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I drive my 10 year old child to school each day. However, lately he has been complaining about my dropping him off at school. He says it is embarrassing to be seen being dropped off by his father, and wants me to drop him off 2 blocks away.

I'm concerned about his safety, and don't feel comfortable dropping him off out of site of the school entrance. My feelings are also hurt by these comments. Is it normal for a child to be embarrassed by being seen with their parent? Is there any way I can help make him less embarrassed?

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up vote 9 down vote accepted

Don't make this about your feelings. You're an adult, you can handle it, and I'm sure there are bigger emotional minefields than the school run. Focus on your son:

  1. Safety: Letting the child walk two blocks alone can be perfectly safe, or totally irresponsibe, or even illegal (ask your school if in doubt). It depends on the neighborhood (evil people) and local traffic (cars and intersections, traffic lights). Consider the safely level of the route in question. If the route is too dangerous, end of discussion: drive to school. If it's safe, see next point.
  2. Embarrassment: Pick a suitable time to have an honest chat with him about why he feels embarrassed. Are there specific things that you can easily do, or avoid doing? Things to (not) say? Ways to (not) act?
    (Also, don't wear pyjama on the school run. And if you can, avoid the embarrassing car.)
  3. As for your feelings, I hope that once you understand what's really bothering him about this, it will make it easier for you to empathise with him and you'll feel less hurt. By all means, if you really do feel hurt, talk to him about this. Perhaps you can agree on a good balance of things.
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I suppose it's the ''concern'' .. at some point children want to feel like they have a modicum of free will at their disposal. –  reinierpost Sep 1 '11 at 0:16
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I also agree Torben, as an adult, I am sure you shouldn't be making this about you at any stage; with maturity comes understanding I guess. My girls hate me singing in the car, they don't like me dad dancing, as it does the same thing. I simply sing louder, worse, and dance more. I wouldn't tell the kid this hurts your feelings, as it shouldn't, not to an emotuionaly stable person. If he told you he hated you, you'd have reason to feel hurt, but not this. –  Hairy Sep 8 '11 at 9:13
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I agree with this. I am still embarrassed by my parents :) –  Xaisoft Sep 8 '11 at 20:34
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I think it's normal for a child this age to be embarrassed by his parents in general.

In this case, I think it depends on how his classmates arrive at school. Are they all walking to school? Are others dropped by their parents? Do you do anything at drop-off that may embarrass him like a kiss/hug/shout across the school yard?

You can do a few things:

-stick to your guns and drop him off at school because that is how you feel safe and he'll have to deal with it.

-drop him off two blocks away and follow him in the car to ensure his safety.

-drop him off at a friend's house that is close to school and they can walk together.

I suggest talking with your child about it further, determine what is causing the embarrassment and come up with a solution that you are both comfortable with.

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