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Daylight Savings Time is dreaded by parents everywhere. Daylight savings time is back. Since it’s spring time, this means that we will all be losing an hour as clocks will be jumped forward.
What does this mean for us parents? Well, our kids either won’t understand or won’t care about losing an hour. Kids have this ability to function on weird amounts of sleep. I wish I had that ability!
I tend to have trouble recuperating after losing an hour. However, if the weekend of daylight savings is well-planned, it doesn’t have to be a total mess. There are certain methods that parents can complete to make sure that our kids are prepared, and we can get some rest.
This goal seems so simple, but it has quite a few little steps that need to be remembered and completed over time.
It seems so easy, but it can be a daunting task. There are a few ways to slowly change your kids’ bedtime.
In the summer months, after daylight savings time, I tend to allow the kids to go to bed later, typically after sunset. This can be easy for you to change as it allows the kids to stay up later
I have found that putting my kids to bed while it is still light out tends to be a bad experience. For this reason, if you want to keep the routine you have in place, use curtains to block out the light. Dim the lights in the house. Keep their bedroom light off. Make sure you keep reminding your children that it is bedtime and they need to go to sleep.
For younger kids, it tends to be smart to keep to the routine you already have in place. This makes it easier for them to adjust to a time change. If the kids are young enough, they may not even realize that there is more daylight outside.
Sometimes it is easier to plan ahead. Since Sunday is when the time change happens, make sure that Friday and Saturday you get enough extra sleep. Plan for Sunday to be a chill day. Plan out a nap if you have the ability. Since it is the weekend, it makes it easier to play around with how Sunday works for your family.
Understand that this will take more than one day. I see parents planning for Sunday when they should be planning to change the whole weekend. Kids aren’t going to automatically adjust to a change in less than a day. Take the time to change your clocks ahead and begin preparing for the time change before it happens.
Since it is obvious when daylight savings time happens, have a general plan of how Sunday is supposed to go. Buy snacks. Order takeout. Order some new movies. Plan extra distractions into the day. I have older children that don’t understand why mommy wants to nap in the middle of playtime. They are much more capable of sitting quietly and doing an activity while I chill with the younger kids.
The final prepping seems obvious, but it can make a world of difference if you practice it. Be sympathetic! Understand that because of circumstances you can’t control, everybody is going to have to change their sleep cycle. Be aware of what that is going to cause. Kids and parents alike are going to be cranky and sleepy. Accept that the sleep changes may not happen overnight.
One of the mantras I have adopted since I became a mother is let it be! (It used to be let it go, but Frozen ruined that one!). Pick your battles and remember to enjoy life with your kids. If daylight savings really messes up your day, consider taking time off and running the kids at the park. I am a huge advocate for not following the norm.
Let me know in the comments how you take care of the time change for daylight savings time!