C.H. asks from Newmarket, NH on August 19, 2007
1St Time on Bus
I just signed my son up for kindergarten. I am really scared though because of my working schedule, I am unable to drive him to school he has to go to a before and after school program and take the bus from there to school. I just feel he's too young for the bus and on the bus is K-5. I was told that kindergarten children sit in the front but I'm still freaked out because kids can be so mean. He's excited, it's just me that's scared, but he is a very good natured little boy and is friendly, outgoing,and very polite. I'm afraid he'll change once he starts taking the bus. I'm also afraid of him being teased. He is a very good looking little boy, but he is very tall and stalky with the cutest little cheeks in the world! When I voiced my concerns to the doctor to try and get ideas to help me deal, he said I wont have anything to worry about because the other kids might be intimidated by my son. How do I prepare him so if he does get teased about anything I don't want him to be affected by the comments. I want to prepare him mentally so his self confidence will not be affected. Is kindergarten too young for the bus?
S.C. answers from Springfield on August 20, 2007
I was wondering if you are in the Amherst area, and what the before and after school program you mentioned. I am looking for one myself for my son who is 8. Any advice would be welcomed.
J.L. answers from Lewiston on August 20, 2007
I can understand your concerns, but he will be just fine. Kids tease. Your son will be subjected throughout his school years. Everybody was teased as children. He will be hurt, I'm sure, as we all were, but it will make him stronger. Don't worry too much!!!
R.J. answers from Boston on August 20, 2007
Don't be scared C.!
My daughter LOVED the bus...taking the bus made her feel like such a big girl (well that and eating in the cafeteria ha ha). My suggestion: let him ride the bus, mom. You don't want him to be worried about it, you don't want to stifle his excitement regarding anything that has to do with school. Get to know your bus driver. Get their name, introduce yourself. Express your concerns to the bus driver (away from your child's earshot). I'm betting the bus driver is expecting it. Get to know other parents at the bus stop and see if there are any others who share your concerns. More than likely there will be other older kids at the bus stop and hopefully their parents, so you can ask them if they've had any concerns with this bus driver.
Don't let it get you all wound up (which it sounds like it already has). This is another part of your son's growing up - he'll be okay!
One of the things that has always kinda surprised me since I've become a parent is the fact that as my child is growing and learning, I've found more and more things that I have to grow and learn about, too. Your son is just at a stage where you're not in control. You now have to trust someone else with your child's care. But don't stress it, Mom. He'll be a-okay. You wanted to know how to prepare him in case he gets teased. Stop stressing over what MIGHT happen. Don't talk to him about that until it happens....and that's IF it happens, which more than likely it won't. If it does, then deal with it. But if you start trying to tell him how to deal with something that hasn't happened, you run the risk of stressing him out and scaring him. Keep everything about school in a positive light. He'll be fine, Mom!! Millions of kids started school riding the bus for kindergarten and they're all fine. Your son will be, too.
Hang in there...
M.B. answers from Providence on August 20, 2007
Hi, let me tell you something. Kindergarten is the best time for the bus. It's all so new and cool. If you're really concerned, talk to your driver. My mom drives school bus and has for over 20 years. She loves it and there are many drivers that are just like her. Every year she has a parent that is concerned and she gladly talks away their fears. She would rather know that you and he were a little freaked out than have him burst into tears unexpectantly. So go ahead and talk to your driver as he gets onto the bus. As far as being teased, that's why kindergartners sit in the front. Drivers and monitors (if your district has them) keep an eye out for the little guys.
I hope this quells your fears some.
Good luck, it'll all be all right ;)
K.G. answers from Boston on August 20, 2007
Hi C. -
My oldest daughter is going to Kindergarten this year too. I'm lucky enough though to be able to have my husband drop her off in the morning and I pick her up after work. She will also be going to a before and after school program in the Ashburnham school. I don't know which school your child will be attending, but the after school program here also consists of Kindergarten thru some Middle school children. What I'm trying to say is...don't worry so much about the teasing on the bus because there can always be teasing in the classrooms as well as the after school program and you can't keep your child from going to school. Teasing can be a very mean thing and affect children all thru life...you just have to try and stop it at the very beginning before it gets out of hand. Teasing is a part of growing up and may make your child a stronger person because of it. I wouldn't worry to much about it until an incident actually happens. I hope that helps some.
J.W. answers from Boston on August 20, 2007
My oldest son just went through this last year. I have 2 other kids, and was pregnant at the time and he had to ride the bus. It was scary for me to know that my son was growing up, and I wasn't there to protect him. Then I thought about all the other times he grew and didn't need me. Like the first time he crawled, and walked. I even thought of him riding his bike, how he just loved the freedom, and always was okay. It was hard. And putting him on the bus was just as hard. I knew at the end of the day he would be there on the bus safe waiting for me to get him. It got easier as the days went on and he was just so proud of himself, being a big boy like the older kids. And I was proud of him too. There were times when he said the older kids were picking on him. So we came up with a stratagy for that-sit near the bus driver so they can hear what is going on and stop it. This works for the kindergarders. But as he gets older he has to learn to fend for himself. That's life always someone picking on someone else for some reason or another. And if he is confident with who he is, it shouldn't matter. Your son will be okay, safe and all. Just don't show him you're scared as he will follow your cues and be scared too. Just smile and wave, even if you cry once the bus drives off like I did for the first week. It all works out. Hope this helps.
M.D. answers from Providence on August 20, 2007
My advice is this...since your son will be getting on the bus from the before-school program, let him do that, even on the first day. But, watch from a distance (best if he doesn't see you). That way you can see his confidence and that he is safely on the bus. You can even follow the bus to school if that will make you feel better. I was nervous too when my son when the first time. But they are stronger than we know! It is a growing up experience that we can't do for them. They need to do it themselves. I agree with most other comments regarding the teasing. The kindergarten kids sit up front and they don't interact with the older kids. The teasing usually doesn't start until they go out to recess as they get a little older.
M.B. answers from Lewiston on August 21, 2007
Collette - it looks like you have already gotten tons of great advice. Like a lot of them said, talk to the bus driver and let him know your concerns. I am sure everything will be fine. I actually worried myself to the point I was sick to my stomach a year and a half ago when my son had to take the bus for preschool. I was so paranoid... then he had a horrible time behaving and he had to be put in a harness! SO now he is entering kindergarten and I am with you... sooo very nervous about him riding the bus. I am more worried about mine picking on other kids though! So anyway just wanted to let you know you aren't alone. Good luck with it all!
L.J. answers from Boston on August 20, 2007
I had some of the same concerns but my son was so excited to go on the bus and he was just fine. He loved it. They sit in the front and usually (with out school) have a buddy. The teachers wait for them at the school and make sure everyone is accounted for. I don't know if I would talk to him about other kids teasing. You may cause some anxiety for him and he may get scared. I would talk about teasing in general like at a playground etc.