Creating after school structure and stability is vital to a peaceful afternoon!
Picture this: It’s 3:30PM, you’ve already worked your workday, and now it’s time to go pick up the kids after school. Mine are usually waiting outside running around outside their classroom door like out of control/been cooped up all day kids! You (mom or dad) are hungry, you want to sit down and take a rest, but, it’s kid time now and they want your attention, they want to eat, and they want to play! You’ve got to reset yourself from employee to parent in a matter of minutes regardless of what you may need yourself. If we start them early- like now as we go back to school, maybe the transition from school to home won’t be so traumatic for you and them!
The transition from the standards and expectations of school is completely different from the standards and expectations at home. The classroom teacher expects children to follow school rules, make progress in their studies and work cooperatively with others. After school, at home, we parents want a clean house, meals cooked and happy kids. Sometimes (at least for me) this can be a tough way to end the day. My children have a tendency to argue, jump on coaches or forget that there is work to be done.
After a long day at work, the last thing you are going to want to do is exercise! I know, I’m one of them. However, what I know about my kids and most of my friends is that they are fired up when they get home. Commonly referred to as the bewitching hour … the time of day when you need to be cooking dinner and they just want your attention! That pull is so constant sometimes, that the dishes will just have to wait. For this school year, I’d like to throw out some options for exercising with your kids as part of their after school activities. Mainly, I offer this knowing how kids behave right after school, not necessarily as a workout for the parent.
Top After School Activities for Kids
- Running! Before even getting to the car, head for the school track and challenge your kids to a few laps around. Keep it fun and light, if they’re not into to it, then suggest, the monkey bars! As a parent, I’d go for a solid 15 minutes of activity before leaving campus.
- Partner Yoga. I use these cards by Leah Kalish as a starter and let them pick the pose. They really do love this.
- Get them involved in bike riding and you all go for a ride!
- Challenge them to a number of push-ups and sit-ups in the grass.
- Play hide and go seek!
If you truly commit to a 15 minute “playtime” or “after school activity time” before you even walk in the house, things just might go smoother. Because you and I both know that once your feet hit the door, there are lots of other ways to get distracted that don’t necessarily have to do with them. This author has also found that if the activities are their choice, even if it’s parent directed, will get you lots more buy-in with them.