What are the best after school tips for parents? I've put together four tips to help families have a successful first few weeks of school!
As a mom of four, I know that the beginning of the school year can bring up a whole lot of emotions. Hopefully these tips help you feel more prepared!
Change is EXHAUSTING.
New routines require a lot of mental energy. There are a lot of rules to learn and expectations in school, especially at the beginning of the year, and it can be an adjustment for kids, even if they love it.
Here are a few after school tips for parents that I try and remember each year as I welcome my kids home after a day at school.
1. Expect a meltdown.
Some kids hold it all together all day at school and once they’re safe in your car they just release it all. Let them. This meltdown after school is called an after-school restraint collapse. This is not a tantrum, "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." (Source: Today's Parent)
"Some children are more susceptible to after-school restraint collapse than others. “More sensitive and intense kids, and kids struggling with learning and social skills, will be more likely to be affected.” Read more about After school restraint collapse on Today's Parent.
2. Have a snack and drink ready ASAP.
Recess is so fun. Spending time with friends is awesome. Oftentimes kids skip their snack and eat minimal lunch at school because they want to PLAY. This means they’re hungry when they come home to you! Sometimes we serve dinner at 3:30pm 🤣 and a second one at 5pm. Plan for it. Stave off any hangry kids with a snack and drink ASAP after school. If I’m picking kids up I will even bring it in the car with me! It’s amazing how food can just give kids a reset at the end of the day.
3. Find a simple way to connect.
Find a way to connect at some point each day. Whether it’s right after school or at bedtime, find some 1:1 time to check in, read together, or give a big hug and ask about their favorite part of the day.
4. Make time to PLAY every day after school.
It is so important- more important to than getting homework done or going to sports practices or anything else. Play is a great way to reduce stress, improve connections, calm down, process through their day, and increase confidence.