Magazine article Working Mother

First Day of School

Magazine article Working Mother

First Day of School

Article excerpt

When my husband, Mike, and I walked Jack to his very first day of preschool last fall, we were a little nervous. But as we entered the Studio School in New York City and saw the sun shining through the windows and the children's paintings, toys and books, we relaxed. I looked to Jack, 2, knowing he'd feel as welcome as we did. I was wrong. "Go!" Jack bellowed. "Go to park now!"

So it began. But it wasn't long before Jack was marching into class as though he owned the place. Much of that confidence was brought out by his teacher, Odile Wood. "I have no agenda," she says. "I relate to what the children are saying in the moment."

And amazingly, that includes tantrums. The challenge we face when a child doesn't get what he wants and throws himself on the floor, says Janet C. Rotter, Ms. Wood's mentor and head of school, is "to help him tolerate the turmoil of emotional growth. How you support a child's ability to tolerate his feelings is a lesson for life. …

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