Do you do stuff with your DC after school?

(17 Posts)

DD is 4, DS 18 months. DD is at preschool all day Mon and Tues (9-3) and DS is at the childminder for 4 hours on Tuesdays too while I work.

Since I haven't seen DD all day, I always feel as though I should do something fun after school but I'm wondering if she's just too tired. Also after a day of being child-free I find it quite hard to get back into the swing of things blush

So now she is watching tv, we are bickering (she gobbed on my leg) and I'm feeling guilty while DS just asks for endless boob. Argh.

lynniep Tue 29-Jan-13 16:41:08

Sometimes. On my half day, I collect DS2 (3) after preschool at 2.30 and his brother (5) a little while later after school. If the weather is nice I make up a picnic first and we head straight for the park before home. If its not then I have to gauge how knackered they are. If we go home, then they are allowed to watch a bit of telly, to give us all a bit of a rest, but then I turn it off and try to get them to do some lego or similar (and DS1 needs to do his homework). I don't necessarily play with them, but I am endlessly called upon to 'do this mummy' and 'find that mummy' and 'wear this mummy' and 'can you make me a cape mummy'. Now and again we do an actual 'activity' like baking/making pizza/fish kebabs etc.

IrnBruTheNoo Tue 29-Jan-13 18:45:55

Not really. DS1 finishes school at 3pm. By the time I've done his homework, and got an activity for DS2 to do whilst helping DS1 with his homework, it's nearly time to prepare dinner (4pm), and then they watch TV for a bit (whilst I'm going back and forth to kitchen to check progress of dinner) and then we eat (4.45), bath time (5.30), teeth brushing, play in bedroom together, and then story (6ish) and then finally bed time! (7pm)

It would be fine if I had another pair of hands, but I don't, otherwise I'd love to do an activity with them both like baking or such after school.

IrnBruTheNoo Tue 29-Jan-13 18:46:33

* I don't do DS1's homework, just help him with it btw! blush

Zappo Tue 29-Jan-13 21:17:21

My DD1 (5) is knackered after school. We come home, sit on the sofa, have a drink or snack. I then try to suggest something DC might like to do rather than killing each other. We sometimes do a bit of colouring in, drawing. There will be a few toys out. However, often DD is too tired to do anything and I feel a bit guilty for trying to persuade her to do something but I try to limit the TV because of my 2 year old.

Like you I find the transition between work and home very difficult. It's "almost" easier when you have them all day or are at work all day than those days where you have to switch roles half way through.

DS is 4y7m and DD is almost 3, the couple of times we have been somewhere after school (soft play, friends) he has fallen asleep in the car because he is knackered.
We tend to have cbeebies on and have some play dough/colouring/toys out while I cook, sort lunches etc before bed & bath starting at 7.

pigleychez Wed 30-Jan-13 16:56:50

DD1 is 4.5 and at school. I find after a day at school she is usually pretty tired. We come home have a snack and drink then sometimes watch abit of tv/dvd or do some colouring/playdough/freeplay.

We dont go anywhere, plus the weather has been too pants for the park or anything.

DD2 (2.7) misses her big sister and is all over her like a rash when she gets home. It usually ends up with a fight as DD1 is tired and irritable!

plipplops Wed 30-Jan-13 20:14:42

Nope. DDs are 4 and 5, preschool and Y1. Both do swimming so that's one day after school, other than that we normally see family one day after school and nothing the rest. They're knackered!!

NeverendingStoryteller Sat 02-Feb-13 22:17:13

I have a DS7 and he is collected by grandparents after school because I work full-time, when my shiftworking husband can't collect him. After I've collected him, we usually drive home together chatting, and then I try to do one child-focussed activity with him each night, even if it only takes 20 minutes. We might do a puzzle together, or I will read an instalment of the book we're working through, or we'll colour-in together. We try to get homework out of the way on weekends, but if there is homework to be done (often spelling revision) we'll do that for 10 minutes, but will follow this with something non-school related. Sometimes, 10 minutes doing lego together is enough, or reading jokes from a joke book. We do bedtime routine together, too, just so I can be sure he actually cleans his teeth properly because it helps to bond before bed.

A couple of mornings a week, I try to get up half an hour early and I will go into his room, or have him crawl into our bed for a cuddle and chat. I try to never bring work home on the weekend, and always give him one full day out of the weekend - the other is often spent with extended family and doing chores.

I've only just figured out how to make this work, BTW. I had a very upset and somewhat angry little boy when I returned to work, but we've found a happy medium, I think.

I must admit - it's not perfect, and there are some days when I am too tired to wake up the extra half hour early, and sometimes I am guilty of getting distracted at work and leaving too late to give him much time before bed. But, you can see the difference the effort has made in his behaviour - I encourage DH to join in this approach when he is around in the evening/weekend, too, and it has been working pretty well, even if we're not 100% consistent with our time.

CrapBag Sun 03-Feb-13 21:55:36

I've often wondered this myself.

DS is in reception and I wonder what I 'should' be doing and feel guilty that he doesn't get quality time really.

1 evening he has a swimming lesson and 2 evenings he has karate so he is pretty tired really. Usually the evenings that don't have an activity are taken up with baths but I want to change that to have them after the activity then it will free up some evenings to do nothing, chill, play games whatever he wants to do.

Currently, I pick him up from school, I have DD who is 2. When he gets home he usually asks for the tv and says he's hungry. I try and leave the tv until 4 as thats the programmes that he likes but he will watch anything that is on if I let him. I potter and do tea for about 5 when DH comes home. Then he will either have an activity or bath then story and bed. We read every night. I have found though that when he has a reading book or some sounds to practice at home, he wants to do this as soon as he gets home so I sit with him and do that, hard with DD there as well though. We often play a game after tea, I try and have a free half hour at least for something.

It is hard to find the time when they have school and are very tired.

firawla Mon 04-Feb-13 14:04:38

we don't do much after school - more in summer and probably more when they get a bit older but mine are same age as yours (+ a 3 yr old too) and they sleep quite early, i dont find there is all that much time after you make time for cooking dinner, eating dinner, bath, reading, sometimes homework.
my 4 yr old tends to want to watch tv and relax a bit on the days hes not doing any homework or anything, or colouring in. as they get hungry we do dinner quite early then they play a bit together after dinner.
i do more puzzles and things with the older 2 if the little one happens to have fallen asleep on the school run otherwise its not a good time really as he gets too over tired and disrupts it

KatherineKrupnik Mon 04-Feb-13 20:45:44

I was coming to post something similar! I actually find that the after school slot goes easier if we do do something, otherwise they bicker & fight over toys the whole time. Mine are similar ages to yours, OP. I've been going for "sensory play" <wanker> activities since they can play alongside each other - play dough, moon sand stuff, string paintings... In the better weather we will be at the park as much as we can be!

DoubleLifeIsALifeHalved Mon 04-Feb-13 20:52:57

NeverendingStoryTeller I rather think you've got it nailed!

PoppyWearer Mon 04-Feb-13 20:55:21

My two are also similar ages to yours, OP.

We do one after-school activity (a class) a week and that evening is always a mad scramble to get the DCs home and fed afterwards. DC1 enjoys the class or I wouldn't put them through it.

Other nights are quiet and simple, reading homework, drawing, CBeebies. My two are usually in need of an early tea, which drags on as they get so tired, so that takes up a big chunk of time.

louisianablue2000 Mon 04-Feb-13 21:03:16

We walk home from school then they have an hour of watching TV. I usually put out some arts and crafts on the dining table for them to do before tea (DH doesn't et home until 6:30 so we eat then). We have a playdate once (maybe twice) a week.

I'm currently on maternity leave, they'll go to the afterschool club at nursery which is fab, lots of running around with their pals in the lovely garden.

NeverendingStoryteller Tue 05-Feb-13 11:14:59

Thanks, DoubleLifeIsALifeHalved! We had to try something really structured because DS was so upset about losing me to the world of work!

Thanks for all the replies, very interesting reading. It's nice (if selfish wink) to see that I'm not the only one who struggles with this part of the day.

It has made me wonder if we eat too late ... DD often asks for food when she gets back, I give her a snack but she keeps on asking. We eat just after 6, once DH is home, because I want us to eat as a family and can't face eating with the kids by myself. She will be a few weeks off 5 when she starts school so hopefully it won't be as tiring.

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