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Preventing after school meltdowns

Having a bad attitude or throwing tantrums right after school is common and normal during the first few weeks of a new term. Described as an “after-school restraint collapse” by Psychotherapist Andrea Nair, essentially a meltdown happening after school occurs when kids get back to their safe space and can express what they may have been holding in all day. With the summer holidays coming to a close, we have put together some ideas to help tackle those after-school meltdowns.

  • Connection 

Trying to forget mobile phones and emails for the first fifteen minutes when your child comes home can be really reassuring even though you’ve been separated for the day, when they come home they have the attention to speak about their day. 

 

  • Bedtime 

Not having enough sleep can really affect anyone’s mood, so making sure that bedtime routines are in place can be really important. Taking the time to unwind from the day, brushing teeth, putting pajamas on, and taking is a way to bond to end the day on a positive note. 

 

  • Open questions 

Asking open questions like “who, what, when, where” when they get home can really get them speaking about their day. 

 

  •  Daily decompressing activities 

Finding a way for your child to decompress at the end of the day, whether that be drawing, riding a bike, playing games, or just doing nothing, can also help. Doing an activity that they enjoy every day can help them get into a routine and can help both you and your child through intense emotions. 

 

  •   Bridge items 

Writing notes to put in their lunch boxes can also help. The idea that you’re “there” with them at school can prevent them from feeling anxious or vulnerable and can help with any feelings of anger or upset when they’re home.