How to Act Cool While Dropping Your Kids Off at School
Five tips for preventing your child from dying of embarrassment during the daily commute
Since the invention of the wheel, families around the world have been plagued with a cyclical crisis that perpetuates generation after generation: the embarrassment of being dropped off at school by your mother or father. Whether pulling up to the curb in a run-down buggy pulled by a sickly horse or in a minivan that’s two years “too old,” children throughout time have become constipated with embarrassment from being seen with their parents.
Fear not, exasperated parents. We at The News Wheel embody “hip” and will gladly share our advice with you. Take these five tips for being a “cool parent” to heart.
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Tips for Being a Cool Parent in Front of Your Child’s Peers
1. Use Code Words
Despite the fact that your hormone-saturated child freely expresses his/her adoration for memes, celebrity couples, the DNC, and furry animals on social media, they by no means are comfortable verbally expressing any semblance of love for you (it’s a backwards world we live in).
Instead of saying, “I love you” when dropping your child off, use a code word that your child agrees is a suitable substitute (for instance, “I envy you” or “I can’t stand you.”) That way, you can still express your affection but without being met by a disdainful grimace. And by all means, save the hugging and kissing for home.
2. Dress Professionally
One of the main reasons your child is embarrassed of you is because you’re not wealthy enough–regardless of how high your actual income is or how much of it you’re spending on them. To give their peers the impression that you’re swimming in money, wear a dark-colored suit when dropping the rugrat off. If you can’t afford a full suit, at least buy enough to cover your waist up (what’s visible to passers-by) and leave your pajama pants on below. Just don’t step out of the car.
If you wear sunglasses and avoid eye contact, you might even be mistaken for your child’s chauffeur, reinforcing the lie they’ve been perpetuating that they’re Richie Rich.
3. Pick Popular Music
Selecting the right music is a precise art, but it can be mastered with practice. Set your dial on a Top 40 station and turn it up loud enough so that there’s a slight thumping heard from outside the car but not enough that it attracts attention. Avoid talk radio or any tunes close to wholesome. The more cuss words and references to lascivious activities taking place “in da club,” the better. Even if it’s just for the few minutes you’re in line outside the school.
You may think that simply having nothing on the radio will be safest, but a) this leads to awkward silence during the commute, b) it allows passers-by to hear everything that’s said while exiting the car, and c) you may be mistaken for someone who doesn’t like music at all, like you’re Amish or something.
4. Stay Calm
You may be in a hurry to drop your child off, but that doesn’t allow you to act like a jerk, cut other vehicles off in line, or shove your adolescents out the door. If there’s one thing teenagers hate more than well-mannered parents, it’s poorly-mannered parents. Never let your stress get the better of you during the commute, lest you will genuinely hurt and alienate your child.
Don’t linger in line longer than you need to, but don’t hit the gas while they’re still stepping out of the car.
5. Keep Your Car Clean
This also relates to your family not being affluent enough. While you might fear that the only solution is replacing your family SUV with a vehicle from a European automaker, the solution is actually much simpler: keep your vehicle clean. Keep the outside washed and waxed, free of mud and rust, and keep the cabin empty of fast food wrappers and soda bottles. Being a slob does not exude a respectable image.
The only exception to this is if you drive a vehicle that could be mistaken for one that purposefully goes off-road on a regular basis (and you live in a neighborhood where that’d be acceptable).
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Aaron is unashamed to be a native Clevelander and the proud driver of a 1995 Saturn SC-2 (knock on wood). He gleefully utilizes his background in theater, literature, and communication to dramatically recite his own articles to nearby youth. Mr. Widmar happily resides in Dayton, Ohio with his magnificent wife, Vicki, but is often on the road with her exploring new destinations. Aaron has high aspirations for his writing career but often gets distracted pondering the profound nature of the human condition and forgets what he was writing… See more articles by Aaron.