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emgirl emgirl is offline
 
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emgirl
 
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Student crying everyday
Old 09-23-2020, 05:25 PM
 
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I have a girl in much class that has had a hard life. Mom and dad abandoned her and siblings. Grandma has custody but mom is living with them again.
She is 8 years old and cries every morning. She refuses to come in the class. Either the principal or guidance counselor has to stay with her in the hall. She just digs in and won’t move. This goes on for 20-40 min depending on the day (yesterday was 40 today 20 min) Everyday she has an excuse why she’s crying. Someone was mean, her sister called her fat, grandma had a dr. appt. Nothing seems to be working. We tried breaks, mystery motivator, games with her older sister, doing a job, candy for coming in, losing time at recess. Nothing works! I email grandma and she just says sorry I don’t know what to tell you. When she finally comes in, she is mostly fine (she has some behavior issues) and wants to be by me all the time and wants my attention non stop.
Another problem is the older sister is with her and the older sister is missing 20 min of class time since her sister refuses to have her leave. I did talk to older sister’s teacher today and she was going to email grandma to let her know that she is missing 20 min of school each day. Sister is annoyed and sick of it.
Any ideas on what else I can try?


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Tawaki Tawaki is offline
 
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Dull...
Old 09-24-2020, 05:29 AM
 
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Make it dull, dull, dull...

This kid has issues, that no one will be able to solve over night. Unfortunately the world still turns even though her life is a mess. And remember, there are kids in her situation who manage to walk into the classroom with no drama.

What I did for cryers. I say, "I know you are upset. It is okay to be upset, but we can't stand in the wall hall while everyone is in class. The (fireman/fire marshall/police/against the rules how ever you can spin it) says it's not safe. You can be upset inside. Make it the rules that are the issue, not that you are mean and don't care.

I had a box of kleenex, and didn't say much more than that. I let them cry. I didn't ask them to calm down, nothing. It's okay. Cry, but I'm not going to talk or try to jolly you out of your feelings. Hallways are very boring when no one is fawning over you.

When they decided to walk in, I said nothing. No job. No party hats and streamers.

I had a cool down corner. Kids who were upset could go, no questions asked. If she makes it into the classroom, you could offer, "desk or cold down". And that's it.

I'm assuming she has no developmental issues, like ASD etc.. I'm guessing between sister, home drama, and everything else, the only way she gets any attention is being a mule. Dig the heels in and 3 adults notice you for over an hour! Not bad.

You have others involved, it's a little out of your control. Handing out goodies just reinforces being a mule. I might have the principal stay with the class while I wrangled with this in the hallway. And the behavior will get worse when all the attention and goodies are gone, because you've changed the rules. She's not stupid. Tears=3 adults undivided attention, and some treats.

Her fear is, quiet/good=ignored. Catch her doing things that any other students her age would do. I'm a big fan of post-it note smilies. You walk by and stick it on the desk on the down low. It's a silent high five. It shows you noticed them, but didn't call them out in front of everyone.

One last thing. Don't take bait. Someone said I'm fat, stupid, ugly, whatever is bait. Because the immediate response is to jump in and say, "No you are not." Now you have a conversation going. I would say, "Sorry that was said it you. It's awful when people are unkind. It really stinks." You acknowledged the event (it may not be true), told her that wasn't right. All the rest of are you really fat, stupid, whatever is for counseling to unbox and deal with.

I know I wrote a book. The crud part is you need to pull back to almost square one. Good part is, it's doable.
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Agree with pp
Old 09-25-2020, 01:56 AM
 
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She's getting a LOT of reinforcement when she cries.
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Old 09-25-2020, 06:30 AM
 
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You’re getting good advice already. It’s a difficult and draining way to start the day.

Wondering if this girl is getting counseling or therapy. She needs help. I can’t imagine how she’s dealing with huge abandonment issues and then having mom reappear.

Does she have an IEP? The team can help figure this out.

I’ve had grandmas taking over care of/adopting kids from moms, and I can’t imagine how hard it is. They’re older obviously and it is a lot to handle.

My heart goes out to all.
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emgirl emgirl is offline
 
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Old 09-25-2020, 05:07 PM
 
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She’s not in therapy.
There’s a new plan in place. The guidance counselor or school psych meet her when she gets off the bus. (I found out today she’s trying to get kicked off the bus so she doesn’t have to come to school.) She comes to class 3-4 min early. She must come in and not cry. She can color in her chart if she doesn’t cry. Then they will check in her at 11:00 each day to see how she is (I don’t think this part is necessary).
I agree she has been given to many positives and I feel like my hands are tied. I think they’re are more underlying issues that are going on that no one can at the school level can help with.


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Fenwick Fenwick is offline
 
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Proactive Rewards
Old 09-27-2020, 07:46 PM
 
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Rewards are not always a bad idea. Immature students often need a “primer” to get the motor going. Key, however, is when the reward is offered. If it’s offered in the heat of the moment in order to suppress misbehavior it becomes, as others have noted, a bribe or reinforcement error. For reward to act as an incentive it needs to be offered before misbehavior occurs. In other words, when the student is calm and working pull her aside and in private say something like, “When you show up tomorrow I will watch to see if you enter the room immediately and without crying. If you do I will signal you by holding up two fingers. Two fingers means you followed my directions, and you will receive ______ . Remember, enter immediately without crying and look for my signal.” If she doesn’t do it perfectly - cheat. Idea is to start her believing she can do it. Mastery can come down the road.
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