When parents arrange carpool for kids to go to school it will be a HUGE benefit to kids. In this blog post I have tried to compile a list of various tangible and intangible benefits for kids.
Exposure to Multiple Cultures: America being a land of multi cultures, there are very high chances of schools having kids from different backgrounds and cultures. When kids carpool there is a likelihood that a kid of Chinese origin might be living close to a kid of German origin and when these two kids are carpooling they will exchange information about their culture, festival and history. This way our kids get exposed to so much knowledge without even reading or traveling .This is like a bonus.
Fosters better growing up environment: In modern times as compared to olden times one of the biggest disadvantage kids are growing up with is, that there is not much social interaction, aka ,enough play time with other kids and that results in all sorts of emotional imbalances. A lot of modern day childhood psychological challenges can be eliminated just by fostering a more social environment for the kids. Carpooling does allow more interaction time a kid can have with other kids. e.g. if one side commute to school is 30 minutes then it means your kid is getting one hour of extra social/play time with other kids.
Improved Social Skills: It is a given fact that the more we interact with others the better our social skills get. As parents this is one of the best gifts we can give to our kids. At no additional cost to us , we facilitate them to have more social time with other kids.
Reduced Bullying: When kids of junior school are carpooling there can be a case that a first grader lives close to a fifth grader. When these two kids are carpooling and interacting with each other on a daily basis, chances of them developing a friendship are great. And now once they have this relationship going, do you think another fifth grader can bully this first grader in the play ground in front of his fifth grader friend? This way carpooling would help in reducing bullying.
Inculcates a Greener Attitude: When parents talk about carpooling and talk about saving our natural resources, slowly kids start picking on these ideas and they start developing this attitude. They expand on this idea and start becoming more responsible and thoughtful towards all their actions. And this is what we want to inculcate in them going forward that it is very imperative to think about the repercussions of all our actions on the planet. For future generations it is more important to think of the bigger scenario than individual benefits.
In-line with School’s Teachings: These days my 4th grader is studying Unit of Inquiry “Sharing the Planet” and she will come home and tell me not to leave the water running if we are not using it and not to leave the refrigerator door open while I am still thinking what to cook for dinner today. Carpooling is in alignment with the same teaching. So while kids are carpooling they have one more action under their belt for which they can feel proud that they are participating in this UOI in more than expected/required ways. This enhances their self-image and fosters a better personal growth.
Thanks to Manjima Nambiar, a very dear friend, for reviewing and editing this article.
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