The very real pain of Term Three Fatigue

Photo: Shutterstock
Photo: Shutterstock 

Kids more fractious than usual? Tempers frayed? Everything feeling just a bit too hard? You're not alone - there's a real shift in the energy at this time of the school year. 

Let's call it the Term Three Fatigue.

It happens every September  - and things are no different at my house.

Abandoned homework sheets are blowing around, sport uniforms languish pungently in bags from the week before. Desks are covered in paper, mutilated paper clips, empty cups and the innards of a stress ball that's exploded. 

My sons have given up putting their clean washing in the allocated shelves of their wardrobes. Shorts, undies and scrunched up tees mingle unhappily together, some pieces looking like they're trying to emergency exit as they hang down the front of the shelves.


Friends report similar states of child disengagement. Some report their kid's behaviour is spiralling into apathy and others complete rebellion. The bright spirits of early year non-existent.

There are reasons the dying throes of term three feel like a chore.

Unlike term four, which holds the promise of long summer holidays in the not too distant future, term three is hard work. School assessments are in full swing - all drudgery and none of the fun end of year activities.


Add to that the number of families hit by colds and flus, together with the windy, erratic weather of spring - it's no wonder kids, and many parents, are finding it all a bit of an uphill battle right now.

My teacher friend Robyn gave me a primary school perspective: "Year 6 kids get toey because they're basically scared of what's ahead- high school. Year 5 kids because of hormones and being on the cusp of being the big fish in the pond. They have friends in Year 4 who are likely to join in with the bucking goat behaviour or who might just be starting the hormonal rush. It's a bit crazy alright."

But hang in there, thankfully Term Three Fatigue shouldn't last forever.

The upcoming break will provide a much needed rest and refreshed children will head into term four with enough renewed enthusiasm to get them through the final term. 

Well, let's hope so anyway!