There’s a reason your child is an angel at school but turns into little devil at home. It’s called ‘after-school restraint collapse.’

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Posted by: Sue Atkins

There’s a reason your child is an angel at school but turns into little devil at home.

It’s called ‘after-school restraint collapse.’

After a long day at school or daycare, many children totally lose it when their parents pick them up or when they get home.

I’ve seen it many times as a Class Teacher.

Children have to do as they’re told all day & have to hold their emotions in check and they can only release their true emotions & let off some steam when they get to a safe place – home!

There are all sorts of expectations, disappointments, emotions and challenges to manage, and that can be exhausting for lots of children.

Some children melt down simply because they are tired or over stimulated, or have struggled all day during lessons so they release their big emotions when they see you – someone they love & trust.

It’s important to remember that these outbursts aren’t tantrums where your child is testing boundaries or trying to get their way. The after-school restraint collapse is exactly that— a collapse, or meltdown, because your child is so emotionally overwhelmed that they can no longer keep it together.

Some children become naughty, or weepy, while others have a meltdown over small things, some kids get very boisterous & run around, some shout, throw things and become generally unreasonable.

While some older children become rude and disrespectful, hurling insults at you and their siblings.

Here’s how to deal with it:

🎈Try not to get triggered by it or take it personally – just understand why it may be happening.

🎈Press your imaginary ‘pause button’ take a physical step back & a deep breath & remind yourself what’s really going on underneath the behaviour.

🎈Find healthier more positive ways for your child to decompress & let off steam at the end of the day, whether it’s riding a bike, kicking a football, jumping on the trampoline, listening to music or simply doing nothing.

🎈Create a daily decompression activity & make it part of your routine – & make it a new ritual. It will help both you and your child make your way through the big intense emotions.

🎈Instead of going straight in with lots of questions when you’re picking them up, simply greet your child with a smile and a hug. Help them relax.

🎈Have a healthy snack as sometimes your child is simply starving & irritable because they’re hungry and tired. So it’s a good idea to plan ahead & have something ready.

🎈Create ‘time to talk’ later on & let your child know that home is their safe zone, and help them learn how to communicate their emotions with you in a less explosive way – as expressing & learning to handle the ups and downs of life is an important life lesson for them – & it will help them with self regulation over time.

#parenting #learning #school #behavior #behaviour #emotions #emotionalregulation #children #kids

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