If you live in neighborhood where all the kids go to the same school, carpooling can be an extremely efficient and time-saving solution to get children to school. And with rising gas prices, car pooling can also save you money.
As carpooling becomes more popular, some schools are even organizing carpooling programs through the school’s administration or PTA.
But because mornings can be stressful times for kids and parents alike, carpooling is not always as simple as it may seem, especially when you are trying to coordinate carpooling among multiple families.
Here are 6 tips to participating in a successful carpooling program:
Before you get started, set up a schedule with all interested families, determining what days and times work best for each and making sure the responsibility is distributed evenly. Keep in mind that carpools work best when the families live within a few minutes of each other. Even if your best friend’s son is a 10 minute drive away, introducing them into the carpool may cause problems if their house is out of the way.
Let’s face it, everyone is human and emergencies happen. Once you’ve established a schedule, distribute it to each participating family along with an emergency contact list including names of parents, children, addresses and phone numbers. You may want to consider having a back-up driver just in case.
If your kids are active in after-school programs, you should consider carpooling with families whose children are also involved in similar programs. This way, responsibilities can be distributed evenly.
Before you start carpooling, you can have a discussion with your kids about being safe in the car, such as not screaming, buckling safety belts and being courteous to the other passengers.
In the mornings, it is important that your child is ready to go before the parent who is driving arrives at your house. This way, you won’t cause delays in picking up the other children. Also, you should avoid having long conversations with the driver. Everyone is rushed in the morning and it’s not fair to make other parents wait or be late because you were talking.
Make sure your child knows exactly who is picking him/her up every day. This way, there will be no confusion. It is also wise to let your child’s teacher know if there are going to be multiple people picking him/her up from school each morning.