Three Tips to Battle Back to School Blues

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It’s that time again, when our little bundles of love start/go back to school. My daughter is starting her first year at primary school and I am mildly dreading the change of routine blues that normally occur. The tired little girl who comes home after a day (or just afternoons to begin with) of learning everything from numbers, letters and sounds to testing relationship boundaries and independence.

Absorbing so much can be a draining experience, it’s no wonder that after school can be a battlefield littered with unexplained screaming and upturned dining. So, what can we do to help ourselves to help our kids?

Keep calm and ….

Trying to remain calm is perhaps the first challenge we face under the unexplainable outburst that just occurred. I know that for me this is perhaps the hardest part of the battle, after having a rather troublesome couple of weeks with my daughter not understanding sharing and playing. Keeping my cool before resorting to shouting became a lot harder. However, I will try and remember the classics of taking a deep breath and counting to 10 before replying or dealing with a tricky situation. During that deep breath try to .…

Remember what tired feels like before ….

You can relate to how your child might be feeling by remembering a time when you had a long exhausting day. Before becoming a stay-at-home dad I worked as an outdoor activities instructor and during the summer months when most schools have their trips to these adventure centres, you get very busy. Working from 8:30 until sometimes 9 or 10 at night a few days in a row can really drain your energy, add in that you have to be mentally switched on while dealing with 16 kids standing at the top of a 30ft abseiling tower. As you can imagine I was both physically and mentally tired when I got home, the prospect of then dealing with anything other than getting into bed makes you want to scream internally (or even audibly!). Now that we have an inkling of how our little one may be feeling, it’s time to start ….

Diverting, challenging or ignoring.

We need to choose our course of action, now I confess I have chosen the wrong action on numerous occasions. Diverting our child’s attention into something else positive can work, for example, asking whether they can play a game with you or start another activity. Challenging their behaviour may be necessary and using whatever discipline method you use, though this can sometimes make the situation worse! Finally choosing to ignore the behaviour altogether can work, but it is imperative that you do talk about their behaviour after the storm has subsided.

I am hoping I can remember and use these tips when I am faced with my daughter’s tantrums after school. I also hope they have been helpful for you too. Let me know if you have any other useful ideas in the comments below or just need to share your own challenges.

Finally, I leave you with a verse from the Bible that I will keep in my head:
“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus”
Philippians 4:7 NIV

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6 thoughts on “Three Tips to Battle Back to School Blues

  1. I must admit that it was over 60 years ago when my first daughter started school and she had a younger brother and sister. I struggle to remember any difficulties or changes in her behaviour when she started school. I wish I could help and advise. I certainly sympathise with you and your difficulties. I know I was (or think I was) quite a strict mother and my little ones knew what behaviour was allowed and not allowed.
    You appear to be on the right track though, in making sure that misbehaviour is not left ignored…. and definitely making sure that – in the end you show that you DO really love ‘them’ and make sure ‘they’ understand what is allowed and what is not allowed. Perhaps even using a quiet time to talk seriously about the inevitability of the result of bad behaviour. There might be a chart which could be kept: e.g. ‘star” for good behaviour; ‘x’ for bad behaviour which could be jointly recorded at the end of the day. All marks added up at the end of the week with a treat for the most stars.
    Very little gain is achieved by over-reaction – in fact that is when you have ‘lost it’ – as the saying goes.
    You sound as if you are on the right track – it just takes practice ….. and you’ll get plenty of that! 🙂

    1. Thanks Grandma, I have been getting plenty of practice and I’m sure I will get some more. It’s been getting less of a problem as we move forward. I agree that it is very important to reinforce that you love your child after discipline, we do with our two.

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