The Mannered Mom on… Carpooling

It’s back to school time and families everywhere are getting back into the swing of managing busy schedules and commuting needs. As you embark on your carpooling duties – or prepare your child to be a good passenger – there are some things you can keep in mind to keep things on time and at ease.

  1. Safety first. If multiple car seats are involved in your carpool commute, ensure that they are properly installed for every trip – no matter how short. Window locks can also be useful when carting around a younger crowd.
  2. Necessary paperwork. Gather emergency contact info for all little commuters in your care, including 2-3 contact numbers for each child. In some cases, such as nannies or caregivers responsible for the carpool, a medical consent form is worth keeping on-hand. Many online services offer free, customizable forms.
  3. Be on time. Whether it’s your turn to drive or your kid’s turn to be picked up, timeliness is the most sure-fire way to endear yourself to your carpool compadres. It’s next to impossible, but always worth a shot.
  4. DJ. Have kid’s music channels programmed into your radio or keep kid-friendly CDs close at-hand. Momentary sanity is only a button push away.
  5. Snacks. For long commutes, steer clear of high-sugar treats as they’ll likely ignite a backseat burst of energy when you can least expect or control it. Your fellow carpool drivers may appreciate as mess-free a snack as you can dream up when shipping your kids in their care. Think Goldfish crackers or dried fruit.

Most kids won’t remember how they got to and from in their little worlds – and those that do likely won’t acknowledge the effort. Any sane moments you can steal during these chauffering years may be your only reward. Drive on.

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