Tips to Prevent Losing & Forgetting Keys

Tips from parents on how to get your Teen/ Tween to remember their keys!

Raise your hand if this sounds like you & your tween:

Maybe I am overthinking this, but my new middle schooler is going to be coming home to an empty apt. for a couple hours each day after school, and I am trying to gear him up for it.  With that in mind, I am wondering if there is any way to ensure he does not lose his keys, or at least minimize it happening?  Unfortunately, we don't really have any neighbors we can rely on regularly, so I am trying to cover all my bases to help with this transition. 

Yep.  We thought so.


Here are tips PSP members shared in the Tweens Group.


From clips to lanyards, here are some great ideas to making sure your Tween knows where their keys are at all times.  Now, if we could only get this could work for us grown ups.


"My son's backpack has a clip inside of it ... if your son's doesn't maybe there is a place to add one and clip the keys there.  Ours is an inner pocket that he normally doesn't access so it doesn't get in the way.  I've also added a long chain so that he can reach the door locks without even having to take the keys off the chain or the hook.   Works great for us.  (you could probably also use a lanyard instead of a chain)."

"The lanyard does give you the around the neck option for whenever that might be appropriate but as long as these retractable's don't break - that seems perfect for inside the backpack."

"Maybe the thing you want is a "retractable key chain," do a search on this phrase on Google or Amazon and you'll see many options. This is the kind of thing utility and postal workers have: a key ring on a reel with a cable that clips to your pants/backpack, so you just stretch it out to use your keys, and then retract it. Maybe outdoor stores like Paragon or REI would carry something similar.

"If you search "lanyard keychain" at amazon, you'll find a number of choices from plain color choices to Batman and Hello Kitty! If you prefer a metal chain - searching "link chain" will bring you heavy duty chain options that will also work."

"So it's on a long chain and always stays attached to the backpack? Genuis! Maybe I can do this inside my daughter's purse as well!) THANKS for all these suggestions!"

"Our family now has a back-up key hidden in the neighborhood (ours is in the park).  Basically, it's like our own private geocache with our (unlabeled) key inside.  Worst case, the key gets taken/lost ,but best case it's there when we need it.  This is basically our "last resort" option; we also gave keys to two neighbors, who are not usually home until evening."

"I'm a veteran of this.  I did have neighbors with keys, but they worked during the day so it wasn't a help.  And my whole family is notorious for losing keys.  We have lots of spares and when the kids would lose theirs I'd always hang my head and say "You come from a long line of key losers."  Anyway, instead of having a back up key plan for the kid to get, we had a backup plan for where to go if you couldn't get home.  This can be a coffee shop or a library - somewhere that the kid can go and sit and do homework."

"You can get them [lanyards] at Tarzian hardware."

"1. We bought a wallet with a key chain loop and handle.
2. If she wants lunch (she buys) then her wallet always stays in her bag. Keys are attached to wallet.
3. Wallet is cute from Papyrus so more incentive not to lose it!"

"Personally I use a carabiner and clip it inside my bag.  We haven't given a set of keys to our tween yet, but know it will come soon enough!"

"Speaking of what they forget, we keep a list on the back of the door of everything to remember:
Spare Money
Dance Clothes
We come from a LONG line of list makers and my mother who said, “I’d lose my head if it weren’t attached!”

"Tweens losing their keys is definitely a problem, so you're not over thinking things at all! Both my tween and teenager have gone thru numerous pairs of house keys. Our attempts at addressing this problem have included: having them use their own money to replace keys, buying large key chains and/or lanyards , and when we couldn't take it anymore we tied their keys onto big old stinky shoes that they each had to carry around for a week. Needless to say, they haven't lost their keys since... :) Another option that I haven't done but have considered is to sew a spare key pouch onto the inside lining of their backpacks. They would just have to rip thru the seam in case of an emergency... Seems easy enough to do, yet inconvenient enough to not want to."

"We went with a lanyard around our daughter's neck so she wore her keys. It worked great except when her dad forgot to remind her to take her keys in the morning. Once the keys were misplaced for a time, and it turned out she'd put them in the side pocket of her lunch bag and forgot."

"We have keypad locks installed on our doors - probably not possible for everyone but for those who could, I highly recommend it! We got our before the new smart locks hit the market (I understand they talk to our phone etc) - but the ones we got were ~$100 at lowes or home depot, made by Scalage. You can have up to 10 different codes on the lock, so a babysitter could have one with a 4 digit code only they know, your child can, etc., and then you can take a code off any time you want. So you let the plumber in with the code then change it. Not worrying about who has a key on days when I have a sitter pick up - or my tween coming home alone someday soon — is fantastic. No cons in my experience, the keycap locks have been a great salve to the chaos of getting out the door!"