Whether your child is 5 or 15, riding the bus for the first time can be terrifying– probably more so for Mom and Dad! However, basic safety measures can help put everyone’s mind at ease.
- For young children, a laminated badge for their backpack that includes their full name, bus number, and address can be helpful in preventing any confusion, especially if your child is too young to remember the information or too shy to respond to adults. At home, parents can help students memorize their address, phone number, and bus number in case of emergency.
- Older students have a different set of possible issues, namely inappropriate behavior/speech and bullying. It’s important to remind kids to keep their hands to themselves, and if they see something inappropriate to inform an adult. If a student isn’t sure if something warrants notifying an adult, advise her to tell her parents upon arriving home. Then, as a family, they can decide if further action needs to
- While it is rare, occasionally a bus driver, oftentimes a sub, will miss a child’s drop-off. Advise your child to immediately alert the bus driver; the driver will typically loop back around to drop off your child. For older kids, they may choose to simply walk the distance between stops, if it’s manageable.
While riding the bus can be frightening for parents, it does give children a sense of independence and pride. Friendships can be formed in that unstructured bus time without the direction of a teacher and the agenda of a curriculum. However, every family must find the option that works best for them and their children.