This is part of a reply to a Facebook post I made at the beginning of school. There was a lot of lamenting about the time our kids spend on the bus. Parents were feeling guilty that they didn’t go pick their kids up from school every day.
Just wondering…. since when is riding the bus not a fun thing to do? I see lots of kids getting picked up from school every day that I just have to wonder if kids and parents both aren’t missing out. I feel the need to make the case for the long bus ride, because I just see so many life lessons in it:
1. Especially in the beginning, bus rides are long and drivers get things wrong: they pass the stop, forget a kid, have to go back and start again. Isn't it nice to learn to be patient when someone is working something out for the first time? Wouldn't you want someone to do that for you?
2. Someone has to be the next-to-last one off the bus, why shouldn't it be you?
3. The bus is a great place to learn some independence. How do you behave when your friends are around and there is minimal adult supervision? As kids, we used to roam the neighborhood until the street lights came on. Kids these days don’t have as many of these opportunities for independence. The bus is a good place to practice being responsible behavior around their friends when parents aren’t standing over them.
4. There are so many great things you can get done while you're riding the bus: your homework, reading, some personal time alone or time with friends.
5. It's good decompression time between school and homework. One of my sons used to almost breakdown when I wanted him to do his homework right when he got off the bus (a short ride at the time) -- he just hadn't had enough down time between the two.
6. Kids learn that school is THEIR job (just like mom and dad have jobs) and the bus ride is their commute. That's their part of being part of the family.
So, I hope you don't feel guilty any more about wanting to get some extra work in instead of pick up the kids (whether it’s at the office or at home). I’m almost hoping I'll make you feel guilty for picking them up.