afterschool grumpiness/attitude

(18 Posts)
SingleMum01 Mon 21-Sep-09 17:54:44

Any advice for afterschool grumpiness - down to hunger. My DS (7) is very grumpy when I pick him up from school - I take him a snack but what he'd really like is chocolate, and gets a grump when it isn't. I don't like him to have chocolate very often as it makes him hyper and uncontrollable - although he is allowed it as a treat on a Friday.

As a result of grumpiness his attitude towards me isn't acceptable, ie, he says i'm annoying him. At the moment I try to ignore it and say I don't like how you're speaking to me, I won't speak to you until you talk nicely.

Any better tips on how to deal with the attitude - I don't know whether its best to ignore as I don't agree with it, but if I say anymore we end up having a full blown argument.

Help/advice please.

mathanxiety Mon 21-Sep-09 18:01:15

How about a mug of cocoa?

3littlefrogs Mon 21-Sep-09 18:05:24

How about one small square of chocolate and a sensible sandwich as soon as he comes out of the school door ? Chocolate is best eaten in very small quantities if you are a child...........

7 year old boys are always exhausted and starving at 3.30. IME. (and very grumpy)

B1984 Mon 21-Sep-09 18:12:28

Have you tried an alternative snack,something like a cerial bar,or a jam sandwich,or making your own cake(you control the amount of sugar that goes in) and taking a slice?also fruit juice,or a smoothie.I don`t know how much sugar you allow but i find they need some just after school,just to get home...if you have a long walk like us.

SingleMum01 Mon 21-Sep-09 18:31:23

I've tried all kinds, cerial bar, crusty break, crisps - I find its just chocolate that he's happy to see!

Thanks for all your suggestions. May try the one small square of chocolate.

What about the attitude - what do people do about that, ignore or confront? It is definitely down to hunger - he's usually lovely!

3littlefrogs Mon 21-Sep-09 18:34:12

No point in confronting a hungry tired 7 year old. Food, drink and jollying along works much better. IME.

I don't think you should be rewarding his grumpiness with chocolate!shock

That's just teaching him that if he is grumpy enough for long enough then he will get what he wants.

Give him a sensible nutritious snack after school. If he's not happy weith it he can go hungry.

Tell him he get's chocolate on friday, and that you will not accept rude behaviour the rest of the week and then ignore any other grumpiness.

Hand him his after school snack with a smile and say no more about it. Make sure it is a snack that will give him an instant energy boost to lift him and also be slow releasing, so something like cereal bars, dried fruit, a banana, peice of cake or biscuit, other fruit, a sandwitch etc etc so that when he eats it he is not grumpy.

There is no reason chocolate alone would lift his mood after school other than that he is choosing that. So I doubt it is down to hunger alone.

Don't bother confronting. Stick to your guns. If you have decided chocolate oly on a friday, then stick to it.

bidibidi Mon 21-Sep-09 18:44:10

Could he eat a bigger lunch, would that help?

Sympathies, I have THREE grumpy DC to deal with daily after school.

agree with littlefrogs, absolutely no point in confronting.

But it's up to you what food you provide him, not for him to dictate to you.

bidi I think no matter how much children eat at midday they will be hungry again by 3pm!grin

Katisha Mon 21-Sep-09 19:23:33

It's really common that they get grumpy as soon as they see you. Mine do. They have been fine with the teachers and the childminder all day but by the time I turn up they have had it so I get the crap.
Over the years I have learned not to take it as a sign that anything is wrong and just wait for them to decompress after a bit of down time and a shedload of food.

MrsMagnolia Mon 21-Sep-09 19:29:14

He's probably right in a way, he's having that late afternoon dip that loads of us have when our blood sugar levels drop, so chocolate probably does offer a quick 'fix' for him. But, it may be that he's thirsty too, my ds always leaves school extremely thirsty and desperate for a wee and mega grumpy. I have a water bottle ready in the car, he has to go to loo as soon as we get in and then he has a small chocolate thing (at the moment it's the little kinder bars). It works, it's quick, it's simple.

I have no wish to be contentious or start an argument but... there is no evidence to suggest that chocolate has anything other than a positive effect on mood and is far better for teeth than sweets or sweet drinks, usually no nasties in chocolate too. No research to say sugar makes children's behaviour deteriorate either.

I'd suggest to your ds that you try his 'having chocolate after school and be good' plan for 2 weeks and see if it works!! If his behaviour improves with a small bit of chocolate then great, if not you get to choose what he has after school.

A small bit of chocolate once a day is really not the end of the world - if he has chocolate in his packed lunch just replace it with something of your choice instead!

nickschick Mon 21-Sep-09 19:34:17

Having had many a few years of experience with this kind of thing (3 grumpy sons) heres what Id do ....you dont like him having chocolate after school yet you know a bit of choccy perks him up?

Kill 2 birds with 1 stone.....take him a nutella sandwich!!

That can be his special after school treat and its only a small amount of chocolate spread on some bread filling but a treat too.

3littlefrogs Tue 22-Sep-09 08:39:29

I agree that chocolate is a far better option than most other sweets. I also think that a small treat daily is better than a large amount once a week.

3 pm is my worst point of the day too - for me, a cup of tea and a sit down helps.

The effort of being good and relatively confined all day is tough on the average 7 year old boy.

I think it is really important to think hard about why certain rules are important for you, and decide what is worth a daily battle and what isn't. Of course, I accept that we are all different, but, in the grand scheme of things, I don't think this is worth a daily fight, when you should be enjoying each other's company. So it is a matter of weighing up what works, whilst being acceptable to you.

I'm with the others - don't sweat the small stuff!

You can buy small treat sized bars, or even things like Heroes/Celebrations, to control the amount.

All you're doing at the moment is upping the tension by trying out loads of things he doesn't want and which are a compromise.

hullygully Tue 22-Sep-09 08:48:58

I would add that the "rewards" from giving him a little choc will also far outweigh the actual choc. He'll be so pleased that you are listening to him and meeting him halfway (ie giving him a little) and it will be something to look forward to for him during the hard bits of school. We all give ourselves little treats, don't we? The odd glass of wine, quick fag etc..It soon passes when they get older.

stonethecrows Tue 22-Sep-09 13:47:54

Bidi I agree. My girls were absolutely awful at hometime, but then I started them on school dinners instead and it has made a huge difference. still a bit grumpy, but nowhere close to the tantrums we were getting!!

SingleMum01 Tue 22-Sep-09 19:49:10

Thanks for all your advice, maybe I'm being a bit too controlling with the chocolate. Think I'll try the mini celebration chocs (and I'll have the ones he doesn't like!), can't take this grump every day! If it doesn't do the trick, I'll eat them all!

I tried hot dinners and frankly he was worse - at least with a packed lunch I know he has something he likes and how much of it he eats.

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