Reassurance from Mom's Experienced in Their Kids Riding the Bus to School

Updated on August 23, 2010
A.S. asks from New Albany, OH
16 answers

My child starts school tomorrow. She will be 6 next month. The school is strongly encouraging all kids to use the school bus if possible. I plan on bringing her to school the first day, but from Tuesday on, I am considering the bus. It would be really convenient and the pick up is at a good time in the morning. But, I am stressing about putting someone so young onto a school bus. The kindergartners supposedly sit up front behind the bus driver and are the first off the bus once they arrive at school into the waiting hands of adults that walk them to their classrooms. It all sounds good, but it is still very nerve wracking to me. My daughter seems okay with the idea. I would love to hear from other mom's with experience in letting their kids take the bus to school...especially the younger kids. Thanks for your help!

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So What Happened?

I just wanted to thank everyone for their responses! It helped my nerves a little :)
My girl has been riding the bus for two days now...we found out we have two kids in our neighborhood at our bus stop and another child down the road in her class that rides our bus. Sending them along with the other kids we know has been very helpful to me and to her.

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answers from Athens on

My 6 year old started riding the bus last year at 5. I have a great relationship with the bus driver and she assigns seats to all of the kids. This is first done by age, meaning the youngest sit in the front. My son, even this year, still sits right behind the bus driver. I have no complaints and she never let's him off the bus unless I'm standing there.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

I agree - put her on the bus the first day. She will be with other kids doing it for teh first time, so they will help each other through it. My daughter has been riding the bus since age 5, and loves it - she has special bus friends.

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answers from Indianapolis on

Walk up to the bus the first day, introduce yourself and your child to the driver and then go on. You've got to show your child you have confidence in the school and everything that comes with it, including riding the bus. Therefore she will too. And yes, every school I know does this same thing, little kids in front and first ones off.

Yes, sending your kiddo to school is nerve-racking, but kids have been doing this forever and she'll be fine.

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answers from Seattle on

I drove my son every morning (the pickup time was NOT convenient, and it became a fun tradition, plus I could touch base with his teacher whenever needed, which was SUPER useful to me, we became quite close that way), and he rode the bus home every afternoon. It was the highlight of his day. He absolutely *loved* his bus driver. Ours was the last stop in the afternoon (first in the morning), so Kevin (the driver) and I would talk a lot at drop off. My son gave him an xmas present and a valentine. The driver also has "suction" toys on his dash he'd sign out to the 1st years to take home overnight to help them be more excited about riding the bus. One of my ONLY regrets homeschooling is that kiddo no longer gets to ride the bus home.

Of course, he wouldn't have been able to anyway, since we moved. The new school puts all the kids on PUBLIC busses, just pays for their special pass. Ugh. Nope. Huh-uh. No city busses. School bus, SURE! Public city busses NOT in a small town? No way.

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answers from Dover on

My son started K just before his 5th birthday. Except for if he had a big project to carry or something odd came up, he rode the school bus EVERY day until he was old enough to drive on his own. I wouldn't stress. Personally, I would put her on the bus starting the 1st day and maybe on her birthday drive her to school as a treat.

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answers from Fort Wayne on

If you can have her meet the school bus driver maybe after school is done today. and make sure she sits up front. I was a school bus driver and our policy was to have all kinders in the front so we can see them better. sometimes they fall asleep and if its a big stop they can get over looked. make sure all of her info is inside her pack ph # bus stop and her teacher's name. she will be fine.

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answers from Atlanta on

Hello~ I too was worried five years ago, but all worked out. The school has a pretty good system. The quicker your child learns the system, the better.
And if for some reason he/she miss the bus, talk to them tell them to tell a teacher. Someone will have her/him waiting for you. I've seen that happen when some kids do the after school program and the parents switch days.
It can get confusing, but if it's an every day routine, it works. All you can do is try and see what happens. Been there.

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answers from Lakeland on

My daughter started riding the bus last year in kindergarten. On the first day I walked her up to the bus door and introduced myself to the bus driver so she could see me face to face. Everyday at drop off time I was at the bus stop . I figured she saw me, she knew which kid belonged to me, she would know where my kid got off. I also reviewed with my daughter the street names for the bus stop where she got off etc. They tagged her backpack with her school bus number and she wore a sticker the first week to make sure they put her on the right one. A patrol walked her to class the first week. Now she's starting first grade on Monday and she's an old pro at it... No worries, it'll be fine.

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answers from Toledo on

Personally, I like the bus drivers in our district better than the cafeteria and playground workers, lol. I would put her on the bus the very first day. You can always follow the bus to school to help put your mind at ease. Part of this "Right of passage" of Kindergarten is the bus. My kids could not wait to get to ride the bus and would have been sorely disappointed if I had not allowed it from the first day. Even the first time they ride the bus, kids start to make friends. They sit 2 (and sometimes 3) to a seat, so they chat during the ride. She may find that some of the same people in her class ride her bus...making the ride even more fun. I completely understand your second daughter started Kindergarten last year and the district implemented a new bus schedule that had the middle school (6-7-8th grade) riding the same bus as the K-5 kids. I was horrified at that notion, but it all worked out in the end. Put your nerves to rest and follow the bus the first day. See where it stops and how the driver handles the kids, and see what happens once she gets to the school. Once you've seen it with your own eyes, you're fears will disappear, I promise :)

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answers from Detroit on

the bus drivers aren't as good as a mom but they do keep an eye on the kids, there are teachers and parents that meet the bus, you would probably be feeling just as much anxiety if she was walking as she is starting school and it is a big transition for both of you........I would however suggest you let her ride the bus the first day, but her on the bus then drive to the school and watch or help her get off, they are teaching the morning routine and she should be a part of it from day one, it will also let you see how she reacts and might help you relax

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answers from Boston on

My Mom was the bus driver, so I grew up, so to speak, on a school bus, and ironically I just took a job driving one. First thing you should know is that drivers must pass a drug screening, a criminal background check and a DMV background check for driving history before even being hired. Next there is a ton of training that has to happen and a major road test that must be passed before a driver is allowed a run of there own. Then every morning before driving, the driver needs to inspect the bus, everything from checking fluid levels and wires etc.. in the engine, to making sure the tires have proper tread, checking all lights, brakes, steering and a bunch of other stuff. The bus and the driver are safe. The best thing for you to do, is introduce yourself to the bus driver, and make sure your child know to stay at least 10 feet away from where the bus will stop. That is the distance that the driver needs for her/him to be able to see from inside of the bus. This really will be harder for you that your child. Most of the new kids love there first experience riding. And yes I know that none of this really alleviates your nervousness. My daughter who is turning 14, will be a freshman this year and on a new bus, and I, a bus driver, am worried about her being on the bus. We are Mom's it's in our nature to worry about our kids, it's what we do. But they are stronger than we give them credit for, and your daughter will be OK. So will you.

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answers from Washington DC on

Put her on the bus on the first day and meet her at school. Take your pictures. (Many moms follow the bus on the first day... I'm not that kind of mom. I met the bus and took the picture and then went home.)

When she gets off the bus at the school on the first day, she will be given a bus tag that she will wear the whole first week. It helps them remember what bus they get on in the afternoon. Trust me. She will be fine. You are much better off letting her ride the first week. The bus driver will know her, the teachers will know which bus, and she will be just like all the other kids.

All kids need to learn how to ride the bus. It's better to start early.

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answers from Atlanta on

i put my son (5 yrs old) on the bus this morning for the first day of school. in our neighborhood there are 7 kids starting K this year in addition to the rest of the neighborhood kids. he sat with another boy his age and an older boy who was looking out for them. he has a tag supplied by the school with all pertinent information.

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answers from Atlanta on

If your daughter is Ok with it then why are you trying to hold her back because you're scared? She's not scared. Count yourself lucky.

If she's going to ride all the other days, then put her on the first day too.



answers from Columbus on

Phew... my pre-determined response was: NEVAAAAAH! But, I read everyone's response and it seems most aren't nervous!

My daughter, kindergartener, does NOT ride the bus. I am a 'better safe than sorry' type mom, and she won't ride the bus until maybe she's at the upper end of the age groups that ride a particular bus (ei- if the bus carries K-5th grade, she may ride it in 4th and 5th). I have seen too much harassment and bullying when *I* was riding the bus, and couple that with the fact that things are so much more lenient and permissive (not specifically on school grounds, but all thru society - what ppl are exposed to), that I wouldn't feel comfortable letting her. If she were a boy, perhaps that would change. I don't know.

Good luck! Most probably there wouldn't be any problems, but if it were I, I would feel it were my fault if something *DID* happen.




answers from Spartanburg on

My daughter starts school next year, so I'm glad you asked this. All the kids in the area are dropped off and picked up, except for one group in the neighborhood. With my work schedule, I don't think I'll be able to drive her to school, and my neighbors think I'm crazy for considering the bus. Have you seen the drop off/pick up at the school? It's crazy. Cars lined up everywhere, kids shuttled around, once you're out of the "zone", it's chaos. not to mention the time you spend there. I think all kids should be riding the bus, but that could change when my baby actually gets in school...

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