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Vanessa LoBue for Psychology Today: "Why Does My Kid Behave Better for Other People?"

When kids are demons at home and angels outside the house.

On the very first back-to-school night for my son’s pre-k class, I had no idea what to expect. All the parents sat awkwardly around child-sized tables on child-sized seats and made small talk while trying not to look uncomfortable.

After a few minutes, the teachers introduced themselves, provided an overview of our children’s typical day at school, and then invited questions. I was a rookie, so I had no idea what to ask, and kept quiet while concentrating carefully on keeping my body on the tiny chair.

Despite my silence, when I looked around the room, all the other moms had their hands up. Some asked mundane detail-oriented questions about when our kids had snack time, whether the school was nut-free, and where the bathroom was located (which I learned was also only outfitted with child-sized seats). But what parents were most interested in was asking questions about their own child’s classroom behavior.

They were all astounded by how the teachers were able to keep a class of 12 toddlers organized throughout the day. “How on earth do you get my son to nap?” “How do you get my daughter to use the potty so consistently?” “My son sits and colors quietly?” “Are you sure you’re talking about my kid?”


Read on at Psychology Today