Every day I go to drop or pick my pre-schooler from school, I have to tell myself that I will wear my ‘happy hat’, my ‘cape of letting go’ and carry my ‘kindness wand’ (When you have a pre-schooler, you tend to think in terms of fantasy creatures and good behavior).
And every day I end up flinging my hat and cape off and breaking my wand in two!
Of course, none of this happens in reality. What actually happens is me swearing under my breath at the moron who decided to leave his/her car in the middle of the road (no, the road being too narrow is NOT an excuse, dammit! You can park at a distance from the school like the rest of us mere mortals and WALK, if your fragile legs allow (apologies to anyone who has a genuine problem).
And this is only one example of what happens in these pick/drop lines. No matter how many personnel the school management positions outside or how many traffic cones they place to keep the exit and entry lanes in place, there will always be that one parent (or 10) who think they are above the law. There are others who decide to bring their massive Prados and Land Rovers into a lane that cannot even accommodate three people standing in a horizontal line and those who think it is perfectly polite to have their chauffeurs waiting RIGHT outside the gate in stalled cars while they themselves go to drop their precious children inside (who cares if other people’s children get late because of them, right?)
So, here’s my two cents to these parents:
- You are sending your child to school to teach him/her how to co-exist with people among other things. If you cannot demonstrate that by behaving like a human being at pick/drop time, it is quite pointless to educate them.
- It’s a simple process.
- If you are being chauffeur-driven and need to go inside the school premises to drop/pick your child, please be ready as your car approaches the drop-off/pick-up point. Exit the car and ask your chauffeur to either wait in the car at a pre-determined stop at a CONSIDERABLE distance from the drop-off zone or have them circle around and come back to pick you (unless you have something to discuss with the teacher/administration and will take longer to come out).
- If you drive yourself, please park AWAY from the drop-off/pick-up zone and DO NOT obstruct other people’s way. Have your child’s bag/bottle ready, exit the car and weave your way through the cars as quickly as you can. Same process when you are walking back to the car with your child.
- For older children who don’t need to be dropped inside the school premises, make sure they have ALL their things ready as your car approaches the drop-off point. I don’t care if it makes you sound like a nagging parent but please don’t have them rummaging for their things at the last minute while cars honk behind you. It is not polite or fair to make other people late because of your or your children’s carelessness.
- Most schools can and do help out in this regard – they have a number of school personnel positioned on the road to make drop-off/pick-up as smooth as possible. But we live in a city where pavements do not exist; and services such as water tankers and garbage trucks choose the worst of times (like drop-off and pick-up) to do their work in school lanes. Instead of picking a fight with these people and causing further road blockages, talk to your child’s school administration to help address the problem. Like I said, you are sending your child to school to help him/her learn co-existence and manners.
At the end of the day, it is common sense, as long as you have your ‘happy hat’, ‘cape of letting go’ and ‘kindness wand’! 😉