difficult child has been refusing to get on the school bus

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by cubsgirl, Sep 12, 2012.

  1. cubsgirl

    cubsgirl Well-Known Member

    difficult child has a new bus driver this year and he does not handle change well at all. He also does not like the new driver but cannot articulate why. School started a couple of weeks ago and he has already refused to get on the bus in the morning 5 times. Once we let him stay home, the rest I drove him to school. husband took away his phone and his computer yesterday for refusing to get on the bus.

    It's always the morning bus - never the afternoon one home. The bus also has a bus monitor on it who is a very nice older man that difficult child likes. I've emailed difficult child's teacher and she cannot get it out of him why he is refusing the bus.

    Any ideas?? As it stands right now difficult child wants to hang out with a friend this weekend. We told him if he doesn't get on the bus every single morning he does not get to go out with his friend.
  2. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Punishment isn't going to work. Somehow, you have to get to the real reason as to WHY. It's more than just the change of bus-driver. Maybe one particular kid on the bus? Maybe something gets said on the afternoon bus that makes him uncomfortable getting on the next morning?

    And no, he won't be telling the teacher. That would create a prime situation for a lot more bullying, if there is some manipulation already going on. It's bad enough to tell your parents... Know what I mean??
  3. aeroeng

    aeroeng Mom of Three

    When I was in High School I was a major target for the other kids on the bus. It caused lots of problems for me. I would have given up my cell phone and computer time (if they existed then) rather then get on that bus. In staid I rode my bike each day. I had a special rain coat for rainy days but still showed up wet. It was better then being the target at the bus stop.

    Rather then fight it, I would let difficult child make his own plans. At 16 he should be taking on responsibilities himself anyway. Is it close enough or safe enough to ride an old bike to school. (get a used junker, not one you don't want stolen). Is there a public bus he could take (this would require he earn the money to pay for it). Can he car pool with someone, or pay you to drive him? The best alternative would require something from difficult child, to encourage riding the bus, but allow him to avoid it at a cost to him.
  4. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    aeroeng... where's that like button?! <LIKE>
    That was well put.
  5. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Hmmm....tough one.

    School buses are awful to begin with. Loud. Hot. Crowded. Stuffy. Smelly. And depending where you sit - bumpy. And then there's the whole social scene: who sits with who, who's saving seats, who's mean, who sticks their legs out to trip people, who smells funny, who throws stuff, etc. It's a lot.

    I wonder if this is something that should be punished - or not? Any chance that the new bus driver has made the morning bus a much more oppressive environment? (I'm thinking along the lines of the driver's preferences - does he keep all the windows closed, or the heater on too high, or allow things to get too loud - or make things stay too quiet, or drive too fast or stop too suddenly....something like that..?)

    How much of a P.I.T.A. is it for you to drive? Any chance of carpooling or some such?
  6. cubsgirl

    cubsgirl Well-Known Member

    I should add in that difficult child takes one of the Special Education (Short) buses that only has 3 or 4 students on it. All of the students on the bus are disabled but I have wondered if someone is making fun of him or something along those lines. difficult child is autistic and the school is too far for biking or public transportation. I might end up just driving him everyday.
  7. cubsgirl

    cubsgirl Well-Known Member

    Unbelievable. I post this and then difficult child tells me why he doesn't want to get on the bus. Apparently, he sat down in his seat at the beginning of the school year and saw a red lever. He pulled the lever which set off the emergency horn on the bus. The bus driver, being new, did not know how to disable it and the bus was honking loudly in a residential neighborhood making several neighbors come out angrily because the bus was blaring at 7:00 in the morning. difficult child is afraid he is going to hit the lever again. I asked him if there are seats without a red lever and he said yes so hopefully he will just sit in those seats and not worry about setting off the emergency system again.

    They had to wait until another bus came along and helped the new driver disable the alarm.

    Phew - big relief - I think this is easily solvable.
  8. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Whew! Of all of the problems, that was a simple one!
  9. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Exactly the kind of thing that cases MAJOR problems for a difficult child... and minor problems for everyone else once we know what it is.

    Maybe it's a good lesson in "don't touch a lever if you don't know what it does"...?
  10. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    OMG, lol, I've been thinking about your child all day wondering what God awful thing happened or is happening. I am so relieved! Yeah, I know it sounds silly....but I've kinda been there done that and it stayed on my mind. Yeah, explanation. Hugs DDD
  11. hipperq

    hipperq New Member

    so glad to hear you found out the reason behind the behavior! Even better that it wasn't teasing or something difficult to stop. This handle thing is exactly the kind of thing my kids would do and then rather die of embarrassment than admit it.