leaving a child to wait for the bus, Bad idea?

Cara - posted on 05/07/2012 ( 281 moms have responded )

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I'm starting to plan for next year. My children will be 9 and 5, We live in a very small town where the houses are spread out. Do you think it is safe for me to leave them alone outside waiting for the bus for 10 min. I would be gone due to my work schedule. IS this a bad parent choice? Please help I need some opionions. My children are my world and I know how dangerous life is now so this is why I need a opinion.

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Tiffany - posted on 05/15/2012

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I slipped on ice and broke my ankle at the bus stop in the winter when I was 11. Anything can happen. Especially in the winter on dark mornings. I feel like mine need an adult until they are safely on the bus. I sit in the driveway in my car until the bus leaves our house. My kids are 8,9 and 13 and all have cell phones. I couldn't get any work done if I didn't know for sure they were ok.

Kristy - posted on 05/15/2012

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I would say that in a small town with little. Crime it should e ok to leave your children at the bus stop for ten mins. I would aquaint my self with the neighbors that are closest to the bus stop and let them know that ur children will b out thee for ten mins with out u. I would also find out who else is at the bus stop and find out if one of the other parents would keep an eye on ur children while they wait with their children.

Janine - posted on 05/15/2012

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I see no reason not to. My cousins children were in kindergarten and 3rd when they walked home and stayed until their mother got home. Just need to tell them what they can and can not do. If they are good kids thefe is no reason why they shouldn't have some responsibility being established.

Krystel - posted on 05/15/2012

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since you are planning ahead for next year, how about you spend time this year getting to know people who live near-by, see which people (adults and children) are maybe catching the same bus or at a bus stop nearby so your kids can perhaps get on at the same stop, see if you can do a 'swap' service ( eg- you look after someone elses kids at another time if they can watch yours during the time you need them to), speak to the school to see if they know of anyone in similar circumstances! It wouldnt be wise to leave them alone...it takes just a moment for something terrible to happen and it could be something you would have to live with... so ask yourself if its worth it first. Good luck with this!

CHANTELLE - posted on 05/15/2012

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I certainly understand your situation, but your right the world is way too dangerous! I wouldn't risk it!! Other people mentioned before school programs! Child abductions happen anywhere! Not trying to be negative but honest!

Danielle - posted on 05/15/2012

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I struggle with this too.. but I WILL NOT leave my kids at a stop.. I feel it is too unsafe to leave them unsupervised at a bus stop. I have a 9, 6 and 5 year old. I am starting to think of asking a neighbor if they can be at their home or stop with an older child.. I would not leave them at the stop if it were me... only because this world is full of danger and uncertainty, no matter where we are..

Shanekia - posted on 05/15/2012

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Hi, Cara



I feel that it is very dangerous people are crazy I have two daughters 12, and 13 and I won't even let them stand and wait on the bus. I change my shift at work to 3rd so I can take them to the bus stop in the morning and pick them up in the afternoon.

Michelle - posted on 05/15/2012

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Oh, Bummer, Cara.....This is a tough situation...My hubby and I shell out for a before and after school program at a daycare center in our area that busses my kids to and from school on the days that I work. It has worked out well for us in that I feelgood about the people that I am putting in their care, so the $ is worth it for us. This is for my 2 school aged kids...my youngest (who is 4) go's to my In-laws house or my parents house. I hope you can find an answer to your situation that will work well for you...Again Good Luck! ♥

Kristi - posted on 05/15/2012

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Wow I thought this was a civil group, guess I was wrong. Alot of unfriendly moms out there that don't care about their kids I guess.

Kristi - posted on 05/15/2012

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There is alot of rudeness on here and in the state I live in it is illegal so for those to say it is not they need to check the laws, they may be different in each state but in mine it is. I realize you want to do what is best for your children. The bus drivers hit the nail on the head, what is they are late ? Something to think about, and I also think you are taking some of the posts wrong, just my opinion. It is not safe, that is my opinion and for those that think it is okay, well that is up to them ! I was almost abducted when I was 10 and I was with a bunch of kids so don't be so naive to think it won't happen like some on here, they have not a clue

Sylvia - posted on 05/15/2012

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Kristi, you can't just say "it's illegal" and expect everyone to say "Oh! Well, that's that then." Have you actually looked up the relevant laws for Cara's state? (Do you know what state she lives in?) I looked up what the law is in my province, and here's what I found (on the website of my local Children's Aid Society, http://www.torontocas.ca/):



There is no law in Ontario that dictates a specific age at which a child can be left unsupervised. Dave Fleming, assistant director of intake at the Children’s Aid Society of Toronto, explains, “The law is purposefully vague when it comes to choosing a specific age, because there are many variables to take into consideration.”



Lots of jurisdictions have similarly vague laws, for the same reason: pretty much everybody agrees it's a bad idea to leave a 2-year-old at home alone, and pretty much everybody agrees that it's fine for a teenager, but in between there's a wide variety of circumstances and a lot of individual judgements calls to be made.

Cara - posted on 05/15/2012

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No my in laws live 1 hour from my house. that would be a bit of a travel everyday for them espically when they take care of my 2 year old nephew, 4 year old niece and not to mention they are shared living providers which mean they have people with disibilites living with them. I wish it was that easy.

Cara - posted on 05/15/2012

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I don't think anybody is being rude but then again look at the badgering I'm getting saying my children deserve to be abducted for thinking about this. I did look into this before I made this question and in the state of VT there is No such law however they recommend teaching your children how to be safe when alone. But thanks for your conmcerns. Every state is different.

Michelle - posted on 05/15/2012

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I agree with Louise....i would not take the chance with all of the weirdos out there.....Could your in-laws come to your house instead of meeting you at work...that way they could get your daughter and get your other one off on the bus before going back to their house. I would think that would be reasonable if they have to get in their car to pick up your daughter anyway as it is?...Just a thought....hope you can work things out! Good Luck!

Kristi - posted on 05/15/2012

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This is supposed to be helpful then why are you being so smart mouthed with me. That is rude and the moderators need to be aware of your comment. I will report it

Krysti - posted on 05/15/2012

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BAD IDEA!!! The world is a different place than when we were young Cara. Bad people with bad intentions everywhere. You cannot leave children alone for a second anymore.

Us mom's can't leave ANY room for any bad things to happen to our babies.

Take care! ♥

Rebecca - posted on 05/15/2012

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I know how hard it is...have had to do the same, but was in a rural area ( in a subdivision off the main road) and there were older teenagers waiting for the same bus. Still very worrying. Is there an older teen you could get to help out? The other thing I said to my children was that they were never to go anywhere with anyone, as you do, but I gave them a code word and said if the person that was picking them up knew this code word, then it was okay to go with them, as they really had been talking to me. Hope all that waffle makes sense? Can the children get a bus from your work? Would your boss let you come in 10 mins late if you explained the situation?

Good luck with your decision.

Tori - posted on 05/15/2012

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Nope. I wouldn't. I would wait with them and be there when they get dropped off at home. My boys are 15 and 11. We live in a suburban area and my oldest son drives himself to school and the youngest rides his bike when the weather is nice. They both text me when they have arrived safely at school. The world we live in can be dangerous and it is better to be safe than sorry. Call me overprotective mom! Your employer should work with you and your time schedule.

Erin - posted on 05/15/2012

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10 minutes shouldn't make a difference to your work. Whats more important the safety of your child or being 10 minutes late to work?

Sandy - posted on 05/15/2012

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Nope...I wouldn't do it. If my child was ever kidnapped, I can't imagine how agonizing it would be to go on living. It is the one thing I can't imagine living through and my heart aches for families who have experienced it. Jaycee Lee Dugard was 11 yrs old and kidnapped on her way to catch the bus.....and the ordeal she experience over the 20 years of captivity is heart wrenching. And her stepfather was only a driveway away and witnessing it. It might be a neighborhood, but you never know who is watching, noticing they are alone, and planning. Sad to think like that, but better aware then sorry. Like others suggested, check with neighbors or school sponsored programs.

Lois - posted on 05/15/2012

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I wouldn't even now with my oldest being 11 almost 12. There are too many crazy happenings in the world. There are so many programs that are there to help: headstart, latchkey, etc. Call the school and have them give you information about them. I send my kids to latchkey and boys and girls club. They have friends there, get homework help and I have piece of mind that they are safe.It would help you too to meet other parents and new friends and then you all could help each other out. The programs are inexpensive. I hope this helps. I feel for you. Maybe your in-laws wouldnt mind dropping them off at school if you aren't sold on the morning programs.

Sylvia - posted on 05/15/2012

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Cara, Chris, I know what you mean -- by that way of thinking, half the parents at my DD's school should be in jail!

Just to play devil's advocate for a second ... all of you ladies calling Cara a bad parent for considering letting her kids wait for the bus together for 10 minutes just like millions of other kids around the world do every day ... do any of you ever drive your kids around in a car? Because the #1 cause of injury and death for kids in the US is actually car crashes.

My kid rides in cars a couple of times a week on average. Statistically speaking, riding in cars is really pretty safe; I don't feel any need to freak out about it. But the point is that riding in cars is *demonstrably more dangerous* than spending 10 minutes outside in your own front yard without adult supervision ... and yet exponentially more people freak out about kids waiting for the bus "alone" than about kids riding in cars. Interesting.

Stacey - posted on 05/15/2012

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I am with the kids until they get on the bus and i am present once they get home off the bus as well. My district does not allow any child under the age of 12 to get off the bus without an adult, whom they know, is present. My house cannot be seen from the road or the end of my driveway where the kids load and unload. I need to be there. Without that rule, I would still be present, because I would worry otherwise. I think it is crucial anywhere you live to wait along with the kids. Yes, there are alot of parents that dont wait with their kids... I didnt have my folks with me when i had to walk a block away to the bus stop when I was a child in a very small town. Times have changed and its just not safe anymore and there are many parents that dont want to believe there town has danger within or around it. If you do seek out a neighbor, I would make sure they will be right there waiting along with your kids. Again, I hope it works out for all!

Gina - posted on 05/15/2012

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Kristi it is NOT illegal. Please see the guidelines in your area. they all are different. Im pretty sure millions of people would be arrested including myself. believe me I sent my daughter through classes to ensure her safety but i also must put food on the table for her to eat.

Nicky - posted on 05/15/2012

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You are obviously not comfortable with the idea of doing it. A mother must always trust their instincts when it comes to things like this. I would suggest trying to arrange that you start work at maybe 8:15 and stay 15 mins later. I wouldn't leave them. Hope you find a solution. God Bless

Gina - posted on 05/15/2012

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I left my daughter at 9 but I taught her what to do if she became afraid or needed help. I also got her a cell phone so she had full access to her needs at the time.

Cara - posted on 05/15/2012

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I hear you on that Chris. My entire town and my neighboring towns would be in jail. Lots of kids are outside alone in my area including young ones. Come to think about it in my travels to work I see kids all over the towns and I've never seen a parent outside with them. This is what led me to my question. Sometimes I feel like I'm being a follower and thinking other people all around me are doing it but then again these are my children and do I feel they are ready or not!

Chris - posted on 05/15/2012

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If it's illegal then a lot of parents need to be arrested, including mine. Remember we're here to be supportive and offer ideas, not post worries of being arrested.

Kristi - posted on 05/15/2012

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First of all it is illegal to leave them alone at that age and also unsafe. What if the bus does not come, ie accident etc.bad idea

Stacey - posted on 05/15/2012

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You are not the only Mom that must be at work on time or else!! Leaving your kiddos to fend for themselves while waiting on the bus to arrive could end in tragedy and I know, a mother myself with school age children, this is the last thing you want to worry about once you leave for work!
If I were you, I would ask neighbors whom have children that ride the bus if you could drop your kiddos off so they can atleast wait along with older kids or have an adult close by supervising. I have 3 kids that are dropped off at my house to catch the bus along with my kids every morning. I am the only mom on my street that does'nt leave for work til 8:30am, so I make it so much easier for those who need to leave earlier than the bus arrival time. i live outside of town on a dead end street, so we all can spot a strange vehicle if ever one comes around. Even out here, it would be a worry to leave kids unattended alone. We also have before and after care held at the school for 5.00 per week if that is an option for you to drop them off there on your way to work. Im not sure of the cost within your school district but it shouldnt be that much more expensive. I know it is difficult sometimes to balance out schedules, but I wish you the best of luck and hope something works out for both you and your kiddos :) Safety comes first!

Krissy - posted on 05/15/2012

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Is it possible for you to befriend a neighbor, although they are not close, you may feel more comfortable. My bigger fear would be that something would happen and they would not have anywhere to go for help. I know that it is much easier said than done but I have to remind myself constantly not to let myself live in fear.

Is there anyway that your job could let you come in 10-15 minutes later and then stay a little past 5?

Good luck!

Brandy - posted on 05/15/2012

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My kids are 10 and 7 and in my county the bus driver is not allowed to let my children off the bus without an adult present. We live in the country and have very few neighbors, you need to check with your bus driver and find out what the rules are for where you live. Some daycares here have a bus to transport children from daycare to school and back. I do not allow them to go to the bus stop by themselves even though I can see them from my house.

April - posted on 05/15/2012

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I would not leave them. What is 10 minutes? Would you leave your 9 yr old at home to babysit your 5 year old? no way. There safety is worth more than being 10 mins late for work.

Kristie - posted on 05/15/2012

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maybe you could call the transportation department and ask if you coud have them picked up at another stop with other children. there was one time that 2 girls were dropped off at our stop as the bus was picking them up. I don't know how good your relationhip is with your parents but maaybe see if they could watch them for those 10 minutes. I know how important a job is, would hate for you to lose it over 10 minutes. as i say bus stop it's really the end of our street.

Renee - posted on 05/15/2012

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I'm sorry you got such negative reactions- that's not fair to you when you're just seeking advice. I had another thought- are you close with any other families at the school? Would another mom be willing to get your children on at her kids bus stop for you in the morning if you dropped them off to her? Then maybe you could do something for her? Carpooling sports or something on the weekends? I had a very similar situation and also a boss from hell! I worked something out with another school parent because I couldn't afford the before school fee. Maybe it could work for you too? Don't listen to the negative- its a waste of time and your time is precious. Good luck with your boss but I personally wouldn't even have that conversation with him it seems he's really inconsiderate and you could be putting a target on your back. Good luck I hope it works out for you!

Renee - posted on 05/15/2012

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Times have changed! Is there a before scool program? Or could you drop them at your in laws in the morning? Could they take them to school? It might be a pain in the you know what but like you already know and feel - safety comes first.

Kristie - posted on 05/15/2012

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there is nothing wrong with kids riding the bus, I did my whole school life.My children ride the bus, so did my husband. Our school district has Bear Care, which it's before and after care. People need to quit being so negaive towards Cara. All she did was ask a question. She didn't say she was going to just asked if what we thought about it. No need to attack her ability as a Mom. Don't we do that enough to ourselves. Some people don't have the options as so many of us do.

Suzfinn - posted on 05/15/2012

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I wouldn't. Well, I think it would be okay for them to be outside and wait with you inside watching. But I wouldn't leave for work or anything. My son is 6 and he waits for the bus outside by himself with my neighbor who is 9 but we (technically my babyistter) are watching from inside until he gets on the bus. You never know in my opinion. For example, today the bus was 40 min late due to a sub bus driver and bad weather (rain, etc so not all kids were outside). So then it wouldn't be 10 minutes. Late buses, at least by me, happen often enough to make sure I could be there or another adult could be.

Chris - posted on 05/15/2012

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I live in a city and I see lots of kids waiting for buses and there is almost always a parent waiting with them. It's not always their parent, but it seems that they have set up a plan to have any parent waiting with the group. Maybe you can drop them off at a neighbors house that can wait with the kids? However, I work out in the country and there are lots of kids waiting by themselves. The town has never had an issue with this. The exception is the older kids that like to throw snowballs at passing cars : ) I think you need to go with what your gut is telling you. Everyone's life situation is different and you can't let jerks out there make you feel bad about what is right for your family (I talking about the jerks posting here and your boss!). Best of luck to you!

Kari - posted on 05/15/2012

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My child is starting school in the fall too. My child will not be riding the bus period; they bus K-12 on the same bus (no aid on the bus just the driver). We are doing what Danielle B suggested above. Early drop off is at 7:30am and my child will stay for the after school program (they separate the kids by grades so my child won't be hanging out with older kids).

Sis Lain - posted on 05/15/2012

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Well , some Mothers send them out then go back to bed. You never see a mom out waiting with the kids for a bus. Even if you were there , unless you are out there waiting at the curb ,not on the computor or in the shower on the pot you could not know when something happens. Take them to the nearest neighbor with children waiting on the bus and throw them out there.

Amy - posted on 05/15/2012

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I think that there have been some very judgmental and unkind posts on here. Every family has different situations (where they work, type of community they live in etc). We should be here to help and encourage other mom by offering advice, options, and a different (positive) viewpoint. Let's try to be there for each other instead of tearing each other down.

Cara - posted on 05/15/2012

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Thanks for all your suggestions. As much as I think my kids will be ok waiting for the bus at my home I'm going to ask my boss for me to come in later however I have the boss from Hell. He walks in the building everyday and no joke says " Who can I fire today just becasue I can?" He's a jerk with no feelings and I'm sure I'll get a big fat NO but It's worth a try! He was pissed when I moved 30-45 min away only becasue I lived 5 min from work before but I'm going to try.

AND...................Just to comment No I'm not high, I'm not a bad Mother, I shouldn't deserve to get my children taken becasue of my thoughts. I'm a mother in a tough situation who is looking for some advice. Weren't you EVER taught if you don't have anything nice to say don't say it at all? I think you should take a step back and relook your life a bit and grow UP!

Dana - posted on 05/15/2012

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I would not. My son is 10 y/o and our bus stop is directly across the street from our house...last week all of the kids were approached by a creepy man in a van asking if they had ice cream for breakfast (we live in a really nice neighborhood). Now, he either has to sit in the house with me, or he has to sit on the front porch and wait for the bus to come.

If I were you, I'd ask work to be more flexible, and I would drive them to school.

Jillian - posted on 05/15/2012

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Do not leave your children alone at the bus stop. That's how Jaycee Lee Dugard was abducted!!!
Speak with your employer and explain the situation they can be understanding. Does your school have before care? That's a great option. Or put them on at the first stop. You just have to call the transportation department of your district. Ask a neighbor to do it. We do that a lot in our neighborhood.

Good luck!!

Susan - posted on 05/15/2012

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Can you maybe drop them off at another bus stop where there are more kids and a parent there?

Anne - posted on 05/15/2012

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U HAVE THE ANSWERS RIGHT THERE WITH YOU
1. Your children are ur world n not your work.
2.You know how dangerous life is now.
3.This is a bad parent choice.
from me ,,,that's a NO NO

Carole - posted on 05/14/2012

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I lived in a small town once. Thankfully the school was only down the street from us and we knew the neighbors. But, child molestors live in small towns as well. We had one across the street from us that my kids were told to stay away from no matter what and were rarely if ever alone. So, I wouldn't recommend it. The idea with the in laws is a good one. Might be a pain, but at least the children would be safe.

Pamela - posted on 05/14/2012

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A VERY BAD IDEA!! YOU CANNOT TRUST EVERYONE. CHILDREN TEND TO WONDER OFF. THEY ARE TOO YOUNG TO BE LEFT ALONE. MINE IS 17 AND I STILL WATCH HIM SOME BECAUSE HE IS SPECIAL NEEDS.

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