I have 4 kids in elementary school. Three of them are boys - 6,6, and 8. The other one is a girl and she's not the issue. The problem is when we get to the bus stop they become raging maniacs. Running around, pushing and generally obnoxious. I look like an idiot trying to get them under control. There are several other kids the same age who also participate but, to be honest, its mine instigating. I am so sick of it. I guess my next option is to have them sit in the car until we can see the bus approaching and then let them out. I've tried everything, threatening to take away privileges, physically holding their hands, walking the short hike there so maybe they get some of that energy out before we arrive.
I know this stupid and I need to control my kids. I'm trying but somehow it all goes to crap when we get to the bus stop and they get all wound up when they see their friends. I hate it.
I parent alone and for the most part I've got it down. Why can't I get this?? Any bus stop etiquette ideas?
Our bus stop is right on a main road. The cars are fast and makes me very nervous. I told them they couldn't pass a certain line in the sidewalk for their safety. They would test that. So I've told them "If you cross that line again you'll be on your beds after school" and I stuck to it. There's also a fence along the sidewalk (we're in a condo community) separating the condo's from the main entrance. I've said, in front of the other kids, "Do you two have stand along the fence and not do anything until the bus comes?" They didn't like that so they straightened their acts out.
I knew their behavior was because they were just being goofy and excited to be with the other kids, but again, because we are right on the main it made me a nervous wreck. I could just see one of the kids running out into the road because they weren't looking. Scared the hell out of me.
It only took a few times of that and they were fine.
My advice to you is get that "mom tone" and stick to whatever you say. If they are acting up and you tell them they'll have to wait in the car, then put them in the car if the don't listen. Once they realize you mean business they'll learn what they should be doing and not doing at the bus stop.
Also, before you leave for the bus stop, go over the rules that you expect them to listen to. Have them repeat it to you. Then if the act up at the bus stop say "What are the rules?" and have them go over the rules again. A few times of that could help them understand what to do and not do.
I hope some of this helps.
The "mom look" and tone don't seem to be doing the trick anymore. I think if I march them all back to the car after the first infraction maybe they will be embarrassed enough to reign it in. I've held back a bit about doing that because we are fairly new here and I wanted to make it easier for them. I guess I'm doing it at the expense of my nerves. We also have a street right there and its just not safe.
I'm glad I'm not the only one with rambunctious kids.
I've tried everything, threatening to take away privileges
Have you followed through with the threats? If not, therein lies part of the problem.
I guess my next option is to have them sit in the car until we can see the bus approaching and then let them out
Yep. I wouldn't let them out until the bus is THERE. Then they get out, walk straight onto the bus. Done.
On a less "wonderful" parenting moment, I had told DD that if she didn't behave I would do the YMCA dance at her school (and not at a school dance...just randomly break out the moves).
Both of the above worked, but I felt better about myself doing the reward system.
[This message edited by SI Staff at 1:34 PM, January 28th (Tuesday)]
I think for my two it was also the novelty of taking the bus. When they started school, they went to a private school in a different town so the bus wasn't an option. I had to drive them. Once we switched to the schools in town and they could now take the bus it was all "Woooooo hoooooo!! We get to take the bus!" Once the novelty wore off, I didn't have to use the "look" anymore
On top of that, when my son entered the 4th grade and my daughter was in the 1st grade, another child (kindergarten) started taking the bus. I told them that they had to behave and set an example for the little boy because he'll copy them and could possibly get hurt if he ran to close to the road. That really hit home with my kids.
We had a lot of conversations about safety.
As I told my then five year old in KMart, you can have a time out any time, any where. He threw himself on the floor screaming because I would not buy him some toy. I moved him to a corner and said, Time Out. Every time he threw himself back into the aisle, I moved him back, with, Time Out is starting over. (This is why I love the Super Nanny show!).
Never happened again.
In fact, I acquired the kind of power my sweet, gentle voiced mom had over us: the boy would look over at me before starting some sort of naughtiness, hopefully; I'd shake my head and give him the stink eye; he didn't do it. Heheheh. My H has never had this amazing superpower!
I would not take them back to the car, brw, because that's a privilege, and also it removes the embarrassment factor. It's hard because you have more than one...maybe focus on just one of them in any particular day? I'd have an additional consequence as well, to be meted out when they get home from school.
Good luck! At least you are not yet getting the teenage tone (I'm working on squashing that one!)
I do follow through. I guess the consequences need to be more severe. I had been doing 10 min in their room when they get home. They have been angling for a banana split that they won't get now. They are so in the moment in the mornings they don't care.
This is a great idea! I want to do more positive reenforcement. Stickers are cheap and effective.
You are right. I try to keep it on the down-low at the bus stop but no more! My oldest started being kind of rude to me when he first started having his buddies over. That ended quickly when he realized I wasn't afraid to embarrass him in front of them. We had a nice talk about it and he gets it. Time to do the same at the bus stop.
Anyways, thank you all for the advice. It's nice to have a place to ask these types of things. I'm going to pick them up in the car this afternoon and we will "practice" the behavior I expect at the bus stop. They're gonna love that!
[This message edited by Sparkles at 4:32 PM, January 28th (Tuesday)]
I found when my boy was around those ages the most effective tool was taking away electronics. We also rewarded with more electronic time too.
So if they are good that day they get an extra 10 minutes, and if they are bad they loose all their time, plus 10 minutes off the next day, and so it goes.
I do know what you are referring to with the absolutely losing their minds, my two would have times when they got so wound up, and crazed that it didn't matter, they would get all giggly and it was game over for us. For those boys it's a habit now to act nuts, so you want to break the habit or cycle, so possibly drive them to school for a week, or only let them out when the bus is coming, and then say ok you will be allowed to wait outside, but if I have to get on you at all. then back to the implementation of the reward punishment system previously mentioned.
The issue has been resolved.
That same afternoon I drove to the bus stop for pick up. I had them all get in the car and I drove about 10 feet and parked. I calmly explained that our mornings at the bus stop were not working for me and why. We then "practiced" correct bus stop behavior. Several times. Walking, standing and what my expectations are. They have after school camp 1 day a week that they love... anyone who had a problem sticking to the rules will miss camp to spend the afternoon "practicing" appropriate bus stop behavior. I also will no longer hesitate to hand out consequences in front of their friends. Which should have been happening since day one.
The bus stop is a lot more peaceful now.