Article: Does your child often get upset shortly after getting home from school/daycare? There’s a term for that!
“The after-school restraint collapse meltdown is often about more than just fatigue, thanks to something psychologists call defensive detachment. “Your child really needed you, and you weren’t there,” explains Lapointe. “Now you’re there, but the initial flood of relief is quickly subsumed by a tidal wave of defensive detaching—they’re angry and push you away. It’s like when a parent and child reunite after the child has gone missing in a grocery store. The parent will have a few seconds of clutching relief as they hug their child and then bam! Defensive detachment kicks in with anger as they admonish their now-found child.”
The full article from Today’s Parent gives practical information and tips for families if their children come home from school or daycare and immediately have a meltdown.
1) Validate and make a space in the conversation for their emotions: “As they shout, throw and generally lose it, just go alongside and say, ‘It was a long day, wasn’t it?’ or ‘I’ve got you”
2) Give them a stable activity to do so that they can decompress each day: “We humans love our routines,” says Lapointe. “We love the safety of having a script for exactly how things are going to go. These kinds of scripts provide a boatload of safety during an emotional storm.”