Coping with After-School Meltdowns
Going to school can be very exhausting...
Going to school can be very exhausting for many children and the school day can be physically, emotionally and mentally draining for them. You might be surprised to know that young children actually expend a lot of energy simply sitting still and having to focus when they are in the classroom. They have got rules to follow and work to complete, often on a deadline. In a lot of schools they may lack sufficient time to play outside and run around throughout the day. This is becoming more common at the moment with new social distancing and health and safety rules in place. By the time it is the end of the day, they may be quick to fall apart when they get home from school.
Children quite often save their most difficult behaviour for their parents!
Children quite often save their most difficult behaviour for their parents. It is often said that this is because they trust them to help them through their difficult moments and to love them regardless. So, how can we help them cope with these overwhelming emotions that often happen at the end of the day?
- Leave the questions for later - We have covered this before in the back to school blog. It is easy to ask them lots of questions about their day because we want to engage with them, but most children need some time to decompress and zone out before they move into big discussions about their day.
- Make sure you allow some downtime - Any after school routines should where possible allow plenty of time for children to unwind and engage in some free play. Even if they are going to after school clubs, they need some time to relax and read or create on their own terms.
- Snacks! - Always a big one for me and my children! I try to get ahead of the hunger crash by planning some after school snacks in advance as mine come home ‘starving’ and often dehydrated. Give them plenty of healthy snacks and water and allow them to refuel.
- Be present - If possible and you are not using it for your own work, it is important to disconnect from our own phone and screens for sometime when the children come home from school. We can often forget that our own screen time, as well as theirs can impact our relationship with our children and their behaviour. If you are not on your phone you can truly connect and listen to them.
- Have a homework routine - Although children need some downtime when they get home, they often have increased pressure to do some homework. Make sure you allow enough time to get their homework done, with your help if necessary, so it doesn’t build up and become rushed and inevitably become a battle!
Children are under more pressure...
Children now more than ever are under more pressure academically and emotionally. They often don’t have as much time to release their energy and just need an outlet when they get home. I am passionate about helping to decrease their stress and ultimately improve their emotional wellbeing. In October, we will be be launching our brand new range of Mental Health and Wellbeing boxes and there will be lots more info to come to help you help your children with the pressures of school and life!