School is stressful for kids. It’s like having a 9-5 job at 11 years old! It’s no easy task going to school and giving it your all. Kids balance working, studying, friendships, and socializing all day long. Once they get home, they’re tired too! And they might even have homework to boot. This leads to something called “after-school restraint collapse,” a phenomenon where kids have “meltdowns” once they get home from school, because its a place where they feel comfortable and safe to let out their emotions. If you’re wondering how to help out your kids when they get home from school, this article will let you know 5 ways you can do just that!
1. After school treats
Treat your kids to something fun, novel, and relaxing after they get home from school. Tailor it to their interests. Make them a fun science or arts and crafts project to do once they get home. Or, centre an after school project around an upcoming holiday. If Christmas is coming up, let them build a gingerbread house!
2. Decompression activities
To let your kids decompress after school, do some of their favourite activities with them! Maybe they want to ride a bike, play video games, or listen to music. Personal taste plays a huge role in this, so allow your kids the space to decompress in a way that is personally soothing to them!
3.Talk it out
Talking can be a really therapeutic way to help your child sort through their issues. This builds trust, and lets them know they can come to you with their problems. Ask them about their day, about their friends, teachers and classes. Actively listen, and ask them if anything is bothering them or challenging them. Find struggles in your life that you can relate to your child about.
4.Have a weekly ritual
Have a weekly special event that you do with your kids, and maybe centre it around a Friday night. This should be a fun, special activity that lets the two of you bond and open up. Like a movie night, bowling, or a trip to the park with Ice Cream. Looking forward to the weekly ritual will help get your kids motivated to get through a tough week of school.
5.Leave them be
Parents don’t like this one, but it's the truth, especially for older/teenage kids. Sometimes, the best thing you can do to let your kid unwind after school is to let them be. Let them do whatever they want. Maybe they want to sequester themselves away in their room, or walk over to their friend’s house. Returning home from school, kids have had a long, full day. Sometimes, they’d just like to be given a snack, and left totally alone.
After-school restraint collapse is a real thing, and each kid reacts to it differently. Listen to your kid, be there for them, but don’t smother them. With these tips in mind, and your own great parenting skills, you’ll be able to help your kids wind down after school no-problem.