When to give the house keys to the child and how to do it

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Give the house keys to the child it represents an important moment of growth that has an important meaning: it means demonstrating one's trust in the little one, teaching him to take responsibility and offering him the opportunity to carve out a small space of autonomy. To understand what is the right time to do it, we talked to Serena Costa, a child psychologist.

Avoid before age 10

“There is certainly no rule that works for everyone, nor a set age to make this step, which must instead be done when you realize that your child is capable of facing such a task. However, it is good to make some considerations: before the age of 10 it would be better to avoid handing over the keys: the child is still too young and cannot manage many areas of his life, it could be risky ».

«Furthermore, it is necessary to remember that up to the age of 14, according to the law, children could not be left at home alone: ​​it is a question of responsibility that parents must evaluate. In fact, in middle school they generally begin to be more autonomous and to go to school alone: ​​this could lead parents to give them the house keys in advance.

Read also: Good manners: first rules of behavior

Find out if the child is responsible

Between 10 and 14 years could therefore be the right period to consider to hand over the house keys to the child. Obviously, you have to assess the degree of responsibility of your child: "For example, observe in practice whether he knows how to respect the times when he goes out, if he returns home toscheduled time together with his parents, or if when he is at home alone he behaves well, not opening up to strangers. It is also necessary to observe if he is a boy attentive to the things entrusted to him: if he often loses objects or if he is distracted about the things that are entrusted to him, he is probably not yet ready to manage the set of house keys ". Also read: 23 Positive Things Children Learn From Parental Behavior

Explain the consequences

«We must also instruct the boy on the value of the house keys and on the consequences that could occur in case of loss. Just as it is essential to explain to him to be careful to distinguish the people who could deceive him ».

In small steps

There are therefore no universal rules: each family can make its own decisions. «Of course, it would be better to approach this step gradually. It may be important to take small steps before handing over the house keys. Eg, entrust the keys to the child when the parent is still at home and send him to do small errands, so that he can then discuss his feelings or manage together any problems he may face, even simply by opening the front door alone ".

  • children education
  • House keys
  • teens
  • behavior
  • 1-2 children years
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