Kids & the bus stops

[deleted account] ( 41 moms have responded )

I am just looking for some opinions on what you age you feel is appropriate to let your children stand out for the bus without a parent. Our bus stops in front of our house & the kids don't have to cross the street. I was thinking back & I'm pretty sure I was about 8 and my brothers were 9 & 6, when we did this. We also loved in the middle of the country, were as now we live on a fairly busy back road. Right now my kids are 6 & 8 and I go out with them.

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Patricia - posted on 01/23/2011

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I agree with Candy....Maybe about 30 or 40 years ago, it was no problem letting kids wait at the bus stop by themselves at about 9 or 10 years old but with the way the world is today, I can't see ever letting any child stay at the bus stop by themselves. With all the stuff that has happened to children, sadly our world today is so different than the world was when we/I was growing up..............

Tammy - posted on 02/17/2011

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I think it depends on where you live and how mature your kids are...like would they run into the road if you were not there, do they look both ways before crossing the road etc

Karen - posted on 02/07/2011

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My kids are 5,7 & 8(almost 9). They get picked up in front of the house. I watch by the door. It's too cold to go outside right now.

Cara - posted on 01/25/2011

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I have let my children wait for the bus by themselves since they were 6 and up. Our bus stop is directly in front of my house so I can keep an eye on them. I had a long talk with all of them about strangers and what to do if someone aproaches or pulls their car over to talk with them. I think it just depends on the area and how mature the child is.

Carrie - posted on 01/23/2011

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If your bus stop is right outside your door, let them go. You can see them and if something goes wrong you are still there. They feel more independant and you can keep the safe.

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Danielle - posted on 02/18/2011

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We live on a very busy back road and until my daughter turned 10 I stayed out there with her. I had my second child 5 days after the oldest turned 10 and from the point on she waited outside by herself.(my husband said I was babying her too much by waiting with her) I just told her to stand back away from the end of the driveway and wait for the bus to stop. I think that since she was my only child I felt that I had the time to wait with her plus I was a tad overprotective :) I believe 8 years old is fine for them to go by themselves as long as you could see them while they wait. If it was farther away I wouldn't let her go alone until she was in middle school, you can never be too careful with your kids...just too precious

[deleted account]

My husband let out oldest go out there by herself when she was 6 (our bus stop is the end of our driveway). but the mornings I didn't have work I would always walk her out there until she was about 8. this year I walk her out there but because her 4 year old sister goes to school with her also. I let them get off and walk up the driveway by themselves though I wait under the carport just so the driver knows I am home. I think it makes them feel good that I trust them to walk up the driveway.

Sarah - posted on 02/06/2011

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We live in a rural area and my kids' bus stop has always been at the end of our driveway. I waited with my older two some when they were in Kindergarten. It was basically to make sure they stayed back from the street. Currently they are in 9th grade and 5th grade and they wait for the bus themselves--they go out about 5 minutes before the bus comes. I have a 5 year old who is in special needs preschool ( for the 3rd year), and I wait with him every morning for the bus. In the afternoon I used to wait on the porch for him to get home ( rules are an adult MUST meet them). Once the weather got cold, his bus driver allowed him off if she could see me from our picture window.

Marsha - posted on 02/05/2011

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Given where my daughter's school bus stop is, at the top of a hill on a blind corner, she will NEVER walk to the bus stop. I'm surprised no one's been hit or killed yet given the location. And yes, I've spoken to the school district transportation about it. I was told "this is where it's alway's been"..and "to deal with it or get her to school yourself". So that's what we'll do.

For your situation though, given the fact that it's right outside your house and they don't have to cross the street, I'd let them go. You can stand inside the door and watch. I was 7 or 8 when I was allowed to walk to the end of our 100 yd long drive way, cross our country road, and stand in the neighbor's driveway across the street. The next year Mom was back though, since my sister was in kindy.

Klara - posted on 02/03/2011

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My girls are 5 and 11. My 11 yo was walking by herself to the bust stop at 9, but it was kitty corner from our house and on the same side of the road. She walks when by herself now, about 2 blocks to the bus, but when my 5 yo is with, I almost always go with because the 5yo doesn't always listen to my 11yo, and I'd rather be safe than sorry. I think it depends a lot on your kids knowledge and respect of safety rules too. My 11yo has always been very cautious and careful. Our 5yo, not so much...she's much more impulsive and less careful, so I expect she'll need more supervision for a longer time than my older daughter. Its very individualized I think, but by age 11 for sure, they are old enough. Some may be ready at 9 or 10 depending on the circumstances. Good luck!

Sherri - posted on 02/03/2011

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Katy can I say something and please don't take offense because I honestly don't think you realize it but you keep spelling "and" adn on every post I have noticed it and thought maybe you didn't realize that you were spelling it incorrectly.

Katherine - posted on 02/03/2011

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here where we live the school is very close adn so in the summer they walk and in the winter we drive them because of the amout of snow. we live so far back in a closed off town from the highway adn rest of civilization we dont get child predators. we dont have side walks just roads and speed bumps.everyone drives slower than the kids walk. adn no buses here either unless you live in the next towns over.

Katherine - posted on 02/03/2011

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I had the bus come up to the house as well back in our old town. All my step son had to do was walk to the gate and get on the bus. my living room blinds were opened so i would see the bus coming, bus driver was also my husbands aunt. lol I was normally running around taking care of my daughter adn house work. i didnt step outside all the time. it was right out front and he had to wait on the front porch, when the bus pulled up then he was allowed to leave the yard the bus driver also honked her horn to let me know she was there. its your choice what you feel comfortable doing.

[deleted account]

The bus stop is right in front of our house as well. We live on a side street in a suburban city. I always stood just outside the door when she was at the bus but she did it herself from day 2 of schooling. (kindergarten) However, if it was a busy street I would be a the stop with her until age 6-8yrs old just to be on the safe side.

Christel - posted on 02/02/2011

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When my son was in 2nd and 3rd grade I let him go to the stop in front of our house where two other boys got on the bus with him. All three of us parents could see them from our houses, and watched until the bus came. Once my daughter reached kindergarten age, I started going out again and waiting at the stop. I still go out even tho I can see them, and he's in 6th and she's in 2nd. I go because they don't always get along the greatest and I don't want trouble out there. Next year he's off to another stop for the middle school, which I can't see, but there are at least 4 other kid's picked up there. I'll probably go back to watching my daughter from the window then. We live in a gated community, so i'm not so worried about abductions and such, but I don't want one of them pushing the other at just the wrong time with disastrous consequences. I too am the Mom that tells anyone's kids when their behavior is inappropriate, and have enough martial arts training to stand up to the bullies that want to cause trouble, so I'm perfectly willing to be the one to 'keep the peace', even if it means embarrassing my kids. I'd say that you should do what feels right for your kids. If they can behave maturely and you feel that they are safe enough then let them try. I like the idea of the doorstep, where you can watch them and troublemakers can see that you are there. I don't go out in the afternoons, since they run for the house and don't need me, and they've never complained about me being there in the morning, so it works for us. Good luck.

Mari Lee - posted on 02/02/2011

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My 9 and 6 year olds walk from our apt. to the top of the hill hill by themselves. The top of the hill is still in the apt complex.

Jodi - posted on 02/02/2011

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Yikes, I guess if your watching them I'd say age 8.
But personally kids standing out on the road unsupervised makes my skin crawl after I heard about an 11 year old girl that was abducted from her bus stop!

Becky - posted on 02/02/2011

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I can see my kids from my front door at while they are at the bus stop, and the bus comes at 8:10 on the dot- so I send them out the door at 8:05 and watch until the bus gets there, which is usually right about the time they get to the bus. My boys are 8 and 10 and I watch a 7 year old girl that walks to the bus with them. They know to go straight there and come straight home after school!

EDIE - posted on 02/01/2011

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in todays world its sad , but i trust no one anymore.. i wait every morn with my son and am out every evening to gather him off the bus. he just turned five and i'll probably watch him till hes all grown up ! this world is just so cruel anymore.. and kids are targeted by so many psychos !!

Jennifer - posted on 01/30/2011

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I agree, check with your bus service, some won't allow it regardless.
Where we live it takes 6 minutes to walk to my son's bus stop - but the bus service will not pick up nor drop him off unless someone is there . . . now if your stop is literally right in front of your house (our's isn't) then i don't see the harm, however better to be safe than sorry.

Kimberly - posted on 01/27/2011

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I still go out with my girls: Megan and Melissa are 8 and Victoria just turned 7 on January 6th.

Sherri - posted on 01/27/2011

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Yes that is the difference, also all our kids actually take the yellow school buses and they are free to every child in town.

Sylvia - posted on 01/27/2011

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Ah, yes, that makes a difference. Neighbourhoods without sidewalks are not good for walking :( And, yeah, 8km is pretty far to walk to school each way (I travelled 10km each way to my high school, but I didn't walk the whole way, only 1km or so at each end of the LRT trip).

I live in a city where daily transit ridership is like 470 million per year, so my perspective on driving kids to school is a little different! :)

Sherri - posted on 01/27/2011

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You can't live here and not have a car. We don't have any public transportation. Unless you consider hiring a taxi from the nearest city public transportation. Also every single child who attends school can take the bus. So all children have a way to get to school. No everyone loves the policy since we don't even have sidewalks, no crossing guards etc. so much safer for the children. Not to mention I doubt you are going to walk 5+ miles to middle school/high school everyday one way. Not to mention once they are sixteen we happen to live in a snobby rich town. All the kids are driving around in better cars then I will see in my lifetime. Range Rovers, beefed up muscle cars, Mercedes, BMW's. My kids will be tormented as they will be driving to school in whatever they work to afford.

Sylvia - posted on 01/27/2011

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Sherri, really? (I'm not doubting your word, it just seems like a ... peculiar policy.) And they don't have people jumping up and down in outrage about that policy?! o_O Also, what about families that don't have cars? Wow, that would never fly where I live.

BTW, I should have mentioned that the only reason DD isn't already getting herself to & from school, as many of her friends do, is that DH and I both work, so she goes to the before & after school program, which has a rule that kids must be brought and dropped off by a parent. Next year she'll start coming home after school instead of staying for the after-school program, which will mean she's walking home when it's still light out. I am not a fan of 8-year-olds walking home alone after dark, even if their snowsuits do come with little reflective bits on them. :P

Kim - posted on 01/26/2011

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i didn't let mine go on his own until middle school, but during elem school he walked and now middle he rides the bus and the bus stop is right outside my community so i can see them from my front window...its also on a fairly busy street. i trust no one!!!

Sherri - posted on 01/26/2011

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Julie my kids stand outside our front door. They don't have any other children they are the only ones that get picked up in front of our house and they stop house by house. So if it is this way I wouldn't expect she needs to stand with them. If it is a situation such as yours mine would never be waiting at the bus stop by themselves either.



In our district you are not allowed to walk to school Sylvia even if you live across the street from the school you must be driven or picked up by the bus. They do not allow walkers until 7th grade. However, our middle school doesn't have any since it is 5miles to the nearest anything from the middle school or high school.

Sylvia - posted on 01/26/2011

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I am LOL at driving a child 4 blocks to school. Yesterday DD (who is 8) and I missed the (city) bus to her school by inches, so rather than wait another ~15 minutes, we walked. It's 2km (1.25 miles), and we walk it in 20-25 minutes. We usually end up doing this at least once a week, because (a) that bus is somewhat unreliable and tends to come several minutes early, and (b) DD often has some difficulty getting her act in gear in the morning :P. Next year she'll be making her own way home from school, and the year after that, I hope, getting there on her own as well.

And no, I am not afraid of her being kidnapped, attacked, or molested. The odds of that happening are so incredibly tiny, and the chances that anything I could do (apart from common-sense stuff like "it's fine to talk to a stranger, but NEVER EVER get into their car or go anywhere with them") would change them, that I choose not to make myself crazy by worrying about it. I *am* afraid of her getting hit by a car, but only because of all the other parents driving their kids to school -- there's almost no other traffic on that street at that time of day.

Erin - posted on 01/26/2011

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Hmmm, my daughter is 7 and we actually live too close to the school for her to ride the bus. So I drive her or walk with her everyday depending on the weather. It's about 4 blocks.
I agree with so many things here! I feel torn! On one hand, being right in front of your house, well you can just watch out the window, right? Ack, but then again, we're right to think that it doesn't matter your location, people who want to do harm will do it regardless. How long would it take for a car to pull up, stash your kid inside and take off...and then how long would it take you to get out the door? Me paranoid? Ok, maybe a little. I think of worst-case scenario things sometimes and the risks I'm willing to take.
Anyhow, we want to give our kids some independence, but want to keep them safe at the same time. Maybe just wait on the doorstep? Then you are at least an adult "presence" there. But not completely hovering over them. If someone sees a grown up standing around watching, they are much less likely to try anything.
I really agree with a few things that Julie said. In our district, all the kids who are walking leave the school at the same time. There's strength in numbers I think, but then again they are also rough-housing and dashing into the street and such. There's no adult there just to help keep them safe, or keep some rules of kindness in place. Sometimes when we've walked, we've been running late and ended up walking with this huge group of kids. They're all nice kids, but some of them are my daughter's age or younger. I just think that's really little to be walking. And they're on their own when they walk in the morning. Ha, for a while there was this one little girl who would walk with us and talk with us on the way home, so I started being late on purpose so we could walk together :) She ended up moving and having to ride the bus though.
Anyways, I'm glad there are other people out there who care for more than just their own. Sorry for the rant!

Amanda - posted on 01/26/2011

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If you live right out front without crossing go for it, it will teach them independence and I would be watching from a window, I use to live in house where the bus stop was in front\side of our house we had two entries front and back but the driver wouldnt allow it, go for it!

Julie - posted on 01/25/2011

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It really doesn't matter how mature the child is, how wealthy/low crime the area is, bullies and other people who wish to harm children come in all varieties and it doesn't matter how close your children are to your house. As long as they are given the opportunity people who want to harm others will take it, which means students are always at risk. Especially since there are so many bystanders that don't speak up when they see someone being bullied. That's why I am the only parent at the bus stop - I speak up and the other students at the bus stop and the walk home from the bus stop now know it. One parent earlier this year thought I was brave to stand up to a middle school student to his behavior. One other parent said to me a different student who was pushed to the ground deserved it. Last year walking back and forth to the elementary school I was the only parent stopping students from running across roads in traffic, hitting each other, taking things that were not theirs to take, etc. . How do you protect your students when you don't know the parents since they don't show up at the bus stop/school or hide in their house or cars? I may not be liked by anyone, but at least I know my child is safe when I send them to school, survives the day the best they can, and I can help them deal with what happened when they get home before they take their frustrations out on me.
I would love to give my child more independence, but I don't trust the other students - they have not proven to me that they are good people or good friends. Unfortunately, my children have learned a hard lesson from it and don't trust many people because of it also. They are very mature for their age - one reason why they are good targets probably, but after a while you don't care what others think. Protect your children. Take care.

FredSusan - posted on 01/25/2011

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You might want to check with the bus services. They won't let our kids stand by themselves or get off the bus without the assigned adult unless you fill out some paperwork. I'd stand with them anyway. They're only little once and we only have so much time with them.

Terri - posted on 01/24/2011

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Let them be your que, they are plenty old enough espechially with them not alone, they have each other. At first watch out the window if they don't want you to go out. But if they still want you there, keep going out there, it won't be long before they don''t want you to go

Sylvia - posted on 01/23/2011

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Are we talking about a school bus or a regular bus?

If it really does stop in front of your house and the kids don't even have to cross the street, I can't think of any reason why even a kindergartener couldn't wait by him/herself. I mean, what's going to happen? The only danger I can think of is a car or other vehicle mounting the kerb and hitting the kids waiting at the bus stop, and if that happened (G-d forbid), having parents there as well wouldn't be any help. And if you're really afraid of something happening, well, you can always watch from the window until the bus comes, right?

If it's a city bus stop and there are, e.g., unpleasant teenagers hanging out there waiting for the bus at the same time, then maybe not. Or if your kids still can't be trusted to stay on the sidewalk and out of the road, which I know takes some kids longer to learn than others. But otherwise I'm afraid I really don't see the point of worrying about how old kids have to be to wait for the school bus by themselves (like we all did when we were kids, unless we walked all the way to school by ourselves, or -- this was the only really dangerous option -- were driven in carpools with not enough seatbelts for everyone :P).

Sarh - posted on 01/22/2011

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Yikes! This scares me, my daughter will be 5yrs old on Wednesday. I go out to the bus stop with her and plan on doing so for quite a while longer! We like on a busy back road as well, but our bus stop is 2 blks away.
If you can see the children from your window then maybe try it one day and see how you feel and how they feel. I wish my daughter's bus stop was out front of our house, would be sooo much easier!

Kim - posted on 01/22/2011

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I think they are old enough in your situation. I let my kids out to play in our yard alone when they were 6, I live on the end of a cul-de-sac though. I will not allow my kids to walk all the way to the end of the street, 1/4 mile windy road, to the bus stop alone. The bus stop is on a minor 2 lane each way highway. My neighbor used to let their then 6 yr old do it alone. She would be down there a good 10 mins alone sometimes before any of us came down. The school doesn't call until 10am if your child is out! By then who knows what could have happened to that poor girl! We do live in a nice town but it has had its trouble(our bus stop is now known as the druggie stop for the JR/Sr HS bus!! A 'nice' family moved in @@) and I feel I'm not overly protective, I'm just realistic. I guess I am lucky in that I will take my youngest down, so i also go down with my oldest, he can't be embarrassed about that, right? We need to figure out what to do when he goes into 7th though, no way he is going to be down there with the druggies!!

Sherri - posted on 01/21/2011

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I think they are old enough. It is right in front of your house. As long as you were still watching maybe just not standing actually right with them but in the door way.

[deleted account]

It would depend on your circumstances/environment. Living where I live.... I'd be comfortable w/ it right in front of my house at the ages of your kids.

My girls go to school out of district though, so I drive them. If they went IN district.... they'd be walking themselves by first grade since the school is right across the street (very low traffic AND has a crossing guard).

Candy - posted on 01/21/2011

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Never as far as i am concern. These kids on my street are 9,10,7,and up. They get into fights and rough house in the street. There needs to be a parent up there to control the situation. Of course as long a God is willing I am going to drive mine to school.

Angie - posted on 01/21/2011

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It depends on where you are (in the car or watching out your front window) and who is standing with her (a friend, a sibling or a stranger). I don't think I'd allow my child to stand alone at a bus stop until she was 10.

Fran - posted on 01/21/2011

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I would let my kids stand at the bus stop (7 years and 5) but I was in the car (the bus stop was not right by our house) and I would watch. I told them that was the rule and I would not come out or bother them as long as they followed the rules I set. They did great.

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