with Morning Crying
Does your child
have crying episodes in the morning? Are you seeing
slight tears, buckets of tears, screaming, or shouting?
This is not unusual, although it might be completely out
of character for your child, and every year we have some
students who cry when they come to school. Your child
might be a rising kindergartener who is nervous about
starting school, a first grader who had a fantastic
experience in kindergarten and is now getting used to a
new first grade situation, or a student who hasn’t stopped
crying since he/she realized that summer was almost over.
The best thing that you can do as parents in situations
like these is to LEAVE THE BUILDING.
When children are upset and
crying, this can be upsetting to anyone including other
students, adults, and especially to you as parents. We
understand this, and want to make parents aware that
children tend to have the hardest time calming down when
parents stay in school with them. This is especially true
if children think that they have any chance of leaving
school for the day. Explain to your child that you have
things to do, such as taking younger siblings to school,
going to work, etc., Help them to understand that you have
very important work to do and that they too have a very
important job – being a student and learning here at
You might also want to
explain that it is the law that all children their age
must be in school, which can help them understand the
importance of their presence. Your child might continue
to argue that they want to leave with you, but it is
important that they stay at school. The less arguing the
better – just explain the facts of what must take place
and leave your child with us. I generally find that
children are able to pull themselves together once they
are at school and away from their parents. For this
reason, we recommend working toward putting your child on
the bus as soon as possible.
As the school counselor, I
can spend time with your child either in my office or in
the classroom until your child is no longer upset. My
goal is to help your child calm down and reenter class as
quickly as possible. As soon as possible I will call you
to let you know that your child is working and has settled
down. Please be advised that hanging around the halls to
“catch a glimpse” of your child or even trying to come
back to eat lunch with your child later in the day will
most likely lead to problems. It is hard enough to
separate once, twice can be nearly impossible!
In addition, when
your child comes home after a successful day in school,
talk to him/her about what happened during their day.
Allow your child the opportunity to vent about what didn’t
go well and then encourage him/her to talk about the
things that did go well. “I know that you were upset this
morning when I left. How did you calm yourself down?
What did you say to yourself to have a better day?”
Self-talk is something that adults do naturally and
easily, but children need help learning this skill. They
may benefit from practicing key phrases such as, “I can do
it.” Help them practice language that reinforces their
Some other tips
that I recommend to all parents with children who are
having trouble adjusting to school are:
Make sure that your child
gets plenty of sleep (9 hours) each night.
At night, talk to your
child in a positive way about going to school the next
day. If he/she has fears, listen to your child and try
to validate what he/she is feeling. Let children know
that if there is a problem here at school, I want to
help solve that problem and staying out of school will
not end the problem.
Minimize morning madness by
preparing the night before. Set out clothes, pack
lunches, and put backpacks by the door.
Put a special note in your
child’s lunch box or back pack about school or about how
much you care. Tell your child that you are thinking of
him/her. Send them off with a message of love and
reassured that if your child continues to be upset
throughout the school day, we will let you know.
Sometimes just arriving at school and starting the day is
enough to calm students down and get them ready for
Thank you for trusting us
with your child and for your cooperation. We will be in
touch to let you know how things are going for your child.
If you would like additional
information about this topic or you would like to talk
with me about your child, please feel free to contact me
at 723-2308 or at