Teachers are telling you how wonderful your student(s) are at school, but that is not what you experience at 3 o’clock. Your children aren’t putting on a show, they are experiencing something called, “after-school restraint collapse.” And according to experts, it’s both totally common and totally something we can help our children overcome.
Symptoms of after-school restraint collapse can look a variety of different ways, but usually children regress emotionally. They act younger than their age, whine, cry, act needy, moody and will look and behave as if they are exhausted. After-school restraint collapse is extremely common in kids under 12, says Psychotherapist Nancy Brooks, and (thankfully) lessens as children develop more emotional resiliency. Brooks explains, that students have to show a lot of self-control during the school day, so it’s only natural for kids to release their emotional and physical energy as soon as they are with their families.
Here is how you can help your child: Wait to ask how your child’s day was. Give your child time to get a snack and relax their minds before asking about school. Offer a physical activity such as walking, biking, or hiking. Make sure you are modeling the behavior you want to see; It is not uncommon to have parents walk in irritable from work (after all work- restraint collapse is real). As the school year goes on, you can expect after-school restraint collapse to ease up a bit—both because of our children’s increasing maturity and their adjustment to the new schedule. If your child is still struggling with before, or after school restraint by November, please check in with Marie or Laurel so that we can offer support and suggestions.
Marie Voss-Patterson, Principal
Laurel Pate, Assistant Principal