When the time comes for your child to start catching the bus to and from school without you, you’ll both probably feel a little overwhelmed. It’s a big milestone and daunting watching your child grow up and develop that level of independence where they don’t need you by their side at all times. After a few weeks of them catching the bus, it will start to feel like a normal part of your routine, but there are some things you can do until then to help settle your child’s nerves (and your own). Here are some tips from a prep school in London.
As with anything, practise makes perfect, and it can also help settle one’s nerves. With that in mind, hope on the bus with your child as much as you can in the run up to them catching it without you. Show them how to pay, how to press the button when they want the bus to stop and where to get off. Teach them that when there are no available seats, they will need to hold on to a bar to help keep their balance. Practise the route to and from school so that it becomes more familiar.
Find some time to have a one-to-one chat with your child about how they’re feeling about catching the school bus. If you ask them in front of their siblings or other people, they might not feel as comfortable being open and honest with you about their concerns. If they do share some anxious thoughts, try and put their mind at ease. Remind them that there will likely be other children from their school on the bus and the driver is a responsible adult. Teach them about some of the rules i.e., no talking to strangers.
For the first few days when your child starts catching the bus without you, it would be nice for them if you could walk them to and from the bus stop at the beginning and end of each day. This will likely help them feel a little bit more comfortable, knowing that you’ll be there to greet them when it’s all over.