Understanding 4 Common Kid Fears
Our expert kid, Walter Goldberg, gave us the inside scoop on what scares first-time preschoolers the most. And our expert grown-ups responded.
- What if I have to go to the potty? Kids this age are often just out of diapers and nervous about using the bathroom at school. Show your child where it is, and practice using it with her. Also, let him know that if he does have an accident, it's no big deal because you've sent along a change of clothes.
- What if my teacher's mean? Remind your child that teachers choose the job because they love kids, so they won't be mean -- they'll be kind, patient, and fun. You can also tell him that if a teacher gets mad, she'll always calm down and never stay angry -- just like Mommy and Daddy do.
- What if I don't know the answer to a question the teacher asks? It's always okay to say, "I don't know" or to raise your hand if you have a question. Tell your kid that it's the teacher's job to help her learn. Nobody knows the answer to everything, and her teacher will be happy to explain the things she doesn't know.
- What if I don't know anyone at school? Emphasize that part of what's fun about starting school is making new friends. Tell your child a story about a friend you met in school: Often what helps kids overcome their fears is hearing that their parents once felt the same way. Invite children from school over for a playdate to help the friend-making process along.