Ideas for Cryer?

Discussion in 'Preschool' started by melnm, Sep 4, 2012.

  1. melnm

    melnm Companion

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    Sep 4, 2012

    My afternoon class with 4 year olds went well the first day. Several are returning students from last year and I have a couple of new ones. One has done really well, but one is having trouble adjusting to being there. I think it's really separation anxiety. He was apprehensive about his mom and dad leaving on the first day. He did okay, but wouldn't look at me or talk to me for about the first 20-30 minutes of class. Once he started though, he warmed up just fine.

    He missed the next day of class (they come two days a week). So today was the first day I had him back. It did not go well! His mom brought him in and he just seemed like he wasn't too excited to be there. He played with play dough a little then decided he was done. When his mom tried to leave, he freaked out. I had to hold on to him so she could go. I couldn't let go of him or he would have run for the door (we have really small classes and no assistants). It was a struggle to hang on to him. He's not a big child, but he was really strong and determined! It took about 30 minutes before he finally stopped crying. The teacher next door came in to distract my students for a while then ended up taking him out of the room for about 15 minutes. Once he was back in and calmed down he was fine again.

    Any ideas of what I can do? This is my second year teaching preschool. I've taught kindergarten and first grade before. I've had some criers, but none that tried to take off! Obviously without an assistant I can't go through this everyday. We are thinking about having the dad drop him off instead of the mom. Also, she brought him in really early--he was the first one. I was thinking of maybe asking her to bring him later once more kids are in class. Maybe it will seem more appealing to join others already in the room doing something. I also thought about asking her if she can come up with some ideas of things he really enjoys. Maybe if I can have some activities out for the kids to work on that are appealing to him, he will be distracted enough by them that he will not be so upset about being left.

    Any other ideas? I am hoping it gets better soon!!
     
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  3. christine89

    christine89 Companion

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    Sep 4, 2012

    I'm in my second year and I've dealt with the same crier last year and this year. Thankfully, he doesn't do it daily-only on tough mornings. I've known from experience that if I let him down he will run out of the room and out of the building. So as hard as it is, I hold on to him. If I have to start my daily routine and he's still crying, I do it. I probably talk louder than normal so other kids can hear me, but once we get going on the morning routine he calms down. I have an aide but honestly she's not around right away in the morning so I'm on my own for a while anyway so on this boy's tough mornings the only part she's had in it is me handing him off to her after he calms down to make sure he won't run off.
    The only advice I can give is to be consistent and tough out the crying. For example, my crier always insisted he was going home. As much as he would say it over and over again, I would say over and over that I wasn't letting him go. I can't imagine that it will go on all year, just keep trying!! Good Luck to you!
     
  4. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    Sep 5, 2012

    First, have patience. It will go away but it may be painful for awhile.

    Do not have him come late. Then they miss free play and don't get a good transition into school. Have mom hug, kiss and run. Do not let her linger. It makes it worse. Tell her NEVER to come late.

    Attempt to start introducing him to other kids and have him form a friendship. Usually that will put a stop to it because they want to play with the friend.

    Ask the mom what he likes to do/play the most and have that out when he comes so he wants to stay.

    Have a calming basket of things he can do to calm down (look it up on pinterest or google if you don''t know what it is).

    Do your kids have pictures of their families posted on the wall or in a book they can look at? Can he bring in a lovie?

    Give him a job. That often distracts them. For example, mine may start the music at the beginning of circle which nobody else ever does but me so they like the privilege.

    Enlist the help of the kids. Ask them for ideas of how to make him happy and have them do it.

    He is still in "flight or fight"mode because he feels threatened. The running part will probably end pretty soon as long as he feels you care, but the tears will last longer. Work hard at developing a relationship with him. We often spend too much time directing kids and not enough time just talking and developing relationships which is the keep to their security and ability to learn.
     
  5. jen12

    jen12 Devotee

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    Sep 7, 2012

    I was just going to post about criers and I saw your post.

    I have a couple of kids who have been doing it this week. It was awful the first two days. I'm afraid that although today (day four) most of it stopped, when they have to come back on Monday it'll start up again. I HATE holding on to them while they're screaming and trying to grab Mom's shirt.

    In my program, the parents are supposed to stay for the first ten minutes to do an activity with their child. I tend to think it makes the separation worse, but I have no choice in the matter.

    I found that once my criers were engaged in something, they forgot about the tears and started doing the activity - drawing, puzzles, etc. That might help you out. Just find something he wants to do. Good luck!
     
  6. melnm

    melnm Companion

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    Sep 16, 2012

    Thanks all. It has been better. Still crying but less each time and he is not trying to run off anymore. I'm hoping we continue on this path!
     
  7. jbrinkm

    jbrinkm Companion

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    Sep 17, 2012

    Have mom record her voice on a cassette or mp3 to bring/leave in classroom. It could be just talking to the child, reading a story, singing a song, etc. At first, let the child listen to it if he does not try to run out the room. Then ask the child to try calming down for 1 minute before listening. Then 2 minutes, etc. I've had this work for some of my criers after trying all of the other above suggestions.

    Also, sensitive children are often the ones who cry. If he/she has a little brother or sister, ask how he feels when the baby cries and explain that the loud crying makes the whole class feel that sad for him. I've found that the ones who cry in the beginning, once they adjust and feel loved in the class, are also the ones who make great friends/classmates/peer helpers because they care about other kids feelings.
     

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