This is for all parents who drive their primary school kids to school. I’m trying to be as objective as I can in the post, and I do try to understand possible reasons why some parents behave the way they do. But I simply can’t make excuses or be ok with their totally inconsiderate, selfish and self-centred actions. I promise I will try not to name call further.
I was a school bus kid. Every day, my mum would say bye to my sis and I from the void deck of our flat, and we board the bus. When we grew older, at about 9 yr old, we said bye at home, and made our way down on our own. My kids are blessed, I’m the official chauffeur that send them to school. And I realised there are many blessed kids out there as well.
Understandably, the traffic around every primary school gets really heavy in the morning. Vehicles of all shapes and sizes would come by the different school gates for kids to alight. Sadly, that’s when we see the most amazing variety of parents around. It doesn’t matter Dad, Mum, Grandpa or Grandma, you get to see this in every school. In a specific order, which you can figure out at the end of the post:
Those who do a quick drive-past
Before the parents approach the gate, they have already ensured the child has the school bag ready, on the shoulders, every file and extra bag in hand. The moment it’s near the gate, within walking distance, when the other cars stopped, the parents shout out “Love You, Bye, Go go go!”
The door opens, child comes out, door closes and car moves off.
I’ve a dear friend who told me, for her, she drives off as her MPV car door slowly slides to close. Her rationale was to keep moving, so that she doesn’t hog the traffic.
I’m so happy to say that close to 75% of parents do this. Thank you thank you thank you!
Those who come out of the car to open door for child and to kiss goodbye
Yes, they stop the car, and to give them credit, they do make effort to do everything very quickly.
They quickly open the back door, kid hops out, they give the child a quick peck and wave, they get back in the car, and drive off.
This would be about 15% of parents.
Update: Just saw a new variation this morning! BOTH daddy and mummy came out of the car to give the child a goodbye kiss. BOTH!
Those who come out of the car, take out school bag for child, put bag on child and kiss goodbye
Does this group of parents know that in the classroom/hall/canteen, NO teacher is helping the child with the school bag? This takes up about 5%.
There is a variation to this–perhaps another 2%. The school bag IS IN THE BOOT!! So the parent comes out of the car, go to boot to get the bag out, opens door for child, puts bag on shoulder and kiss goodbye. I cannot understand, WHY can’t the bag go in the backseat? I mean if there’s a huge project display and it can only fit in the boot, ok. Or if you are fetching 3 kids or more and there’s not enough space in the backseat, ok. BUT even then, please park somewhere and do this routine.
I’ve nothing against bags in the boot, or helping kid with bag. But please don’t do it when there’s traffic in front and behind you, cars with kids waiting to go to school as well. WHY aren’t you aware of the many drivers STARING at you?
Those who come out of the car, do the school bag thing, and gives kid a small pep talk and kiss goodbye
This is 1.5%.
Why?? Do you know your child can hear you when you are driving? Why do all the cars around have to watch you give your child a pep talk?
Again, I’ve nothing against pep talks. I do that too! Just go park your car at the designated place and do your talk. Not when there’s a traffic queue, please.
Those who wait in the car while the child finishes putting on his/her shoe, or finishes eating the bun, then the come out of car thing
Surprise surprise… this is actually 1.5% of parents who drive their kids to school. I may have guessed wrongly, the child may be finishing his homework, or combing his hair etc.. I’ve no idea what but the fact remains. The car stopped, and no movement for at least half a minute.
Someone, please tell them there are actual car park lots for this.
Those who stop the car, do all the school bag thing, and WALK the child to the gate, and kiss goodbye
What is wrong with them? It’s a 5m walk max. Are the parents oblivious that there are cars waiting in queue? This ain’t your front door porch!
You sense my frustration? I have nothing against all these that the parents feel are important to them, that it would add self esteem to the kid, or seal their love for them. But please be more civic conscious? Be aware that when a car stops longer than necessary, the car behind has to filter out, and another car from behind has to filter in to go in front.
I’m not sure if these parents are aware that time is an essence to many of us. For some, we have to ferry another child to another school before 7.30 a.m., for others, we have to rush off to work, or simply just run other morning errands. What makes my older kids’ school a pleasure to drop off is the Principal is personally on the ground to open and close car doors for the kids. She makes her rounds in the different drop off points on each school day. If she’s not at that particular gate, one of the teaching staff would be. I’ve noticed that for this school, close to 99.99% of the parents belong to the first category. It’s a pure drive past. Perfect.
In fact, we parents get a small reminder lecture about morning traffic EVERY year! I used to think why does the Principal treat us parents like kids, until I saw how awful parents can behave if they are not taught. It was comforting to know from what friends tell me that there are many schools that embrace this strict dos and don’ts in the morning. And no one is complaining!
Alas, in some schools, we see these ugly parent behaviours in full glory. I’ve spoken to friends and we all share the same frustration. Sigh…
Well, if I seem high handed and not considerate of parents with special situations, or unique circumstances, I apologise. That’s not my intention. Rather, my intention is really to air my frustration and bring awareness to the traffic condition and what the majority of us parents feel when we drive past you with dagger eyes. 🙂
On a lighter note, it is for such reasons that my neighbour and I have decided that we better wear decent bottoms and not just proper tops when we send our kids to school. It’d be awful if we meet with an accident, or need to come out of the car to take pictures, and we are in bright flowery berms or oh-biang shorts! Hahaha!