This week I’ve read quite a few things about children who have started school, and how tired they are. So today’s post is a discussion on this topic. If you’ve got a 4/5 year old who has just started school, I’m sure you’ll appreciate how tired little ones are when they get home from school.
I read this article (here) which outlines Why your child falls apart after school – and the good reason why. But to summarise – After-school restraint collapse is real! Who knew this was a real thing.. but it explains so much! “According to experts, it’s both totally common and totally something we can help our children overcome”.
In my experience, the children I have looked after have been concentrating so hard at school, behaving well in front of their peers and teachers, and also working hard on new friendships. It’s no wonder they’re exhausted when they get in. This is exactly what After-School Restraint Collapse is.
So what can we do to help?
- Provide snacks – in fact turn up at the school gate with snacks. This should help increase your little ones energy levels. We love these Snack Balls, or Sugar Free Banana Muffins as they’re very wholesome snacks.
- Don’t constantly ask how their day was. Although we’re all keen to hear what happened at school, what they ate for lunch, who they played with at lunch time.. etc etc. It’s a little overwhelming for children to be bombarded with questions. We’ve found the details come about in dribs and drabs, when you’re patient.
- Keep after school activities to a minimum, especially in the first term at school. School starting children will be tired. We’d recommend keeping extra curricular activities to a minimum whilst they get used to the school day & new routine. Don’t add extra pressure with heaps of activities after school too.
- Plan what to do. I’ve found going to the park for a run around after school is working great for my little one. He can burn off some energy, but we don’t over do it. If you’re heading home – have some activities laid out for your little one to discover when you get in. For example, play dough, sensory trays or corn flour play which will help to pass the time without tiring children out.
- Keep Calm. Tears & tantrums can be inevitable, but keep calm and allow children to get their frustrations and worries out. They may just be feeling overwhelmed and emotional. We’ve found children will need a little more patience and TLC at this time.
You can also refer back to our previous post “Keeping Calm and Beating the Afternoon Tiredness ” here.