Youth sports are the highlight of many a childhood. The friendships forged and memories made combine to make an unforgettable experience. But getting your kids to these events can be a challenge. And when you have more than one kid? Even harder.
So what’s a sports parent to do? Follow these tips and you’ll be able to relax and, hopefully, share in the joy.
CARPOOLING IS A SANITY SAVER
When your kids sign up for sports, you also sign up as chief transportation officer. But, just like on the field, teamwork leads to success. Sharing the burden of driving takes the burden off of you all the time, and distributes the load.
MEMORIES AND LIFE LESSONS
Participating in a carpool gives your young athlete time to bond with teammates and make more memories. You can help your child by teaching them how to make the carpooling experience fun for everyone.
Like the drivers, kids should understand the importance of not being late as it affects the rest of their teammates. Also, help kids understand that there are basic rules to follow in everyone’s car such as always buckling up and treating drivers and teammates with kindness and respect.
TECHNOLOGY’S YOUR FRIEND
As soon as you get the roster and schedule, start looking for other parents to carpool. The problem with carpooling is that many parents don’t know how to get a carpool started and how to make one run smoothly. Rather than trying to do it all on your own (remember: TEAMWORK!) by creating a mass group text message or making spreadsheets, take advantage of the technology.
Carpooling tools and apps make it is easier than ever before for parents to set up carpools. They make it easy to create carpools with other parents on the same team. Look for one with automatic reminders for whose turn it is to drive and provides route optimization.
TIPS FOR A SMOOTH CARPOOL EXPERIENCE
Once you have the carpool up and running, there are a couple of things you can do to keep it going smoothly and efficiently.
Communicate early and often with the other parents.
Be early. Late arrivals in a carpool lead to a domino effect.
Always have snacks that are easy for kids to open and eat in a moving vehicle.
Practice safe driving. Do not text and drive. Go hands-free with your cell phone. Don’t give in to road rage.
Have a clear space for the athletes to put their gear.