Parent to Parent: Figuring out the carpool situation | Parenting

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By Jodie Lynn Parent to Parent

Q I am able to work out of my home but still have help with my new baby. I also haveea 5-year-old daughter who goes to kindergarten. I work as needed so some days I have more time than others. My question is I’d love to carpool with other families on our kindergarten list but can’t always drive due to work. How’s the best way to explain this to strangers so that they don’t get upset for maybe driving more frequently than I do? Would promising to make the times up that I miss driving be a good solution that would work to satisfy the other five drivers?

From a reader • You’ll have to find people who are OK with driving more times than you will. It may not make a difference but to some, it will. I’d say more than half of the time, parents have places to go and things to do once they drop off their kids at school as well as the rest of us who don’t have to drive that day. If I couldn’t depend on knowing whether or not one of the carpool parents could drive, I’d be pretty upset if I had plans or was called upon at the last minute to drive. — Trina B. in San Antonio, Texas

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From Jodie Lynn • Carpooling is pretty serious business, especially when there are plans afterward, like the reader above pointed out, or even beforehand.

It does save time and of course is very important to many parents.

There are a couple of things you can do. One of them is asking your babysitter if they might be interested in picking up extra money for driving your carpool turn when you can’t.

If so, the next step would be to get people in your group to also agree to these terms.

Also, promising to make up a turn that you may have to miss and then following through would certainly help.

I used to do this and frequently drove a couple of times at least two weeks in a row. It worked out well.

You’ve indicated that these are strangers (who may or may not know each other) so the last thing you want to do is make a bad impression by not following through on your course of actions.

Tell them what’s what and what guidelines you would be able to follow and see if they will be OK with it.

If anyone balks at the possibility of driving more than they’d like, maybe try to join another group.

Can you help?

My daughter just turned 10 and wants to start walking to some of her friends’ houses. While our street is not busy, we do live off of a rather busy street, which does not have sidewalks. I know she’s struggling to gain independence now that she is a bonafide tween, but I’m hesitant to allow this one freedom. What’s the best way to teach her how to walk down the street to her friend’s house without scaring her to death and me not wanting to call her every few minutes? Or should we just wait another year?

To share parenting tips or submit questions, write to: Parent to Parent, 2464 Taylor Road, Suite 131, Wildwood, MO 63040. Email: [email protected], or go to www.parenttoparent.com, which provides a secure and easy way to submit tips or questions. All tips must have city, state and first and last name or initials to be included in the column.

Jodie Lynn is an award-winning parenting columnist, author of five books and mother to three children. She and her family live in Wildwood.

To share parenting tips or submit questions, write to: Parent to Parent, 2464 Taylor Road, Suite 131, Wildwood, MO 63040. Email: [email protected], or go to www.parenttoparent.com, which provides a secure and easy way to submit tips or questions. All tips must have city, state and first and last name or initials to be included in the column.

Jodie Lynn is an award-winning parenting columnist, author of five books and mother to three children. She and her family live in Wildwood.

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