Only a couple of weeks until the school holiday, and lots of households have spoken of tired and grumpy children.
When your child walks through the door, exhausted from the day at school, the first thing they may demand is “I’m hungry”, or as the kids bump into each other, an instant fight breaks out. Yes, parents, you are not alone!
So I thought I would put together a quick help list for the parents out there who share the same problem. Let’s think of it as ‘parents – preserve your own sanity’ list:
• Have a snack ready when your child gets home from school or at the school gate if necessary. A hungry child is never good company.
• Ensure that your child is well hydrated after a day at school – dehydration causes headaches, and headaches cause grumpiness!
• Have comfy clothes to the ready for them to slip into, if it’s hot, then cool them down fast.
• Remember, after a long hard day at work, how we adults like to just slump into a chair (not that it is always possible as a parent), but allow your child to do so, they are kids after all, and their bodies are still growing and developing – so they need to pit-stop often.
• Ask them how the day was once they are calm and relaxed, you will get a better response. They may need more time to process their day’s event.
• Let some things slide. Remain attuned to what is behavioural and what is their need to find a state of calm.
• Try to keep a routine for teatime and bedtime. Children need consistency, especially when they are exhausted.
• And then parents, have a cup of tea and take the few minutes with your feet up, when you can to maintain a state of mindfulness.
In a few weeks, they can let their hair down, have pyjama days, sleep-in, whilst schools rest and the demands on their brains are reduced. We adults know when we need a holiday, so explaining to the children why they feel grumpy and tired will help them grow in their understanding of their own bodies and their own limitations.
Author – Sarah Muller – Managing Practitioner