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After school meltdown

I frequently come across posts with concerns regarding children acting fine in school then exploding after school. Parents hear glowing reviews about their children's behavior during school and wonder where that child is at home. Kids come home and scream, fight, argue, climb walls, and so many more destructive behaviors.

This is after school meltdown. This name isn't really great because these behaviors creep up after any situation in which kids know they need to behave a particular way. Kids with anxiety, ADHD, and so much more struggle to maintain desired behaviors in public situations and know that home is a safe place to let loose. They also know primary caregivers (Mom, Dad, grandparents) are safe to express themselves with. YOU are their safe haven.

Understanding what and why our kids are acting like mutants after needing to contain themselves during calm activities is step one. Next is helping them express those physical and emotional needs safely and appropriately.

I often suggest finding a way to let them get their physical energy out first. Go to a park, create an obstacle course at home, have them run and jump and climb in a safe space without major rules or limitations. Your kids have just spent maybe 8 hours needing to be calm and quiet and filling their brains with knowledge. Their bodies need release. Even after just an hour of sitting, Mack needs to do big movements, I can't imagine what his needs would be like after 8 hours.

Some kids don't need physical time after school, but they still need to decompress. Will needs to go to his safe space and read. This might be what your child needs too. We have helped Will create a comfortable space--physically and emotionally--where he can curl up with books and relax his brain and body.

Finding what your child needs can be a challenge, but it is so rewarding. For you and them. I am here to help you figure out what your child and home need to help you find peace.

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