Captive Audience

Until J was in 2nd grade, he took the school bus/van to school and was picked up by a sitter. It wasn’t that I couldn’t take him to school, it was that he couldn’t handle the separation from me at the drop off. He needed the time on the bus to calm down so he could start his school day off well. 

When he started 2nd grade, Little J started Kindergarten. Since we didn’t live in the regular bus zone (J qualified as part of his IEP), Little J needed me to take him to school. It was impossible for us to time J getting on a bus and Little J getting a ride from me so I just drove them both. Everything worked out fine. 

I have found that I am grateful for the times before and after school that I get to spend with them in the car. I have a captive audience. They can’t hide in their rooms, there’s no electronics calling their names, and the distractions are minimized. On the way to school we talk about how they plan to make it a great day. For J it is often about how he can make good choices (how he can correct bad ones from previous days) and how he can branch out socially. For little J it is usually about time management. On the way home they each get a chance to tell me what they ate, test scores, homework, behavior issues (they get a chance to fess up before I read any notes.), etc. 

Now that they are at different school and different after school locations, I get about 10 minutes alone time with J each morning and evening. It doesn’t really seem like much, but for a tween boy who doesn’t like to have actual conversations that aren’t movie/book based, it is the perfect amount for him. 

I don’t worry about Little J not getting alone time in the car. That kid likes to talk to me. He usually still has plenty to tell me at bedtime when I am tucking him in. And when he gets up to get water 5 minutes later. 🙂

And P.S. J now exits the van with a quick goodbye and slams the door shut, We’ve come a long way from needing a parapro to physically carry him into the school because he was trying to get back to the van (and me).

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