Emotional Dump

All is great when I pick up Brooke from school. She excitedly points to show me what fun video they’re watching. She obediently sits and wait for me while I pick up her daily report. We wave buh-bye to anyone who will look. Then we walk out the door and head to the car.

Enter Mr. Hyde.

She squirms and fights me getting into her carseat. She screeches and grunts her displeasure at everything in the world. We finally get home and she gets mad if I want her to walk to the door. I don’t think she has any clue how heavy she’s getting! It continues while I’m in the kitchen working on dinner. She wants to be held, a snack, her drink, a whole myriad of wants/needs.

I’ve read in various places that this is quite common. Your toddler expends so much energy and restraint being “good” in her daycare environment, that once she’s in your presence she feels free to let it all out. A phenomenon I’ve come to refer to as the “emotional dump”.

Luckily, I have found a few things that decrease the intensity of the “dumps”.

  • Keep it quiet on the car ride home.  Turn off the Veggie Tales CD, stop asking her a zillion questions about her day and let her chill.  More often than not, she fills the car with her babbles but at least its on her terms.
  • Have a snack ready.  At her old school, they ate dinner around 4:30-5:00.  Now she has a snack around 3:30 and doesn’t eat again until we get home close to 5:30-6:00.  Those who know Munch know she’s happiest when her belly is full!!

So far that’s all I’ve come up with but I’m sure we’ll figure out a way to make it work and we’ll get our happy goofy girl back!
How do you help your little one unwind after a long day at school or daycare?

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1 Comment

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One response to “Emotional Dump

  1. Obviously Ethan isnt there yet…but Brady used to be like that after daycare. They would day that he was great all day and from the time I picked him up to well after we got home he would be out of control. He also would fight against getting in the car seat. I thought it was a “change of scenery” issue – but your thoughts make more sense…I am glad that your ideas seem to be working.

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