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Back to School: How to Help Kids Who Cry Easily

If you have a sensitive child, help curb the tears with these coping strategies.

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Some children naturally have tender hearts and are prone to tears, but crying a lot in public isn't a good idea. I'm Dr. Eileen Kennedy-Moore and I've got some advice about how to help a child who is emotionally sensitive. Crying is usually a sign of feeling overwhelmed or helpless. So guide your child to find better coping strategies. Here are 3. Create a list of ways to relax. Your child could take slow deep breaths or imagine a happy scene, maybe cuddling with a pet or recalling a family vacation. He could think of song lyrics or count floor tiles to distract himself. Practice these strategies at home when he's feeling calm to prepare him for difficult moments in public. Plan for challenging situations. If there's a particular situation that tends to be upsetting, help your child come up with a specific plan for handling it. For instance, if she tends to cry when she doesn't know what's going on at school, she can say, "I don't understand. Can you explain it again, please?" Develop good sportsmanship. A lot of kids have trouble tolerating losing. Remind your child before the game starts that whatever the outcome, he needs to support his teammates by saying, "Good game" or "Better luck next time." If he's upset by his own performance, explain that they are lots of ways to contribute to a team and being cheerful and not giving up are 2 important ones. With some smart coping strategies, your child can get past the tendency to tear up easily. This will make her feel more capable and help her enjoy the happy things in life.