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Saying Goodbye to Your Child's Afternoon Grumps

By Donna Stark

Imagine with me, if you will: You pull up into the parent pick-up lane at your child’s school and within a few minutes, your little one is sitting next to you, spilling the beans about everything that happened during their day. They are smiling while chatting about recess, furrowing their brow while explaining how fractions were hard to understand, and acting out the stories they heard about the American Revolution as best as they can. It is such a wonderful car ride back home, isn’t it? Well, maybe … if that really happened … because remember, we were imagining.

The Afternoon Grumps

If your child is anything like mine, that is not your usual experience after a long day at school. Instead, you might get a few grunts or some head nods, but a full and complete sentence? Well, that’s just wishful thinking! But don’t stress! You definitely don’t want those afternoon grumps to become a bad habit, and you certainly don’t want them to carry over into the night. So get rid of them with some smart strategies on your part. Take a look.

  • Feed them - Ever heard the expression, “she’s hangry?” Hangry is a hunger that is so strong, it makes you angry. Get it? So maybe your little bundle of love just needs a few bites of something to eat to put them in a better mood. So pack something easy and nutritious, like apple slices or a granola bar, and as you are saying “hi,” hand them their snack.
  • Let them start the conversation - As hard as it may be, and it is, don’t say another word after your initial “hello.” Let your child start and steer the conversation. They might actually talk a lot about something you never would have thought to ask, so give them the opportunity to do so. Or …
  • Let them nod off for a few - I used to have to drive my daughter to school 25 minutes away, and as soon as we hit the on-ramp for the highway (literally, 30 seconds away from the school), she was asleep. She wasn’t a young child anymore, she was a junior in high school, but with the early morning start, sports, and late-night homework sessions, her body was beat. And it needed the rest. So let yours sleep too if their body is screaming for it. After all, it’s a perfect opportunity to reclaim ownership of your radio stations.
  • Establish a routine - There is nothing worse than starting to nag and yell about homework and chores the minute your child steps foot in the house, so establish a routine with the expectations they need to meet. Create a checklist so that your child knows exactly what they need to do before they can move on to what they want to do.

Happier Afternoons and Evenings

Start developing different behaviors after school with new strategies for your child and get ready to say goodbye to the grumpies and hello to happy evenings! Let the transformation begin!

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Franklin, Tenn.

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