Hands up if you like the school drop off? Chauffeuring your kids around to sport? To the shops? To play at Jeremiah’s place? Anyone? Me either. Running kids around town is time-consuming and totally monotonous at times but as parents, it’s just what we do. Until now.
Introducing Stretch – Car Rides for Kids, a business started by three Aussie mums which is essentially an Uber service specifically for children. Stretch promises to deliver your child safe and sound, with all drivers “carefully vetted by us” and holding mandatory Working with Children certifications. They are also able to send parents live GPS tracking of where their children are during the course of their trip. According to their website, Stretch says, “While we think all parents are superstars, we know you can’t be everywhere. Get your time back and schedule your rides when you know you’ll need us.”
Reading that probably puts you in one of two camps the “Whaaat? Who would seriously do that?” or the “Oh my God, that’s the BEST idea – why didn’t I think of that before?” variety. I definitely fall into the former category. Surprise!
I get the idea. As a mum, the mornings in particular are the most irritating of rush hours. The kids are always piss-farting around/fighting/looking at the trees and as a perpetually disorganised person, I’m always running to make to make it on time to school or netball or birthday parties. So I get it. It’s an annoying job. But would I trust putting my kids alone in a car with a stranger, even if they do have a Working with Children certificate? No way, Jose. No I would not.
When we’re talking about kids of primary school-age, the years when we’re banging on about stranger danger and warning them never to get into a car with someone they don’t know, I can’t help but think this idea is a bit confusing. As a parent I’ll confess to having some serious trust issues around my kids and I HAVE been known to go a little (read: heaps) overboard in the protection stakes, but I think putting them into a car with a stranger is potentially very problematic. I wouldn’t put my little kids into a taxi alone. Hell, I’m not even comfortable in a taxi by myself (cue the S+T girls laughing at me at our Christmas party when I got my uncle to pick me up like a teeny-bopper because I didn’t want to go home in a taxi by myself).
While I personally wouldn’t feel comfortable using a service like this for my own children, I can see how it would be really helpful for time-poor parents who are struggling to meet the demands of kids with heavy schedules and social lives. It could mean the difference between a “no” and a “yes” to something your child really wants to do but you simply cannot commit to. And as with every parenting decision, the choice is extremely personal and ultimately YOURS, so for those who are interested in the service, it’s time to get excited. Stretch Car Rides for Kids commences services mid-year. You can find more info here.
So how about you? Would you use a car service like this for your kids?