Preparing for the first day of school can be stressful enough for parents and children, and when you add a first bus ride to the mix, it’ll make you realize just how brave, outgoing and incredible your young children are.
If you’re wondering how to prepare for the first rides on the big yellow school bus, you’re in luck! Parenting expert Daddy Nickell has the scoop on ways to ensure that school bus rides on the first day of school go smoothly and stress-free:
Routine: Beginning towards the end of summer, it’s important to set up a morning routine with your children. Get them comfortable with the routine prior to the first day or school, so they’ll be prepared to jump back into the swing of things when the time comes. Having a routine will help school mornings run more smoothly, and your child will be less flustered, more confident, and less likely to miss the school bus when it stops on its daily route.
Get the Schedule: Prior to the first day of school, pick up the school bus schedule and make sure you fully understand it. Know where and when the bus will stop. Also ensure you know where it stops both before and after your stop, because in the off chance that you’re running early or late one day, you’ll be able to drive your child to catch the bus during its route. If you have questions about the bus schedule, contact your school system ASAP so there is no confusion when it’s time for the first bus ride to school.
Hello and Goodbye: It’s important – for safety reasons if nothing else – to walk your child to and from the bus stop each day. Additionally, the consistency of seeing your face each time they board the bus in the morning and get off the bus in the afternoon will be reassuring for your child and essentially make the bus riding experience a little less stressful and hectic.
Memorize: Go over the schedule with your child and have them memorize it. Ask them where the bus will pick them up and where the bus will drop them off, and also make sure they know what time. You’ll likely be walking them to and from the bus stop, but having an understanding of exactly what’s going to happen will give your child confidence. Also read books about riding the bus, watch television episodes about riding the bus, etc. This way your child will really know what to expect.
Practice Run: Practice makes perfect! Before it’s time for the first bus ride, do several practice runs so your child will know how the bus riding experience will work into their daily routine. Walk with them to the bus stop at the proper time – morning and afternoon – and explain to them that a bus will pick them up here and then drop them off here at the appropriate time.
The start of a new school year can be chaotic, but if you begin discussing the routines and happenings in advance, you and your child will do great.
Robert Nickell (a.k.a. Daddy Nickell), father of 7, offers his “5 cents” worth of advice to expectant and new parents. Daddy Nickell is the founder of daddyscrubs.com, delivery room duds, gifts, and apparel for dads, and the Daddyscrubs.com blog, where he covers topics about parenting and the latest baby and kids gear, all from a Dad’s perspective.
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