Summer is in the rear view mirror, and another school year is starting. Although you're a pro when it comes to stocking up on new clothes and school supplies, you may be a little bit out of practice when it comes to getting everyone out of the door and off to school in an orderly fashion. (Don't be surprised if you have to go back for a forgotten lunchbox in the first few weeks.) Which is why now is a perfect time to review some drop off and pick up etiquette tips that will help you avoid dirty looks and whispers from other parents at your child's school.
Although you may have never received an actual book of dos and don'ts for the school parking lot, there are some pretty straightforward unwritten rules that moms and dads should be aware of. Keeping your place in line, staying off your phone, and making sure your child has all of their belongings ready can help keep you off of the naughty list.
I completely understand that you may want to spend as much time as possible with your kids before heading off to work, but it's important to consider the other parents who may also have a frantic morning routine. Following the rules not only makes sure all of the children get to their respective destinations safely, it can help make the whole process move along much smoother, which will leave you with a lot more time for a yummy after school snack.
1. Have It Together
There's nothing worse than being in line behind someone who is fumbling around and holding up traffic. Just like at the airport and in the grocery store check-out line, it's in your best interest to have all of your forms signed and as mentioned on Scary Mommy's site.
2. Stay In Line
You're not the only one in a hurry in the carpool line. Remember that everyone's time is valuable, and avoid cutting the line — even if you are at the end.
3. Put The Phone Down
Avoid being distracted by your cell phone in your child's school parking lot. There will undoubtedly be lots of traffic and lots of children, making it more important than ever to be as alert as possible.
4. Skip The Parent-Teacher Conferences
If your child's teacher is monitoring drop off or pick up, avoid the temptation to ask about your child's progress. Most teachers are great about sharing their email addresses and phone numbers so that parents may express their concerns outside of regular school hours.
5. Don't Leave Your Car
Whatever you do, don't leave your car while in the drop off/pick up line. You are totally disrupting the flow of traffic. If you need to give your child her mittens, leave your car in a recognized parking space before you get out.
6. Keep The Conversations To A Minimum
You may be the PTA president, but the school parking lot is no place for an impromptu meeting. If you see other parents you know, keep your conversation to a minimum and make plans to talk to catch up later.
7. Leave and Meet Kids At Designated Areas Only
If your school has designated areas for drop off and pick up, it's important to pay attention. The rules were most likely put in place for safety and efficiency, so don't take it upon yourself to try to change them.
8. Be Patient
As mentioned in the Courier Post, it's important to remain patient while in the car line. You may be frustrated by parents who are slowing things down, but avoid the temptation to honk or yell at them. Children model our behavior, so do your best to set a good example.
9. Pay Attention
Waiting in line is no fun for anyone, but do your best to stop daydreaming. On his blog, AllPro Dad reminds parents to pay attention while in the car line at school. Pull up when the car in front of you pulls up, so that other parents can get closer to the front of the line.