Crying is a way of children communicating their needs right from the time they are born. When newborns or infants want some attention, they will cry because they can’t communicate using word of mouth. They always do this when they are hungry, sick, or wet.
However, crying does not happen to newborns and infants alone. Even school going kids do cry, and it happens more among preschoolers. Note that these are children with good language skills and can express their needs using spoken language.
Now, the question is, why would preschoolers, with well-developed language skills, cry at school? Are they also trying to communicate, or is it just a behavior they have developed? If you have a preschool child who keeps crying at school, you need to read this article to the end. It will help you understand why your pre-school kid cries while at school and the best ways of taming the behavior.
Why Would a Preschooler Cry at School?
There are several reasons why some pre-school going kids cry when they are at school. The majority of them cry during their first days at school. Once they start getting used to it, the behavior diminishes. However, note that each child’s time to adjust to school life varies from one individual to another. Below are possible reasons why your pre-school going kid cries at school.
When children have a healthy attachment with their parents, they will cry during school drop off. They develop that feeling that being in school will separate them from their parents. So, when you drop such children at school, they become nervous and what follows is crying and throwing tantrums. Child experts call this separation anxiety.
Another reason why a preschooler will cry at school is the fear of being around new faces. These are children who spend time with the people they know. So, the idea of being around strangers makes them uneasy and afraid. So, they will express their fear by crying. When you drop them at school, they begin to cry because they don’t want to be left alone with strangers.
School anxiety could also be another reason why your preschool child keeps crying at school. The new school environment makes children anxious. According to child psychologists, school anxiety among preschoolers is a physiological response from their brains, which makes them believe that there is danger in the school environment. They fear that something terrible will happen to them there when their parents are not around. So, they will begin to cry as a way of expressing their fear of that non-existing danger that is already in their mind.
Is It Behavior or Communication?
Crying among preschoolers at school is normal and part of the children’s development process. It has nothing to do with behavior and does not signify any poor parenting. As discussed earlier, children usually become anxious when they are in a new environment and the presence of new faces.
School is a new setting for them, and it takes time for them to adjust to that environment. When they cry at school, it is just a way of expressing their fear and drawing attention. They want someone to assure them that everything will be okay.
To Punish or Not?
Punishment is a cynical discipline strategy that caregivers and parents use to discourage a bad habit in children. However, according to child development specialists, the method does not promote healthy development among children.
Negative discipline strategies like spanking can cause physical harm to a child. Also, instead of correcting the behavior, it worsens it. Spanking also may lead to long term mental problems as it teaches kids the wrong lessons. Instead, parents should use other healthy and practical strategies to discourage bad behavior, including that habit of crying at school.
How to Tame the Behavior?
Involving the teacher: Teachers have the best and effective strategies of easing anxiety and tension among children. In no time, your child will adjust to the school environment and eventually stop crying.
Tell your child good things about the school, such as meeting new friends and how he will enjoy playing with new toys, swings, etc. Preparing your child psychologically will help him or her to develop a positive attitude towards school.
Ensure that children get excited about school. You can do this by telling them nice things about school. Preparing children psychologically will help them to develop a positive attitude towards school.
Have a consistent morning routine to set the mood for school by doing things together with your child. Help the child dress up, let the kid help you prepare his lunch box and school bag. Ensure you leave home happily together and at school, let the child say hello to the teacher to create the bond. A warm welcome from the teacher will make the child comfortable and won’t cry during goodbye.
The idea of staying in school and being away from parents is not easy for preschoolers. It is a tough transition for them and requires encouragement and support from parents. Crying at school is bound to happen, but how you will deal with the situation to help the child adjust to school life matters. The above information should give you insights on how to help your kid to stop crying at school.