FindItMore | Parents spend hours on end chaperoning their children to and from school, sports practices, and afterschool activities. If you have more than one child, you start to feel the pressure of getting the kiddos to these things on time. By setting up a carpool, you can get some much-needed relief and chances are a lot of other parents are going to want to join you!
Organizing a Carpool Group
The first thing you want to do is conquer the school beast. To reduce your time driving, start with your kid’s circle of friends in your neighborhood. Ask your kids about whose parents they would feel comfortable riding to school with. Then spread the word to those you think are the most trustworthy. Second, focus on your kids’ extracurricular activities. Speak with parents whose children are involved in the same frequent activities as your kids. Families that live in the same area are ideal but don’t automatically rule out those who live in close towns. Finally, start narrowing down your list. If you only want to carpool with one family, then reach out to that family directly as this is going to be a comfortable arrangement. Have one family drop off while the other picks up. You will find that your stress will decrease if you work our carpooling on a week-to-week basis.
Get a Schedule
If you’re not friendly or comfortable with the parents in the carpool, then consider organizing a meeting. Get to know them to make sure that this will be a good fit for you and your kids. Next, plan a driving rotation. When more than two families are involved, all families will be responsible for drop off or pick up on a specific day of the week. No matter what your arrangement is, it is crucial to discuss schedules upfront. That way there is no confusion or any missed pickups. Finally, create a sign up for a large carpool group. It’s an easy way to help coordinate drivers and only takes a few minutes of your time. Building a driving schedule will also help in reducing the confusion about driving responsibilities.
Make Some Ground Rules
Make a rule that only parents can drive in the carpool. Say no to teenagers who like to text while driving or get distracted. Second, try to establish a protocol for a parent or child that becomes ill as this is very common. Additionally, insist that parents don’t run errands while they are carpooling. Children need to come straight home from their activities as it allows them to wind down from the day. It can be challenging doing this in the car while someone goes to the grocery store or stops to pick up their dry cleaning.
Safety should be your first concern when carpooling. Your practices must always be safe as your passengers are watching your every move. Be sure not to run any red lights or text. Teach the kids safe driving by showing them how it’s done. Also, says Pearson Hyundai (Richmond, VA), arrange to have a booster seat for any toddlers who are apart of your carpool. Drivers should ensure that all passengers are buckled up and wearing their seatbelts properly. As always, do a visual check before putting the car in gear. Driving someone else’s kids is very serious. If you don’t know how safely a parent drives, ask your kids after the first week. Hearing that kids are not buckled, drivers are using their phones while driving, or young kids are riding shotgun can be a deal-breaker. Make safety rules clear before carpooling starts.
You can use these rules or make up your own! As long as your kids are safe and happy, your carpool is sure to be successful.