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How long does the "total exhaustion" last after starting reception ?

(21 Posts)
Tillyscoutsmum Sun 11-Sep-11 20:41:35

DD started full time reception last Tuesday. I was expecting her to be very tired (she previously only did half days at pre school) but I have been amazed at how utterly wrecked she'd been. Unfortunately, tiredness always manifests itself as really bad behaviour and major meltdowns.

Just wondered if anyone had tips for helping with the tiredness and also an idea of how long it will be before she gets used to it a little bit and settles down a bit. She was 4 in May btw.

VinoEsmeralda Sun 11-Sep-11 20:44:02

My DD didnt get used to full days without major temper tantrums till the last term before summer holidays! Then took a good 5 months when she started year 1...

On the other hand DS was fine within 2 weeks.

RhinestoneCowgirl Sun 11-Sep-11 20:46:46

DS started reception last yr (his birthday is end of July, so one of the younges). Those first weeks of full-time were pretty appalling (sorry!) but it definitely had settled down by the end of term.

Practical things - having tea much earlier than we had been (4.30/5.00 rather than 6pm) and then sweeping off to start bedtime routine at 6ish. He was usually asleep by 7pm, sometimes well before. Also I would try and prep tea in the afternoon while he was at school so that I could spend some time with him rather than being in the kitchen. He watches about 30 mins of TV when we get in from school too, think he uses it to unwind a bit.

Hope things settle down for you soon...

fusspot66 Sun 11-Sep-11 20:53:07

That's pretty normal. My August-Baby DD took most of the first term to stop being revoltingly tired after school. But gradually she got there. She would fly around the house re-enacting her day in manic fashion. I'd been expecting she would slump in front of the telly, slack jawed like her mother after a hard days work. But no.... We managed sometimes to have her in bed for 6.30 'cos she couldn't tell the time and know she was having an early night. Not that it helped much. I think it's just all part of the fun of parenting...

Herecomesthesciencebint Sun 11-Sep-11 21:00:09

Im expecting this with DS2 who has so far only done wed/fri last week but has seemed shattered since the wed night. But I just wont send him full time.

with DS1 I watched how he was and as the tiredness built I took him out of school at lunchtime on 1-3 days per week. The teacher was fine about it given he was only 4 and it really helped. By a week or so after half term he was coping much better. Those afternoons at home tho allowed him to just have some head space and quiet, play with his toys and chat to me.

Its so completely overwhelming for them in every sense and I personally think its in no one interests for them to be so tired they cant see straight.

Oh, also keep weekends and afterschool activities to an absolute minimum at least the first term. we did no journeys or late nights at weekends at all and am sure that helped too.

champagnesupernova Sun 11-Sep-11 21:03:33

<Lurkety lurk>
This is my DS, who's just upped his preschool hours and we've signed up for swimming. I thought he was ready for it but tbh I'm wibbling a bit as he is SHATTERED (and so am I)

DownyEmerald Sun 11-Sep-11 21:18:12

See for me swimming is the most knackering thing there is (apart from caving, and I'm guessing you don't take your little ones caving after school!).

But maybe that is just me!

Agree with what has been said about keeping weekends quiet, ridiculously early bed-time, keeping them at home if exhausted. DD's sleep was affected too, it would just go back to normal then it would be half-term/holiday, and we'd get ready to start all over again when she went back.

It did gradually improve. These few weeks are the worst it will be, hang in there! It's horrible when they are nasty, and you are just trying to help!

AChickenCalledKorma Sun 11-Sep-11 21:31:59

A whole term. Christmas in Reception year was hell. Just beyond exhausted. Sorry!

UniS Sun 11-Sep-11 21:43:10

took most of first term with DS. and the second term he was knackered after 4 weeks till half term, then lasted another few weeks and was knackered again.

Have only started after school swim lessons now he's in year 1, and on a Friday so we can pick up teh pieces on Saturday. He did manage to cope with a 30 min dance class once a week all the way through reception and was quite happy to play in the park for an hour after school any dry day.

Sleepglorioussleep Sun 11-Sep-11 21:45:40

Weirdly dd coped better with full days than she did halves.

roisin Sun 11-Sep-11 21:48:38

With ds1 total exhaustion lasted about 3 years!

He's a lark so always gets up early anyway.

When we got home from school (3.45) I would give him a drink and a small snack - muffin or something. Then throw him straight in the bath, this would wake him up a bit, so that he would have enough energy to eat some tea (4.30 pm) in his pyjamas. Then I'd do school reading with him and bed-time stories. Invariably he was in bed asleep before 6pm until he was at least 7 yrs old! And would sleep solidly for 12 hours+

An0therName Sun 11-Sep-11 21:53:37

we did virtually nothing after school for about the first 3 weeks - and he had a pretty early bed time - after that he was fine - although he is december birthday - and we havn't gone to after school swimming - we did it when he was in preschool and it was fine BTW
his behaviour wasn't great but I think it was partly that he was an angel at school and couldn't keep it up at home!

Tillyscoutsmum Sun 11-Sep-11 21:54:01

Thanks all for the advice (and the reality check - I think !)

fusspot My dd is exactly the same. I was expecting her to be grumpy and slumped in front of the t.v but she's just hyper. Running and jumping around and not listening to anything and then turning into a sobbing, hysterical wreck if I tell her off.

She has swmming lessons and they are due to start back again this week. She absolutely loves them and missed them so much when they stopped for the holidays, but I'm really not sure whether she's going to be able to cope with them yet sad

HummusNKetchup Sun 11-Sep-11 22:00:28

All year for us. And now in Y1 too <sigh>

UniS Sun 11-Sep-11 22:03:03

just remember to feed the child BEFORE swimming but after school.

LynetteScavo Sun 11-Sep-11 22:03:26

The first term is always hell IME.

None of my DC were really ready for a full day of school until they turned 5.

Tillyscoutsmum Sun 11-Sep-11 22:05:39

<<sobs>>. All year ? Really ? <<drinks vodka>>

What the hell do they do to them in there ??!

I swear we did all sorts in the holidays. Full, long days out in the fresh air. Jumping, climbing, running around for hours and hours on end. A fair few late nights in beer gardens and she was fine. 4 days at school and she's utterly fucked !

SurpriseMuffins Sun 11-Sep-11 22:05:45

DD3 started Reception year last week too, she's been absolutely ^fine6 after school, even started eating really well (she's always been a lousy eater)...

...but this weekend she's been soooo over-tired and grumpy, has barely eaten anything, culminating in a mega-barf-fest when we tried to get her to eat a couple of sandwiches at lunch, and an early night. I think she may have been storing it all up hmm

startail Sun 11-Sep-11 22:06:52

I wish someone told me my has never gone to bed before 8pm DD1 "would be tired when she started school" (her DS went to be at 6.30).
She wasn't and aged 13 she still isn't!

levantine Sun 11-Sep-11 22:07:45

I hauled my DS off to his usual swimming lesson at 9am on Saturday and he got out of the water and came crying to me as he was so exhausted. Very unlike him. I wonder if we should just stop doing them but he has loved them so far.

He is absolutely shattered and it's taken me by surprise as he is unbelievably hyper energetic usually, but I think as someone said above the strain of being on best behaviour at school is taking it out of him

LynetteScavo Sun 11-Sep-11 22:11:40

Oh, yes I remember the Saturday morning swimming lessons in reception when DS1 would fall asleep in the car on the way there. confused

They don't actually do a lot physically in reception, but they have to learn so many new things very quickly, names, faces, where their water bottles go, etc. And of course they are trying very hard to please the teacher, which must be a lot of effort in itself for a four year old.

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