Family Affair

Season 3 Episode 1

The Latch Key Kid

Aired Thursday 7:30 PM Sep 23, 1968 on CBS
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Episode Summary

Buffy meets a girl named Lana who lives along while her mother goes out all the time. Buffy considers being just like Lana, until she comes over and confesses that Buffy has a good life.

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  • Buffy envies a girl who gets to do whatever she wants. The girl, however, would rather be Buffy.

    "The Latch Key Kid" was, in a sense, ahead of its time (as was the series in general) in that it anticipated a problem that received some publicity decades later: latch key children, or children who get home from school to an empty house or apartment. Lana is a girl Buffy's age whose mother is always either at work or out on a date. The mother is a nice enough lady, but doesn't seem to realize the importance of being there for her daughter, or of teaching her discipline. Buffy at first appeals to Uncle Bill to let her do the things she wants, even if he knows they're not good for her. Lana spends a night at the Davis apartment and seems at first to find Bill's and Mr. French's rules quaint. Then, Buffy, during one of her visits to Lana's apartment, finds that she, not Lana, is the one who should be envied, after Lana begs Buffy to stay and tearfully confesses her desire to have someone tell her what she can and can't do. Later, Mr. French receives a rather strange phone call from Lana. She calls him to ask his permission to watch an afternoon movie on television. French is perplexed by the call, but nevertheless tells her to do her homework before watching any television. She was glad to hear someone who cares enough about her overall well being to say no. Way to go, Mr. French!

    Today's parents and guardians can learn a thing or two from Bill and Mr. French, and today's children can learn a thing or two from Buffy and Lana.moreless

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