My children are still in grade school and they take the bus to school. Our stop has a variety of children from kindergarten to sixth grade taking the bus. Some other parents (or grandparents, or babysitters) congregate at the bus stop, while others can’t, or choose not to. I am fortunate enough that my schedule allows me to be at the bus stop with them in the mornings. On days that I can’t make it to the stop, I usually send a text to another parent or two asking them to please keep an eye on my children and to please let me know if they are doing anything that is inappropriate in my absence. (It takes a village!) I also know a handful of parents seem surprised that I still go down to the stop nearly every morning.
Like many kids, my children tell me that I don’t need to go to the bus stop with them. In fact, some moms of older kids tell me that it is “un-cool” to be at the bus stop. Part of me would love to not have to leave the house, especially in the cold or the rain, but the other half of me, continually hears and sees things at the bus stop that usually lead to a conversation that needs to be had after the kids get home from school, or during dinner conversation. (As many others, my kids are a continual work-in-progress and continually need to be molded and taught how to be respectable human beings.)
Sure, kids will be kids, but right when I think I don’t need to, or shouldn’t go down to the stop anymore, something happens, or is said, that leads me to believe I still need to be around and address things with my children.
My concerns can sometimes have to do with safety issues like “Get out of the street while you are waiting for the bus!”
I have heard kids using words like “gay” in an inappropriate context, or trying to “school others” of what it means to be gay – many time in front of younger and impressionable ears with wrong information being provided.
Recently another child used the word “racist” in a negative way as he stated that he “wanted to watch something on his phone that was racist.” Also said in front of impressionable ears.
The other day I saw an unattended child licking rocks. (I can’t make this up.) She thought she was being cute and said that they tasted like saw dust. Some of us parents tried to discourage her by telling her that they were dirty, but that didn’t stop her.
Many kids have devices these days, as do many kids at our stop, (mine still don’t – I know, that makes me “un-cool” again!) and I have seen them on their phones discussing how they are registering for things that they need to be over the age of 18 for. As a reminder, a few of these children are 12, but many are younger. (Chalk that up to different rules, different families, I guess.)
In the past I’ve heard children at our stop talk about world events and tragedies in heartless and at times, brash tones. They are children and have a lot to learn, and families address such events in different ways in their own homes, but I have found myself chiming in to these conversations when necessary.
I’ve seen a young child at our stop take things like fruit out of his or her lunch box and throw it at other children. Once it is thrown, it is left on the ground unless another parent suggests that it gets picked up.
Perhaps my bus stop is one of the worst ones in town? (Probably not.)
Or maybe all bus stops have a little of this going on? (Probably so.)
Kids will be kids, but I feel that they are continually a work-in-progress and they need pruning along the way.
I don’t know about you, but I choose to continue to be an “un-cool” parent and keep my eyes and ears on my children as well as those around them – At least for a little longer.
So I ask, “At What Age do you Stop going to your Child’s Bus Stop?” You can reply in the comments section below or join the discussion on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/JoinTheDiscussionCoffeeConversationTransformation/