Moms & Dads

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Put your kid on the Broward bus -- do society and yourself a favor!

Police are usually on hand in the main bus terminal in downtown
Fort Lauderdale, if you're worried about your kids being attacked
by panhandlers, or vice versa.

A long, long time ago I did something I considered edgy: I put my son on a Broward transit bus instead of driving him somewhere. At the time, I told him he had to always ride with a friend and carry a cell phone. I wasn't sure what would happen, but every time I mentioned this to parents complaining about running their kids all over the place, I got looks. You know, looks.

I made this decision after finding out that my son and his friends were riding bicycles far from home, across busy roads. He was 12.

Since then, he's become a regular on the bus, and my giant pickle jar is no longer full of laundry change.

Creed has yet to experience anything on the bus that had to be written up in a police incident report. He hasn't fallen out of his seat and broken a bone, like some riders have complained of. No bus ran over him, as accidentally happened to one unfortunate would-be rider.

I told him those years back that he should consider this a gift, like I've just bought him a key to a car! (This is best said with lots of excitement.)

He can criss-cross the county. He can even go to Miami if he wants to compare the real thing with everything that he's heard.

He and his friends ride the bus to Fort Lauderdale beach. (Transfers are involved. C average or better required.) They've gone many times out to Sawgrass Mills in Sunrise, where teenagers are probably hated but there's no law against them being there (ditto for teens everywhere they hang out).

Try it. Close your eyes and put your child on the bus. This has nothing to do with the environment. It's for your child's independence, and your freedom as well.

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About the authors
Gretchen Day-Bryant has a son in high school and a daughter in middle school. She’s lived to tell about the struggles of juggling little kids and work.
Joy Oglesby has a preschooler...
Cindy Kent Fort Lauderdale mother of three. Her kids span in ages from teenager to 20s.
Rafael Olmeda and his wife welcomed their first son in Feb. 2009, and he's helping raise two teenage stepdaughters.
Lois Solomonlives with her husband and three daughters.
Georgia East is the parent of a five-year-old girl, who came into the world weighing 1 pound, 13 ounces.
Brittany Wallman is the mother of Creed, 15, and Lily, 7, and is married to a journalist, Bob Norman. She covers Broward County government, which is filled with almost as much drama as the Norman household. Almost.
Chris Tiedje is the Social Media Coordinator and the father of a 7-year-old girl, and two boys ages 4 and 3.
Kyara Lomer Camarena has a 2-year-old son, Copelan, and a brand new baby.

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