Thursday, April 17, 2008

oh, the bus!

I know many parents are terrified about their children riding the bus to school. These reasons vary from parent to parent, but include: topics discussed on the bus (sex and boy/girl stuff, Santa Clause, etc.), bullying and other bad behavior. My kids seem to enjoy the bus, one of them a little too much. I have had two phone calls now about Big E misbehaving on the bus. It usually involves him trying to talk to the people around/behind him, which means he has to lean into the aisles or stand up to talk to the other kids. He sits in the front row since that is the seat he picked on the first day, not realizing that would be his seat for the remainder of the year (next year I expect he will choose differently). So the 2nd time I get the call, the bus driver said she was going to write him up and have him talk to the principal. I let Big E know this would happen and he was quite nervous. I explained he had two options - one was to talk with the principal and bus driver about how to resolve the problem, which was to move him into the seat with the girl he likes to talk to. He didn't like that option because he likes having a seat to himself. I told him he can't have it both ways, so he needs to figure out something else. Or that left the second option, which was to stay in his seat and not talk to anyone that he couldn't talk to without turning around, basically that meant he could only talk to the bus driver, and I don't think she is overly interested in talking while driving. As it turns out, he took the mature route and talked to the bus driver the day after the phone call. She told him she did not want him leaning OVER the seats to talk, which apparently he was doing but he thought she was mad because he was leaning into the aisles. She said kind of turning into the aisle would be ok as long as he is not standing up or blocking her vision. She agreed that since he came to talk to her about it, she would not send him to the principal. He was so relieved.

This brings me to my other observation. I know so many parents who would have been in an uproar and would have called the school to bitch and moan that their precious little child was being reprimanded for ANY reason, let alone by a bus driver. Motorcycle Guy and I both have chosen to sit back as much as possible and not be "that" parent. We have yet complained to a teacher or school official for any reprimands our children have received (and they are few and far between, which makes this pretty easy). If and when the time comes one of our children really need us to get involved, we will. For us, that would mean a teacher or administrator who is blatantly rude, mean, attacking, singling out our child or something along those lines. But for those situations where there are reasonable rules to follow and our child has chosen not to, they will have to learn to suffer those consequences and/or take care of it on their own as much as possible. I think Big E handled this very well and realized how easy it is to get things cleared up if you are just willing to discuss the issue with the person who is in charge.

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