Well, I knew this moment would come... my newly-minted 13-year-old has requested her own house key. "All" of her friends, apparently, have one. She would like to be able to take the bus home from school and let herself in, or be dropped at home after a hangout with a friend while I'm at the store, etc. I'm pretty sure she's not going to burn the house down at this point and Ive started leaving her alone for brief periods of time (like a store run), so I'm not opposed to this in theory... the problem is her father.
DD lives halftime with myself and DH, and halftime with her father. I am very uncomfortable with the idea of her father having access to my home when I'm not there... and I have a feeling that if DD has a house key, he will make a copy of it for himself. He has given me keys to his home, which I reluctantly accepted, and which I use only in emergencies when DD has forgotten something important at his house (I always ask him to leave things on the porch for me instead of my going inside). He's also asked for keys to my place to use for the same purpose, but in addition to my own discomfort, DH says NO WAY! We have reasons to not trust him with our private belongings and information, and I would just have a feeling of constant unease and violation knowing he could let himself in at any time and root through my life.
I've been putting my DD off for some time about this... does anyone have any great ideas about how to handle this? I thought of maybe making a spare key but not allowing her to carry it or tell anyone about it... I could hide it outside somewhere and she would know where it is. But that seems like a not-so-great idea, too. And I know there are high-tech remote-entry systems available where I could let her in using my cellphone, but I bet that's awfully expensive. So... help!!
Thanks in advance for your ideas.