As a child with two parents who worked outside the home, as well as a working parent of a child who also has two parents who work outside the home, I can state from personal experience that there are many effects attributable to a child in this situation. There are many positives and negatives to this lifestyle and they change as schedules and activities change. With a bit of flexibility and open thinking, this can be advantageous while teaching many lessons to children and parents alike.
A majority of parents work outside of the home to maintain financial stability. As children enter daycare and school, a routine is more easily established. Child care is an extremely costly, ongoing expense. Is care before and after school required?
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It may mean earlier bedtimes, preparing breakfast, lunch and snacks, and checking homework, signing papers and reading school correspondence the night before rather than waiting to do it in the morning. As your child matures some expense can be eliminated if you are comfortable allowing your child to be alone in the house before and after school. These children are sometimes referred to as latchkey kids. If the family is ready for this and selects it as an option, it can teach the child much about independence and responsibility. Ground rules will need to be set and discussed before this transition occurs. Is cooking allowed? Can friends visit without an adult present? Reminders to lock doors, do homework and limit television and computer use will be repeated daily. Fortunately, there are now many technologies such as GPS, cell phone tracking, security systems, and online cameras to account for the whereabouts and actions of your child.
We very often hear about Emergency Management Plans, Business Continuity Plans or even Disaster Recovery Plans. These plans outline steps to be taken in case of a natural disaster or national emergency. It is advantageous to set up our family structure similarly. What should the child do if there is a fire or if someone tries to break into the house while alone? Where are the exits? Is there a safe spot in the house? Do you have a contingency plan or a friendly, trustworthy neighbor who might be available to