Maybe all the trauma that television shows and movies portray on school buses causes children to be fearful about hopping on. However, your child will worry less when you learn how to overcome children’s fear of riding the school bus.
Have a Meet & Greet
Kids often fear going places they haven’t been and meeting new people. If your youngster falls into that category, accompany them to meet the bus driver. School bus drivers have a friendly demeanor and should have no qualms about meeting your child. That brief encounter could give your child the extra nudge to walk through the doors.
Sticking with the theme of your child needing a friendly face, it helps to have a companion along for the ride. While you’d like to be the one riding with them, that’s not a realistic expectation. Instead, try to set up a play date with your kid’s peers so they can make friends. Sitting next to their best friend every morning should minimize their apprehension.
Take Them on the Route
Even as an adult, getting inside a vehicle and having no idea where you are going would be worrisome, especially if you’re new to the area. Going somewhere strange can be traumatic for a child, so it might calm their fears to first take the bus route in your car. Get them accustomed to the roads, landscape, and distance to ease their mind on their way to school.
Establish a Routine
Doing a dry run a few days before their first bus ride could settle your child’s nerves. Establishing a morning routine will make everything feel status quo when the big day comes. After they have eaten their breakfast, walk outside with them and stand at the bus stop. When school starts, you can continue walking them to the stop and waiting with them, but odds are they will kick you to the curb after a week or so.
Have a Discussion
The most effective strategy for soothing your child’s fears is to talk to them. Ask them about their concerns and try to rationalize with them. Even if your intuition says they’re just afraid of the unknown, maybe you’ll learn your child doesn’t want to ride on the bus because it’s dirty. If that’s the case, you can explain to them how drivers disinfect the bus every day.
Hopefully, these tips on how to overcome children’s fear of riding the school bus will aid in your efforts. Part of your role as a parent is to better your child’s life, so don’t hesitate to try these strategies if they are hesitant to get on board the school bus.