Skip to main content

How to Drop Your Children Off At School - a FAQ for Parents

I have noticed that quite a few parents are unclear about how to drop their children off at school. My oldest son finishes 6th grade this week, and I have been studying this issue since he started Kindergarten. I present to the Internet, A Parent's Guide and FAQ to Dropping Off A Child At School.

Step 1: Preparation

Like many things in life, preparation is key. Have your child prepare his or her backpack the night before. Make sure that everything is in the backpack. Loose items mean a disorganized vehicular exit when you arrive at the school.

Q) As the parent, I get my child's backpack ready. Isn't that OK?

A) No. Stop it. You child will never learn to get themselves anywhere if you do it all for them. Start in kindergarten, have them get their backpack ready the night before, and place it by the door. You have enough to do as a parent without having to do that, too, and your kid needs to learn responsibility. Will your kid forget stuff? Sometimes, but then they learn a valuable lesson. They won't die if they forget their math homework once.

Step 2: Drive into the drop-off lane.

Most schools have a drop-off lane in the parking lot or along the street. You should drive into the drop-off lane and get in line behind any other cars that are already there. This may require up to 30 seconds of patience on your part. As cars move up, you will follow.

Q) Should I drive past all of the cars that are in the drop-off lane and jump to the front of the line? I am really important and I am in a hurry. I should not have to wait behind all of these... people.

A) No. You are not more important than any other parent. If you drive past them, then you may hit a kid that darts out into traffic, a parent may crash into you when they pull out without looking, and you will probably cause a traffic issue by blocking other cars, so just calm down and get in line.

Q) I know! I will drive really fast when I cut to the front of the line. I am really late to work, after all. That's good with everyone, right?

A) Get up earlier then. Please don't run over a kid in the parking lot because you hit the snooze alarm too many times. Jackass.

- Updated Q from Mary:
Q) How about this sign that says, "Not a drop-off zone, please pull forward?" This is where I am supposed to stop, correct?

A) If your goal is to cause all of the parents behind you to start shouting colorful words that their children have never heard before, then yes, by all means, stop there. If you wish to teach your children the practical value of reading, then please pull forward.

Step 3: Pull up to the curb.

Your children should step out of the vehicle onto the curb so they are not killed by other cars.

Q) What if I double park and have my children run between other cars to get to the curb? That's almost the same, isn't it?

A) Running between 2 cars that may move at any moment may cause your children to be crushed. Are you so impatient that you would rather risk your children be crushed than spend an extra minute dropping them off at school?

Q) My minivan has sliding doors on both sides. I like to pull up to the curb, then open both doors and have half of my children get out onto the curb, while the other half of them jump out into traffic and then run around the van, between cars that may move at any moment, and then get to the curb. This saves me 30 seconds of time each morning! I am so smart, huh?

A) If you are running an experiment on natural selection and you want to know which of your children are quick enough to evade death by moving cars, then yes, you are brilliant.

- Updated Q from Kathy:
Q) If I pull my car up in front of the line of cars who have just successfully dropped off their kids and look forward acting as if I don't see the cars, is it then acceptable to nose into the line of cars at an angle and block all of the other cars from departing? (After all, I don't see the other cars, so they don't really mind, do they?)

A) Ah, but *they* can see *you* grasshopper. One day you will pull this trick in front of a someone who is having a bad day and they will smash into your car - and everyone will cheer. I am considering having a massive, steel pipe, bumper fitted to my truck for just such occasions. Get in the back of the line and wait your turn....

Step 4: Drive away.

At this point you have driven into the drop-off lane, waited your turn, and pulled forward to drop off your children. Good job! Now, after your children exit your vehicle, pull forward and drive away.

Q) I prefer to arrive 30 minutes before school starts, park in the drop-off lane, and wait to make sure that my child gets into the school safely. That's OK, isn't it?

A) No. There is a parking lot if you wish to wait. The drop-off lane is just for dropping off, not for you to block traffic with your attachment issues.

Q) My technique is to double park in the drop-off area, turn off my car, get out, and walk my child to the door of the school. That's cool, right?

A) You have blocked the entire parking lot so no one can move. No, it is not alright. You need to park in a parking space if you feel the need to walk your child into the school you selfish pig.


Popular posts from this blog

Reducing CO2 in your home the nerd way

For Christmas my wife gave me a Netatmo weather station because I am a home weather station nerd. The Netatmo is very cool, but it has an unexpected feature: it measures indoor Carbon Dioxide (CO2) levels. As soon as I set it up, the Netatmo began to alert that our indoor CO2 was at an unsafe level. The notes said that outdoor CO2 is usually around 400 ppm, and numbers above 1500 ppm could be unhealthy. On that first day, my house was at around 1300 ppm. Prior to that, I never gave indoor CO2 levels a thought. I began to do some research and discovered high levels of CO2 can cause symptoms such as fatigue, headache, breathing difficulties, strained eyes and itchy skin.  My family does have all of these issues, especially on the weekends when we are home all day, but I never connected that to indoor air quality. Previously, I installed a Nest thermostat . The Nest is very smart and saves energy by learning your habits and programming itself. Unfortunately, it is so efficient, that t

Rooftop Playgrounds

This week I have had some meetings in a tall building in downtown Seattle, and when I took a moment to look around and enjoy the view I have noticed playgrounds on rooftops. I saw this daycare playground: and this playground on top of a school: I think that this is a really cool use of space. A friend that grew up in NYC said that her school had a rooftop playground, too. The delinquent in me wonders how many toys and balls go over the side, but I bet the teachers are pretty strict about that. Downtown Seattle has always seemed a little unfriendly towards kids and it is neat to see spaces being carved out.

Dutch Oven Balsamic Chicken Recipe

This is a family favorite that is easy to make. It smells so great right from the start, that the first time I made it, my youngest son walked in the house while I was cooking and yelled, "Daddy! Make that one again!" It started life as a recipe on Delish .com, and I have cooked it several times, making small changes, to make it slightly less pretentious, and to work out issues with the directions. I also doubled the recipe so we end with a few leftovers for lunches. Ingredients  1 c. balsamic vinegar 1/4 c honey 3 tbsp. whole-grain mustard 6 cloves garlic, minced Salt Freshly ground black pepper 8 bone-in, skin on, chicken thighs 4 c. baby red, potatoes - or Brussels sprouts (or both) cut in 8ths (12oz bag) 2 Tbsp. Herbs de Provence 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil to cook the chicken Preparation Marinade In a large bowl, combine balsamic vinegar, honey, mustard, 1 Tbs Herbs de Provence, and garlic and season with salt and pepper. Whisk until combined.