You Can Survive Daylight Savings Time!
Daylight. Savings. Time. In the fall, it’s great! Fall back! An extra hour to sleep in, yay! Springing forward? LOSING an hour of sleep? Not so much. For parents, it can be a minor annoyance, nothing an extra cup or three of coffee can’t handle, but for your kids, it may be a different story. Daylight savings can really impact your children’s sleep routine. Their little internal clocks become accustomed to their routines and any change, especially one as disruptive that impacts an hour of sleep, can be challenging.
This year try shifting their bedtimes by 10-15 minutes, 1-2 weeks ahead of the time change to help them adjust. Preparation is key in a successful time change transition, but most parents sometimes forget about it, are surprised by it, and then have to deal with the consequences. The consequences may include:
- Fatigue (obviously!)
- Moodiness (beware of those teenage mood swings)
- Increased (in frequency and intensity) tantrums and meltdowns (great news for your toddler)
- Tardiness (you don’t want to walk in late for church, miss the best table at brunch or gasp! be late for school on Monday!)
If your child does seem more tired, is running late to everything, or seems more irritated with you than normal, lean into your strengths of perspective and forgiveness. Recognize and acknowledge that they are feeling the effects of the time change and that their bodies and minds will catch up eventually. Encourage them to use perseverance to get used to that change. Encourage them to use that extra hour of daylight to go outside and play.
Remember this can be really hard on kids, which means it will be hard on you too mom and dad! But with a little preparation and using your family’s strengths, you’re sure to find good use of all that “extra” time.