How can you make the child feel safe in and around the school bus?
When your kid starts going to school, he will be filled with so many emotions, be it excitement, nervousness, not wanting to leave mom and what not. But calming all his emotions down is what your task is here. But in addition to that, your child may get scared of seeing the huge yellow school bus and might not feel safe. That’s what may be a bigger challenge for you.
Especially if your child has never taken school bus before, there might be chances that he might be disturbed by some other child and your child may not be able to fight back feeling scared. And with one adult on the bus, it’s difficult to look after so many kids at the same time. But here are a few tips on how to make your child feel safer on a bus ride.
Take the Route in advance: Talk to your school office and try to know the route your bus would travel through. Most of the time, the bus goes through the same route and does not change it until needed. Take a ride with your child onto the same route in advance and show him places he could remember and relate to. Like his favourite park, aunt’s house or daddy’s office, the ice cream parlour you visit last weekend or anything he would not forget. Seeing these places when he goes through the bus, would make him feel safe and diverted.
Get a travel buddy: Your child will have more fun on a bus ride only if the child had someone he knows, to travel with. Talk to your neighbours in the locality and find if anyone has a child going through the same bus. Make your child, friends with them so that they could later travel together to and back from school. It helps ease the first-ride anxiety the most.
Teach the kid to say ‘No’: Kids often get nervous and feel sad when some other kid laughs at them or hurts them. They stay silent and then would not want to go onto the bus. Teach your child to say a ‘No’ if someone takes their seat away.
Teach them to respond when laughed at with “Stop that” or “I did not like what you said” or even “Do not bother me” and get back to his seat. Teach your child to sit beside the teacher if needed and tell the teacher if he faces a lot of trouble.
Get a treat: Children, especially pre-schoolers are excited to eat something they love. Pack a bottle of his favourite juice or his favourite sandwich and ask your child to save him for his ride back. The ride back to home from school could be a tough one because the child will have to get onto the bus without waving at you as he did in the morning.
So, when we wait all day to eat that snack, he will get excited. His full concentration will be on the food and not on the ride. In this way, you could make him feel comfortable and plus, a happy tummy. Do not forget to wave him back from school and give a smile asking about his day
Talk about his worries: You might have always told your child about stay away from a random stranger and/or not driving with them or accepting offers. But you would still expect them to go onto a bus with a driver they do not know. In such a situation you need to be calm first or else they will panic seeing you in worry. Tell them that the bus they need to get into is yellow colour and has this particular sign on it (which may be the school logo). If they ask you, what if they land up in some other place and not the school, tell them to follow their teacher.
Also, its the duty of the driver to take everybody to school only and all your friends will get up at once when you reach. Similarly, address all his concerns beforehand.
• Make sure the child does not get out of the bus without adult supervision.
• And once he gets down the bus, he should not go in front or behind the bus as a safety measure.
• He should stand at a distance of 3 ft from the bus.
Moreover, let your child be aware of the pickup and drop off places. If the comes back with some rude words he learned, do not show anger. Simply say that it’s not right to say that and he is expected to make a nice choice. Plus, Do not forget the yellow bus and school uniform pictures again.
1. Make the route in which his school bus goes, familiar.
2. Get him a friend and make his bus journey more fun.
3. Teach him to say ‘No’, in case of any discomfort.
4. Talk to your child, about his worries if any.
5. Pack some snacks for your child for the bus and make it interesting.
6. Safety precaution – He should be under adult supervision when he gets down the bus and is handed over.