Many parents would be correct in assuming that carpooling comes with a myriad benefits for themselves, although the main draw, of course, is that the duties for dropping off and picking up kids at school are spread out amongst several adults, so that each family is relieved of the onus to make daily trips. However, carpooling may also benefit children in a number of ways.It’s easy to assume that they would be better off in a situation where they didn’t have to cram in with half a dozen other kids, but this simply isn’t the case. So if you’re thinking of pulling your kids out of carpool in order to give them a break, here are just a few reasons why you might want to rethink your position.
For the most part, the benefits inherent in carpooling situations are social. Your kids may not end up being great friends with all the other children in their carpool, but they’ll at least have a built-in social network of other students at their school that they know. Carpooling can help even shy kids to become more comfortable around their classmates, forcing them to interact to at least a small degree. And in a best-case scenario, this forced proximity will help them to develop friendships. Of course, you might also notice that the kids in your carpool seem to fight all the time. This, too, can offer your children a valuable opportunity to learn and grow.
While you certainly don’t want to let the situation get out of hand or devolve into hitting or tears, the truth is that disagreements are a natural part of childhood. They allow kids to explore and solidify their personality and their own particular values. In addition, kids that argue with their peer group in a controlled setting (i.e. with a parent on hand to stop things from going haywire) may become more self-confident in their thoughts and moral positions. Wouldn’t you rather have your children hash out their differences in the presence of a responsible adult than on the playground? This not only gives you valuable insight into the behaviors, strengths, and issues your child harbors, but it also lets kids go through the natural growing pains that come with interacting in social situations.
There are other benefits to carpooling, as well. Kids will not only be forced to interact with other kids, but also with other parents. The result may be that they find your parenting style to be preferable to the practice of others. They’ll also learn to behave appropriately around authority figures that aren’t you or your spouse, which is an important lesson to learn early on. And, you can use this experience as an opportunity to teach your kids the value of environmental efforts. When parents opt to carpool, they will not only save time on driving their own kids to and from school each day, but they’ll also cut back on the carbon emissions that these individual trips entail.
It might not be enough to lower your mileage so that you can save some money on gas or car insurance via quotes on Kanetix, but it’s certainly a good way to lead by example when it comes to environmental issues.
So, do you carpool your kids?