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Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>How Do You Remain Calm in Chaos?
Unregistered 11:00 AM 06-23-2016
Try as we might, there are always times in the day where things feel chaotic. Like, no one is listening, it's loud, and I'm losing my cool. In those moments, it's more important than ever to NOT add to the chaos by losing your patience. How do you calm yourself when things get really stressful? I know everyone has their own answer!
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childcaremom 11:05 AM 06-23-2016
Breathe. Long deep breaths.
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Josiegirl 11:07 AM 06-23-2016
I have a train whistle that brings all chaos to a halt immediately.
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Annalee 11:17 AM 06-23-2016
If it gets too chaotic and the kids are struggling to play, I try to structure the play with timers and number of kids that can be in a play center...I will also rotate the kids in and out of quiet play activities....Once the a child gets used to our routine things go fairly smooth, but if not, I only have to say "hey kids, does ms. xxxx need to help you all work out your differences"....that usually causes them to pull it together.

I also have a wooden chime I got from a Mary Jo Huff workshop and it works as well.

Calming myself down is much like teaching the kids to control their emotions....I have to remind myself to keep my hands to myself and think about how I feel and do not allow my emotions to cause me to physically harm someone
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Cat Herder 11:46 AM 06-23-2016
Bubbles for the kids and chocolate for me.

Flashlights and cheesecake work, too.
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Annalee 11:52 AM 06-23-2016
Originally Posted by Cat Herder:
Bubbles for the kids and chocolate for me.

Flashlights and cheesecake work, too.
I like to add a big ice cold bottle of coca cola with my chocolate.....then I need something salty preferably dill pickle chips....then something sweet again.....and on and on and on
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Unregistered 11:58 AM 06-23-2016
Depending on the situation I start randomly singing wacky stuff, or I grab a small stack of kids books and head to the least chaotic spot in the room and start reading aloud very quietly.

Stash of chocolate chips kept on hand nearby to self medicate as needed.
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Cat Herder 12:03 PM 06-23-2016
I just noticed the "times in the day" part. I don't typically have this very often. Usually during a transition period, like a new enrollment or family schedule change.

If it was every day I would probably look at the root causes and find a plan to work around that.

Maybe a larger serving of protein for the kids at lunch. Maybe more outdoor time. Maybe have them dance during transition times between activities. Maybe re-evaluate my set-up. Etc.

The more often it happened, the more I would suspect something is not working with my current setup or plan.
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sahm1225 12:09 PM 06-23-2016
Originally Posted by Unregistered:
Depending on the situation I start randomly singing wacky stuff, or I grab a small stack of kids books and head to the least chaotic spot in the room and start reading aloud very quietly.

Stash of chocolate chips kept on hand nearby to self medicate as needed.
I do this, except I have honey buns!

I turn on something I can sing to and dance like no one is watching.
Or I just sit and start reading and they slowly come to sit by me
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EntropyControlSpecialist 12:30 PM 06-23-2016
I pick the rowdiest, loudest child and have them come work on an activity at the table. I then pick 3 of the other ones that are being rowdy to come work at the table. We discuss "calm down" a lot here. We can have fun, we can be silly, but we can't be crazy and loud because then no one can hear each other.
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Controlled Chaos 01:19 PM 06-23-2016
1. Prevention. Problem solving areas of the day that are stressful and changing what I can. Sometimes there are going to be harder parts of the day - for me the worst is coming inside to making lunch. Its a hell of a transition we: come in, take off shoes, put away water, wash hands, sit at table activity while waiting for others, clean up, go upstairs, sit on blankets, get boxes of activities on each blanket and then I make lunch. I have trained them on the procedure enough it has gotten much smoother. Today was pretty seamless - It was high energy but not stressful I just take breathes and acknowledge that I sweat alot for a few minutes there lol

2. I also try and stay on top of my mood. Am I tired, hungry, grumpy for whatever reason? Do I need to drink some water? If I forget to take care of myself along with these 10 littles I start snapping at them

3. When I find myself getting annoyed I sing to myself "I am kind, I am gentle, I am full of joy" its a little mediation that helps me choose to be happy or at least not crazy grumpy The kids pick up on it which is cute too.
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daycarediva 04:53 AM 06-24-2016
Originally Posted by Josiegirl:
I have a train whistle that brings all chaos to a halt immediately.
This is the reason why parents say I look like a gym teacher. Whistle, running shoes.

Originally Posted by EntropyControlSpecialist:
I pick the rowdiest, loudest child and have them come work on an activity at the table. I then pick 3 of the other ones that are being rowdy to come work at the table. We discuss "calm down" a lot here. We can have fun, we can be silly, but we can't be crazy and loud because then no one can hear each other.
This is what I do, too. Transitions are the worst, or when they are just getting crazy during free play. Towards the last week with one child (I termed) I just had her sit at the table during every transition because she could NOT handle it and would get wild and it was driving me crazy. Screaming at the top of her lungs, laying on people, throwing shoes, squirting her water bottle on the floor.

She would sit at the table with a table top activity while everyone else danced or quickly followed directions.
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Blackcat31 06:51 AM 06-24-2016
My DH said it's simply in my nature to be calm during chaos.

The noise, the mess, the screaming, the unplanned disruptions, transition times and the craziness of trying to juggle everything while maintaining a schedule...... doesn't really bother me much. I just roll with it.

I can recall only 2 times that I've literally almost lost it and neither time had anything to do with a daycare child.

Both times it was a parent.
one deceitful parent and one helicopter parent.
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KiwiKids 10:04 AM 06-24-2016
I handle the kids ok. I work with 6 weeks - pre-k age and there's really not much they can do that gets me stressed out. I do not watch school age children because they are just not my age group. I grew up in a big family and have 4 kids of my own that are still young. If things start getting too noisy we switch gears and I pull the group in for a quieter activity.

Parents set me off too. Fortunately right now I have good families and parents. When I get a difficult parents I get to the point of having tension headaches so they get three chances to get on board or they're done. My kids deserve a mom who isn't mentally exhausted by the end of the daycare day.
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KiwiKids 10:08 AM 06-24-2016
I'll also turn the lights off and whisper... My group is young enough they quiet down to listen to me and then whisper back.
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Pestle 03:46 PM 06-24-2016
I'm stone cold. Stay centered, make sure nobody's stepping on the baby, deal with poop first and hungry bellies next, and it's all going to be okay.

Years of retail, and customer service, and working in an office at a desk that abutted a screaming-cussing-threatening manager, taught me to distance myself emotionally and keep focused on my job when there's panic in the streets. Is this person freaking out AT ME? No. This person is freaking out at a situation they lack the skills to cope with. And what's my job? To make things work.

Unpack that: What's "Making things work" when it applies to toddlers? Well, it's NOT forcing them to behave the way I prefer them to behave, and it's NOT coaxing them to complete the tasks/lessons I have for them. "Making things work" is to spend this day nurturing these kids into healthy and decent human beings. It's not going to always feel like progress in the moment.

The day will be bad and I will fail if I engage in an emotional battle with a toddler, or get hung up on steering everything that happens. The day will be good if I keep my cool, because the boundaries and security I provide will be reinforced to the kids.

The trick is keeping that mindset at the very moment it's needed. That's where the customer service experience comes in; I'm Pavlovian conditioned to chill wayyyyy out as soon as somebody else starts screaming.
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Nurse Jackie 04:00 PM 06-24-2016
I have a two and under crown and sometimes they have melt downs for no apparent reason at all. When my stress levels feel like they are getting high for some reason whistling calms me
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Unregistered 10:26 AM 06-25-2016
While I have lots of fun learning centers for play and am a fun loving, let's have a good time provider I nip crazy play in the bud. It doesn't even start. They know I don't tolerate it. They know what will happen if it starts and they know I'm right on it each and every time. Crazy, wild play is for outside and outside only.

Now maybe I've just been lucky. Some of the kids described on some threads would test my nerves for sure! I'm not sure if my no room for wild and hurtful play and actions is because I have consistent rules and routines and lots of play stations/centers to explore or if I have just been lucky!

I understand not every has or wants a dedicated preschool only space. I just find it works really well for me. It's a NEED for me. I Can't do this in my living room!

Now the every day wacky kid stuff (all kids do it!) that has to be dealt with, long hours, isolation, etc. now that gets to me! I just find I have to take care of me. I go before kids arrive and get a cappuccino and sit by the River (I live in a beautiful natural area), I eat well, exercise, hang with friends, have an assistant come in so I can go to lunch with a friend regularly, use essential oils for calming, take baths, turn on my twinkly lights, play soft music during the day, make sure I get an hour break at naptime-no housework, don't take kids under one, etc.
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Tags:classroom management, environments
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