn't doubt that he is polite and respectful- if someone was handing me money at every turn I'd be VERY polite and respectful. What's going to happen there Mum, when you are not there to provide for his every whim? I suggest you could be raising public enemy #1. Adversity builds character, pampering builds spoiled brats.

It worked well with the first two, no reason to assume that it will go wrong with the third. I suspect he fully understands that when he turns 18 he has 2 choices: post-secondary education, or work. If he chooses work, he'll soon realize that uneducated grunt work doesn't provide much in terms of quality of life ... which will in turn cause him to become a criminal, or attend post-secondary education. I'm banking on choice number 2. Children learn what they live ... kindness, generousity, patience, opportunity, respect, responsibility ... may it come back in spades.
 
JLM
#6
Quote: Originally Posted by AriadneView Post

It worked well with the first two, no reason to assume that it will go wrong with the third. I suspect he fully understands that when he turns 18 he has 2 choices: post-secondary education, or work. If he chooses work, he'll soon realize that uneducated grunt work doesn't provide much in terms of quality of life ... which will in turn cause him to become a criminal, or attend post-secondary education. I'm banking on choice number 2. Children learn what they live ... kindness, generousity, patience, opportunity, respect, responsibility ... may it come back in spades.

I wish you well but I fear for you.
 
Ariadne
#7
Quote: Originally Posted by JLMView Post

I wish you well but I fear for you.

We'll talk in 3 years. Either I'll have a child living in my basement forever, or I'll have an independent, responsible child with hopes, dreams, ambitions, plans, and direction for the future. I'm not too concerned.
 
Tonington
#8
Quote: Originally Posted by AriadneView Post

We'll talk in 3 years. Either I'll have a child living in my basement forever, or I'll have an independent, responsible child with hopes, dreams, ambitions, plans, and direction for the future. I'm not too concerned.

I had given up on university by the time I finished high school, and didn't ever see myself going to university. Working from 9pm to sometimes 11am in the morning unloading Zellers merchandise from trucks changed my mind. Now I have my first degree, and am planning a graduate degree, perhaps even a fast-track to PhD.

My brother (younger than I) was the stronger academic. He's now in the process of finishing his PhD.

All you can do is try to give your kids the tools they need.
 
gerryh
+2
#9  Top Rated Post
JLM, it's time for you to join the 21st century. I have 7 kids. They run from 16 years old to 31 years old. Did I raise the 2 youngest the same as the oldest? Nope. Did I raise any of them the exact same way I was raised? Nope. Today, cell phones, laptops, and internet access is a must. Regardless of what you and Cliffy would like to believe, that is a fact of life today.
 
JLM
#10
Quote: Originally Posted by gerryhView Post

JLM, it's time for you to join the 21st century. I have 7 kids. They run from 16 years old to 31 years old. Did I raise the 2 youngest the same as the oldest? Nope. Did I raise any of them the exact same way I was raised? Nope. Today, cell phones, laptops, and internet access is a must. Regardless of what you and Cliffy would like to believe, that is a fact of life today.

I hear you Gerry- of course the things you mention are a must (but to a limited degree). I let my grand daughters on the computer too but I also insist they read some books. We buy stuff for them too but we also insist they do something to earn money to buy for themselves. I wouldn't expect them to be raised the same way I was as I didn't travel by horse and buggy either but there's a limit, I have a great niece who was spending her whole allowance texting and spending god know how many hours a day at it. Of course texting is good- to leave a message- not for general conversation. But you're right, kids have to be taught to survive in the environment they are thrust into.
 
gerryh
#11
Quote: Originally Posted by JLMView Post

I hear you Gerry- of course the things you mention are a must (but to a limited degree). I let my grand daughters on the computer too but I also insist they read some books. We buy stuff for them too but we also insist they do something to earn money to buy for themselves. I wouldn't expect them to be raised the same way I was as I didn't travel by horse and buggy either but there's a limit, I have a great niece who was spending her whole allowance texting and spending god know how many hours a day at it. Of course texting is good- to leave a message- not for general conversation. But you're right, kids have to be taught to survive in the environment they are thrust into.

want to know how my youngest learned to read? No amount of books, cajoling, threatening, bribing, extra tutoring, worked. What worked was video games. "Nope, I will NOT read to you what is on the screen. You want to play the game, YOU learn to read what the screen says. In no time at all he was sufficiently motivated to learn how to read.
 
JLM
#12
Quote: Originally Posted by gerryhView Post

want to know how my youngest learned to read? No amount of books, cajoling, threatening, bribing, extra tutoring, worked. What worked was video games. "Nope, I will NOT read to you what is on the screen. You want to play the game, YOU learn to read what the screen says. In no time at all he was sufficiently motivated to learn how to read.

Whatever works, Gerry, it's the end result that counts.
 
gerryh
#13
Quote: Originally Posted by JLMView Post

Whatever works, Gerry, it's the end result that counts.


That's exactly right. So, did you want to modify your original post?
 
JLM
#14
Quote: Originally Posted by gerryhView Post

That's exactly right. So, did you want to modify your original post?

Very little, I think if we took what I said and added what you said, it would probably be a little more realistic. The things that bother me today are things like kids having too much done for them, and I don't see too much gratitude today and of course I see too much influence from the media, but by all means they should have a working knowledge of the new innovations. I don't think kids should be doled out money for buses and taxis to places they can walk to. As you probably realize too many kids today are deficient in physical fitness and being able to improvise for themselves and making their own entertainment. Do you agree?
 
Ariadne
#15
Quote: Originally Posted by JLMView Post

Very little, I think if we took what I said and added what you said, it would probably be a little more realistic. The things that bother me today are things like kids having too much done for them, and I don't see too much gratitude today and of course I see too much influence from the media, but by all means they should have a working knowledge of the new innovations. I don't think kids should be doled out money for buses and taxis to places they can walk to. As you probably realize too many kids today are deficient in physical fitness and being able to improvise for themselves and making their own entertainment. Do you agree?

I doubt any parent pays for transportation when a child is close enough to walk.
 
Bcool
#16
Quote: Originally Posted by AriadneView Post

We'll talk in 3 years. Either I'll have a child living in my basement forever, or I'll have an independent, responsible child with hopes, dreams, ambitions, plans, and direction for the future. I'm not too concerned.

I don't think you should be concerned, sounds like an excellent program to me.

JLM the "latch key" thread title threw me a bit, as the number of young to very young (kindergarten!) children going to school with latch keys and the issue of their safety both on getting to their home unsupervised & once there being alone is happening all too often IMO. Much of it driven by the high cost of living demanding both parents work just to keep up with the basics or single mothers left to be the sole economic support, which often means two or more low paying, part-time, no benefit jobs in the majority of cases.

But when it comes to techy gizmoes, video games, computers, cell phones.... Bring 'em on AFAIC. Our two daughters experienced a very different school experience & childhood from each other. One did extremely well all the way through school, graduating from the International Baccalaureate curriculum at high school and with an honours degree from university - despite holding down three part-time jobs whilst completing her last two years.

Our other daughter, while highly intelligent, was and is severely dyslexic with accompanying dysgraphia. Although my husband was both a teacher and then a Principal during her elementary years, we could not penetrate the barriers imposed on any children who could not meet the "normal" standards of the mid seventies educational system. It was a nightmare, her school life consisted of constant harrassment and bullying by other students, teachers who humiliated & punished her for "laziness" or "being deliberately inattentive & distracting others...", to "Retard!" and worse. I would pull her out of school for months at a time to give her some relief, to home school her & to give her socializing opportunities away from a school type atmosphere. I fought the system, as did she, all the way through to her high school graduation - which was going to be denied to her and her fellow Learning Disabled group as, put in actual speak rather than the carefully worded notice, "Graduation and the prom was just for the smart normies.". They had to be careful, she & I were too well known in the local media for going to the public school board meetings and outing the treatment and constant breaching of the School Act re learning disabilities. When my daughter, at a hugely crowded school board meeting (a teacher friend had made sure lots of teachers, parents of Special Needs students & the media were there - I didn't know about that beforehand) struggled her way through her speech on the life of a "Special Needs" student in their system, there wasn't a dry eye in the place, including mine - although I hated to see her have to do that I was so very proud of her. We, especially she, made headlines & big changes followed, not in time to benefit her though. I was told some years later by the then retired Superintendent of Schools that we, my daughter & I, should be proud of the fact that seven new Special Needs classrooms were built as a consequence of our fight. I'd have slugged the SOB I swear if my daughter hadn't been with me - I did icily ask him as she turned to move away, "Then where the hell were you when she needed them?" He was gob-smacked.

Thing is, computers were still in the DOS basic stage and very little techy stuff going. We got her whatever we thought would help though & did whatever we could to ease the hurt she suffered.

Our grand-daughter, her daughter, has the same learning disabilities. Still harsh to take but what a difference all those gizmoes and gadgets make for her! She attends a school where full use of every electronic educational tool is used, where students are taught to treat students with disabilities as their equals and friends, she has access to two one on one aides if needed, excels at sports which are highly encouraged, has her own computer both at school and at home, a Wii, a cell phone, camera (she takes super pic's) plus goodness knows what other digital things, her parents make sure she gets lots of after school activities such as Zuma (martial arts), swimming, etc., plus the weekends after housework (all very organized - my daughter is very bossy ) is devoted to getting her to as many activities as possible with her parents - Victoria always has lots going on so they're always doing something fun. She is a happy, fun & IMO beautiful, like her mother, young girl who is coping well despite her dyslexia and dysgraphia.

If you will JLM, imagine the frustration of trying to make a special Mothers Day card when circles move, lines change shape, letters switch around and you don't know how to write what you want to say; which leads to tears and everything being ripped up & garbaged by a broken hearted little one. Now think of the same child sitting down at their computer, going to a website or computer program designed for dyslexic children and adults & giggling as they play with the letters and graphics whilst listening to instructions on how to do things - not having to read them. Then, when they have a finished card they like being able to click on the "tell me" button, which will then read back to them any text they've put in the card, suggest with humour letter changes where spelling errors occur, describe their art work - colour, shapes, etc., usually with some humourous compliments added.... A whole new world JLM, her mother and I will look at each other sometimes as she's happily humming away doing some activity that would have been impossible for her mother to do at her age, we don't say anything but then... we don't have to.

Apologies for the length of this, just a side of the digital age you may not have considered.

This is an open source site so I hope is ok to put the URL in my post:
Tux Paint
I've downloaded it for me to play with, its a hoot & will maybe show you what's out there for the kids that's good stuff, (if you go to it, do check the amazing pic's in the gallery) they also do a Tux Math program & have links to other open source educational sites.
_______________
 
JLM
#17
Quote: Originally Posted by BcoolView Post

I don't think you should be concerned, sounds like an excellent program to me.
JLM the "latch key" thread title threw me a bit, as the number of young to very young (kindergarten!) children going to school with latch keys and the issue of their safety both on getting to their home unsupervised & once there being alone is happening all too often IMO. Much of it driven by the high cost of living demanding both parents work just to keep up with the basics or single mothers left to be the sole economic support, which often means two or more low paying, part-time, no benefit jobs in the majority of cases.
But when it comes to techy gizmoes, video games, computers, cell phones.... Bring 'em on AFAIC. Our two daughters experienced a very different school experience & childhood from each other. One did extremely well all the way through school, graduating from the International Baccalaureate curriculum at high school and with an honours degree from university - despite holding down three part-time jobs whilst completing her last two years.
Our other daughter, while highly intelligent, was and is severely dyslexic with accompanying dysgraphia. Although my husband was both a teacher and then a Principal during her elementary years, we could not penetrate the barriers imposed on any children who could not meet the "normal" standards of the mid...

Quote has been trimmed, See full post: View Post
You've articulated well your situation & I'm the first to say if something works for you it should be put to good use. In your daughter's and grand daughter's case I don't think high tech gizmos take away benefits from conventional gadgets. My grand daughters also have such gadgets as you mentioned including Wii and digital cameras, but they haven't gotten away from the manual things like paints and crayons sissors and glue and playing in the dirt and studying bugs found in the yard. I just think that today what is considered basic necessities were what we would have considered luxuries years ago and I don't happen to believe any number of luxuries can replace or make up for a parent's presence and attention. Of course as I've said many times there is an exception to every rule.
 
karrie
#18
JLM... I agree with you somewhat. My kids don't get the fancy clothes, we don't have a fifth wheel, we don't take the vacations to Mexico every winter, they dno't have the gadgets and gizmos (yeah, they have a few, but not nearly as many as some other kids their age). We forego these things so that I can be home and available for them.

But... not all moms are cut out for that. Not all marriages are cut out to function that way. I try not to judge. And, for the record, I know more moms who raise their kids similar to me, than I do moms who raise their kids the way you lay out as the norm in your opening post.
 
JLM
#19
Quote: Originally Posted by karrieView Post

JLM... I agree with you somewhat. My kids don't get the fancy clothes, we don't have a fifth wheel, we don't take the vacations to Mexico every winter, they dno't have the gadgets and gizmos (yeah, they have a few, but not nearly as many as some other kids their age). We forego these things so that I can be home and available for them.

But... not all moms are cut out for that. Not all marriages are cut out to function that way. I try not to judge. And, for the record, I know more moms who raise their kids similar to me, than I do moms who raise their kids the way you lay out as the norm in your opening post.

Yeah, I guess I'm often remiss at not keeping up with the times, just hate to see when things that are supposed to be a benefit turn out to be a detriment, especially as they relate to kids physical and emotional health.
 
Bcool
#20
Quote: Originally Posted by JLMView Post

Yeah, I guess I'm often remiss at not keeping up with the times, just hate to see when things that are supposed to be a benefit turn out to be a detriment, especially as they relate to kids physical and emotional health.

I was always at home for our two: we owned & I managed commercial greenhouses - our house was on the same property. Like Karrie, I could not have been a working Mum as in away from home work. And my schedule was always arranged so that I was off duty for getting off to school and after school and all day when they were ill, etc.

As far as nature and playing in the dirt: we did lots of that with our two and they always had great areas of grass, trees, creeks, small lake, dogs, cats, guinea pigs, bunnies, mud slides made by the otters to slide on, muskrat families playing to watch, they knew the proper names of the many birds that were to be seen, taught how to skip rocks, climbed trees, built hide-outs....

The grand-daughter: there isn't a thing she couldn't tell you about whales, seals, eagles, salmon, nudibranchs (sea slugs), can identify almost everything in a tidal pool, knows how and what star fish and anenomies eat, .... The fun of turning over rocks or seaweed on a beach to see what's hiding underneath, as well as learning about and camping in the rain forests here, the proper names of the commoner trees, plants, snakes, slugs, beetles. They live in a condo so playing in the garden is out, but she gets to do that at our place - we collect oodles of stuff in jam jars & she happily makes a "garden" that never grows but she likes it...

Best of both worlds, huh, JLM?

And poor widdle me grew up amidst massive rationing, no books to buy, so many areas off limits for play because they hadn't been swept for unexploded bombs yet, everything grey sooty and gloomy, worn out clothing and bare shelves in the stores, London was blackened bomb craters with beds & curtains hanging off parts of walls flapping in the smoggy air and the occasional Rolls, Bentley or Daimler whisking by that you'd gaze at with awed eyes like dinner plates 'cos those people were special and important and didn't have to queue up for hours for groceries in the rain, and the garden was for growing vegetables & for staying away from the spooky air-raid shelter 'cos you had nightmares about long cold scary nights in it... But, whenever I got home from the grim boarding school, I still got to play, explore, climb trees, catch beetles, to have dogs, bunnies, guinea pigs, pet mice, frogs... A bit upsetting when your bunnies go missing and then you see the blood on the wall & the neighbour boy leers over the fence & gloats about how he watched them smash your bunnies heads open there - rationing: no meat that week, see?

Things could be worse than iPods JWL.
 
talloola
#21
very enlightening posts Bcool, thank you for that.

I was a stay at home mom, always available for the children, life was good for all of us. My daughters
are working moms, life is good for them, and their children are growing up well, are happy, smart
and do know how to be very independent at a younger age than mine did, both lives are just fine,
it's how the parents organize those lives, and how much they love their children, and show it.
I was a very independent child too, and my mom was home all the time, but she did not
have a car, I took the bus everywhere at a very young age, and learned to get myself
around the city on my own, now days we all have cars, and don't want to let our kids
get too far out of our sight, we want them safe, we are concerned about 'what' or 'who' is out there, so we protect them more, when I was a kid, we didn't have any
choice, we did what we had to.
I knew many parents who were poor stay at home moms, did nothing, sat around with
neighbours, drinking coffee and smoking, didn't know half the time what their kids
were doing, and wasted most of their day.

If I had to do it over again, I wouldn't change a thing, I loved staying home, worked hard, had a
garden, good home cooking, and well organized, and kids did many extra curcular activities.

My youngest daughter does not have a TV in the house, but they do have all of the electronic gadgets.
I don't believe in 'the no TV' thing. her son loves NHL hockey, as we do, and has to watch it on his
computer, or go somewhere else, sometimes at our house. Not having a TV just lets parents off the
hook, as they don't have to organize what is watched or not.
I think parents are afraid to take charge of the TV, and just give in to allowing it to be their
babysitter, it's not the fault of the tv, as the children miss out on many many very valuable programs
on tv, which would enrich their lives and help them learn about the world. Those who view the tv
as a waste of time, obviously haven't looked into the positive side of the tube, and only seem to
know about all the junk. 'just don't watch the junk', it's so easy.
Last edited by talloola; Sep 7th, 2010 at 12:17 AM..
 

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