Hop on the Bus Challenge

Diversity, Happy, People, Young, SmileDo you let your children ride the bus???

I’m going to sound like the ‘uphill both ways’ generation, but when I was my children and students’ ages, I DID take the bus.  Sometimes, I had to lug a giant bass clarinet or bassoon case for a good ten minute walk to the bus stop.  It built character. 

The ONLY time I got a ride to school was for a broken leg in 7th grade because navigating the crutches on those giant steps was just too much for me.

I remember being in junior high and having to take the shuttle bus to the high school in order to get a ride home on the activities bus.  Let me tell you, being a 12 year old riding with a senior football player was scary!  But it built character.

Back then, it was a more hands-off approach to parenting.  You trusted the school to do your job when you gave them your kids.  Part of that meant riding the bus to school.

When did that stop happening?

There are cameras on the bus now.  Kids have cell phones that can record things, if stuff hits the fan… so why is that busses — that are paid with local tax dollars — are half empty, and the drop off line gets longer and longer?

If it’s to protect/shelter your children from certain stuff, I can understand that mentality, but I am going to suggest that it’s slightly misguided.  Things that happen on the bus to NOT magically disappear in the school.  Plus, it’s under surveillance, so it’s actually a pretty safe environment.

And IF something goes down on the bus, it’s an opportunity to talk about it with your child.  Therefore, to NOT let them ride the bus is actually PREVENTING them with real-life learning experiences.

My daughter rides the bus every day she is at our house. (She lives at her dad’s half the time.)  Sometimes we talk about the kids who ride with her and how to deal with it.  If I didn’t allow her that experience, I’d be robbing her of that opportunity to learn those skills.

After all, it’s NOT going to get any easier out in the “Real World;” why not practice now?

Just a few months ago, we were watching a movie together.  It was a more “adult,” though appropriate, film.  A few “ripe” words were tossed into the air.  I looked over at her and apologized and asked her if she’d like to stop the movie.

“It’s nothing I haven’t already heard on the bus,” she said, wiser than her then 9 old self.

So we talked about words and language and how it is a reflection of your character… How the people in the movie were depicted and the associations with those words are also associated with the people using them.  It was a good chat.  That never would have happened if I was a “drop-off parent.”

In conclusion, I am going to throw out a “Bus Challenge” to you: if you do not currently allow your kids to take the bus, give them the heads up TONIGHT that next week, they are going to take the bus!  Make the 153Promise to love your child by giving them the opportunity to face a situation, talk about it with you, learn a lesson, and develop as a person.  Chances are, the more they protest, the more they need to do it…

It builds character.


6 thoughts on “Hop on the Bus Challenge

  1. Hi Jennifer! Nice post. I rode the bus in high school (close enough to walk until then). I remember a bit of a stigma that some kids tried to attach to riding the bus. I’ll bet they got it from their parents. I don’t suppose it’s gotten any better. at least I know there’s one good parent out there. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! I can’t speak about the stigma, because when I was in jr high, the LAST thing I wanted to do was be seen with my parents! As for high school, I never wanted to drive. To this day, it’s only something that gets me from Point A to Point B. : )

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Shasta Heidelburg

    nope, I disagree with this post.

    I parent from the view point of.. “How would I want to be treated if I were the child instead of the parent” Would I rather walk to the bus stop, stand in the cold, or would I rather have my parent drive me to school… I mean if it’s necessary and there is no other choice I agree the kid has to deal with it, but if there is a better option… I’m all about taking the better option. My daughter had to ride the bus home from school( I was able to drive her there, but because of schedule conflicts she rode it home until Tennis season) she endured it, but I don’t feel it enriched her life in any way at all. She saw a couple of fights nobody ever picked on her so it really wasn’t and issue, It would have been nicer for her if I picked her up though.

    I don’t think riding the bus amongst bullies and hooligans builds character anymore than staying in a dirty hotel room, walking around town in wet socks or any other sort of suffering. When we encounter cussing bus riders, what skills is that really teaching? We can only control ourselves, so enduring other people acting in low life ways.. isn’t going to teach us a thing, we can’t control them, so there are really no “skills” to be learned. We hope for good weather because when we are caught in the rain, we get wet. It’s the same thing in the bus scenario. The fact that your daughter was subjected to cuss words in no way enriches her life. Hopefully she will grow up, get a good education which affords her a job in which she surrounded by the “gentile” and isn’t subjected to the “unsavory” I suppose if you feel she might want to go into social work for gang bangers, then the bus experience might start preparing her for the sights, smells and sounds of that.

    Suffering is endured and then we hope we don’t have to endure it again Do you really think if our children are harassed on the bus that the next time it happens they have learned how to deal with it? The next time a miserable bully starts to harass them they are not going to be able to reason with this bully any more than they were able to reason with the first one!

    I consider my time in the car every morning and every afternoon with my son, bonding time. We talk, we listen to music, we go out to get a snack after school…. my kid knows that I put his wants and needs first It gives him the confidence and security to give his schoolwork his all and he is the cream of the crop in all things academic and socially. would he ride the bus if there were no other choice? Of course… but I have the time to drive him myself, I would never put any other activity ahead of that.

    My memories of riding the bus aren’t fond ones.. but my memories of my brother taking time away from his sheriff deputy job and coming to drive me to school( so my super cool feathered bangs wouldn’t go flat) in his squad car are priceless! lol… pampered puss that I was.. I snarled at him if his job made him a tad late picking me up for high school! I lavish him in gifts and love now that I’m an adult. You can bet that wouldn’t happen if he told me to “tough it out on the bus, kid”

    anywhoo… I guess we all learn what we live and continue the “cycle” You feel like you turned out well because you were forced to “build character” so now you do the same for your child…. and I feel that I turned out well because my family spared me the inconvenience of it and I do the same for my kids…
    I have to admit I laughed out loud when I read your sentence.. ” The more your child protests. the more he “needs” it” Sooo not my perception.. but to each their own!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for sharing your perspective. I like how you pointed out the benefit of the extra time in the car with your children. When I taxi them around, I try to have good conversations, too. (I don’t let them screen time in the car.)

      But my perception is, to use your metaphor, YES- it will “rain” in life. So the only way you learn to bring an umbrella is to get wet… or if someone teaches us to bring one. But to think we can prevent bad weather by sheltering them from it… I personally think there’s a benefit to exposing them to some adversity so we can field it… not wait until they are out of our reach and hope.

      My daughter is painfully shy. Practically selectively mute (never dxed). But I still have her ride the bus. She shares at dinner about which kids are “bothering” her, and we talk about strategies. She’s 10 year old and 60 pounds soaking wet and she’s placed with a kid literally twice her size on the bus. He’s a very “strong” personality. But I’ve never intervened. Imagine my surprise and happiness when she popped out the comment, “I think xxxx and I are friends now.” She then tells me how he was doing something on the bus, she made a supportive comment, and they wound up having a nice conversation. Yay!

      Also, while I do parent from a position of kindness and treat them how I’d want to be treated, that, to me, does not mean that I put myself in their position when making decisions. I think that’s a big mistake. If I gave my child whatever she wanted just because if I were her, I’d want it, too, then I’d be parenting from a kid’s perspective, instead of just considering it.

      No doubt, it’s a fine balance and what’s right for one may not be right for another.

      Thanks for showing the other side and contributing to an important dialogue!

      Kisses! XxXx


  3. Shasta Heidelburg

    I guess the “fruits” of our parenting tactics won’t prove either right or wrong until our children need only seek out company because they want it.

    What perceptions will they hold in regards to our parenting style? Will they fully concur that the “character building” activities were well worth it, and thank us for it? Will they be glad we didn’t “intervene” and thank us for making them tough, Or will they say… ” You should have protected me” Does that depend on the level of invalidation a bully might put on them? A little bus bullying vs. a physically violent bully?
    Every child is different. Every parent is different. One child may hold it against us and the other see things our way…

    Something to think about!


    1. Oh, no matter what we do, our kids will hold us responsible for what we did!

      I think the more we build up their sense of self esteem and worth, the less a bully can penetrate them… As you say- give them an umbrella so when the rain falls (and it will fall), they won’t get wet! ; )


Thank you for sharing! <3

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s