Getting parents on board
The primary reason kids don’t walk or bike to school is their parents. Either they’re too busy and it’s faster to drive the kids or they’re afraid for their kids’ safety. You can help change this!
When you’re in one-on-one meetings with parents, talk about the benefits of walking and biking to and from school. Here are some easy ways to help parents see through their fears and busy schedules and understand that their children’s health is at stake.
Parent There’s no safe route to school for my kids.
You Actually, we’re in the process of making changes that’ll make it safer for kids to walk and bike to school safely. (Explain the changes your program is making).
Parent I don’t have time to walk my kids to school.
You What about a supervised walking school bus, where you take turns with other parents picking kids up and walking or biking with them to school? If you get enough parents involved, you’ll only have to do it a few times. Or maybe you could drop your kids off a few blocks from school and let them walk from there. That’ll take you less time than driving them all the way in.
Parent I don’t think my child should be crossing streets.
You Experts say that kids 10 and older are okay to cross streets unsupervised. As long as your kids know the rules of the road, traffic really shouldn’t be a concern that gets in the way of their health.
Parent I’m afraid my child will be taken by a stranger.
You Walk the route with your child and make sure he knows people along the way. Also, if your child walks with a group of children, he’ll be safer from strangers. Most importantly, be sure your child knows not to talk to strangers and to run for help if he feels threatened. Strangers really shouldn’t be a problem.
Parent We live too far away from the school.
You Drive your child halfway so she can get exercise by walking or biking the rest of the way. This way, you can help your child pick the best route to the school. It’ll also help you save time because you’re not driving all the way to school.
Parent I just don’t think it’s a good idea.
You Obesity is the biggest health problem among children, causing them to develop deadly diseases like diabetes, heart disease, asthma, and cancer. Kids who don’t get enough exercise are the ones who become obese. Walking and biking regularly will help your kids stay healthy now and develop habits that’ll ensure they live long, healthy lives. Even if you don’t want them walking/biking to school, please make sure they’re getting enough exercise in other ways.