Ease First-Day Jitters

"What if the teacher is scary or acts really mean?"

The Fear: "What if the teacher is scary or acts really mean?"

The Fix: First, "explain to your child that the teacher is there to help him learn," says Sonna Schupak, a kindergarten and first-grade teacher at the Early Childhood Center of Sarah Lawrence College, in Bronxville, New York. Remind him that his teacher's classroom rules are probably the same as the ones at home -- like don't interrupt when others are talking and use an indoor voice. To alleviate his fear of the unknown, set up a time to visit the classroom and meet his teacher before school starts, Schupak suggests. If your little one is game, snap a photo of the two of them to hang on the fridge at home -- it'll make the teacher less intimidating on the first day.

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