Need advice for after school meltdown

Discussion in 'Early Childhood Education Archives' started by KWLme, Sep 13, 2006.

  1. KWLme

    KWLme Rookie

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    Sep 13, 2006

    This is our first full week of full day kinder, and I just received an email from a mom saying that on Mon,Tue, & Wed. her son had meltdowns when she picked him up. She wrote that he is crying for an hour and a half, but can't really give her any specific reasons. She's worried (can't say that I blame her!), and asked for my advice. I'm not sure what to tell her. I suggested that he may be hungry. School dismisses at 3:00 and kinder eats lunch at
    11:15. I told her to try sending an afternoon snack. He hasn't slept during rest time, but he has been able to settle down. I told her to give it a week, and then if the intensity of the crying didn't get any less that she and I should conference. Any suggestions? I'd like to make this boy's transition into kinder as smooth as possible. Thanks!
     
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  3. Teaching Goose

    Teaching Goose Rookie

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    Sep 13, 2006

    Wow, this is not a fun one to deal with, but I would ask if the student went to preschool? Has he been away from mom this long before? How old is he? Is he really ready to be in K? Does he have problems expressing himself during the day or at other times? Maybe he can be a helper or do something extra until he gets used to the school thing. I'd ask the mom a lot of questions about this student and have the mom and you come up with a plan. T
     
  4. KWLme

    KWLme Rookie

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    Sep 13, 2006

    Thanks, T G . I agree that working with mom is absolutely necessary. He went to preschool, but I'm not sure if he went full or half days. He's very expressive during school - actually I would describe him as enthusiastic. Maybe after talking with mom again, the two of us can come up with a plan.
     
  5. Teaching Goose

    Teaching Goose Rookie

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    Sep 13, 2006

    I'm surprised by this kid. I've had a few like him and after I discover he is an only child or he has never been away from mom or something. I wonder what they do right after school. Does she take him right home or do they go do too many errands and he is just done for the day? I'm sure it's not all on school. I'd ask the class what the do after school and see what he says. Does he play a sport too? My son is very tired on school and soccer days. T
     
  6. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Sep 14, 2006

    He could just be tired.

    I saw some Ks in the hallway this morning crying before school and they have the SWEETEST teacher. It's just a hard transition and a long day for some kids. He cries when he gets home because it's his safe place to let all his stress out. He'll be ok. Suggest lots of hugs and kisses and macaroni and cheese and Parcheesi (Ok I love the book Chrysanthemum, but doesn't that sound great??)

    :angel:
     
  7. Bernard

    Bernard Companion

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    Sep 14, 2006

    He just sounds exhausted to me.
    Many preschools do a two hour nap - noon to 2, or something like that.
    He may be used to that and so tired by 3 p.m. that he can't think straight.
    I would suggest to the mom that she meet him with a healthy snack (like a juice box and granola bar) right after school and then put on a soft/classical music CD in the car and drive home in relative silence.
    She should avoid running errands or bombarding him with questions about his day - he'll be ready to talk later.
    That "down time" may be all he needs to recharge, or it may be a good idea to have a little rest time at home.
    It's OK if he sleeps in the car or upon arrival home; she can slowly wean him off needing as much rest by waking him sooner. Also, he'll probably be less exhausted as the year progresses and he becomes more relaxed about his school day.
    The other possibility is that he has trouble with transitions, but he would probably be upset at a.m. drop-off if that were the case.
     
  8. Deeena

    Deeena Cohort

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    Sep 14, 2006

    This is my first year teaching, however, a friend of mine who taught kinder last year warned me that some kids may have melt downs after the first few weeks of school. School is tough for these little ones, especially going all day. Don't think that it's something you've done to make him cry at the end of the day. It's not your fault!
     
  9. moonbeamsinajar

    moonbeamsinajar Habitué

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    Sep 15, 2006

    It's not only the little ones who have those after school meltdowns! When my daughter started middle school, she would have a good cry in the car on the way home from school! Everything was new and stressful, and by 3:00 she had just about had it. It got better in a few weeks.
     
  10. KdgtnCop

    KdgtnCop Rookie

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    Sep 15, 2006

    This may sound silly, but did the mom say that the child takes any new medication??? Especially XR (extended release)...that would wear-off right about 3PM???
     
  11. KWLme

    KWLme Rookie

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    Sep 16, 2006

    Thanks, everyone for all the wonderful advice. I met with the mom yesterday, and after some probing she mentioned that for the past few days her son had been asking to watch a video and/or TV when he got home from school. Mom didn't think that was a good use of time. I told her that this was a plea for downtime. That he probably need to "veg-out" a little, and that she should consider granting his request. I also talked to her about packing an afternoon snack for her son. She told me that his bedtime is about 7:30, and that he usually falls asleep around 8:00. Interestingly, he went to preschool for half days, and had a small class.(Our class has 25 students.) I explained that this is a stressful time for all students - so many new things. Mom was very receptive, and we've agreed to stay in touch.
     
  12. Jenni

    Jenni Rookie

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    Sep 16, 2006

    May sound silly to admit it, but when I started college I was fine the first week and then had several meltdowns myself. It was all new and I was stressed and missing family. College was my first time away from home for more than a week. Even the next year the beginning of the year, going back, was stressful for me. Now that it's my last year I'm doing alright. I think it's normal for a 5 year old to fall apart during the first week of school. It's all so new and scary.
     
  13. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Sep 16, 2006

    Would it help if he had a picture of mom & dad with him at school? Maybe he could pull it out for those times when he misses them?
     
  14. moonbeamsinajar

    moonbeamsinajar Habitué

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    Sep 16, 2006

    A picture is a good idea! You could actually get one of those photo key rings and put it on a back pack, so it wouldn't be so obvious. We actually take photos of all our preschoolers with their family, and have them in a book for the kids to look at when they need to.
     

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