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Anyone else suffering the Back to School Effect?!

(22 Posts)
Dottoressa Sat 20-Sep-08 16:54:24

DS (Y2, turned six in May) has always been difficult - but since going back to school, he has been unspeakably awful. He is very, very good at school (gets certificates for being polite etc; is top of the class in everything), but as soon as he comes out of school, he just seems to disintegrate into a screaming ball of fury. I am trying to remain calm, ignore bad behaviour as much as possible, reinforce the usual barriers, administer the usual sanctions, offer the usual rewards for good behaviour - all the same old stuff. He gets 20 minutes of homework a night, which is a battle-field (well, it's supposed to take 20 minutes; it takes 2 minutes to do the work, and at least 18 minutes of arguing about it beforehand...)

I don't want a solution as such - but I would like to know if it's just us, or if anyone else has this problem!!

clutteredup Sat 20-Sep-08 17:05:52

yes my Ds (7) has been like this since the beginning of term and my DD who has just started school is even worse. It's because they are so tired and everything is new -they will calm down eventually < cluttered crosses all fingers and toes and touches everything wood> grin It's just a bit of a nightmare in the meantime!

SheSellsSeashellsByTheSeashore Sat 20-Sep-08 17:10:51

no my dd1 is surprisingly normal. i was looking forward to 'the slumped on the sofa in front of the tv and gruting' that cod promised me intsead i have "is it dancing day mum? is it? well is it? we are going to dancing arent we? if we are not going to dancing can we go to the park? i had x, y and z for dinner today and x was naughty and went on the tracker. can we take my imaginary horse ellie for a run on the feild?" she does eventually run out of breath and i get to answer her.

Twiglett Sat 20-Sep-08 17:16:57

high-carb snack as soon as he gets home

downtime .. slob out in front of tv .. do nothing .. no expectations

boredom .. no tv or organised stuff .. go and entertain yourself

20 mins homework a night is excessive IMO .. he's 6 .. speak to his class teacher about that

lambbanana Sat 20-Sep-08 18:03:14

Boy, this could be my post except I have dd 6.10.
Totally defient in lots of things. It takes 2/3/4 attempts for her do to anything, its like Ill do it when i am ready kind of attitude.
She is ok in school although she does lack concentration and falls out with friends ( a few do so she is not on her own, lots of strong characters). She is top set for every subject and is a good all rounder(as the teachers have said in the last 2 years).
Sometimes she is a dream and good and most of the time she is a monkey.
She is discilined and looses out on visits to friend, days out etc.

hugs to all of us.

Dottoressa Sat 20-Sep-08 18:24:23

Thank you! I am glad it's not just us. We go in for heavy boredom (no after-school anythings for us, and DS hates TV anyway - we've always gone in for boring them rigid).

The homework thing is a pain. I did speak to his teacher, and she said they were preparing the children for Y3, when they get 30 mins per night (!!) She did say we should leave it if it's really a problem, which I'm happy to do (I really don't think he should be getting homework every night), but DS then gets v angry with me for saying we should leave it hmm It seems I can do nothing right at the moment!

I'll try the high-carb snack,though. I'm not sure that he eats much at school, even though the meals are better than he'd get at home (organic meat, locally grown veg and so on...), and hunger definitely disagrees with him!!

katebee Sat 20-Sep-08 19:01:40

My 6 yr old Yr 2 DS used to be a real handful after school...tired, tantrums etc. refused to talk about his day, fussed over reading book, but he has been much better so far this term.

I always give him a snack the moment we leave school so I think Twigletts suggestion is good. He has also been going outside to play after getting back and has enjoyed that.

My DS has not had any homework yet..just the reading book. So maybe your DS is tired from his workload. Does he do lots of after school activities? If he stays after school for activities maybe he is too tired to do the homework after that.

Do you think there could be anything he is unhappy about at school?

Hope things settle down soon and you have an easier time

MarkStretch Sat 20-Sep-08 19:05:28

Oh thank god.

I thought my DD had morphed into an evil twin of her former self.

When she comes out of school she is rude, petulant, aggressive, moody... She comes home and wails and stomps about and slams doors.

We have had to have words several times but it normally escalates into a battle.

Agree with the high carb snack though. Seems to help.

She's also started having bad dreams in the night and getting up really early, much more so than usual. Anyone else?

LurkerOfTheUniverse Sat 20-Sep-08 19:15:37

yes, my dd very anxious at the mo, bad dreams & waking early

she's just moved up to year 1

katebee Sat 20-Sep-08 19:18:55

Yes - My DS is having bad dreams too...does anyone think eating cheese can cause more dreams?

Just wondering as I quite often give DS jacket potato and cheese as an easy supper and am wondering if this is a mistake.

LurkerOfTheUniverse Sat 20-Sep-08 19:21:15

hmm, that's a myth about cheese, no?

samsonthecat Sat 20-Sep-08 19:24:32

My DD1 is like this and is 3 and just started nursery. Please tell me it won't get worse!

MarkStretch Sat 20-Sep-08 19:31:30

I am hoping it will pass...

She certainly loved school last year and is very happy there normally so I'm clinging onto that for now!

Dottoressa Sat 20-Sep-08 20:19:50

Katebee - no, he doesn't do any after- school activities (we never did activities, even when they were little). He comes home and plays with (or fights with) DD and the neighbours' children. I do think he finds being good all day a real strain!!

I'll try the snack thing. Thank you all for reassuring me that this isn't just us...

pointydog Sat 20-Sep-08 20:25:34

plonk him in front of a dvd

Dottoressa Sat 20-Sep-08 20:31:00

Pointy - if only!!!!!

He will only watch a thing I recorded off BBC3 about the making of English cathedrals - and will only watch that in extremis. He loathes TV - it's all part of his insistence on Being Different (unlike DD, who would gladly take root in front of it). I must be the only mother in the universe who has to try to bribe her child to watch TV...

merryberry Sat 20-Sep-08 20:38:17

refuse to let him do it?

katebee Sat 20-Sep-08 20:58:37

Dottoressa - does your DS like playing with DS will sometimes spend ages doing lego, also likes playing with his sand table still...building sand tunnels for vehicles to go through. I think my DS will be an engineer.

I wonder if your DD is older or younger. I have a DD 3 and I found the combination of a 6 and 3 yr old really hard this summer hols..3yr old constantly winding 6 yr old up and always getting reaction. Luckily they seem to be playing much better now they are back at school and not with each other all day. My DD also loves TV at the moment so am trying to cut that down.

Do you ever have the chance to go to the park or somewhere on the way back from school or go for a short walk..maybe that would help your DS to unwind.

Dottoressa Sat 20-Sep-08 22:32:25

Katebee - thank you! My DD was 4 in June, and this may be part of the problem. They spent the first 7 weeks of the school holidays winding one another up non-stop, and finally started playing together for the last two weeks - just in time for DS to go back to school. I'm quite sure DS dislikes having to go to school while DD is enjoying herself at home (actually helping me to load the washing machine and such like, but in DS's head this counts as fun); and then DD doesn't like having to share my attention again when DS comes home.

But I digress! DS used to be completely Lego-bonkers, but his Lego fixation was replaced by a drawing obsession (6 pages of A1 attached together, detailing the internal workings of textile mill engines). In Year One, he'd spend the whole walk home from school telling me about the picture he'd been planning all day, and would then spend a good hour putting it down on paper when he got home. He's not drawing at the moment, though, which isn't helping!! His current obsession is playing the piano, which is all very well - but then there are monster tantrums when he has to do something else like eat or do the dreaded homework.

We have quite a long walk back from school, which I'm glad about as it gives him chance to let off some steam (though it often means trying to pick a fight with DD at the side of the road... oh, the joys!!)

I suppose I have to keep telling myself that it's Just Another Phase...

Dottoressa Sat 20-Sep-08 22:32:59

PS Merryberry - I like it!!

AphroditeInHerNightie Sun 21-Sep-08 07:00:52

Woo-hoo, we're not alone!!!
DD (6.10) was a lovely little girl throughout the summer hols but once school began she mutated into an angry, defiant, frankly arsey, little madam - prone to raging tempers, threats and horrible strops.
Reading back some other the other posts it must be an age thing - I get the impression that the transition into Year 2 could be a hard one, and they are expected to knuckle down a lot more.
She's a high achiever at school and polite and obedient for her teacher - its me that gets it in the neck when she gets home.
I think tiredness has got a lot to do with it. School here starts at 0720 (finishes at 1230) so we're up at 6am every morning. Plus she has a lot of extra-curricular activities (she gets horrendously bored by the long afternoons otherwise).
Most nights she's in bed by 6.30 but struggles to sleep before 8 some nights - then we're in the vicious cycle of being exhausted the next day.
Guess I'll just have to ride it out, but I want my sweet, caring, happy little girl back!

Anna8888 Sun 21-Sep-08 07:14:22

My DD is much younger than this (3.10) but doesn't get out of school until 4.15 pm. We head straight off to the park where she has a substantial snack (banana, water, a couple of biscuits) and then she plays on the climbing frame for an hour or so. If she doesn't have the snack she is in a frightful mood within a couple of minutes.

Then straight home and into the bath (she is unspeakably filthy after school and park) for at least 30 minutes, and pyjamas. She is quite relaxed by then, and ready for supper.

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