Managing Daylight Savings with Young Children

Alert! Daylight savings is November 6th this year. If your children are still young enough that a 20 minute delay in a meal or a bedtime can, on occasion, result in a complete meltdown, this mini-article may be for you. If, however, your children are older and will completely delight in rolling over for an extra hour on Monday morning the 7th, congratulations and no need to read on! One of the things Waldorf education is known for is the protection of childhood. Being well rested and ready to greet the adventures of the day is a key component of this. As parents, too, we can appreciate a child who sleeps well. It is counterintuitive but experts know and many parents have experienced that the overtired child wakes up too early. As a parent of young children, I find that the "fall back" is much more difficult than the normally less popular "spring forward". My already early risers waking up that Monday morning at what is painfully early sets the whole week on a poor course. There are a few things I do now that help in the transition. Two main points, one is that I begin the transition to the new time on the Friday evening rather than waiting for the actual change on Sunday. Beginning on Friday drastically reduces the shock on Monday morning. Secondly, I have developed this chart to gradually acclimate to the new time. My girls sleep 7 pm - 7 am normally, so this is what the weekend of Daylight Savings will look like in our house: Friday Saturday Sunday (DAYLIGHT SAVINGS!) Monday Bedtime 7:15 pm 7:30 pm 6:45 pm 7:00 pm Waking time 7:00 am 7:15 am 6:30 am 6:45 am The wake up time we don't have so much control over, but I list them here to show they do adjust with a day or two lag time. I do know some families, including mine, that use a timed night light to indicate to children when it is wake up time. Using such a timer, I do adjust that time to reflect the chart, above. That way, even if they do wake up early they know it is still quiet time in the household. Good luck and be strong.