Mother Knows Best

When It Comes To Juggling Work And Family, Daytime Parents Are Pros

Celebrity Caretaker:  Mary Beth Evans (Katherine, GENERAL HOSPITAL)

Mommy’s Little Darlings:  Danny, 8, Katie, 5, and Matthew, 2

Words Of Wisdom:  “Be strict and love them, but don’t be afraid to let your kids go.  A little independence can go a long way.”

By Terrie Collymore

Soap Opera Digest, November 7, 1995

School Day Blues

Embarking on new experiences can be fun – and frightening.  For example, a child who is starting school encounters new faces, new places and lots of rules.  While most kids eventually adjust, for some, it can be a battle just getting on the bus.  “My daughter, Katie, cried every single morning from September to January,” recalls GENERAL HOSPITAL’s Mary Beth Evans (Katherine).  “Nursery school was very overwhelming for her and she didn’t want to go, but we kept plowing through until she got over it.”

Evans cut the apron strings gradually.  “Every day, I took Katie to her class and stayed with her until she calmed down,” shares Evans.  “After a month, my visits got shorter and her crying became less frequent.  I was very relieved because it was hard watching her be so upset.”

When it was time to attend elementary school, Katie was an old pro.  “She loves it now,” reports Evans.  “Actually, Danny does, too.  My husband and I try to get them excited about learning and make it a fun, family thing.  At night time, they don’t sit around watching television.  Katie, Danny and even little Matthew read books together or play board games,” she says.  “This way, learning becomes part of their lifestyle and they look forward to doing these things in an environment with other kids.”

If your child is scared of school, learn from Evans’s tried-and-true method for battling the separation blues:

“I get my kids new shoes, new socks and new lunch boxes, and make a big deal about not letting them using these things until school starts.  This increases their excitement about going.”

“If your child complains that he won’t know anyone at school, introduce him to a classmate.”

“Before leaving your child at school, kiss him and say, ‘I love you, and you are going to be great.’”