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Giving them space to breathe: After-school Restraint Collapse

We often hear of young children being as good as gold for their teachers but then coming home and having a complete meltdown. This is after-school restraint collapse.

You would too if your emotional maturity was at the same level as theirs.

Over the school day our children have to conform to the rules, be away from their safe space (us!) and think and learn so much. They spend ALL of their day suppressing their emotions in an increasingly pressured environment. In emotional restraint.

After school, your child may experience a violent outburst of emotion, or they may withdraw, or they may become needy, or they may behave in a way that’s much younger than their age.

This is all NORMAL! As your child gets older and their emotional maturity improves, you’ll notice it less.

In the meantime though, here are some tips on how to help them through.

🍃 Give them time and space to slow their brains down. They have been thinking at 100mph all day - they need time to wind down, just like you do after a long day at work.

🍃Respond to them with understanding and positivity - kids mimic our behaviour. If you’re snappy and irritable, they will be too.

🍃 Give them a good snack and a drink and some time to relax. Let them unwind and get some energy back.

🍃 Allow them the opportunity to get physical - play in the garden, do a sports club, yoga or meditation. Exercise is a great way to relax the mind.

🍃 Walk home from school as often as possible, or park 5 minutes away. The fresh air and the walk will be great for their overall well-being.

🍃 Don’t ask them a million questions about their day - they’ll thank you for waiting.

🍃 And remember that this is not their fault - it’s their way of dealing with a stressful situation. Come at your kids with as much love, patience and understanding as you can muster.

As I’m always saying - follow your child and remember that ALL behaviour is communication.

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