After School Meltdowns in Children: Understanding and Coping with Them

After School Meltdowns in Children: Understanding and Coping with Them

6 Feb 2023 | 3 min Read

Manisha Pradhan

Author | 1053 Articles

After a long day at school, it is common for children to feel tired, frustrated or overwhelmed. However, for some children, the transition from school to home can trigger intense emotions and lead to disruptive behaviour.

These outbursts, known as after-school meltdowns, can be stressful for both the child and parents. In this article, we will explore the reasons behind after-school meltdowns, and provide practical tips on how to cope with them.

What Causes After-School Meltdowns in Children?

Many factors can contribute to after-school meltdowns in children. Some common causes include:


Children can be exposed to a lot of sensory input at school, such as noise, bright lights, and physical activity. By the end of the day, they may feel overstimulated and struggle to calm down.

Lack of structure:

After a day at school with a structured schedule, children may feel disoriented and need help adjusting to the different paces of home life.

Unresolved conflicts:

Children may be holding on to anger, frustration or sadness about events that took place at school and find it hard to process and regulate their emotions.

Hunger or fatigue:

Your child may be hungry or tired after a long day at school, leading to irritability and emotional outbursts.

Developmental challenges:

Some children may have difficulty with regulation, attention, or communication skills, making it harder for them to manage their emotions and behaviour.

After school meltdowns
After-school meltdowns can be stressful for both the child and parents/ Image source: freepik

Tips for Coping with After-School Meltdowns

If your child experiences after-school meltdowns, there are several strategies you can use to support them:

Establish a routine:

Having a predictable routine can help children feel more in control and ease the transition from school to home. This may include activities such as having a snack, doing homework, and engaging in physical activity.

Create a calm environment:

A quiet and relaxing environment can help children calm down after a long day at school. This can include dimming the lights, turning off electronic devices, and reducing background noise.

Encourage communication:

Encourage your child to talk about their day and any challenges they faced. This can help them process their emotions and feel heard.

Provide physical touch:

Hugs, back rub, or other forms of physical touch can help children feel comforted and calm.

Validate feelings:

Acknowledge your child’s feelings and let them know that their emotions are valid. This can help them feel heard and understood.

Use deep breathing and relaxation techniques:

Teach your child deep breathing techniques or other relaxation methods, such as progressive muscle relaxation, to help them manage their emotions and calm down.

Seek professional help:

If after-school meltdowns are affecting your child’s quality of life, it may be helpful to seek the support of a mental health professional.

After-school meltdowns in children can be challenging, but they can also be managed with the right strategies and support. By establishing a routine, creating a calm environment, encouraging communication, and using deep breathing techniques, caregivers can help their children navigate the transition from school to home and manage their emotions effectively.

But If your child shows signs of injuring themselves, holds their breath during meltdowns, has nightmares, or complains of headaches, stomach aches, or refuses to eat or go to bed then it is advisable to get professional help.

Cover image source: freepik



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