Guest Post from Free Lance Writer : Amy Patterson
Your daughter has swimming lessons each morning at the local pool, your youngest son has baseball practice, and your oldest son starts driver’s training. Their activities all start within a half hour of one another. As a mom, you’ve got many super powers, but driving to three different spots within a short period of time is not one of them; that’s why carpooling can come in handy.
While carpooling can be beneficial year round, it’s a popular way to get around when spring and summer activities are in full force. Carpooling can also be a source of stress. As a parent, you want to trust other parents to transport your child safely to and from activities, but the natural worries set in from car accidents to getting car sick to being forgotten at the soccer field. Here are some tips to help you successfully get through a summer of carpooling:
Finding the Right Carpool
Finding the “right” carpool may be your biggest challenge. As an adult, you can handle catching a ride from pretty much anyone (even the annoying co-worker), but when selecting transportation for your kids you’re pickier and that’s perfectly normal and expected.
First off, figure out your summer schedule and see where you’ll need help or at least back up. You may find that you can handle most of the driving yourself, but you’ll need to have an alternate driver if you’re running late, as you can’t leave your child waiting for you on a hot baseball diamond. Secondly, ask around to see who is participating in summer carpooling. You may find that many parents have babysitters or teen siblings helping out with the carpooling, which may make you hesitant to use them as option.
If you’re on the fence about your carpooling options, don’t be afraid to ask questions. For instance, if your neighbor has a college aged babysitter in charge of a carpool, ask any questions you may have (such as driving record or experience with transporting children). You may be afraid of coming across as rude, but you can always find a nice way to ask and as a parent, you have the right to know.
Rules and Expectations
Once you have selected your carpool, meet with the driver and express some of your rules and expectations. To start the conversation, explain what rules you have in your car (such as no cell phone use or age appropriate safety seats). Next, talk about the carpooling schedule. Will every passenger (even those for the shortest trips) have a safe seat in the car? Additionally, discuss any special needs whether it’s concerning your child’s car sickness, the need to administer a medication in the afternoon, or simply making sure sunscreen and water is available on a warm day.
Communication and Organization
Carpools work great, as long as there is good communication and organization. These days, with the easy accessibility of cell phones, there’s really no good reason to stay out of the loop, but it is still bound to happen. Since unexpected appointments, illnesses, or even a family getaway can complicate your daily carpool, always have a backup plan. Worried that a well-intentioned mom might forget that it’s her turn to drive the kids to soccer practice? Consider downloading a carpool app and share with other drivers in your carpool. You can all view and edit the same calendar so there’s never any confusion.
About the Author:
Amy Patterson is an avid reader on trending topics and a freelance writer in her spare time. As a mother, she loves to write pieces on family and parenting, but also writes about health and fitness as well.