8 carpool rules for kids

Carpools are beneficial arrangements for busy parents.

But there's a bit more to a carpool than just alternating driving days in the carpool lanes. Being part of a carpool implies a commitment both on your end and on the other moms'.

If you set carpool rules for kids ahead of time, it's easier to address problems when they happen - and to keep the mutually beneficial arrangement (and your spot in the carpool lane) in place.

1.  Carpool Rules Mandate Everyone Wears a Seat Belt

Everyone wears a seat belt. The car cannot run unless seatbelts are fastened. (I had my daughter convinced this was true until she was about 7.)

Make sure all your carpoolers are buckled up for safety.

2.  The Front Seat is For Age 12 and Older

No one under 12 rides in the front seat (if you have a passenger-side airbag).

If yours has been disabled or you have an older-model car, check with the kids' parents first.

Never assume because an eligible kid wants to ride in front that his parents would agree with his decision.

3.  No Eating in the Car

No eating in the car without permission. Adjust this rule as you see fit. Or not.

On the fence about this one? See Dashboard Dining: Yes or No? for food for thought.

4.  All Body Parts Must Stay in the Car

All body parts must be in the car at all times. This one needs no further explanation.

5.  No Yelling in the Car

No loud voices or yelling inside the car. Distracting the driver is always a no-no.

6.  Keep Your Hands to Yourself

Keep your hands to yourself. No touching anyone else. (See rule #5).

7.  The Driver Gets to Choose the Tunes

Mom gets to choose the radio stations or music, If any. She's the driver, after all. And good music can keep you sane.

8.  Politeness is Mandatory

As our kids might say: "Duh."

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