When your kids get a little older, possibly between middle school and high school, they might come home alone after school. If you trust your kids enough to be home alone, you will need to have keys made for them. This can be a scary thought, but with the right precautions, you can keep your kids and your home safe. Here are some tips for giving house keys to your kids.
Know When They Are Old Enough
The right age for giving kids house keys and letting them stay alone is a little subjective. It really depends on your kids, not just how old they are. Pay more attention to how mature and responsible they are and less about whether or not they reach the supposed perfect age. One parent might feel that their 12-year-old is mature enough for a house key, while someone else doesn't feel comfortable until their child is 14 or 15. Pay attention to your child's actions, such as if they can work independently on homework, if they are constantly losing things, or if they don't seem to follow directions. These details let you know if they are ready or not.
Give Them a Secure Way to Hold Onto the Keys
You probably don't want to just give your child a house key with a small keyring and call it a day. Kids usually need something that will make it easier for them to find the key and remember to bring it with them to school. One good idea is for them to wear a lanyard, which can be worn around their neck but under their shirt. It is hidden while they are at school, but then they can grab the key when they need it. Lanyards are also good for keeping in their backpack since they are easy to find. Another option is to get them a backpack with a clip inside where the keyring can be attached. Combine this with a retractable keychain so they can stretch it out to open the door.
Set Some Strict Rules For Using the House Key
You also want to set some rules with your child when you give them the house key. These rules are meant for safety and security, both to protect your child and your home from intruders. For example, you might tell them that they should never let anyone know they are home alone or that they have a key to your house. You should also have a rule about them telling you immediately if they have misplaced the key. Tell them they will never get in trouble for losing it, but you need to know so that you can decide if changing the locks and getting new keys cut is necessary.
If you think your child is ready for the responsibility of a house key, visit key cutting services in your area for a new set.