Do 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.