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Back to School Ė A Parentís Survival Guide

A few years ago there was a department store that used the Christmas song ďItís the most wonderful time of the yearĒ to promote their back-to-school sales. Of course all parents feel torn when summer ends. On one hand itís great that the kids are occupied with school and after-school activities, but on the other-hand youíve just gotten used to having them around the house.

Unfortunately, itís not our decision as parents as to when the kids return to school - our job is just to facilitate the transfer. And if youíre one of the growing number of parents who are now driving their children to school, we offer you this survival guide.

Now, we canít help you with your mental game, but we can assist you with making your equipment ready to go and in proper working order.
First, letís look at a few hacks you can employ to make drop-off and pick-up easier.

At drop-off thereís always pressure to drop and go. So especially when you have smaller children make certain that they have their backpacks, lunch bag, art projects, etc. in their hands as you roll to a stop. A quick exit will avoid you getting the evil eye from the traffic coordinator.

Pick-up can also be a confusing time. When cars had tall metal antennas, you could pop a ball from a gas station or fast food franchise so your child could spot your car as you approach. Instead affix a color, maybe even fluorescent, sticker on the right top side of your windshield that your child can recognize (maybe they can help pick it out for you). At primary or elementary school age few children can differentiate brands of SUVs so itís up to you to make it easy for them.

Once in the car, there will likely be a series of personal complaints that youíll need to address, often before even leaving the parking lot. They are, in no particular order, Iím hot, Iím tired, Iím hungry, Iím cold, and likely a few others. On cold days and hot days, have your climate control system primed and operating, and if you have the now common dual-zone system, make certain the rear system is operating as well.

Almost every car, truck, or SUV that carries children at one time or another has a package of wipes tucked away, most likely in the glove box. Their use is usually reserved to mop up a spill or capture a rubbery bit of chicken about to be expelled from a childís mouth. They are also extraordinary useful items to cool down small children on hot days or larger children after sports practice.

What many people donít realize is that thereís a small trap door in the back of their glovebox. Itís not been promoted for the last few years when a car company that didnít have said trap door made fun of it. Open the trap door and it allows cold air from your climate control system to enter the glove compartment and cool its contents Ė great for keeping a couple of bottles of water cool.

There will be times when your child will behave as though theyíve not been fed for days. Keeping a snack is a good idea; however make sure itís the right kind of snack. Anything that melts or squishes is out, as are large bags of snack food. Carrots and celery, cut into bite-size pieces and served in a ziplock bag make a great choice. If your child insists on going the gluten route, look for packs of small bags of bite size crackers. Larger chips and tortillas usually result in collateral damage to your carís interior.

One last tip: you can try hanging a small garbage bag in easy access of the back seats. In this I wish you the best of luck. There are parents of high schoolers that still have the same empty, unused garage bag that they installed on the first day of Kindergarten. But thereís always hope.

As the adult in charge, you have another set of responsibilities Ė specifically that your car, truck, or SUV is ready, willing, and able to take on the task of transporting children on a daily basis, plus the occasional field trip or two. For that, turn to Used Car Motor Mall and we can get you into a vehicle that is school-ready, for you and most importantly for your children.
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