The School Carpool. I did it, but I didn’t always love it.

Before you say “yes” to a carpool there are some things you might want to consider. While it is a practical practice, it doesn’t work well for everyone.

For the most part, it had nothing to do with the teens in the back seat. In fact, the ones that I got to know well, will always hold a special place in my heart. I learned a lot about them, their opinions about “everything”, and even learned a lot about my own sons. So all in all, it was a great experience.

Carpooling does have a few drawbacks. At least, in my opinion.

  • You can’t take a detour if you want to. An unplanned stop at the beach or store is not possible. (Not when the others are expected to be home at a certain hour.)
  • If you do have permission to make a stop to buy a snack, while it isn’t a big deal, not everyone carries money with them. (Your treat.)
  • You don’t have that quiet, private time with your son/daughter.
  • If someone has detention; everyone has detention.
  • Sometimes you hear about a personal family problem…nothing you can say or do about it.
  • You may learn a little more than you really want to learn about their friends.
  • There is always the chatty parent who won’t let you drop and dash. Or the parent who always has special requests.

Other things to consider before you say “Yes”:

  • Don’t feel obligated to participate in a carpool.
  • Think about your family’s style of living.
  • Listen to your children/teens. Perhaps there are things that you are not aware of about the child/teen or their family.
  • Don’t invite the carpool clan in without checking with your child/teen first. (And please don’t ask them in front of the others.)
  • Sometimes unavoidable, keep your conversation with other parents brief. (Your child/teen wants to get home and have a snack, run around a bit, veg out, do their homework, but not sit in the car listening to “whatever”. Would you?)
  • Sometimes one or more of the carpool clan might be in a grouchy mood. Don’t take it personally or inquire.
  • If you are expecting gratitude, (chuckle, chuckle), don’t do it.  Oh, you may hear a “thanks for the ride” now and then, but typically, you are the driver, nothing more, nothing less. But look at the hidden rewards; knowing your child’s/teen’s friends and being inside their world for that brief period. Invaluable.

For more carpool tips: School Carpool Etiquette: 20 Tips To Make Driving Fun

Helping Businesses and Individuals Find Success Through Better Communication and Social Skills

having lunch with a CEO, business dining etiquetteRosalinda Oropeza Randall, Social Skills and Civility Presenter, Media Source, and author of “Don’t Burp in the Boardroom.”

Presentations are available to support HR policies, sales teams, up and coming managers, millennials & new-hire orientation process, service technicians, professional development events, conferences, college/university students, interns. For more information, please contact me, 650.871.6200.

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