How to handle a child who cries a lot

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How to handle a child who cries a lot

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So when you have a child that cries a lot, that bursts into tears when they don't get their way, the good news is that it is a child who is comfortable expressing their feelings. And one of the things we want for children is we want them to be in touch with their feelings. We want them to be able to express them in an effective way, so that they can communicate them. Sometimes they choose inappropriate places or public places that we would rather that they didn't express those feelings in. And so one of our jobs is to help children kind of manage those feelings and certainly one of the things that we can do is to, from when they are very, very young, name feelings acknowledge their feelings, talk about what happened before the feeling happened. Talk about the fact that sometimes people cry and that's what healthy people do to express their feelings. Model and demonstrate healthy ways to express feelings. And make sure there is time every day for children to talk about their feelings. Maybe you pick them up from child care or they come home from school and you say what was fun today? What was hard, did anything make you sad, were you mad about anything? Making sure that children have a time and space to talk in a healthy environment about their feelings will ensure that they will have less of that kind of pop-up crying that happens in more awkward circumstances, when you want them to be able to hold it together in public, because they know they have a safe place at home to express those feelings.

See Janis Keyser, MA's video on How to handle a child who cries a lot...

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Janis Keyser, MA

Early Childhood Education Specialist & Author

Janis Keyser currently works as a site director for a child development program in Mountain View, California. She was a full-time faculty member in the Early Childhood Education Department at Cabrillo College in Aptos, California for 30 years, teaching children, teachers and parents and coordinating a state demonstration infant toddler program. She has written a resource book for parents and one for teachers; and is a nationally recognized speaker at parenting, family and child development conferences, and has conducted workshops nationally and internationally for parents and teachers for over 35 years. She enjoys swimming, kayaking, photography, family games and cooking with friends of all ages.

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