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Last on

Wed 26 May 2010 11:00 BBC Radio 4 FM only

30 minutes
First broadcast:
Wednesday 26 May 2010

Actress Jessica Hynes a latch-key kid from the age of six hears the stories of others over the generations who too had to let themselves in to an empty house after school. How has this shaped and influenced the way she and others bring up their children?
The term "latch- key kid" came to prominence during the Second World War when children as young as five years old were being left as their Dads were away fighting and their mothers became part of the labour force. Sandra now a grandmother in her 70's, was along with her parents 'bombed out' of their home in Sheffield. They lost everything and her mum had to go out to work; throughout her entire school life Sandra was a latch--key kid. Later on in life when she too got married and had kids she made a secret pact - she was going to be around for her kids but in doing so what were the consequences?
Decades later the term became synonymous with neglect and was dropped but the practice continues to this day. John Amaechi defends rigorously his upbringing - having to be responsible and independent made him into who he is today - his success and they way he has raised his own family mirrors his own experience. But 80's child Lizzie who became a delinquent teenager says she was "at times overlooked"....brought up on Pot Noodles and stale things she's opted for a different life for her two boys.Whose got it right ?


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