Are you running a taxi for your kids?

How many hours a month will you and the babe be together in the car?

This blog post is by Nicola Baird sharing ideas about thrifty, creative and eco-friendly ways to raise children. Here are some thoughts about driving them around… For more info about parenting see my book Homemade Kids, or for my website click here 

The chatter of the moment is all about how many hours parents drive their children around each month. Turns out that a third of parents spend between 10 and 49 hours a month driving their kids to and from school, or to other child-friendly activities.

The survey, from the AA Driving School (whose website has been down this morning, but seems to be linked with the AA) claims that “ this was equivalent to many people’s annual leave of 25 days a year.” What???

Mark Peacock, head of AA Driving School, said: “Mum and dad’s taxi is still very much in operation.”

Clearly some people drive their kids around because they like it, some because they want to, and some because they have to. I know I wouldn’t drive this much for my children, it’s one of the many reasons that I live in a big city and buy my kids shoes that are easy to walk in!

You’re not alone
If you feel you are running a taxi service for your kids, chances are your friends are too. Is there a way you could share some journeys, or can you organise for a group of children to do some cycle training? Is there a need for a school bus? Are the children eligible for free travel (eg, 11 year olds may need ID)? Or do you need to campaign to get a safer crossing on a route that could otherwise be easily walkable?

Solving problems for yourself (by driving) is only making the problem worse for all of us, see info here from my then 10-year-old Nell about air pollution and asthma. So, unless you absolutely love being in the car (often in snarled up traffic) then finding other ways to spend your time should perhaps be higher up your priority list?

For a more thoughtful look at who’s driving car culture have a look at the book I wrote in 1998 The Estate We’re In.

Over to you
What have you done – or can imagine doing, or are working on – to help cut down on the amount of hours you ferry your kids around in a car?  More importantly, why have you done it?

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3 Comments on “Are you running a taxi for your kids?”

  1. Pete May Says:

    Would comment but I’ve got to give the kids a lift…

  2. Oh wow, had a look at your book page on Amazon, had no idea you had written all those books. I’ll have to have more of a look at that another time. I must admit to feeling a bit guilty about all the car driving I do after reading this! My children are actually much better about this than me, they’re usually the ones who will say something like “It’s a nice day, can’t we walk to the shop/park/friend’s house instead of driving?” and then I realise that it is indeed perfectly close enough to walk!

    • nicola baird Says:

      Thank you Vanessa for your kind words – I love Wow! Sounds like you’ve got brilliant kids if they are the ones who want to walk rather than get a lift. Nicola

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