Helping Your Child Prepare For The School Bus | AD

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The first time a child travels alone can be a momentous occasion. It’s a huge undertaking for smaller children but is also a great way for a child to build confidence and become more independent. If your child needs to catch a school bus alone for the first time, then you’re probably feeling quite apprehensive about it.

You might have various concerns – how will your child cope if they need to visit the toilet? What if they feel afraid? What if another child is mean to them? What if they get off at the wrong stop?
These are all valid concerns but the best way to tackle them is to ensure that your child is well-prepared for any eventuality. Here's some advice from a private school in Hertfordshire

First things first. Most buses for schools have a designated supervisor. This is an adult who is in charge – this is the case for school buses on which younger children travel. Make sure that your child knows who this person is and that they are a safe person to go to if they need help.

For older children, there may not be a designated helper and in that case, it’s vital that your child knows what to do if they do need help. Smaller children should be encouraged to visit the bathroom before their journey and also reassured that the bus will always take them to the right place.
They should also be encouraged to speak up if they feel uncomfortable or unhappy at any point in their journey.

Talking about destinations. Your child, especially primary aged, should be helped to understand that the bus will make more than one stop before reaching the school. This information is something an adult takes for granted but a small child doesn’t always have the experience to understand details like this.

When the bus stops, unless you’ve explained to them how buses work, they may feel worried that they should have got off. Tell them that when the bus reaches school, all the children will get off – and that the bus stops before then to let other children get on.

Catching the bus home. Talk to your child’s teacher before your child begins catching the bus. Learn about the protocol for children who catch buses. Will they be taken to the bus stop? Or expected to go to the stop themselves? How does it all work?

Once you know, you can share the information with your child so that they know what to expect. A child who is able to manage public transport well, will generally be a more confident and capable child than one who is driven everywhere. If your child is not used to buses, take some trips with them before their school journeys begin. This is a fun way to help them learn all about travelling on a bus.


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