7 Commandments for Carpooling Kids Like a Boss

If you feel like an Uber for kids, a carpool can be a sanity saver. Our rules for carpooling with kids will make your experience sane and save your car from chaos.

Get ready...it's carpool season! Photo: Maria Smith

Carpools make back-to-school so much easier.

Homework, after school practices, and carpooling kids…oh my! When you are in the thick of the school season, you can feel like you are an Uber for kids on a daily basis. Banding together with other parents at the same school or whose kids are on the same team and who live in your neighborhood can be a Godsend. However, there are some rules you need to follow. Please.

Related: Our picks for the best 7 seater SUVs for back to school carpools

If You Are Carpooling Kids During This Back To School Season, Or Basically Being An Uber For Kids, These Are The Tips For You.

No matter who’s driving, keep it clean. Photo: Maria Smith

7 Commandments of Carpooling Kids

 1. Thou shall have a clean car.

I get it. Kids eat in the car and leave chicken nuggets and juice boxes and random pieces of candy they pick up from God knows where. But you need to clean it up, friend! Brush off those crumbs. Clear out the trash. Maybe even spray some Febreeze. It’s actually a good idea to think of yourself as an Uber for kids and think about how many stars your car would get.

2. Thou shall be on time.

Things happen all the time. Especially during this initial back to school push, it can be tough to time hitting the carpool line at the perfect time. That said, do your absolute best to not be late. You can send your own kids in tardy if you want, but please don’t send in other people’s kids late.

Check out our tips for cleaning out your car even when you have a bunch of kids.

Carpooling Kids Doesn'T Have To Be Stressful. Just Follow Our Rules And No One Gets Hurt.

Follow the carpool commandments and no one gets hurt.? Maria Smith

3. Thou shall stay in the car in the carpool line.

You have to stay in the car, friend. You cannot…I repeat…cannot walk anyone into the school unless you have parked. Don’t be that parent. No Ki Ki challenges. Never, ever.

4. Thou shall listen to appropriate music.

Save Drake and Meek Mill’s explicit lyrics for after you kick the kids all out of the car. Opt for the clean radio station, go the Kidz Bop route or even stick with news or sports. Though some news stations may be inappropriate and/or explicit too. Sadly. Related: You’ll be the cool mom with these back to school snacks

Connecting To Apple Carplay Or Android Auto Is Simple Enough With This Large 14-Inch Infotainment Screen. Photo: Allison Bell

Connecting to Apple CarPlay or Android Auto makes hands free driving simple. Photo: Allison Bell

5. Thou shall be handsfree.

Make sure you are setting the right example for your own kids, and especially for other people’s kids. Do not text and drive. Or Facebook and drive. Or flip through Spotify and drive. When you’re carpooling kids, let go of the touch screens. If you can’t do it with a voice command, you don’t need to do it. Kids before vids, you know?

6. Thou shall enforce kindness.

When you agree to a carpooling kids arrangement, you are more than a driver. You are a caregiver who is also driving kids around. The kids in your car might not be BFFs or even know each other very well, but they do have to be kind to each other. Kids do need to be polite to you and each other. You may feel like your driving an Uber for kids but these little rascals aren’t paying you. You don’t work for them. Make sure they know in your car we are kind to each other.

The Mobile Office

A mobile office setup can help you do both carpool and meetings. Photo: Scotty Reiss

7. Thou shall avoid flaking out.

Plan ahead, folks. Do not send a flippant text 10 minutes before you are supposed to arrive saying that you aren’t driving today because of an early budget meeting at work. It is inconvenient and rude and can cause a huge problem for the family you are carpooling with. Try to avoid last-minute changes if at all possible. And now that everyone knows– and is living by– the rules, you’ll have time for your own back to school list of commandments, which of course should start with some well-deserved me-time!

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If You Are Carpooling Kids During This Back To School Season, Or Basically Being An Uber For Kids, These Are The Tips For You.  

Maria Smith is the founder of MamaliciousMaria.com, one of the top parenting, travel and auto blogs in the country.... More about Maria Smith