Pregnancy & Parenting

10 Tips to Deal With After School Restraint Collapse

Vitabiotics | Published: 29/09/2022

10 Tips to Deal With After School Restraint Collapse

Have you heard about after school restraint collapse? Starting or returning to school may have a dramatic effect on your child’s behaviour at home, for the first week or so at least. Even if they are an angel in school, they might be anything from slightly cross through to really, really angry once you get home.

Sound familiar?

What Is After School Restraint Collapse?

After school restraint collapse was recently defined as the period after school, when your tired child, who has been well-behaved and restrained at school, relaxes at home and releases all the pent-up energy and constrained feelings. They may whine, cry, have tantrums, be grumpy or rude, and refuse to listen to you.

And it’s completely normal!

Why Does After School Restraint Collapse Happen?

It’s tiring getting back into the school routine, both physically and mentally. And if your child is using all their willpower to concentrate and do well at school, as well as get to grips with lots of new things and new people, it can be overwhelming for them, and in the midst of all this change, home is one constant place where they can let all of their other feelings and frustrations go.

Even if they are returning to a familiar environment, the new term brings a lot to deal with. Especially after a relaxing holiday at home.

As parent you are the safe space and sense of normality for all your child's after-school blues. However tricky it is for you to navigate!

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So if you're all suffering in the after-school period, here are ten ways to banish the after-school blues.

Ten Ways To Deal With After School Restraint Collapse


Head off a hangry child by taking a small snack to the school run. Once you’re at home, give them healthy snacks or bring dinner time forward. Your child will have used up all their energy at school, leaving them to be hangry come home time.

Don’t bombard them with questions about their day

While you will probably be curious about how their day has gone, let them tell you in their own time.

Or stick to simple, fun questions like ‘what was the silliest thing that happened today?’

Let them relax

Don’t feel they have to do homework or music practice or read their phonics book straight away. Make sure they have a period of decompression where they just do whatever they want to do. Relax screen time limits if appropriate. Your child might need to zone out and watch TV or a tablet, and doing this for a little while won’t hurt.

Burn off energy

If sitting still at school all day has left your child with a lot of pent-up energy, take them for a quick trip to the park or let them run around the garden.

Limit after school clubs and playdates at the start

If your child has just started school, they will be exhausted. Don’t over schedule their time in the evening, however exciting it might be to start lots of new clubs.

Try yoga or meditation

This might help them relax and refocus.

Cosmic Kids Yoga has a brilliant set of fun routines, as well as some short guided meditations called Peace Outs.

Reconnect with your child

Even if they are angry, try and connect with them before you correct them - give them a hug, sit with them and read, give them all of your attention.

Wind down before bed

Shut off all screens at least an hour before bedtime. Try and wind them down before sleep, with a warm bath or reading in bed (you know what works!)

Stick to a consistent bedtime

While they might seem too wired to sleep or will insist they’re not tired, they need their sleep - try and make sure they get enough.

Keep calm

Our most important tip for dealing with after school restraint collapse!

It’s hard when you’re the focus of all the anger and release of tired feelings when it comes to the after-school blues, but they’re not doing it deliberately to hurt you. Keep as calm as possible, even if you have to grit your teeth.

Meet the Author

Gill Crawshaw

Gill Crawshaw

Copywriter / Editor of TalkMum Blog

Gill Crawshaw

Copywriter / Editor of TalkMum Blog

Pregnancy and parenting editor and writer, mum of two Gill Crawshaw is the editor of the TalkMum blog, and a writer who specialises in pregnancy and parenting. With over 18 years experience in digital content creation, she also writes the blog A Baby On Board, which covers the parenting journey. Gill has two tween-age children and lives in south London.

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