Parent Carpool Question - What Is Fair?

Updated on August 04, 2017
S.D. asks from Carson, CA
20 answers

There are four driving parents. Two of these parents have one child each. Two of the others have two children each.
Should the parents with more than one child get an additional day of driving since their child is taking up a seat?

I have two kids so I offered to drive two days. Another parent has two kids and said since the pick up/drop off location are the same--it's not taking up any additional resources. I think that if my 2nd child was not in that seat, another "single" child could be, thus adding another driver.

What's fair?

ETA: what's most fair to the parents with only one child? Someone mentioned to just take the school bus. School busses are no longer offered in many school districts in CA.
Thank you.

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K.C.

answers from Los Angeles on

For a carpool, I would say each family should drive the same amount of times, regardless of how many children they have. It's very nice of you to offer to do more, but I don't think it's necessary.

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D.N.

answers from Chicago on

Unless you're dropping kids at different locations, causing additional stops, I would not count the kids. Think of it as sharing a vacation home. If there are 2 couples and single person, each getting their own room, the costs would (hopefully) be split evenly for the home.

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T.F.

answers from Dallas on

I don't get the issue and if there was an issue this early on, I would opt out of the drama and drive my own child or et her ride the bus.

You have 4 families, that means 4 drivers. Who cares how many kids some have vs others. As someone else already mentioned... you would not take your 2 separately so why all the worry.

It is kind of you to be so considerate and make sure things are fair but to me, it just stirs up potential drama.

7 moms found this helpful

C.T.

answers from Santa Fe on

No, the parents with more children should drive the same number of times as the parents with less children. You would not drive each of your kids separately. I would not count seats personally. Just my opinion.

6 moms found this helpful
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S.B.

answers from Houston on

Don't count kid number, count the families.

6 moms found this helpful
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M.6.

answers from New York on

I don't think having an additional child/children, should create an additional burden. I guess I look at it like both kids are going to the same place for that parent. If they were doing all the driving themselves, they would be driving 10 times a week (back and forth on 5 school days), not 20 times just because they have two kids.

Since the responsibility is divided by family (in my opinion), each family should carry the fair share of driving, regardless of the number of children.

4 moms found this helpful
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M.D.

answers from Pittsburgh on

I think you should split the driving 4 ways and not count kids.

I think this is the most fair, because the parents with 2 kids wouldn't drive them separately. So in terms of how many trips each parent would have to make to and from the destination if the carpool didn't exist - it's 1 each (regardless of the number of kids the parent has). The number of trips per parent in the absence of the carpool is equal, so the carpooled driving should be split equally.

4 moms found this helpful
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G.♣.

answers from Springfield on

It's really nice of you to offer to do an extra day! I hope I would do the same. Try not to think of this in terms of what is fair. This is just 4 parents trying to work together to lesson everyone's load. It's a mutually beneficial relationship. Try to look at it that way and not worry too much about it all being fair.

If you can do a little more than other parents, great! I think we should always try to do a little extra when we can. Partly because one day you might need them to do extra for you, but most importantly because as parents we should always be willing to help each other out. Parenting is a tough enough job as it is. Helping each other out when we can makes a big difference!

3 moms found this helpful

B.C.

answers from Norfolk on

"Another parent has two kids and said since the pick up/drop off location are the same--it's not taking up any additional resources."
I agree with this parent the most.
For 2 kids it's not much different - it would be different for a lot more siblings (like 4 or more).
But I really think kids should be riding a bus when ever possible and I don't understand these huge drop off lines at the schools where our son had no issues with using the buses at all.
The only times I drove our son was if he had delicate projects to take to school - and then I parked in the lot and helped him carry it to his classroom.

3 moms found this helpful
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J.C.

answers from Anchorage on

Is there actually another parent that would like to be part of this car pool who is being excluded due to the 2 child families? If not, then everyone driving one day seems plenty fair, but if there is another actual driver that would step up if an extra seat became available, then it might be more fair to drive twice or even set up a second car pool.

2 moms found this helpful
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J.C.

answers from Philadelphia on

I would not complicate things. It should not matter how many kids a family has. There are 4 drivers that should take turns.

2 moms found this helpful
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J.☯.

answers from Springfield on

Maybe the parents with just one child are happy having found parents with 2 children so that there are less families to work with. Carpooling with 3 other families will be complicated enough as it is. Could you imagine trying to coordinate with 5 other families?

Right now everyone, except you, is happy with the situation. I know you mean well, but you might actually be causing unnecessary drama.

Hey, you only have to drive 1/4 of the time. Yay!

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L.C.

answers from Washington DC on

Carpooling is done by family. You have 4 families. You each get one day. If you don't mind driving an extra day, then you take the Friday. Don't make a mountain!

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N.B.

answers from Oklahoma City on

Ummm, if the child is gone does that reduce how much driving the driver has to do? Then what does it matter how many kids one person has. The vehicle has the same amount of kids each day?

I would think each parent would drive a set day of the week or something. Not have to drive more because they have more kids. Either you share the drive or you don't is how I'd see it. Maybe one parent can drive a week and another can drive the next week, etc...then each parent would only be driving one week per month.

2 moms found this helpful

T.S.

answers from San Francisco on

I think it should be based on number of pick ups and drop offs per person, not number of kids. I mean if you're taking two kids to one house that's exactly the same as dropping off one kid at one house. That's how we always did it, and split it up as evenly as possible.
Good luck, the carpool thing is tricky. I only did it for sports because I didn't like counting on others for school.

1 mom found this helpful
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C.W.

answers from Santa Barbara on

You could alway drive your two kids alone if that makes you feel better. It is per family. I drove my only child every single day until she got her license at 16 years and one day., no busses here.

1 mom found this helpful
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C.C.

answers from New York on

Your suggestion is very gracious for yourself to offer, and yes it seems fair for the other parent of two children to follow your lead.

Any parent with two children is lucky if their children can ride together in the same transportation to school! The parent you describe, could have ended up having to help with two different carpools (and then would have had no way to avoid two driving shifts).

But, I cannot think of any good way for you to "force" that parent to do two driving days. I think the only thing you could do is, if you and the other parents really feel it is unfair then you could just tell that parent they are not welcome in your carpool, and find a more helpful parent to join you instead!

1 mom found this helpful

N.G.

answers from Boston on

I see your side, if there were one more seat then one more parent could drive and thus a family would have one less day to drive.

Hmmm, I never thought of it that way

1 mom found this helpful
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D..

answers from Miami on

You muddied the waters by making this offer without first quietly talking to the other parent with 2 kids. Now you probably have the other parents thinking that they have an excuse to expect to do less work.

Does each car have room for 6 kids? If so, then it doesn't matter about 2 versus 1. Each parent should do the same number of drop-off/pick-ups. If there isn't room for 6 kids in each vehicle, then the parents with 2 kids should just work with each other, and the parents with singles work with each other.

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K.M.

answers from New York on

Each family takes a day. Coordinating 4 families is tough enough!!!

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