Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!
Kari asks: My 17 year old son has locked his keys in his car or trunk twice now. He then borrows a phone to call me to bring the spare that opens the door only. I have asked him to call the local locksmith to get advice on how to prevent or mitigate this problem so he can solve it himself. Do you have any advice for changing his habit or preparing for the incident in way that he can be self-sufficient?
My reply: You’re on the right track . . . by letting him figure it out!
A 17-year-old is an almost-adult who needs to learn how to deal with life’s problems on his own. Locking his keys in the car/trunk is one such.
We all do this, of course – and there are a number of ways to reduce the frequency, as by making a point of ritualistically checking one’s pockets for the keys before one closes (and locks) the doors or the trunk. And then there are taking steps in advance to deal with the results if one forgets, as by having an extra set of keys handy or at least accessible.
If he were an adult living on his own, I’d advise him to keep an extra set at his place so that if he locks himself out, he can let himself back in. Or give a set to a trusted friend, for the same purpose.
Since he is still a kid and (I assume) living with you, he can keep an extra set in his room – and if he locks himself out again, let him know you’re not going to be the one who brings him the keys. That it’ll be up to him to walk/Uber/whatever home to get them and then find a way back to his car to unlock.
Or, call – and pay for – a locksmith. On his own.
Hassle is a strong teenager motivator!
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