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DS is exhausted, how can I help him?

(13 Posts)
Tailtwister Mon 09-Sep-13 09:11:58

DS1 has just started his 3rd week in P1 (Scotland). They went into full days from the start (8.30-2.50) and as I work he goes into after school club until about 4.15 which is the absolute soonest I can get there. The ASC is very good, they have a snack, there's a chill out area or they can play outside. He does 2 after school activities a week (at his request) which he seems to enjoy.

What can I do to support him more? He's in bed by 6.30, lights out and asleep by 7. We wake him up as late as possible in the morning, but sometimes he wakes by himself at around 6.30.

He has school lunches (compulsory), but we provide a snack for the morning, usually a banana, apple or granola bar.

He always has a good breakfast, pancakes with banana/honey, porridge, scrambled eggs etc and a multivitamin. I work from home so there's always a cooked meal in the evening, in addition to a cooked meal at lunchtime in school.

I don't know what else I can really do to support him, as my working hours are really non-negotiable. I don't work on a friday, so collect him directly then. Is it just a matter of building his stamina? Is there anything else I can do for him? He has a swimming lesson on a sat, but that's all he has scheduled over the weekend.

DMCT Mon 09-Sep-13 09:40:58

I would cut out the after school activity....In P1 they dont need it and have enough going on in their little heads and bodies. Are the afterschool activities after 'afterschools'? Once the homework kicks in, this week he will find it more difficult and will be exhausted. I tried to pick ds up directly when he finished school last year (he's in P2 now), sometimes he had to go to afterschools, but only til 3.15 and he was more tired those days.

He is now more than happy to go to afterschools for a 'play'with his friends this year, and can manage it much better than last year. A friend of mine had a different situation - collected kids at 5pm, they were exhausted, her youngest has just started p1 now and is finding it very tiring already and will prob only start to get homework this week. Stamina improves throughtout the year though!!

Most p1 teachers would say they dont need any extra curricular activities in p1 as they have enough to deal with, but if he can manage it and is not totally exhausted...... fair play. My ds could not have coped. Dealing with homework is hard for P1s if tired :-(

Hope this helps a bit?!?

redskyatnight Mon 09-Sep-13 09:43:00

In a lot of ways it's just about building up stamina.

In the time he is at home, I would definitely suggest letting him flop - just lie on the sofa and watch tv if that's all he wants to do. If he has homework and seems too tired to do it, I would tend to let them leave it.

I know DS enjoys his after school activities but you might want to consider stopping them for now (or rescheduling for the weekend). I know ASC is not as full on as a structured activity, but it's not completely relaxing either - so until he gets used to it, it's very like him already doing an after school activity every day (so he's doing 7 in total across the week!)

Tailtwister Mon 09-Sep-13 10:11:35

I did wonder about the AS activities DMCT, but figured it wouldn't make too much difference since he would be in ASC anyway and he wanted to do them? I'll have a chat with him this evening and see how he feels about dropping them. There's nothing I can do about picking him up earlier as my core hours run to 4.

Just to explain a little, the AS activities are run by the school so they take place directly after class finishes for 30 minutes (they are taken straight from class). Then they are taken to ASC until they are collected.

He doesn't get much homework. He has a word tin which we do most nights and about 2 pieces of additional homework per week, just a sheet with a few letters to trace, some pictures to draw, which takes around 5 minutes.

Our usual routine is I collect him asap and then his younger brother, straight home and out of uniform. Snack and whatever homework there is, if any. Then chill out time doing whatever he wants, TV etc. 5.30 he has dinner, bath at 6 and bed at 6.30.

RatherBeOnThePiste Mon 09-Sep-13 10:22:15

As the activities fall within ASC and he looks forward to them, I'd keep them. I'd be keeping weekends as quiet as possible for now. It really falls down to his stamina. Bless him.

MerryMarigold Mon 09-Sep-13 10:24:33

Sounds like the asc's are all that can go. I think even if they are not for long, it is the changing of environment and people several times which is tiring to adjust to. Also, would it be possible to pick him up and then you continue working at home while they watch TV, or catch up hours when he is asleep.

soaccidentprone Mon 09-Sep-13 10:30:00

I think it's common what your ds is experiencing. It's a big change, and there's so much to think about and remember etc, as well as all the physical stuff. I used to have to give ds1 a piggy back most of the way home when he was y1! And previous to that he'd been at nursery full time so you would have thought he would be used to that kind of set upgrin

Just give it time, cut out the after school activities apart from the asc. I used to meet ds1 and then ds2 at the gate with a snack and a drink - a few grapes, satsuma, some breadsticks etc. just enough to keep them going till we got home, which was a 20 minute walk.

It does get easier for themgrin

Tailtwister Mon 09-Sep-13 10:35:07

As I'm client facing I have to be at my desk during core hours, which includes 2-4pm Merry. Unfortunately there's no movement on that, but I already do a fair amount of work in the evenings as I have US clients.

I'll have a careful look at the AS activities, but last time I suggested dropping them he got quite upset as his friends do them.

He's got about 5 weeks to go until half term when he gets nearly 2 weeks off. I'm taking them away to the Lakes to chill and hope he recharges his batteries then. Then it's about another 8 1/2 weeks until Christmas!

I did suggest to DH that he go 4 days like me but he's reluctant to do so as there's a possible promotion in the pipeline. I've tried to reduce to 3 days, but it's not been possible as I'm client facing.

I will keep an eye on him, but if he's not coping I'll need to call in the PIL/my mum to see if they can lift the load a bit. I don't like to ask, but I'm sure they would step in for a while and collect him earlier for a few weeks if he was struggling and I guess my mum could come up for a bit.

Rockinhippy Mon 09-Sep-13 10:36:17

My own DD was really badly exhausted at a similar age due to a bout of pneumonia, it was so bad she ended up on part time school. What helped her immensely was giving her Spirulina is a natural superfood packed with more easily digested vitamins & minerals & even more iron than liver, which could help him a lot, it also has immune boosting properties, which would help him fight off any niggling viruses that are sapping his energy.

It's safe for kids to take - at that stage we gave DD 6 tablets a day, which we used to cut up to make it easier to swallow,we sold it too her as magic energy pills & as a result she never complained about taking it - she was very as at that stage though, so less would be fine, DD is now nearly 11 & we now give her a couple when she is run down & up it if she needs more due to illness etc.

You can buy it easily in health shops, but we've found some brands are powdery & taste really foul, the best brand we've found is is All Seasons which I can no longer buy locally, so order direct online, which has turned out to be cheaper & delivery is very quick.


CaptainSweatPants Mon 09-Sep-13 10:38:17

I don't think they're is anything you can do
He'll get used to it, don't worry smile

Tailtwister Mon 09-Sep-13 10:54:13

That's really interesting Rockinhippy, I'll look into Spirulina. I noticed he had a bit of a cough this morning and this is the time of year for them to start picking things up, so boosting his immunity sounds like a good plan. The good thing is that if he does get ill I don't have to worry too much about keeping him off school and can have him at home if need be. Now he's a bit older he will sit and watch a film whilst I work and understands he needs to be quiet if I'm on a call. I don't want to start a cycle of keeping him off due to tiredness though. It's a hard call to make.

Yes Captain, I fear there isn't much more I can do. I hate seeing him so knackered though and really feel for him.

It's good to know it's not unusual soaccidentprone. He's been at nursery for full days in the past and I naively thought that would put him in good stead for school. How wrong could I be!

DMCT Mon 09-Sep-13 12:31:22

Tailtwister, if the clubs are during the aftersschools Id let him keep going at them as i know my ds would be running around playing out at afterschools anyway... maybe he'll realize himself that he is tired after an activity and maybe not want to do it on the odd occasion. He will build up more stamina for it in the coming weeks, just rest rest rest when home!;-) And loadsa hugs and cuddles!!!!;-)

Maybe if a your parents/mil lived nearby could take him home on a wednesday or something to give him a break mid week that might help!

Oh and yes meeting them with snack and drink in hand always put a smile on ds face, seemed to perk him up a bit on the way home.

Hopefully things get better, they are usually all wrecked after starting P1, takes a while to adjust. Good luck

Rockinhippy Tue 10-Sep-13 11:33:55

Hi Tail

hope he's felling a bit better after the weekend of rest, this is a good link for info...


might be worth mentioning - just incase

but is there any family history of "bendiness" - that might not actually be obvious if its not extreme, we thought it normal, as it was OUR normal IYSWIM - or does your DS sit on the floor with his legs out in a W shape to the sides of him.

I ask as my own DD did go on to eventually be diagnosed with EDS Hypermobility type (aka Joint Hypermobility Syndrome) despite her problems seemingly been as a result of her being seriously ill, they were in fact due to her losing fitness during that illness, making it that her now unfit muscles had to work even harder just to keep her upright - which was the reason for her exhaustion - she still gets very exhausted easily now, but thankfully has decent support in school.

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