~ This after-school snacks shop has been compensated by #CollectiveBias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine.
This year I am facing a huge and terrifying change. I will officially be the mother of a latchkey kid. While I mostly work from home, some of my jobs are outside the house, which has never been an issue until now. My oldest son has aged out of after-school care, so now I have to accept the fact that I can't keep this little bird chained to the nest much longer. I know that part of being a parent is giving your child space to spread their wings and grow up, but it doesn't make it any easier. I worry, will he catch the house on fire making after school snacks (thank goodness for quick microwavable meals), will he answer the door and find a kidnapper, will he become the prey of an online predator, and so many other, possibly irrational fears. Thankfully I have plenty of time before school starts to prep the kid on the in's and out's of being a latch key kid. After all, I was once a latchkey kid, and other than chasing my brother around the house with a kitchen knife (sorry mom), I think I managed pretty well.
So here's my plan for teaching my child to stay safe after school.
The last thing I want to do is scare him, but I do want to make sure he's prepared for anything. I decided to start this process off by going to Walmart and purchasing his school supplies, #AfterSchoolSnacks, and a lanyard for his house key. He was excited to see all the stuff I picked up for him, especially the Bagel Bites and Delimex because he wasn't expecting snack food!
Oh, and if you are planning on purchasing Bagel Bites or Delimex for your kiddos, here's a great coupon for .50 off one package of Bagel Bites and 1.00 off one box of Delimex!
I knew I didn't want Jordan to have to use the stove, but I also wanted him to have snacks that would hold him over until someone gets home. That's why I picked up easy to make snacks like Bagel Bites and Delimex. Both of these after-school snacks can be cooked in the microwave and will keep him full more extended than a non-cook snack like a cheese stick. As you know, I pay attention to what we eat around here, so I was happy to see that Bagel Bites are made with real cheese and homemade sauce and have 0 grams of trans fat!
After I gave Jordan his goodies, we started walking through each step of staying at home. We completed a full walk-through of what his day after school would look like.
First, I had him use his house key to unlock the door; then he immediately locked the door behind him. After that, he showed me how he would prepare his snack. He assured me that after eating, he would start his homework, and if we still weren't home, he would use the remaining time to watch tv or play his video games. For the time being, I am not going to let him play around the neighborhood. At this point, I want to know where he is at all times, so maybe that will come with time.
To mix it up a little, we played out a few scenarios. I wanted to make sure he understood a few key points:
- Never open the door for ANYONE
- Never use the stove
- Never go into the house if the door is unlocked or ajar (call us first)
- Always call 911 first if there is an emergency
Even though he knows our numbers by heart, I made sure to put them on the fridge. During an emergency, you never know how a child will respond, so it's best to have the numbers posted. I also included the neighbor's phone number in case he can't reach either of us.
Overall, I feel pretty confident that Jordan will make me proud. I think he is mature enough to follow the rules (yes, even though he feels the need to make snack creations), and I am proud of him for being so ready to start this new journey called middle school!
Do you have any other tips I may have missed? Do you have children who stay at home after school, if so, how did you prepare?