Picture this: you’ve finally made it to the doors of your child’s summer day camp to pick the little one up to go home, and you receive nothing but glowing reports of your child’s behavior from his or her camp counselors. But then, when you get home, your angel child is in mid-tantrum before you’ve even had a chance to make it through the door.
Why do children act this way after a seemingly perfect day away at summer day camp or school?
In this article, we’ll discuss why some children wait until they get home to release all the pent up energy they’ve spent hours containing while away from home, and how parents and guardians can better equip themselves to manage high-energy children after a long few hours away at summer day camp.
- What is Restraint Collapse, and Is My Child Experiencing It?
- The Importance of Routine for Behavioral Correction in Children
- Dealing with Restrain Collapse in Children After Summer Day Camp
What is Restraint Collapse, and Is My Child Experiencing It?
As a parent, it can be incredibly difficult to cope with an off-the-wall child after time away at summer day camp. So, what is it that causes some children to become agitated once they pass through the threshold of your front door?
Child psychologists attribute this behavior to a condition known as restraint collapse, a phenomenon that occurs when a child becomes too emotionally overwhelmed to hold their feelings in any longer.
“More sensitive and intense kids, and kids struggling with learning and social skills, will be more likely to be affected,” says psychologist and parenting director Vanessa Lapointe. “More chill kids can have their days too if it was a particularly challenging day, or they are extra tired or getting sick.”
The Importance of Routine for Behavioral Correction in Children
When it comes to behavioral correction in children, the importance of routine and the establishment of familiarity in the teaching process cannot be overstated.
As you and your family explore various solutions for correcting the behavior of your child away from summer day camp or school, strive to establish routines and habits for your children that they can expect as they learn to better manage their emotions in your home.
Dealing with Restrain Collapse in Children After Summer Day Camp
Fortunately, there are a number of ways parents can comfort their children to relieve their stress and promote better behavior both at home and at summer day camp:
- Be firm (but not cruel). Children often wait to lose their emotional restraint in environments in which they feel safest. Maintain the aura of safety and love in your home while also remaining firm in your directions.
- Keep to your plan or schedules. Children thrive on routine, and they will be better prepared to absorb your instructions through repeated actions and experience exposures.
- Teach and practice gratitude with your child. Children are expected to utilize simple social skills at school like sharing or waiting their turn. These expectations should translate to the home environment, and one of the most effective ways for parents to encourage these positive behaviors is through the expression of gratitude when your child behaves appropriately.