15 answers

8 Year Old That Will Not Ride the Bus

Hey moms,
My eight year old son is starting the 3rd grade in less than a week. I have always driven him to school and picked him up. The problem is that I have a 6 1/2 month old that naps during the time when I would pick my son up from school. So...I've been trying to talk my son into at least taking the bus home but he wants no part in it. I try to sound positive and tell him that he would have a lot of fun and get to hang out with friends longer. I feel like it's a lot to ask to have another mom bring him home (even though we don't live far from the school) Has anybody else had this problem? If so, what did you do?
Thanks a bunch!

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

Yes, I had that problem just different reasons. I put my son on the bus and just told him he had to. He was not happy at first but he was fine and ended up liking it. It might sound mean, but he'll be fine.

Good luck

More Answers

Transition can be tough on them, but they get thru it. Did you ASK him if wanted to ride the bus? An approach to this would be to sit him down & simply tell him (dont ask, you dont need his permission)that with your schedule being hectic, you're not able to pick him up from school & that he will be taking the bus home. The faculty & staff at the school can help him out & make sure he gets on the right bus. After a few times he'll get it. He'll be fine, i believe in making them 'just do it'. Then they see how bad its not. Theres always anxiety over something. Just dont make a big deal about it, he'll do fine, he just doesnt know it yet. :)

What about getting him into a recreational after school program? I did that becuase my son was having problems on the bus (too many older kids and bad influences and a lack of supervision and structure). This gave me some extrta time for my daughter to finish her nap and wake up before having to rush out and pick up her brother. It is always nice to consider a child's feelings and try to comprimise a little. But if it is not an option maybe the first couple of times you could get a sitter and ride the bus with your child so they are not afraid. It is scary and most kids are afriad they will be left behind or the bus driver will forget to drop them off.

I have a 3rd grader too (and a 7th and 9th!!). As long as you present the bus ride as an "option", your little guy will continue to fight this one with you. He has never ridden the bus home so #1: has no idea what to expect and #2 thinks if he protests long enough you'll give in.
The real problem is the eight year old thinking he has a private car service. He doesn't have get on the bus with excitement, he just has to get on the bus. Sure, it would make everyone feel better if he did it with joy, but just like putting dirty clothes in the hamper, eating broccoli, and
taking in the garbage pails each week, there are some things kids JUST DO BECAUSE THEY HAVE TOO.
You've already paid for the bus (your tax dollars) and if you drive you're expending 2x as much gas (your car and the bus that is supposed to be driving your child).
Sometimes as a parent you just tell the kids how things are going to play out and that's the final word, do it kindly, do it firmly. It's not a popularity contest.
My kids get picked up from school only when the bus won't get them home in time to get to an after school activity (like music or tennis lessons). I told them gas is expensive and keeping my car off the road when possible is keeping our town's air just a little bit cleaner.
You can do it!!!

Simple solution, Although one a lot of moms might not agree with: BRIBE HIM WITH A PRESENT.

I agree with the other posters, but for now perhaps a nice alternative is for him to ride his bike to school, or walk. I don't know if you are on busy roads, but elementary schools tend to be pretty close to home (although I'm not sure how close in Maine), so as long as he has a bike helmet or good walking shoes, he should be good to go. You can give him that choice too - bike, walk, bus.

My oldest is entering 3rd grade also!!! I do drive him. When he started 1st grade, I had a new born, then 2nd grade she was 1, now she is 2 as he enters 3rd grade. I have always drove him to school and picked him up. Some days it did pose a problem with her schedule. Sometimes I would have to opt for a nap in the car for her. Eventually once she turned 1 I had her on the schedule of lunch at 11:15am, nap by 12noon to 1:30, then I would get her up and off to get him at school. It all worked out. But on the other hand on those cold snowy winter days, it was a pain in the rear to have to take a little baby out just to drive to school for a pick up. But I continue to do it.

I'm sure he will get use to the bus once he starts it. Yet on the other hand if you are still going to drive him in the am, perhaps see if you could get with another mom to swap off, that you drive in the am and she picks up in the pm? Good Luck

Yes, I had that problem just different reasons. I put my son on the bus and just told him he had to. He was not happy at first but he was fine and ended up liking it. It might sound mean, but he'll be fine.

Good luck

J.,
Maybe find out why he doesn't want to ride the bus and offer incentives for each day he does. (When I was 9 my bus was in an accident and I was terrified to get back on for the rest of that year b/c I knew our driver didn't know how to drive... a different driver or different bus didn't bother me, just the one I was supposed to ride home!) Maybe he's heard disturbing stories from his peers or maybe he's frightened by the concept? Does he have friends on the route that he enjoys seeing? Getting one of them lined up to get him interested in riding the bus could help.

If he can be convinced to ride the bus a chart with stickers showing how many time he's riden or a "fuzzy jar" could do the trick. If he rides for an entire week perhaps he could have something special?

It could also be that he needs this time to feel like he still has your attention since there is a new baby around. Perhaps finding other ways he could have your undivided attention and his own special time with Mom would help. It is very likely that he just really enjoys the time he gets with you on the ride to and from school.

Hope that helps!

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