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Advice needed: how do I get her on the bus in the mornings

Posted by on Oct. 15, 2012 at 11:04 AM
  • 15 Replies
So ladies, I am new to this site (only a member for a month) but do enjoy the quality of the posts by you all. So I need some advice. My daughter, 12YO and in 7th grade, had a bout of anxiety a few weeks ago. Most of it was brought on by the ending of a friendship that had been in her life since kindergarten due to some unkind things/actions by a friend. My daughter went to what could best be described as the grief process but this resulted in her getting an upset stomach every morning with her throwing up prior to the start of school. This also resulted in upset stomach at school for a few days, brought about by stress. After meeting with the guidance counselors, things at school did return to normal except for one thing. She doesn't want to get on the bus. For the first week of this, I did take her to school and pick her up daily to get her through this. Then since she still had the nerves in the morning but not in the afternoon, I played hardball and told her she either had to take the bus or walk (5.5 miles). Luckily that first day of pm bus, it was raining quite hard and she got on and has been on the afternoon bus since. Now I want to get her back on the bus in the am. She still has the nervous stomach. Last week, out of 4 days, she only threw up 2 days. I told her today to get on the bus and she refused, stating that she would not go to school unless I drove her. For the record, there is no issues with the bus-no bullying, etc. I have asked for reasons why I should continue to drive her with no response although I do think it is the fear that she will throw up on the bus. As far as the nervous stomach, I have continually reminded her about the "tools in her toolbox" for dealing with stress - deep breathing, positive thoughts, etc. She has to do the work to overcome this. Positive reinforcement to get her on the bus doesn't work and neither does punishments or taking things away. She has dug her heels in. So sorry for the long post but does anyone have any advice?
by on Oct. 15, 2012 at 11:04 AM
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Replies (1-10):
psych_mom
by Stacy on Oct. 15, 2012 at 11:45 AM

The only way for her to overcome it is to do it. Does the exfriend ride the bus?

M4LG5
by Valeri on Oct. 15, 2012 at 11:57 AM
1 mom liked this

Overall, I think you have been handling it well by supporting but I do think now is the time to follow through.....go on the bus or walk.

Also, "she would not go to school unless I drove her" stood out to me.  sorry....my kids don't tell me what to do and that is something you should reinforce with her. 

VickyJoJo
by on Oct. 15, 2012 at 12:07 PM

The ex-friend does not ride on her bus nor is she in any of her classes.  But they do see each other at lunch and my daughter is reminded daily of how she was dissed by her.  That said, she has made new friends including a few girls on the bus but has not allowed herself to fully embrace them by doing things with them outside of school.

psych_mom
by Stacy on Oct. 15, 2012 at 12:11 PM

If she is not on the bus, I don't see why the bus is the issue. You are going to have to follow through with your threat and make her walk. And then if she is late to school you are going to have to punish her for that as well. Show her that you mean business. Don't allow her to tell you what she is going to do and what you are going to do. If you let her do that now, she is going to continue to do that all through her teen years. Let her know that you are the adult, she is the child and you make the rules and the consequences. She either gets on the bus, or she walks. If she walks and she is late then this is the consequence.

VickyJoJo
by on Oct. 15, 2012 at 12:11 PM

I suppose I should have been a little clearer about "she would not go to school unless I drove her":   my daughter can really dig her heels in when she is stuck on something.  She refuses to even walk out the door.  Unless you are suggesting that I resort to physical acts to get her out the door to the bus stop, I felt there was no other way to get her to school.  Physically trying to push her out the door will not work - even at the age of 12, she is taller than me and very strong.  And threatening her with a consequence also does not work.  She is so entrenched with not getting on the bus that she does not care if she loses her phone (which she has), or any of her other priviledges.  The "currency" that usually works with her in every other situation is not working here.  The end result continues to be stress induced vomitting. 

psych_mom
by Stacy on Oct. 15, 2012 at 12:15 PM

Then she gets punishment for not listening. She has a currency- every kid does. Find it and take it.

Quoting VickyJoJo:

I suppose I should have been a little clearer about "she would not go to school unless I drove her":   my daughter can really dig her heels in when she is stuck on something.  She refuses to even walk out the door.  Unless you are suggesting that I resort to physical acts to get her out the door to the bus stop, I felt there was no other way to get her to school.  Physically trying to push her out the door will not work - even at the age of 12, she is taller than me and very strong.


M4LG5
by Valeri on Oct. 15, 2012 at 12:17 PM

I agree.  She may not seem like she is effected by it initially but if you start taking away things and keeping them.....she will learn soon enough that you mean business and she really isn't getting it back. 

Quoting psych_mom:

Then she gets punishment for not listening. She has a currency- every kid does. Find it and take it.

Quoting VickyJoJo:

I suppose I should have been a little clearer about "she would not go to school unless I drove her":   my daughter can really dig her heels in when she is stuck on something.  She refuses to even walk out the door.  Unless you are suggesting that I resort to physical acts to get her out the door to the bus stop, I felt there was no other way to get her to school.  Physically trying to push her out the door will not work - even at the age of 12, she is taller than me and very strong.



GotSomeKids
by on Oct. 15, 2012 at 7:04 PM

I absolutely agree with this.  Not only does she get in trouble for not listening to you, (calmly) explain that you will also not give her an excuse for being late or not attending school.  What grade she gets for being late/absent is therefore square on her shoulders.

Remind her every action has a consequence.  Some are good (her riding the bus and making new friends), some are bad (missing school, not listening to you).

Quoting psych_mom:

Then she gets punishment for not listening. She has a currency- every kid does. Find it and take it.

Quoting VickyJoJo:

I suppose I should have been a little clearer about "she would not go to school unless I drove her":   my daughter can really dig her heels in when she is stuck on something.  She refuses to even walk out the door.  Unless you are suggesting that I resort to physical acts to get her out the door to the bus stop, I felt there was no other way to get her to school.  Physically trying to push her out the door will not work - even at the age of 12, she is taller than me and very strong.



GaleJ
by on Oct. 15, 2012 at 7:35 PM
1 mom liked this

Please don't take this on yourself, let her talk more to a counselor whether through school or privately and do not bully her to try to get her to ride the bus. Whatever is happening she needs help and support, not threats. Adolescence is a challenge when things are going well let alone when something like this happens. Throwing up is real and while of course it can be somewhat controlled and self-caused it should be dealt with in an appropriate manner so that this incident can be put behind her in a positive way that leaves no permanent scars.

coolmommy2x
by Bronze Member on Oct. 16, 2012 at 4:03 PM
Maybe it's just me but if she's getting sick over it, I would just drive her and come up with a schedule for "weaning" her back to the bus. For example, this week she gets driven, the next week she rides the bus twice, etc. If she's having issues and has been to a counselor, I would work with her and not make it a battle of wills to see who can "win."
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