Imagine you're teaching a class, and you're having them take a test. Obviously very quiet scenario, but then somebody answers a phone call in which they are informed that their sibling had just died. So naturally they lose all control and start sobbing, and the whole class can put together what's going on.
So, the logical thing to do is to ask them to leave the classroom, but realistically how rude is that? I understand most people would still do it, but I feel like giving an emotionally distraught person orders is awful. And the rest of the students will want to console them, sure. After all, some of them are bound to be friends, but they're still taking a test. So what do you do?
Obviously, every situation has to be handled differently, and while some have clear answers to most, (like my example, perhaps), others will be difficult. I think about how I could have handled that situation so much differently, but in the end there's no point in it. I did my best with the judgment I had for the moment, and that's all that really matters. The only thing you can do is learn from it.
I think the most difficult thing about what happened is that I realized that the choices I made were coming from the perspective of an adult. A child is one who is taught and lead, but adults are the ones that have to make the tough calls.
So, if you're ever caught in a situation where you're not sure what to do, think about it this way. From a writer's perspective, a scene should always be written from the point of view with the character with the most to lose. If two characters are playing Rock, Paper, Scissors, and one will die if they lose, obviously the story will be a lot more interesting if he's the one telling it.
So, think about who, in that given scenario, has the most to lose. Who will be impacted the most by the outcome of that "scene"? Once you've figured that out, handle it accordingly. Make sure they don't lose that thing. It isn't easy, to be sure, but its important that you figure out the best possible thing to improve their status or state of being. When you're in a position of power, it isn't necessarily your job to "make everything better", but it is your job to make sure life goes on.
It's also important to remember that some days you just can't win. There will be some days that you simply cannot come out of on top. You can't reasonably expect for life to throw all it has at you and for every decision you've made to combat it to be the correct one. That's simply not how statistics work. You will be wrong. You will mess up. But learn from it. Find out why it went wrong and make sure that why won't happen again if you can stop it.
Good luck, friend.