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How to deal with bad tempered 3.7 year old after school nursery days?

(14 Posts)
GentlyGentlyOhDear Tue 24-Nov-15 17:37:50

My DD started school nursery in September and does alternating two and three day weeks, from 8.50am -3.10pm. It is an EYFS unit, with nursery and reception children mixed together in 4 classes, so it is quite a big and busy set up, which I think may be tiring her out and perhaps over stimulating her?

I'm really struggling with her when I pick her up and for the rest of the evening as she is a total nightmare. She is really bad tempered and grumpy, is set off into a meltdown at the slightest thing and is really 'arsey' showing attitude when she talks to me. She needed a wee before we left school to walk home today and it was so embarrassing as we both lost our tempers in front of the teachers as she was whining about which toilet to use, asking me to help her and then shouting at me when I did, crying about the tap being too hot (cold tap!) etc.

I'm going through a dreadful sleep-regression time with my 4-month old DS and I am really struggling to keep my cool with her.

Is this common behaviour after nursery? How can I diffuse situations and keep my cool without condoning her disrespectful behaviour - shouting and answering back to me?

Any advice appreciated!

KatyN Tue 24-Nov-15 21:31:43

Yep.. My son used to be exhausted after nursery.. He's much better now but he has been going since he was 1. He's now 4.

After nursery, we have more food because he never eats enough there and we watch telly. He tends to finish at 4:30 ish but I would never suggest we did anything afterwards. He also sometimes has a nursery hangover when he's really tired the next day too. This was especially the case when he only did one day a week.
It's hard if you have had a busy day while she's been out because you are more frazzled too!


winchester1 Tue 24-Nov-15 21:33:56

I think its common id try having a good snack with you for the walk home and if after a few days that's no help consider reintroducing a nap maybe on home days so she goes more refreshed.

Fuckitfay Tue 24-Nov-15 21:34:48

It's a long day for a 3 yr old. I guess no option to do half days? I would have a snack and a drink to give to her immediately she gets out the door for a sugar boost and in case she hasn't drunk enough. Then have dinner prepped during the day so you can just chill with CBeebies on the sofa as soon as you get home for an hour and then heat whatever you've made earlier for fuss free dinner.

SevenSeconds Wed 25-Nov-15 07:01:13

Yes this is normal, and I think you have to be as kind and patient as you can - it's not her fault she's tired! She's probably been behaving well all day for the teachers and when she sees you she can finally relax and stop trying so hard.

I have a similar thing now with DS2 age 6. One day a week my DC go to breakfast club and after school club so they're at school 8am till 6pm. When I pick them up he's really tired and grumpy for the rest of the day - crying, whining, fighting with his sister etc.

lighteningirl Wed 25-Nov-15 07:09:35

Donuts were invented for this very reason.

Luciferbox Wed 25-Nov-15 07:17:25

No advice but you have my sympathy. DS1 is exactly the same and DS2 is about to turn 4 months. Oh joy.

waitingforsomething Wed 25-Nov-15 07:28:18

Im having the same. 3yo dd is doing 9-2 at preschool 3 days a week and I have a non sleeping 4mo DS.
To be honest, as soon as she comes in inlet her watch a film/Peppa with a snack and a drink.
We then do quiet stuff like puzzles or lego, go for an early dinner and bed by 6.30. This seems to temper the whining a bit

Ubik1 Wed 25-Nov-15 07:29:20

Put the tv on

CharmingChampignon Wed 25-Nov-15 08:11:52

I really wouldn't view it as attitude and disrespectful as then you'll feel the need to discipline every bit of meltdown and that will escalate the situation. I have trained my self (or attempted to) into not reacting too much as I used to get so stressed, sweaty and anxious. I read somewhere to try to behave like their childminder or similar and it's helped me.

Both of mine are like this when tired and the only thing that keeps it all manageable is if I act like a patient, patronising saint. I try not to engage too much with any of it to save my sanity and have an air of detachment while saying, 'oh dear, was the tap hot, let's just splash the water then,' etc. I do always remind them of what is acceptable but in an (attempted) quiet, calm way, 'please don't speak to me like that, it makes me feel sad' 'I'm here to help when you're ready for me to' etc. I always have an exciting snack ie fruit stars or hearts etc to pull out of my pocket to incentivise if for eg putting coats on looks like it's going to go wrong - it helps to get out of there pronto. The sugar rush gets us home where the TV goes straight on and they have fruit, warm milk etc while I get early tea sorted.

Mine still have afternoons like this at 4 & 5 and it's tiredness through and through. They're lovely when not tired but regress so much after a busy day.

GentlyGentlyOhDear Wed 25-Nov-15 14:14:26

Thanks so much for all the helpful and sympathetic replies!

Another nightmare morning with battles over hair and teeth brushing! Ugh!

I'm going to take a banana with me today to give to her straight after school then maybe we won't have to talk to each other for the walk home for the sugar rush.

I've been trying to do early dinner and bedtime on school days, but dh gets in around 6.30pm just as I'm settling her, then they want to see each other and he is a bit of a faffer so takes another bloody half an hour to leave her. I'm going to have to get strict with him and tell him he can't go in to her on nursery days, or just go to give her a kiss and then leave. She has him round her little finger though and is a master of distraction and procrastination - I wander up half an hour after he has gone in to find him reciting stories and nursery rhymes and getting her all hyped up again hmm

GentlyGentlyOhDear Wed 25-Nov-15 14:16:34

And CBeebies and Magiclip doll youtube videos on the tablet are my saviour at the minute!

GentlyGentlyOhDear Wed 25-Nov-15 14:21:30

And good tip charming about quietly reminding about behaviour and saying I'm here to help etc. I may have a tendency to be a bit shrill when hot and flustered with public tantrums blush

swashbucklecheer Wed 25-Nov-15 14:21:40

Tv when you get in def helps. My ds who's 4 and only does half days all week (afternoon session ) will often relax with cbeebies on until dinner time after a tiring day. It's the only time he watches tv and i can crack on with dinner sorting out ds2 or anything else needing doing. Otherwise he can dissolve into tears if you look sideways at him!

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