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Thread: Too Young? What do you think?

  1. #1

    Default Too Young? What do you think?

    Hey everyone,

    DP and I have been having a disagreement over my children catching the school bus. My oldest is 8, the youngest is 6 and they are my children from a previous marriage, although they see their father only a few times a year so DP is the father figure in their lives.



    We are looking for a place to move as our house is becoming too small with the impending baby and also is old and falling apart. I feel it's very 'germy' and am worried about a baby in this house. We rent the house, it's expensive, but around the corner from the beach and also directly opposite the school, so it's very easy for me to take the kids to school of a morning and pick them up. I don't drive due to a mental block with it, so DP is the main driver, but he goes to work early and finishes well after 5pm. For this reason, living opposite the school is perfect.

    DP has been getting annoyed at me because I don't want to move out of walking distance to the school as I don't feel my DD is old enough to go on a school bus. HIs arguement is that heaps of children younger than her do from the kindy class and also heaps of her classmates. I argue back that heaps of parents allow their children to roam, play computer games all day, eat what they want at her age too, but that doesn't make it right. For me, my DD is too young and it's not her age as such, it's how she would cope with it.

    She's extra clingy and not overly independant. I went through an awful marriage and tuberlant breakup with her father which is why she is like this. We are very close, she still won't go anyway without holding my hand all the time, I didn't even notice this till DP pointed it out, it's always been that way. She actually cannot walk without holding my hand, it's a security thing I guess. She's not wanting me to hug her all day or anything, nor does she cry when I drop her off at school. I just have to be in the same place to pick her up and accompany her to her classroom in the morning to drop her bag off and then she's right. My DS is a typical boy, says bye at the gate and then goes his own way, I'm not even allowed to hug him in case his friend's see :P so I know he would be fine on a bus.

    I cannot imagine being okay with the morning trip especially, not taking her bag to her classroom, not saying goodbye to her at the school. DP doesn't understand this and says too me often that I need to 'cut the umbilical cord' with her. This makes me more determined to not put her on a bus, because I'm not going to do this till her and I are good and ready and he needs to get that, if he doesn't, too bad.

    He's complaining as we have an extremely limited choice of where to rent next and because it's more of an upmarket suburb here, the only houses we can afford to rent are run down ones so therefore there isn't too much point in moving. IN the next suburb we can get a 4 bedroom pretty newish house for the same price, but there is no way I could take them to school except via bus.

    I was wondering if it's just me, or do others find sending a 6 turning 7 this year old child on a school bus too young? Or am I being a clingy mum?

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jan 2007
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    Perth - NOR
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    i think its to young still, and she is obviously not ready.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    Newcastle, NSW
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    I think it is too young also. And your daughter obviously enjoys and needs the routine of you picking her up.
    My children used to catch the bus together last year, and now that James has started high school, I no longer allow Madeleine to catch the bus alone. I do feel that she is too young to catch it on her own and she is almost 10... my only reason is that if for some reason I may be running late in picking her up from the bus stop, I don't like the thought of my 10yr old daughter waiting at the bus stop alone.
    I hope you find a great house near to the school

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Jan 2007
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    Perth - NOR
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    And, i dont think i could ever comfortably put my children on the school bus. I am lucky that i live near both a primary and senior school. I also think i will be walking my kids to school every day, as i dont want to take that 1 in a million chance that something might go wrong.

  5. #5
    lotusmamma Guest

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    What does your daughter want to do?

    Hyypothetically, if my children of 8yo and 6yo were travelling together and you were seeing them on the bus and the bus dropped them right out the front of the school on the same side of the street then I'd be okay with it. If they aren't together then you might be able to find an older child who takes the same bus as your 8yo to be a bus buddy and just make sure tshe gets off and into the school grounds okay. Either way I'd be taking the bus too for as long as my child needed until they got used to the routine and I'd have very clear "in case" instructions e.g. if the bus broke down to stay with the bus or the other kids if they get onto another bus or what to do if she forgot her bag on the bus etc. Usually, schools have teachers wait with each group of kids at the school at the end of the day to make sure they get on the right bus and at that age I'd be waiting where my child got off the bus rather then expecting them to walk even a short way.

    When my son started school I walked the few blocks with him but then he found a group of other kids who had the same route to school, all 6 and 7yo and they started walking together at first with one of the parents (we took turns) then on their own about half way through their first year of school when an older child who was around 8 or 9yo joined them. The first few times they went alone we actually followed at a distance and spyed on them. They would dawdle on the way home sometimes and that would have us worried. The roads they had to cross weren't main roads.

    I think at 8yo it's not okay to ride a bus or walk across roads alone but in a bunch of kids I would be okay with it depending on things like how dangerous the area was, how busy the traffic, how mature the child was, how long the bus ride was, how well my child knew the area, how my child felt about it etc.

    You could even find a child in year 6 and pay them a small amount to walk or ride with your child to and from school.

    If you don't feel comfortable with any of the above ideas maybe decide at what age you would be okay with your daughter having a bit more responsiblity and let dh know so at least he knows it's only while she is little and that in time you will be willing to let her walk/ride on her own.

    Good luck with the decision.

  6. #6

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    Thanks so much girls I'm very happy to hear it's not just me.

    That's the thing, if they did catch a bus I would be waiting at the bus stop, there would be no question, but what if something did go wrong? If it happens now, they are at the school and teachers are there if by some odd chance some emergency happened and I was uable to contact the school and didn't turn up.

    I am overly paranoid about pedophiles and now that I'm home I will ring up the school if I see the kids playing outside without a teacher, or when I've been there helping and have noticed parents using the kids toilets, etc. Some people see this as extreme behaviour, including DP at times. He keeps saying to me that there are no pedophiles on the bus and what do I have to worry about. I've tried to explain it's more than that, it's about what makes me and her feel safe, which is the morning and afternoon routine, but he says to me the reason she is clingy and having problems with me not taking her to her classroom is because I won't let her go.

    Six years old is so young, and he tells me the stories of him walking to school on his own at that age, I did the same thing, but it's just not like that anymore.

    Lotusmamma - my DD is very agreeable and I could probably convince her to catch a school bus, but I know she would worry about it, as we have to go over every detail of scenarios as it is, and I always get 'what if' from her over much more simple things. One day I wasn't standing in the right place to pick her up and she cried just from that. She's a really good kid, a great helper and really mature for her age, but before the last two years she was put in situations she never should have been for her age due to XH and had responsibilities that were insane for a 3and 4 year old, and I just want her to relax and not have to be uncomfortable anymore. Catching the bus would make her uncomfortable and she would have to be very brave, and I think she's done that enough in her life for now.

    DP thinks it's time I stop treating them like abused children because they aren't anymore (XH was very hard on them and had extreme discipline tactics, they suffered physcial and emotional abuse as well as neglect on access visits). My DS has moved on from things and is a typical 8yo boy, but DD still has issues and I don't want to exaberate that.

    I think it's because DP isnt' a natural parent yet, nor a mother it's why he doesn't understand. I'm just very glad because I feel validated here and not like I'm a freak paranoid clingy mother :P. Thanks again everyone, I feel much better about sticking to my guns now

  7. #7

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    Shan - yes, it is only a school bus, they go in lines and it's only their school on it. Hence the younger kids coping with it okay I guess. It's not the actual school bus trip in the morning that bothers me too much, it's the going to her classroom and putting her things there and saying goodbye, etc that is hard, that she will now have to do herself, go in the school gate herself and do these things. Because I go to extreme's with their lunches, they take a lot and thier bags are heavy and I carry hers to school for her as it's too heavy for her.

    Right now, we have decided to stay in this house until something does come up. Things have come up in other suburbs which don't have schools (there are limited schools in this area) that have been suitable and quite new, but I have said I'm not willing to consider it which is what is irritating DP. So we are staying here and have looked at other houses that were okay in walking distance, but because the rent is 25-50 dollars a week more, DP won't consider it either. We can afford the extra but DP won't consider it. We are both headlocked about different issues lol, me about leaving the area and him about spending more, which I think is fair enough considering there is another person living with us soon and also because he has alot of tanked animals and we have to allow for that. Upside is he loves this area too as it's nicer and friendlier than most so staying here is somethign he wants to do if something right does come up.

    So the solution now is staying and the baby sharing our room, along with too many other things in there lol.

    Thanks Shannon

  8. #8

    Join Date
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    Tara, I agree she is too young.
    One thing I think you really need to get DP to understand is YES she is no longer being abused etc from your XH BUT the emotional scaring that can have on a child isn't going to go away just because she is no longer in that situation.
    My older sister suffered heaps with attachment issues as a child because of the abuse she seen our mother go through at the hands of our father. No one has the right to expect a child to just get over it. They will all deal with it in their own way. Your DS has obviously coped well with any issues he had. But DD may still have some issues that she copes with because of the routine that is kept in place.
    Tara I think you are woundfully protective mother & don't let your DP bully you into doing something you are not comfortable with.

    I wonder if it is possible to find another local mother who drives her child to school that would be willing to help you with DD getting to school if you do move out of the suburb. Or a relative? Or, I know extream but changing schools so that you are again in walking distance?

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