How to Be Sure Your Child Behaves on the Bus
January 24, 2013 | in Nannies
The viral video of an elderly bus driver being mercilessly bullied and tormented by the kids on her bus threw kids’ bus behavior into a harsh spotlight, causing parents to wonder exactly how their own youngsters behaved in the anarchic no-man’s-land that is the school bus. While you may not be able to experience that side of your child’s personality first hand, there are ways you can encourage good bus behavior and help to ensure that he’s never part of the crowd harassing or picking on someone else.
Review Bus Rules
While proper behavior may seem like common sense to an adult, you can’t expect a child to follow all of the rules when he’s not quite clear on what they are. The first step to ensuring that your child behaves himself on the school bus is to make sure that he knows what is and is not acceptable behavior, and what you expect from him in terms of his actions. Take the time to carefully go over the bus rules before he starts riding it for the first time, and have a refresher course every year when school resumes for the fall.
Talk About the Consequences of Misbehavior
A child may know what he’s doing is wrong, but many will push those boundaries as far as they can until they meet real consequences of their behavior. Making sure that your child is well aware of the privileges he will lose or the things he’ll miss out on if he chooses to behave in a manner outside of what you and his bus driver have deemed acceptable can go a long way towards curbing bad choices. This is also a good time to discuss the reasons why it’s important to behave well, so that he understands there’s more reasoning behind the edicts of his elders than simply “because I said so.”
Communicate with School Administrators
You may not ever be notified of any less serious infractions that your child commits on the school bus. If you suspect that your child isn’t following the rules or is misbehaving in small ways, there’s no reason why you can’t approach the school administrators or the bus driver to ask about his conduct while he’s riding the bus. Knowing that you have established a line of communication with the bus driver and his principal or teacher may be enough to keep your child in line, especially if he feels like he was getting away with his behavior before and will now have to face the consequences if he chooses to continue acting in such a manner.
Establish an Open Line of Communication With Your Child About What He Hears and Sees On the Bus
When younger children ride the bus with middle and high school students, there’s really no way you can protect them from hearing and seeing things that aren’t age-appropriate. In a bid to fit in with the older kids that he sees as “cooler,” your child may even begin to emulate their foul language or cruel pranks. Making a habit of talking to your child about those things in a judgment-free conversation will not only help you keep tabs on what he’s being exposed to, but will also give you the opportunity to offer him explanations for things that confuse him and the chance to explain why saying and doing those things is not appropriate.
Ask About Surveillance Cameras on the Bus
Determining whether or not your child’s school bus is equipped with security cameras will allow you to address his behavior by explaining that everything he does on the bus is recorded, even if the driver doesn’t see it. When he knows that he’s being observed, even when the driver is paying attention to the road, he may think twice about doing something he knows he could get in trouble for later.
Treat the Bus Like an Extension of School
Most parents have a system in place for dealing with misbehavior at school, but they don’t always think to extend that same system to cover bus conduct. Your child may also view the bus as something separate from school, which leaves him unsure of which set of interactions and behaviors is appropriate for the ride from school back to his house. Letting your child know that a problem on the bus is just like having a problem in school can clear up some of his confusion, and help him understand the behavior that is expected of him while he’s on the bus.← 10 of the Best iPhone Apps to Keep Handy for the Kids in Your Life | How to Connect with Your Baby When Away on Business and Miss Him →
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