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Old 12-22-2011, 12:16 PM
 
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Here is one that cannot engender controversy! My 11 yo is going on a trip with G'ma. I live in New England (smallish states compared to say Montana...) He needs to get from us to one state over on a Wednesday evening. I have to work the next day.

Would you send an 11 yo boy on bus alone? I am worried that he won't get off the bus. If he is engrossed in his DS or a book, he is lost to the world.

DH says get him a phone and have it alarm at about the scheduled arrival time.

Thoughts?
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Old 12-22-2011, 12:25 PM
 
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You know your child better than any of us would, so that decision is best left up to you as to whether or not he is ready to handle the trip.

My concerns would be:
How long is the ride?
Will the bus be stopping for rest stops or going straight through?
Assuming his grandmother will be meeting him, I wouldn't worry too much about him missing his stop. She could go up the steps and make contact with him, no?
Does the bus company offer anything along the lines of the airlines for unaccompanied minors?

I would definitely send him with a cell phone, regardless.
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Old 12-22-2011, 12:30 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mattie View Post
You know your child better than any of us would, so that decision is best left up to you as to whether or not he is ready to handle the trip.

My concerns would be:
How long is the ride?
Will the bus be stopping for rest stops or going straight through?
Assuming his grandmother will be meeting him, I wouldn't worry too much about him missing his stop. She could go up the steps and make contact with him, no?
Good point!

Quote:
Does the bus company offer anything along the lines of the airlines for unaccompanied minors?
I don't know. I will ask.
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Old 12-22-2011, 12:34 PM
 
Location: Up above the world so high!
45,270 posts, read 86,203,636 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by somebodynew View Post
Here is one that cannot engender controversy! My 11 yo is going on a trip with G'ma. I live in New England (smallish states compared to say Montana...) He needs to get from us to one state over on a Wednesday evening. I have to work the next day.

Would you send an 11 yo boy on bus alone? I am worried that he won't get off the bus. If he is engrossed in his DS or a book, he is lost to the world.

DH says get him a phone and have it alarm at about the scheduled arrival time.

Thoughts?
Sorry, I would never do it.

He will be an easy target for any pedophile that might also be on the bus.

And don't think for a second he couldn't be molested in the dark by someone in the seat next to him.

Even if he is mature for his age, most 11 year olds would be too shocked when approached by a predator to know how to properly handle the situation.

Drive him yourself mom, or pay some other adult to ride the bus with him.
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Old 12-22-2011, 12:35 PM
 
Location: Geneva, IL
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My son is eleven, and I can't say I've ever thought of doing something like this, but I think he is absolutely capable. What are the bus company policies regarding unaccompanied minors? I would think the driver would tell your son which stop is his.

I did an international bus trip when I was 15. It was 2 nights, one day. The only terrible thing that happened was I sat next to a lady who had a very long medical history, and she told me, in graphic detail, each and every complaint. Apart from that, it was fine, but 15 is quite different to 11.
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Old 12-22-2011, 12:40 PM
 
Location: Geneva, IL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lovesMountains View Post
He will be an easy target for any pedophile that might also be on the bus.

And don't think for a second he couldn't be molested in the dark by someone in the seat next to him.

Even if he is mature for his age, most 11 year olds would be too shocked when approached by a predator to know how to properly handle the situation.
Seriously? I HATE reading this stuff. Know the real risks. Your child is at a far greater risk of being abused by someone sitting at your Christmas dinner table than by a stranger on a bus.
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Old 12-22-2011, 12:40 PM
 
11,230 posts, read 9,256,902 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lovesMountains View Post
Sorry, I would never do it.

He will be an easy target for any pedophile that might also be on the bus.

And don't think for a second he couldn't be molested in the dark by someone in the seat next to him.

Even if he is mature for his age, most 11 year olds would be too shocked when approached by a predator to know how to properly handle the situation.
He is well aware of the risk of molestation (in life not especially on a bus). I doubt VERY much he would not bring it to the attention of the driver. In any event, if I get him on the bus and sit him in the first seat, that might do it.
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Old 12-22-2011, 12:46 PM
 
Location: Up above the world so high!
45,270 posts, read 86,203,636 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zimbochick View Post
Seriously? I HATE reading this stuff. Know the real risks. Your child is at a far greater risk of being abused by someone sitting at your Christmas dinner table than by a stranger on a bus.
You can hate it all you want, but I would never put my child at 11 in this situation.

The odds may not be high that a pedophile would target him, but ANY chance that could happen makes it a no go for me.

My opinion on this has been reinforced by friends and family that are in law enforcement. They see and know far more than we want to about this kind of thing, so I trust their judgement.
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Old 12-22-2011, 12:47 PM
 
14,777 posts, read 34,597,131 times
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Quote:
He will be an easy target for any pedophile that might also be on the bus.

And don't think for a second he couldn't be molested in the dark by someone in the seat next to him.

Even if he is mature for his age, most 11 year olds would be too shocked when approached by a predator to know how to properly handle the situation.
As opposed to walking to school, going to a friends house, going to a sports practice, etc. Are we really to make all decisions regarding our kids based on what is essentially an imaginary and overhyped fear of predators? In all honesty, her son has a FAR greater chance of being molested at a family reunion within a couple hundred feet of his parents then he does going on a bus ride by himself.

Quote:
Drive him yourself mom, or pay some other adult to ride the bus with him.
With the above said, I still don't know if I would load him on a bus by himself. I would personally default to driving him myself. However, my statement on that is based on the age of 11, which is only a number. If the OP believes that this is something her son can handle than this is about as controlled of an environment to do it as any.

I would contact the bus company ahead of time and see if they have any policies on unaccompanied minors, I would imagine they do. I would also make him sit in the front near the driver and make sure grandmom knew exactly what time and what bus he is on. Giving him a cell phone is also a necessity for something like this as the unexpected does happen and he may need to call. A cheap prepaid phone is more than adequate, but if you have a regular cell phone to give him, do that and activate the parenting features that will let you track his location, all major cell providers have these.

My decision to do it is entirely dependent on the kid themselves and not some illogical fear. If you think your son can handle it, then give him the chance.
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Old 12-22-2011, 12:49 PM
 
Location: Lansing, MI
2,954 posts, read 5,955,303 times
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Many years ago, I had a family member that was a commercial motorcoach bus driver. She escorted children that had to get somewhere unaccompanied by an adult.

She took care of the child - had the kid sit in a front seat at all times and would not allow another passenger to share the seat; at stops, had the kid tell her where they were headed (restroom, concessions, etc) and then check back in with her; kept track of the kid's stop and ensured it wasn't missed. She also wrote down the name of the adult the child should be meeting at the destination and confirmed the child met the correct person and was passed off safely.

I don't know if she was the rule or the exception to the rule in the bus business. I would do my research with the company, then make an informed decision.
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