- 3 mins
After School Wind-Down Tips for Parents
The late author Sir Ken Robinson gave one of my favorite TED talks. in this talk, he poses the question: Do schools kill creativity? In his book Raising Boys, Steven Biddulph describes how school is not so well suited to boys. For these reasons or others, kids can sometimes come back frustrated from school. Should you be in a different situation and your child is enjoying school, there is also a chance they may be returning home rather excited from a day of learning. Other times you will have to deal with overtired, cranky children due to the long school day. No matter what their day has been like, the energy will have to wind-down a notch after school…and we’ve got the tips to help.
To be able to wind-down after school, we suggest you follow these tips:
Set a bedtime and respect it
Routine helps children thrive, and going to bed at the same time every day is good for grown-ups and children alike. Knowing how much time you have left to complete all required tasks will allow you to plan and prepare accordingly. This means you will be calm and in control, and your mood will influence your children.
Do the same with dinner time
Kids love to snack, often a little too much. If they know how much time is left until they have dinner, this will help you regulate how many apples will be eaten before supper. Knowing what they can expect from the imminent future can help kids relax and settle into the home.
Screen time can be your ally
Screens can be helpful when used productively. Check out this article for more information about this subject. In short, creative or educational apps can be used within limits to help your children slow down.
Ask them about their day
A good conversation can be helpful for any kid who is trying to process the day’s event. It is also an opportunity for you to bond with them. Showing interest in their day is proof that you care, and this security will help them feel more confident and calmer. Here are some great conversation starters for you to try!
A warm shower or a bath
Warm water has a soothing effect and helps us get into night mode. The heat increases blood flow which brings nutrients and oxygen to tired muscles. Essential oils such as lavender and rose, used in the bathtub or as a diffuser, can further relax. And if you have a set time for this evening ritual, too, it would be conducive to winding down.
Calming music in the background
The right music can help reduce anxiety and stress. In our home, relaxing piano music is often used when things get hectic. My kids also love Moshi Music, which has a wide variety of different kinds of music. Try out some of the tracks for your kids!
Meditation or yoga
A gentle yoga sequence, a short meditation session, or both can be a great way to close the day. You could participate in this activity too if you wish. Rhythmic, slow breathing has a soothing effect on all living beings, and I invite you to try it.