When After School is Hard
You may not have heard the term after-school restraint collapse before, but I'm nearly certain you have experienced it at one point or another.
It shows up when kids come home from school. Some children stomp around, yell, cry, and generally melt down. Others retreat into themselves, not wanting to talk or be around others for a while. It shows up a great deal in kids under 12, but also manifests in teens.
Psychologist and parenting educator Andrea Nair coined the term after-school restraint collapse to describe this common and natural behavior.
Think about how hard students work to keep it all together during school: they have to follow the rules, ignore bullies, stay focused during lessons, and navigate social situations. When they finally get home, they feel less pressure to keep it all inside and it spills out. Often, adults feel the same way, but we've learned how to contain our energy and emotions.
Students with learning differences have these pressures multiplied by a huge factor.
So, what can you do?
Give them a snack when they come home and then give them space to process their day alone, or if they need to talk, listen.
While it's not fun to experience, know that it is normal and that your child's behavior is generally not personal. They just need a chance to transition from school to home.