School drop-off and pickup – three rules to live by

I used to listen to my friends with kids talk about the school drop-off lane and laugh. Sometimes their frustration with other parents in the line was the basis for some pretty funny stories. Sometimes it was the source of their morning stress.

Sometimes, my friends were the source of others’ morning frustration.

Now, with nearly a full school year of drop-off and pickup lane experience under my belt, I promise you I have been the source of many an eye-roll while sitting in the pickup lane. I do, however, also have a whole new appreciation for “the rules.”

With only a few weeks of school left, it seems there is no better time for a quick review of what I consider the top three. So, let’s get started.

Rule #1. Do not get out of your vehicle. Do not. Get out. Of your vehicle.

It’s a lane, not a parking lot. Lane, by definition, means keep it moving. If little Johnny or Sally needs you to walk them to the door or if you need to share a piece of news with the mom who lives down the street, that’s FINE. But find an available parking space and enjoy your commune with nature.

Your consideration for those who need to keep things rolling will be duly noted and appreciated.












Rule #2. Car chat with your kids is fine, even encouraged. If you have a pre-teen and you’re lucky enough to get two words out of him or her, congratulations! However, curb chat is discouraged. Here, the primary focus is stop, drop and keep it rolling.

Think of it this way. The school drop-off lane is the drop zone and your little soldiers’ mission is to have a productive and great day at school. Your mission is to get them there safely, efficiently and without disruption. In the morning, gather up backpacks and lunch bags as you’re pulling in, ensuring your little guy or gal has everything in-hand when you pull up to the curb.

It is perfectly acceptable to yell “I love you” as they slam the car door. After all, parents were put on earth to embarrass their children.

Pickup at the end of the school day, it should look like this:

  • Bag in
  • Kid in
  • Belt buckled
  • Pull away
  • Commence car chat

Your consideration for those who need to keep things rolling will, again, be duly noted and appreciated.

Rule #3. Double-parking is not cool.

You spilled coffee on your white shirt, the dog was being stubborn and wouldn’t listen and the kid(s) refused to eat breakfast. You’re definitely having a case of the Mondays. Now you’re running late and you’re laundry list of everything you need to accomplish today is the only thing on your mind. Oh. My. Goodness.

No matter the reason, authorization to block two or more other parents in with your vehicle, then speed off as said vehicles wait even longer, allowing your kids to safely pass between them has been revoked. In fact, it was never actually granted.

Again, your consideration for those who need to keep things rolling will be duly noted and appreciated.