It can seem like Invasion of the Body Snatchers: The school bus pulls up and instead of that smiling, happy kid who left this morning, off comes a grumpy, whining, tantrum-prone look-alike.

Here is how to get a little grip on sanity back.

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Set an after-school timeline
Then stick to the routine. If your kid knows exactly what to expect — and when to expect it — he’s less apt to be surprised (and set off) when, say, you ask him to turn off the TV and come to dinner.

Get some food into him — stat
Your child is already exhausted; add low blood sugar to the mix and you’ve got a recipe for disaster. A small snack and a glass of milk can work wonders.

Defuse homework tantrums
Don’t wait too long to do homework, says Baker. Give your child a bite to eat, a little playtime, and then get right to it. If his tired brain can’t deal, calm him by saying something like “It’s okay, you’re not supposed to know this stuff — that’s why you’re learning it.” Then help him break down the assignment into more manageable parts.

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