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Last month my 11 year old, Emily, graduated from elementary school and became a middle schooler. While some parents may cringe at the middle school years, I’m excited for the new challenges ahead for my daughter who has blossomed with confidence during the past few years. But if there’s one thing that she’s a bit apprehensive about, it’s the combination lock that safeguards her things in her locker.
All year Emily and her fifth grade classmates have had a combination padlock floating around their classroom for them to use as practice but with 25 kids and one padlock, she got her hands on it exactly once. Needless to say her confidence about starting middle school is a little shaken because of her lack of experience with a combination lock. With reassurance that we’d practice over the summer, my friends at Master Lock sent us an array of locks perfect for my new middle schooler.
4 Ways to Provide Combination Padlock Confidence in Time for Middle School
Locker anxiety is common for soon-to-be middle school students. The pressure of getting your lock open and your belongings out of your locker in the short transitional time you have between classes can be stressful. Here are some tips and products that are helpful in creating combination padlock confident kids.
1. Let your middle schooler pick out their lock
Tweens love to express their own style. Go shopping for a lock together to ensure that they have one in the color they love. Emily selected the Wide Combination Dial Padlock 1561DLTBlu ($6.56) from the Master Lock site. Teal happens to be one of her favorite shades of blue right now plus it happens to match her backpack and her summer Keen sandals. With a color that’s a bit different from the red, blue, and black that are commonly seen hanging off school lockers, hers will stand out and be a bit easier for her to spot among the rows of lockers in the long hallway.
I had no idea that Emily’s lack of practice with the lock in her fifth grade classroom was making her anxious but with her padlock in hand, she’s been picking it up and practicing as often as she can. After just a few tries, her anxiousness about mastering the combination lock disappeared as she experienced success.
3. Need multiple locks for different lockers? Simplify.
For kids that need locks on a school locker and a gym locker, simplify. Master Lock makes a 3 pack of padlocks that use a single combination so your child will only need to memorize one set of numbers. The Wide Combination Dial Padlock 3 Pack 1533TRI ($13.43) is a convenient choice since the three padlocks use the same combination. These locks are slightly smaller than the traditional Master Lock combination dial padlocks but are just as secure.
4. Assess other school security needs
- Will your child be riding their bicycle to school? They’ll need a sturdy lock to secure their bike throughout the day. Instead of getting them another combination lock, our family likes the directional locks that use a series of up, down, and side to side gestures to unlock because it’s one less number combination set to remember. I’d recommend the Set Your Own Directional Combination Cable Lock (left- model 8300D, $24.34)
- Does the school issue them a laptop that will need to be secured throughout the day? The Set Your Own Combination Computer Lock with Self-Coiling Cable (right- model 2120D, $19.99) could be a good choice to secure this pricey device.
- Are there after school activities like sports where they’ll be leaving their backpack unattended for a period of time? While we hope our kids will be responsible with their stuff, it’s often hard to keep a constant eye on their belongings. If there are pricey items like a cell phone, tablet, or even their wallet, add an extra layer of security to keep sticky fingers out with the Set Your Own Combination Backpack Lock (middle- model 1550DAST, $4.34). For under $10, this little lock provides peace of mind that their cell phone won’t disappear out of their bag when they least expect it.
As a member of Master Lock’s Live Secure Safety Squad, I have been compensated for my time in writing this post and receive samples for review.