Crying and what it means

When children cry they are telling us something important

We need to understand and listen to their tears. Supporting children when they express strong emotions and crying will support their emotional development, develop their resilience, help them to trust, separate from main carers healthily and confidently, and have high wellbeing. 

Ensuring and promoting high wellbeing is essential for young children. Promoting a strong Key Person approach and enabling attachment to this person from the main carer during settling is pivotal in protecting wellbeing and helping young children to become emotionally literate and resilient players.

12 reflective questions to help support crying children

  1. How do you respond immediately to children’s tears in a nurture-full way?
  2. How do you ensure children’s wellbeing is protected and respected during the whole process of settling and transitioning?
  3. How do you protect from any additional or unnecessary upset by being sensitive to every child’s needs?
  4. What do you do to enable healthy emotional development for all children?
  5. In what ways do you support emotional literacy throughout the day?
  6. How do you provide bespoke safe places for nurture and safety?
  7. How do you help the team, practitioners and children to learn about resilience?
  8. How do you tune in to children’s emotions and give permission for the expression of strong emotions?
  9. In what ways do you listen to young children and how they communicate verbally and non-verbally?
  10. What information do you need in order to respond in developmentally appropriate ways to meet every child’s needs?
  11. How do you give children the language of emotion by describing and exploring with them what they feel?
  12. What can you develop next in order to better support children’s high wellbeing?

Cathy Gunning wrote more about the importance of listening to tears and promoting wellbeing in this blog

Further reading

Settling children

Healthy settling for high wellbeing How can we best help children feel at ease so that they are secure and settled in their new provision?

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This page was written following our Community of practice about transitions. We had a lot of sharing and questioning about this and so we thought we

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