Saturday, February 13, 2010

Only a certain amount of goodness ... more thoughts

I thought I'd share a couple of ideas I've had about getting through the post-school grumps.  I'd love to hear any strategies that you have.

- In the last couple of years I've started to take food to give them when they come out of class.  Recently, because it has been so disgustingly hot I've been taking a little esky with icypoles for the kids.  It gives them something cold to eat, gives them a bit of energy from the sugar and stops them getting quite as annoyed with each other!  In winter I usually take some home cooked biscuits or muffins.   Or little packets of biscuits.  Just something small that is a treat for them.

- We also walk home as much as possible.  Even though this prolongs the public humiliation aspect of the afternoon, I find that walking home gets a lot of the pent-up energy out of their system.  By the time we get home most of the frustrations of the day have been shared with me and so they're a lot calmer when we walk in the door.

- I try (emphasis on TRY!) to stay as calm as possible.  Getting grumpy with them just escalates the stress.  I do find myself saying repeatedly, "Let's speak kindly to each other" or "I think you need to say sorry to your sister for speaking like that" or "Let's try that conversation all over again".  And lots of deep breathes in and out on my part!

- We've had weeks when they get prizes at the end of the week for behaving well on the way home from school.  Just to break up the pattern of behaviour that becomes a habit.  And to encourage the kids to take responsibility for improving the way they are behaving.

3 comments:

Pip said...

All helpful ideas! Thanks!

JMS said...

I agree with all of your points in the previous post Jenny as well as all of your ideas in this post. There is definitely a relationship between crankiness and the amount or lack there of, water consumption in the day. If I have a meal to drop off etc after school, I ALWAYS take afternoon tea for the car. Additionally I always take a special drink (cordial is very special). This is essentially bribery but it works.

With all three at school I now pick up from two spots. I can chat to child 3 on the way to the other pick up point for child1 and child 2. As the latter two children walk to the pick up point, they also seem to have calmed somewhat.

I look forward to other readers responses as I am soooo keen to hear of other ideas.

Julie

Jo said...

LOL! at the public humiliation, and do you find as a 'large family' mum, people are even more observant of you? I only have 4 kids and feel like a freak at school sometimes.

Sometimes with boys (well mine anyway), they don't like being asked how their day was, but later on, usually at the worst possible time lol!, they will tell me all about it.