Saturday, September 10, 2016

When Kids Cry in Class...

When kids cry in class...
Here are some good solutions.

The first days of kindergarten are almost guaranteed to have a crying child, and maybe more than one.  Separation issues are tough.  Even if that child has been to school before, and even if he or she knows and likes you, tears can flow.  And a child who's crying can set off another.

What to do?  Here are some tips. 

None of the tips are guaranteed--sorry, but that's the scoop--however they will give you the support you need to carry on.

You can...
  • talk softly, ask her to stop crying
  • ask her to help you so you can hear and help the other kids
  • say a very soft "shhhh..."
  • hold her hand
  • hold her shoulder
  • lay her head very gently down on the table; she may fall asleep and wake up renewed
  • give a tissue
  • ask a buddy-classmate to talk to her softly
  • have a buddy share a toy with her
  • offer her a small, chew-able treat such as an M&M (but not if she might choke on it from crying)
  • give her a stuffed animal, toy, clay, book or other item
  • have her sit near you
  • have her sit at her own seat
  • have her sit at a farther table so the other kids can hear you
  • ask a parent to stay with her in the room
  • in an extreme case, call the office and ask a school support adult to stay with her or take her outside the room to calm her (guidance counselor, social worker, para)
When all else fails...

You have no choice: you simply must talk over the crying; calmly and un-dramatically.  Bring the kids to the meeting area, and try to carry on over the crying.  If you ignore the crying, eventually it will stop. 

The one caveat is if you have a runner.  You must intervene when a child tries to run out of the classroom to chase their parent, or run home.  Gently lead them back to their seat, or hold their hand, or sit them right in front of you at the meeting area.

If the crying is so loud that the class cannot hear you, then quickly explain a writing assignment and let the other kids go back to their seats to write, draw and color.

Remember, the crying will stop.  Ignore it as best you can.  Offer a tissue or toy every so often, without too much coddling. 

If the crying stops, even for a moment, smile and say, "Thank you for helping."

And you should know, that we've all been there.  I've seen it all, even a "barbershop quartet" of criers.  It's OK; The crying will run its course and stop.

And afterwards, never, ever remind the child of their crying episode!  Let it be a long-forgotten memory for both of you.

If you'd like more advice for your first days of kindergarten, please take a look here:

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