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Working parents - how do you manage evenings with reception children?

(9 Posts)
lecce Tue 20-Sep-11 21:54:47

DS has just started in reception (he didn't attend pre-school) and we are struggling with him quite a bit in the evenings - though I'm not sure how much of this I'm actually causing myself.

Dh is sahd and I work f/t. I am usually home between 4.30 and 5 and often arrive midway through dc's dinner. Since starting school ds has been pretty unpleasant at dinner time, often yelling, "Yuck!" "It's pooey!" etc - fairly unusual for him. I think half the problem is thatdh lets him watch tv while it is being prepared and he is angry at having his viewing interupted (we generally Skyplus it for him). However, I am reluctant to suggest bringing this up with dh as I know he is pretty tired himself at this point (He has 2 yr old ds at home and suffers from MS so tires easily.)

After tea, I try to read ds's school book and go over his bear words (simple words he's been given to learn). However, he is not exactly reluctant but is often silly and distracted. Today, I just felt so frustrated with him as he seemed to have forgotten everything he kneew before eg he looked at the letter 'a' (he's known it for months - it's in his name)and said it was 'br!' I know that I need to be positive with him but it is so hard when I am tired from work and know I have more work to do once the dc are in bed. It all seems such a chore but if I didn't do it I would feel so neglectful as a parent. Can't help feeling it's counter-productive if he can tell I'm irratated with him (I did try to cover it up.)

Also, I feel guilty that ds2 is getting little to no attention during this time and seems to be mooching around not really doing much. I know I only need to do 10 minutes or so but by the time we've got it all out, it seems to take a lot longer. Then it's on to bedtime and the whole thing seems such a grind.

I suppose that's life when you work and have dc but I dread to think how we will cope when dh is working again and the dc have 'proper' homework to do as I know we have it very easy compared to some at the moment.

Sorry for the rant, just feeling overwhelmed with it all at the moment and am looking for hints/reassurance that we will all get used to it.

Karoleann Tue 20-Sep-11 22:00:52

We never got on with reading after school in reception. DS1 always managed to do it far more quickly and skillfully in the morning before school. Could you leave later and do it then?

I only let DS have one programme after school and then its playtime whilst dinner is being made. Although as DS has school dinners, we often only do something snacky for tea. Could your DH do that instead and give the 2 year old a big lunch?

It does get easier - but it takes time.

An0therName Tue 20-Sep-11 22:01:44

could your DH do the reading in the morning - I find after school my y1 - and when he was in reception as well - was not receptive at all to any kind of school work - but we can fit 10 mins in the morning - live near the school mine and up pretty early
so quite a bit of TV after school -
I try and get them to have a run about sometime in the afternoon -
homework - we get a bit - do it at the weekend
also in reception in particular they do get really really tired so that probably why he is playing up

muminlondon Tue 20-Sep-11 22:02:15

Have you tried 5 minutes at breakfast instead?

roxymalone Tue 20-Sep-11 22:02:18

Hi there Sorry cant be much help on the home work front as my twins DD's have just turned 3, and DD no. 3 is nearly 1, but both me and my husband work full time and the evenings were awful when i went back from maternity leave as the girls were all so tired from being in nursery all day and used to just cry for about an hour when we got home, nothing would please them!! I would feel like crying aswell as I was tired and just started a brand new job which i still feel out of my depth in and guilty that the girls are in creche full time but no choice as we want/need to move house as the girls get bigger we just dont have the space.

If its any comfort, now they are used to being back, since end of June, they are fine again and sleeping longer in the mornings, used to be 5-6am now its after 7am, little DD is up at 5 though so early start for Mammy!! so it might just be a settling in period and your little man will come around to it all in time.

I do feel DD 3 gets overlooked too as the big girls get lots of attention and she just potters around playing with whatever she can reach, but shes v happy little chick and maybe the less attention is good as she doesn;t crave it then!

Have just been looking up primary school applications and feel sick with the thought of it all!!

muminlondon Tue 20-Sep-11 22:03:13

smile cross posted with An0therName

NoNoNoMYDoIt Tue 20-Sep-11 22:05:14

i do nothing with DS in the evenings (Y1 now). instead we get up in the morning; give DD (2) her milk in a cup and DS and i do his spellings, reading and his cello practice (!) while DD tips milk everywhere and draws with it on the carpet / every surface available patiently waits for us to finish

he is too overwhelmed by the end of the day and just wants to play. we get up at 7.10am, and we leave the house at 8.30 to walk to school. it only takes 10 - 15 mins to do school book, spellings and cello practice so plenty of time still to play with powerrangers / build lego AND eat breakfast / beat up little sister / get dressed etc.

chillikate Tue 20-Sep-11 22:12:20

We both work FT. DS hasn't had any reading / homework yet, but we've already discussed that it'll be built into the morning routine. DS is exhausted enough now after being in school til 3.15. From next week he'll be at after school club too.

blackeyedsusan Tue 20-Sep-11 22:22:56

he is too tired, what is the point? do them at the weekend until he is used to the new routine. just concentrate on getting him to bed early. they often behave badly after having to be good and restrained all through school. it is normal. it should settle down in a couple of weeks.

I give dd a banana or biscuit as soon as she is out of school. by the time we have driven home she has recoveed a bit and will read then, before we go in. (except in the middle of winter when it is too cold and dark)

find the time that suits you, but seriously don't worry if he is too tired at first.

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