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Ever wonder why your kid throws a tantrum the minute they get home?

Are you greeted at daycare or school pickup with tears, insults or tantrums?

Do you sometimes feel like you’re turning into a human punching bag?

Well, you kind of are—even though your child probably doesn’t realize it. Let me explain!

Parent holding hand in front of school

The (OH, so important) attachment bond

From the moment your little bundle of joy is born, you form a strong, powerful attachment to them. You’d be willing to move mountains for them—whatever it takes. Your reward? A precious bond with your child. When you satisfy your child’s needs, their brain unconsciously registers the fact that you’ll always be there for them. (Which is true!)

Even when they make mistakes. 😨

Even when they have tantrums. 🤷‍♀️

Except that it makes you the lucky recipient of all their “big” emotions.

Except that it makes you the lucky recipient of all their “big” emotions. 👋

Sure, they get along well with their daycare educator or their teacher, but those people weren’t the ones who changed your child’s diapers in a sleepy haze at 3 a.m. That was all you. And that makes YOU their most trusted confidante, their rock.

Life at a daycare

When you drop your child off at daycare—a fun, colourful environment with people smiling from ear to ear and oozing kindness—you just KNOW they’re in good hands. 👌

That they’re the luckiest kid on the planet to be spending quality time with caring adults and plenty of friends to play with. 💕

It really is wonderful!

But it’s also exhausting. 😳

(Kind of like parenthood: wonderful, but exhausting. You follow me?)

GIF mother falling on her bed

Throughout the day, your child experiences situations that can throw them off balance and force them out of their comfort zone. It takes a lot of energy for them not to have a meltdown at any given moment. Like, a lot. 🔋

Think about all the sensory input they have to process, like sounds, for example. If you think your kid can be noisy, imagine 25 of them together in the same room! Or all the social situations that can stir up big emotions, like a friend playing with the toy they really wanted. Oh, and don’t forget the rigid schedule—they don’t want to stop playing just because the bell rings. 🛎

All these little annoyances can add up, making your little one feel uneasy, upset or stressed out. And they might be comfortable talking about their feelings (which is the ultimate goal, but it takes time, maturity and a lot of support) or they might bottle them all up. 😣

And then, the minute they see you… BOOM!

Like a miniature ticking timebomb, all the tension is released.

Because remember, YOU are their person.

Niagara Falls has nothing on them!

And that’s the exact moment your heart breaks. 💔 You had a long day, too, and it’s hard seeing your child like that. Trust me, I get it (I really get it!). 💛

Does it make more sense now why your child sometimes gets home with their little battery drained? I’ll let you process all this information but if you want to learn more, here are tips for avoiding the end-of-day tantrums.

Sources

Royer, N. (dir). (2003). Le monde du préscolaire. Gaëtan Morin Éditeur.

St-Germain, C. (2014). Pourquoi fait-il des crises depuis son entrée à la maternelle ? [Repéré en ligne le 23 septembre 2022 à : https://www.coupdepouce.com/mamans/0-5-ans/article/pourquoi-fait-il-des-crises-depuis-la-rentree-a-la-maternelle ].

Zephyr, L. (2021). Favoriser le lien d’attachement avec son bébé. [Repéré en ligne le 23 septembre 2022 à : https://naitreetgrandir.com/fr/etape/0_12_mois/viefamille/fiche.aspx?doc=ik-naitre-grandir-bebe-lien-attachement-solide#:~:text=L’attachement%20est%20le%20lien,fa%C3%A7on%20rapide%2C%20constante%20et%20chaleureuse ].

Claudia Turmel
Conseillère pédagogique
Véritable amoureuse des mots et de la pédagogie (et des post-its, aussi !), je déborde d’idées pour soutenir le quotidien des enfants de manière adaptée et ludique. Anciennement enseignante, je porte maintenant le chapeau de conseillère pédagogique chez Minimo. Toujours prête à aider mon prochain (et à sortir une blague !), je carbure aux défis (et au café !).