Welcome to another year of the drop-off lane

The start of the school year next week means a return to the drop-off lane.

The first day is especially bad. I’ve already warned the kids that, yes, I am going to be one of those parents who gets out of the car and walks out onto the playground to get those first-day-of-school pictures.

I’ve done it the last couple of years, and they are great for scrapbooks and school albums and just looking back and seeing the changes.

But … I will park my car in the lot and not in the dropoff lane.

As any parent with kids at school knows, there are strict rules to follow when it comes to the morning dropoff and how you go about the process.

Mess it up and you will have the principal on your case or parents giving you The Look or raised-up hands in desperation.

And parking your car in the dropoff lane is the first no-no.

If you are new to the dropoff lane and the process, I’ll give you a few, quick tips that will help you save face and stay in the good graces of other parents.

1. Know the rules. Know what side of the street to drop off on, what you need to do in case of inclement weather and the path you need to follow. Do not deviate from this.

2. Have the kids exit quickly and exit on the correct side of the vehicle. Having the kids get out of the car on the road side and then walking around is dangerous.

3. By all means stay and linger to watch your kids interact on the playground. Seeing them play and whom they are hanging out with offers just more insight into their day. Just don’t linger in the dropoff lane. Pull up out of the way of other drivers.

4. Do not honk. That’s just not cool to other parents or to your kids.

5. All rules are meant to be broken when you see a friend and have to get out of the car to talk. It’s hard to pass up any opportunity to start your day with a smile and a conversation with a friend, even in the dropoff lane. (But don’t tell anyone I told you that.)

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