Ever wonder why your child comes home from school and loses it? Me too. Why is my child having a meltdown when I asked him how his day was or over what he is eating for dinner? Why is he talking back to me for every single thing I ask of him? I didn’t know what to do until it hit me…home is his safe place.
Let’s face it…school isn’t what it used to be. Now, if you throw a paper airplane and accidentally hit a teacher in the eye, you face jail time. The pressure on these kids today to behave in school is overwhelming. Hence the blow up! They have to be perfect in school, camaflauging their true personalities. At home, they feel safe enough to be themselves so they let loose. Unfortunately, at the parents’ expense, but home is his safe place.
My son came home from school last month with a life plan. “I’m going to do what I’m told without arguing; I’m going to be kinder to my sister (even though she tears up my room) 😂; I’m going to try to listen without interrupting; I’m going to give more effort in school; I’m going to be more considerate of other people’s feelings.” Shock and awe! I thought to myself, why is my twelve year old forming a life plan? Something had to give and it was me. I used to be THAT Mom. As soon as you walk in the door a million questions, grilling him on every second of the day, chastising him for a C on his math test, nagging mother! Nag no more! Home is his safe place.
Here’s what I’ve learned…as I relaxed a little, so did my son:
- Don’t ask too many questions as soon as they get home. Just greet them and tell them you love them.
- Give them free time to wind down and let loose.
- Talk to them about their day when they say they’re ready.
- Offer your help with homework or studying.
- Make sure they get 8-10 hours of sleep a night. (Obviously more for younger kids)
Now, I’m not saying let your child rule your house lawlessly! Um NO! I have two strict mandatory rules…take a shower as soon as you get home (hello hundreds of kid germs) and bedtime is 9:30 sharp! The rest is common sense. Be kind to your sister and respectful to your parents. Do your homework and chores and life will be grand! It’s not always grand for my son because no one is perfect. However, he’s pretty close because home is his safe place!