Madhu is winding up her DIY Project to make customized cushion covers for her kids. She is in a hurry, because Shaurya will arrive any moment and then there will be no time or energy to do anything other than run after him.
‘Oh God! This boy has become such a ruckus.’ Madhu thought as she mentally braced herself for the daily Tsunami that was to hit the home in a couple of minutes. Even though managing a hyperactive kid who hardly took time off the entire day took its toll on her, Madhu was ok with him being active and playful. She was more bothered by the possibility that Shaurya might be raising havoc in school too. Everyday she saw a restless Shaurya nit-picking on items in the house, running around incessantly and shouting needlessly. She dreaded the day when she might be summoned to his school for his mis-demeanor. As she prepared herself for such an encounter with her son’s teachers, she also thought of questions that she would ask her so that she could help Shaurya become a calm kid.
But she was in for a surprise that day. Shaurya came back and placed a certificate in his mother’s hands. Madhu flipped around the piece of thick glossy paper and read it’s content in disbelief. A pleasant one though.
‘Shaurya Has Been Awarded This Certificate Of Appreciation For His Cordial Behavior In The Class’
Madhu hugged her son to appreciate him for his achievement but did not quite believe her eyes for what they had just read. She just prodded her son a little bit.
‘Baby, you have received a certificate for good behavior. That’s very nice you know. Did everyone receive this certificate in the class?’
‘No Mamma, only four of us received the certificate today.’ 5 year old Shaurya replied innocently. Madhu frowned in confusion.
Are you confused about the contradictory kids behavior depicted by Shaurya in the incident above? Or have you yourself witnessed such paradoxical kids behavior pattern? Well, please do not be so surprised or staggered. Because this kids behavior pattern among kids who behave extremely amicably in school or in public and let all hell break lose once inside the confines of their home has a term that explains this behavior. It’s called AFTER SCHOOL MELTDOWN.
Yes After School Meltdown is a reality that parents and teachers have ignored for long, but have finally begun to acknowledge it as a behavior pattern. Some kids experience pressure to perform at school or in public places, without even us realizing it. We as parents might not have done anything to put them in a fix, yet we adults tend instruct kids to behave in acceptable manner when in public. Also some kids have an innate urge to belong and fit in. In such scenarios, certain kids pull their act together and meet behavioral expectations. But as soon as they are in the safe confines of their home or parents, where they are confident that they will not be judged, they lose the plot completely. Such kids, as soon as leave from school throw it all up in the air.
Unfortunately, even if the kid may be behaving nicely at school, we parents have to face the mammoth meltdown of reserved energy and mood swings of our kids.
How to deal with After-School Meltdown
If you have figured that your kid’s behavior pattern is indicative of After School Meltdown, but feel miserable about having to handle it, here’s some tips to help you deal –
- Keep Calm. Do not fret over your kid hopping around uncontrollably in the house. Let him lose. He is doing all this just to feel easy in his own skin. Allow him that liberty.
- Do not begin to discipline your child and bombard him with instructions as soon as he comes home. We all want our kids to put their shoes back in the rack, put their uniform in the drawer etc. It is suggested that you wait for atleast 30-45 minutes after coming back from school.
- Do no insist on getting to study or completing the homework as soon as the kids come home. This is for the younger kids, whose study work is not too pressing and can wait for some time. Asking your kids to get down to the study table immediately may result in a delayed and a worse After School Meltdown effect.
- Observer your child. Figure out what helps her unwind better and quicker and encourage her to use that constructive technique to unwind once back from school. Once she has had her fill of feeling at ease.
Some parents have lately also argued against this kind of discipline at school that leads to kids winding up and losing it completely once back home. But then there has to be someplace where kids have to learn to be disciplined without an iota of questioning. Its better that such a place be school. And let the home be that haven where the kids can be themselves with no fear of being judged.
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