Taming the After School Monster
How to avoid the after school, before dinner, witching hour of monster meltdowns.
When I send my sweet kids off to school on the bus in the morning, I kiss them, hug them, wish them well in their day and look forward to seeing their smiling faces come off the bus at the end of the day. Most days. On other days, the kids that come home from school are not the same kids I sent to school. And on those days, I want to yell at the bus driver to let my kids back on the bus and take them back to school. I'm kidding!! Except, I'm not. (of course I am).
But on those days, when they come home moody, ravenous and miserable as anything (luckily usually, not all 3 at the same time!), I feel like I've missed something. Did I feed them enough protein in the morning? Did I pack enough lunch? Are they tired? Are their blood sugars are all wonky? Should I have had snack prepared for them as soon as they stepped in the door? Was it because they didn't like hearing what was for dinner because "I don't like chicken!" or "Pasta again?!" Whatever the case may be, the stress and anxiety around that witching hour, is enough to drive parents crazy!
Anyone Else Try And Make Chicken 162 Different Ways?!
Luckily those days are few and far between, and once you learn to cope, this time doesn't seem so overwhelming anymore. You prepare in advance a protein filled breakfast and figure out how much lunch to give your kids, (although on most days a lot of it comes back anyway, so what gives?!) You learn to have a snack ready, if possible, when they come home, you learn that perhaps an earlier dinner (again if possible) makes the most sense for your family, or maybe it's a case of needing to get everyone to bed earlier that night.
High Protein Breakfast!
And last, it's always important to remember that kids have big emotions just like the rest of us. So when they come home a monster, sometimes all they really need is a hug. Kids don't always know what to do with their thoughts, feelings and emotions and it tends to come out in less than desirable behaviours. Therefore when in doubt, you can never go wrong with a hug.
Warm Hugs Are Sometimes All It Takes!