The mid-afternoon sun is scorching through your windshield and mocking all attempts of your AC to contain it. The gas light is on and you didn’t have time to stop and fill up. And the parent in the big SUV just cut the line 5 cars in front of you without resistance. Your blood pressure begins to boil and the crazy meter is rising fast. Welcome to the car line: every parent’s nightmare.
It might be hard to fathom, but there are ways to navigate the car line and keep your sanity. [Click to Tweet] Without question, it is a learn-by-experience situation because no car line is created equal. However, in every case, there are the consistent variables and violations, and when they can be pinpointed and planned for, the experience becomes much more efficient.
Here are The Top 6 Carpool Line Violations and our suggestions on how to deal with them.
1. Holding up the Line.
Every school has a designated spot to drop off your children. It is never the spot where you want to drop your kids off. Learn and accept this, and you’ll be doing many a great service. Following the rules of car lines are absolutely essential to the sanity of all parents involved.
2. Line Cutting.
In the world of school carpool lines, this is the most egregious and self-centered act a person can commit. Don’t be this person. Everyone in line is in a hurry. Nobody in line actually enjoys being there. We are all in the same boat. Preying on the weak of the herd by force-cutting in front of them is just plain wrong and sends a terrible message to your children.
3. Being Too Nice.
The carpool line is no place for the meek and mild. [Click to Tweet] It is a place to follow the rules and assertively stand up for your own place. Waving others in front of you when they are obviously cheating the system sends a chain reaction of negative effect behind you. Pay it forward…not backward.
4. Not Paying Attention.
This person means no wicked malice. They are just clueless as to what they are participating in. Maybe they are deep in thought, reading a great book, or just staring off into the bright sunshine, but they are holding up the line by constantly lagging behind and leaving several car lengths of distance between them and the car above them. This allows the predator, the line-cutter, ample space to do their deeds. Pay attention. Please.
5. The Unattended Car.
Ultra frustrating is the person that parks their car while in line and leaves it. They might be going to sign their child out or just talking with another friend in another car, but never should a person leave their car unattended. Assuredly the line will begin to move and you’ll be the one stuck behind the car with no driver, as that person casually makes their way back to their vehicle. Park your car elsewhere if you have to leave it for any reason.
6. Late Arriver.
The chink in the armor. The bee in the bonnet. The late arriver blows up even the best laid plans. For whatever excuse, they are habitually late and then attempt to circumvent the system any way they can to avoid the consequence. They will pass the line entirely and try to “double park” the line and get their child. Or they will park in illegal areas and have their child meet them there, putting the child in danger as they make their way through all the other cars properly in line. If you’re late…you’re late. Deal with it rationally.
Huddle up with other neighborhood parents and form a carpool.