The situation: Our daughter is starting kindergarten and she keeps saying, "You'll be there with me, Mommy, right?" even though I've explained that I won't be. How can I help her understand?
The solution: It sounds like your little one is a bit worried, so the best way to approach this line of questioning is to be proactive and take steps to help raise her comfort level before school begins.
• Encourage friendships with other kids in her class over the weeks before school starts. Make arrangements with a friend so the kids can go together the first day.
• Visit the classroom or schoolyard and show and tell your daughter exactly what is going to happen on the first day. For example, "Mommy is going to drive you to school and this is where you're going to wait in the playground until the school bell rings."
• Finally, if your daughter keeps asking you if you're going to be at school with her, answer in an honest but reassuring manner, "Mommy's going to be there when you go into your class and pick you up after class." Focus on when you're going to be there, instead of when you're not.
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• Cathryn Tobin is a pediatrician and author of The Lull-a-Baby Sleep Plan and The Parent's Problem Solver