4 year old temper tantrums

Discussion in 'Kindergarten' started by gpsysngbrd, Sep 17, 2013.

  1. gpsysngbrd

    gpsysngbrd Companion

    Sep 7, 2002
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    Sep 17, 2013

    I have a little girl in my class, who when she's in a good mood is sweet, funny, helpful and crazy smart. Unfortunately it doesn't take to set her off (redirection, someone hurting her feelings) and she starts to cry. I'm not talking about sitting in the corner crying, I'm talking SCREAMING and crying. This week its gotten worse- I'm talking full out temper tantrum - infant style! Today a friend took a block from her and she took a swing at him and as a result I told her she needed to leave the block area. This turned into, screaming, crying, shoes off, snapping at anyone who came near her. I know this little girl has been there a lot family wise and I try to be sensitive to that and I notice that her self soothing skills are nearly non existant. We've been working on calming down when I set with her and count to 5 and when I say 5 she has to stop crying. This works, but at this time I was teaching my other 10 kids so I couldn't really stop for just 1. This "tantrum" took place in the library and it was really hard for my others to listen as she screamed,yelled and kicked her feet. My thought was to move her to the bathroom to move her away from the group and take the attention off her but she tried to kick me and when I went to help her she dropped her weight. Ouch!

    Any suggestions to help keep my kids focused and to help her?
  3. cml88

    cml88 Companion

    Jul 14, 2011
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    Sep 17, 2013

    Ok so yours sounds a bit more severe than what i've had to deal with in the last 2 years...but this is how I deal with criers in my room...and it's been amazing! Last year was my first year teaching K and I was not ready for all that nonsense crying that I was about to encounter! One day, out of frustration, I told a student (who began to cry because I reminded him that if he didn't finish his work during centers, he'd have to do it during his play time) to go to the "Crying Corner"...it was an area of our room that was never named the "crying Corner" until this situation. It was a bit secluded...It was a safe area with no materials that the student could use to hurt him/herself/others, I could see the child, yet he/she was somewhat blocked from the other students. I simply explained to the student that this was not how we behaved in K and that he needed to go there until he calmed down because it wasn't FAIR to the other students and myself to have to listen & watch him whine. Unfortunately we still had to listen to him, but the fact that their kind of out of sight is I think what bothers them. Students cry/throw tantrums for attention. When they're put in an area where they can't receive the attention they get bored. In a situation like this, I continue to remind my other students how well they're doing & how proud I am of them for continuing to do their work, etc. I may even pass out an M&M or a marshmallow to all my students STILL doing their work. The "crier" can't stand that no one is paying attention to them. NOW...let me clarify...I only use this for criers who cry for ridiculous reasons. If a child misses his/her mom or is genuinely sad for some reason, this is not the spot for them. This is where I was send the kids who were crying because they didn't feel like doing their work or are mad because they got in trouble, etc. After this situation, I only had to use the crying corner ONCE (amazing!). I have found the same success this year...I have 1 student who likes to throw tantrums for attention. I simply have him sit in a chair in the corner & the rest of us go about our day. It takes him about 3 minutes to realize nobody cares to watch his ridiculous behavior & he rejoins the group. Good luck!
  4. Preschool0929

    Preschool0929 Cohort

    Sep 2, 2012
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    Sep 18, 2013

    I feel for you. Tantrums are always tricky. This year I have 2 very different kiddos who throw crazy tantrums. 1 is a little girl who is EBD and attention seeking like crazy. The other is a little boy who is FMD from another country and tantrums because he genuinely has no other idea how to communicate with us. I think the most important thing with behavior is to look at the reason behind it. Is she looking for attention? Does she just need some cool down strategies? Does she need to work on social strategies so that she knows how to tell a friend to give her toy back?

    Typically, what I do when a child just drops to the floor and starts tantrumming is ill say "uh oh, it looks like John is mad. I'll go play with Jane and you can come see me when you feel better." If I'm I'm the middle of a group lesson, ill ask my para to remove the student and take them to our cool down area. In your case, it sounds like you are using some great techniques with her, but try not giving her any attention at all during these tantrums. Even if you have to move your group to another area or move her somewhere safe (I would suggest a carpeted area or a bean bag). Don't work on the counting to 5 or other cool downs until after she's done. That might be giving her even more attention, even though you're trying to help. Maybe next time, either walk away or move her until she has completely calmed down. No eye contact at all. Then, walk over and say something like "I'm glad you feel better, but lets practice counting to 5 for next time" then count.

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