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Why your kid has massive tantrums after school

school & classes

Have you ever wondered why your kid’s teacher says they’re an angel at school, yet they come home grumpy and throw tantrum after tantrum?

I promise, your kid isn’t broken. They’re simply overwhelmed.

Here's what's going on:

Think about it: They’ve spent all day at school, following a schedule, being told “no”, being told to do something but only in one specific way, etc.

They’ve also spent many hours away from you, their parents - the people they love the most!

That’s why your kid comes home saying “NO!” and “I DON’T WANT!” to everything, and why they seem to melt down over the smallest things.

They’re 1) Trying to regain some semblance of control over their day, and 2) Releasing a tonne of pent-up feelings that weren’t safe to express at school.

So as befuddling as it is to hear your kid’s teacher say: “They had a wonderful day today!”, and then get home and see a rage monster tearing through the house…

Remember: Your child whines and melts down when they’re home with you PRECISELY because you are their safe space. That’s actually a wonderful, beautiful thing.

How to respond

As tempting as it is, don’t join the chaos! Speak directly to their feeling of disconnect, and offer tonnes of connection as an antidote. For example: “I know, it was hard being away from me all day. I missed you, too! It’s safe to let all of your feelings out with me. I’m here for you.”

In order to do this successfully, you’ll first have to be pretty self-aware to stay calm yourself. This is a struggle for us Asian parents, because we likely grew up in a household that shut-down tantrums pretty quickly, whether by fear or force - so offering our kids connection as the antidote probably feels not just weird, but actually impossible.

Please hear me when I say: You’re not alone, and it’s never too late to make a change. I highly recommend watching my Beginning Asian Parenting training, which delves deep into how our Asian cultural baggage bleeds into our parenting style - and what we can do instead.