My son is frightened of going on the bus to school. He's just started secondary school and this is the only way he can get to school. He says the other boys shout and throw punches. What can I do to persuade him he will be OK?
It's awful to think that your son dreads his journey to school, and that he's experiencing this threatening behaviour from other kids on the bus. As taking the bus is his only option for getting to school, it's understandable that you want to tackle the problem and find a solution as quickly as possible.
Is there a friend whom he could travel with? There's a lot to be said for "safety in numbers" so this might be an option to consider, even if it means he has to take a detour to meet up with another pupil. Failing this, could he make a point of sitting near the bus driver?
I would also suggest that you talk to the school. I'm not legally trained, but it's my understanding that schools do have specific policies in place for dealing with unsociable behaviour, even if this takes place away from school premises.
I would also suggest that you encourage him to practice his reaction to this noise and bullying. Acting out some simple role play scenarios might help him to have a rehearsed and assertive response ready when he's faced with this behaviour. Have a look at the following articles for more information on the Family Lives website: School bus bullying and Bullying outside school.
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