The new school year is barely a month in, and we’ve only just begun with all the events and activities that are laid out for our students. Everyone’s excited for what’s to come, and our kids are ready to take on the challenges of each day.
Except…sometimes, you might find that your child doesn’t seem all too pleased when they get home after a long day. They might be disobedient, throw temper tantrums, or otherwise act miserable.
This is a very common phenomenon called after-school restraint collapse, and it’s the result of your child acting in accordance with school rules, doing mandated activities that might not always be interesting for them, and trying hard to be accepted by friends, all day long. When they finally get home, all that restraint collapses and they need to relieve their stress somehow – resulting in bad behavior.
Thankfully, after-school restraint collapse isn’t an unavoidable outcome of every stressful school day, and it can be remedied with your help.
- Be a role model of behavior for your kids.
The effects of after-school restraint collapse aren’t limited to kids. A long day at work can make any adult irritable when they finally relax at home. That’s not the kind of behavior you want to be showing to your kids, so make sure that you’re aware of your own behavior, so that your kids don’t normalize it and follow suit.
- Have some kind of daily stress release activity with your kids.
Whether it’s a music or movie session, some board games, or a little storytime, having your kids do some relaxing and enjoyable activity when they get home is a perfect chance for them to unwind. It’ll take their mind off the day and help them adjust back to a relaxed state, and it’s something for them to look forward to after a long day.
- Prepare snacks for them that will be immediately ready when they return home.
Don’t ask if your kid is hungry – assume that they are, after a long day, and ensure that they come home to snacks that are readily available. This will help them restore their energy, and comfort food is also a great way to calm their nerves.
- Try out some after-school activities.
Swiss International School in Dubai believes in developing our students holistically, and in service of this, we have a variety of after-school activities (ASAs) available to our kids, which can help relieve some of that school day stress. Sports and physical activity are a great way to release stress, making our various external sports ASAs like football and tennis a perfect fit. They could also try yoga and meditation, which are also known to be stress reducing activities, and will develop in them a sense of mindfulness that could help curb any negative behavior over time.