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Do you have a student {or 2, or 3…} who cry over every … little …thing? Ugh … It can be sooo challenging when students do not know how to regulate emotions. We love our kiddos, but when they cry over every little thing that they perceive as a problem {or major crisis} it can be super frustrating. As well as difficult to carry on and teach! Keep reading this post to learn the best way to help teach your students emotional regulation skills.

As a special educator, I frequently get asked how to help these “frequent criers.” Of course, there are many reasons why a child may be crying so much.

First and foremost, I don’t take it lightly, as you never truly know what might be the cause of frequent crying. But if you have done some investigating and you are reasonably sure that there is nothing critically wrong, i.e. severe problems with the child’s home life, health, medical or psychological reason that may require more specialized resources to help… you may find success with a targeted social story on how to regulate emotions.

Some children simply need to be taught that not everything is a “big deal.” Not everything deserves a “big reaction.”

A good strategy I like to teach my students is to match their own emotions to the size of the problem and then match their reaction to them both.

Sound easy?

Well, it’s not so easy, especially for younger students who truly think that all things that don’t go their way are,


One way to help these students is to talk to them about the difference in problems. They are not all the same and do not all deserve {or need} the same level of emotion {or reaction}. 

I like to teach my students about GLITCHES. What is a glitch? It’s something that you wish was different, but it’s really no big deal and it is so small that it doesn’t make sense to try to fix it. 

A glitch is something we just move on from. A glitch does NOT deserve strong emotions and therefore does not get big feelings or reactions {like crying}. This is an effective strategy to teach students when they are learning self-regulation skills.

I wrote this story to help students who need support to understand this concept and learn emotional self-regulation. 

Many young children simply do not understand that they can’t have everything they want, exactly the way they want it. They may need to be explicitly taught that other children have needs too, and that sometimes they will not get what they want, so that someone else does, or despite the fact that someone else does. 

This story teaches students to “move on” vs. trying to fix a glitch. Unlike problems where we are trying to teach our students problem solving skills, glitches usually do not get solved, they are too small and don’t deserve or maybe even can’t be fixed. 

This story was written specifically to help those students who cry over everything…  And while I really don’t want to tell people when they can and can’t cry… you know the student I am talking about here. The one who really needs help understanding how to handle small things that don’t go his way. 

Being able to better regulate one’s emotional awareness will help them in so many different ways, socially, emotionally and academically.

The next page lists some common glitches that young students seem to have frequently. There is also a space for you to write in your student’s specific glitches.

And finally, the last page reinforces that the student will be okay, and will actually feel better, if they can stay calm and move on from a glitch.

If you have a student who could benefit from this story, simply enter your information below and you will be taken to the PDF download.

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You can unsubscribe at any time, and still keep the story, but I hope you will want to stick around! 

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Simply enter your name and email address in the form below and you’ll have immediate access to this digital download. By completing the form, you’ll also be joining thousands of like-minded teachers who have already signed up for my free club, The Teacher’s Lounge.
This is a 100% free club where you get awesome social skills resources delivered straight to your in-box each week! 
These resources include my monthly Tips & Tricks newsletter {for a particular social skill each month}, as well as a variety of posters, visuals, games and activities designed to support the identified social skill.

You will be able to download the boy’s version and/or the girl’s version of this story.

I hope this story is helpful to you and your students who are learning how to regulate emotions! You may also like this blog post about why you should not solve your students problems for them. 

Thanks So Much and Happy Teaching!

Cindy ~Socially Skilled Kids


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