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5 year old super cranky when she gets home from school... what's up?

Posted by on Oct. 9, 2013 at 11:47 AM
  • 15 Replies

 She loves school.  LOVES it.  But she is always super cranky when she gets home.  We ask her how her day was, what she did, etc and she starts yelling at us.  If she can't have what she wants there is a fit thrown, which is pretty unlike her.  She chews me out for not packing the right things in her lunch or gets mad when I say I don't know how to get ahold of one of her classmates to invite them to dinner THAT NIGHT lol. 

I realize that this is indicative of a need not being met, and she has never dealt well with transition, but I have no idea what is tripping her up.  What's up?  What can I try to help her cope better?

by on Oct. 9, 2013 at 11:47 AM
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by Gold Member on Oct. 9, 2013 at 11:53 AM
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Somethng bothering her at school or simply beingbl tired.
by on Oct. 9, 2013 at 12:23 PM

She's probably just tired

by on Oct. 9, 2013 at 12:25 PM
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I would say tired and hungry. Blood sugar affects attitude and personality so if she is used to eating more frequently it at different times that could be a factor. I would go with some OJ and a healthy snack ready and waiting when she comes in the house. Followed by a bit of quiet time. Maybe read her a story or snuggle and chat and see if that makes a difference.
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by on Oct. 9, 2013 at 7:13 PM

My 6yrd dd is like that a lot when she gets home from school and for her it's because of exhaustion.  School just tires her out.  She need to unwind and eat something then she's fine again.

by Tabi - Admin on Oct. 9, 2013 at 8:57 PM
by Silver Member on Oct. 9, 2013 at 9:00 PM
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Sounds like she needs to decompress she gets home. She needs to have a snack and some quiet until she has transitioned herself back to being home. If her crankiness continues after her snack, maybe she can go outside to play or have some quiet time in her room.
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by Bronze Member on Oct. 9, 2013 at 9:17 PM
My first thought was tired as well. Sounds like how I get after work! Haha. I would make sure she sleeps enough at night, then do what others said with snack and quiet time.
by on Oct. 10, 2013 at 1:55 AM
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My daughter had been in and out of this lately and she's 6 and a total doll normally. Sweet as pie and sensitive. After I started poking, like "who'd you play with at recess?" " you ever meet any bratty girls? I knew some when I was a kid..." She started to open up. It was little stuff but I'd find out some girl was rude to her or didn't like her shoes or had candy in her lunch and got all of the attention etc etc.

I just started sharing my old experiences with her and we laughed and now she's a peach and comes home and tells me right away about the latest crap she's dealt with. I just keep telling her that most of the crappy people in school are the ones who serve us our burgers and fries now ... She's happy with that. 

Hopefully you can get her to open up; do your best to pry her open without looking like you are trying to pry her open... As weird as that sounds. Good luck!!!

by on Oct. 10, 2013 at 10:13 AM

My 5 yr old is like that it's because she is tired. She is in full day K and it has been a big adjustment for her. She is a bear when she gets home. She is tired and really hungry. I give her a snack and have been putting her to bed at 6:30 which has helped a lot since now she gets 12 hours of sleep a night. 

by on Oct. 10, 2013 at 3:38 PM
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This is actually pretty common.  Kids hold it all together all day, do great at school and then.... they become unglued when they get home.  I would lighten up on the questions right away.  Let her unwind, put her feet up so to speak.  I know with mine they needed I tried to have a snack in the car.  Giving her some space and a bit of quiet time might help.

You can also try giving her some language to help describe and tune in to how she is feeling and brainstorm ways to make the transition back home this though, when she is calm.  Something like, " I'm noticing that when you come home from school you seem somewhat frustrated and not in the best of moods.  What would help you feel better when we come home?"  (When I did this stuff with my kids, we'd usually be just somewhere comfy on the couch and I would have a note and pad with me.)  Start brianstorming with her...ask for her ideas (even if they are crazy like inviting the whole class over for icecream after school!) Write down all the ideas..( kids usually love that. It shows them that you are taking her opinions seriously) Don't judge her ideas, don't say they won't work just repeat them back to her and write them down.  "Oh, Janie would like 24 people over each day for ice cream.." If you have some ideas you can add them as well...but in order for this to be effective her input is really important.

When she and you are out of ideas go through the list together..  this is the time to say, "Not sure 24 can come over but how about ......".. I see you don't want to talk about school for at least one hour after you get home...okay we can do that.., you would like 3 hugs when we walk in the door, but not at school, and these types of snacks to eat because you are hungry..     you get the idea. 

This way you have addressed what is going on but are coming to table as someone who wants to help her find a solution.  By making her an active part of the solution you will have more buy in.  You are also modeling how to solve problems in the future. 

But all in all... this is super common. 

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