271: Why Your Kids Melt Down After School + What to Do About it // Alyssa Blask Campbell

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It’s 3:00 and your child walks in the door from school. You’ve been looking forward to seeing them all day, but instead of greeting you with a hug or a chatty report, they greet you with a total and complete meltdown.

This looks different for every child, but in my home, it has ranged from backpacks thrown down, snippy remarks, and slammed bedroom doors to full on screaming and crying rages over the slightest provocation. “Well it’s nice to see you, too, Child! Welcome home!”

It is so common for children to meltdown after school that we’ve decided to dedicate an entire episode to this topic today. Why does this happen, and is there any way to avoid it? We will discuss all of that and more with our expert guest, Alyssa Blask Campbell.  

Alyssa is the founder and CEO of Seed & Sew, an organization committed to giving parents, teachers and caregivers the tools to raise emotionally intelligent humans. Alyssa has a master’s degree in early education and she co-created the Collaborative Emotion Processing (CEP) method and researched it across the United States. 

 

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3 Takeaways from Alyssa Campbell

1) Movement.  We all need big body movement every 90 minutes to 2 hours. We can support children with big body play, such as allowing them to jump into a pile of pillows, challenging them to see how many frog jumps will it take to get to the bathroom door, rolling them up in a blanket, or giving them a massage or 20 second hug. Children also need to move their heads, and they can do that by spinning in a chair, dipping upside down, swinging on swings or a hammock, or doing yoga inversions. Try to make movement a fun and consistent part of your child’s after-school routine to help them recharge more quickly. 

2) Connection.  Connection can look really different from child to child, but all children need it. Be present with your child for a few minutes as they get their movement in, or maybe try reading a book together, playing a game, making a snack, or listening to an interesting podcast together as you enjoy a snack together. 

3)  Downtime. Downtime can help the central nervous system recover from overstimulation and overwhelm. This could look like turning off extra noise or stimulation and just hanging out together or it might look like your child taking some independent playtime or quiet time in their room. I love Alyssa’s tip of giving your child something physical to do while they get their downtime, like bouncing on a yoga ball or swinging in a hanging chair as they listen to a book.

 

>>>Are these tips on why your kids meltdown after school helpful? What would you add to the takeaways? Tell us in the comments below.

 

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