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Daylight Saving Time. Twice a year we have to change our clocks and while the adjustment may throw us adults off… it can be torture for families with children.

Take 2015 for example. We turned the clocks back at 2 am on November 1. The day after Halloween – we gained an hour. One more hour of children bouncing off the walls from their sugar highs. Oh, the torment!

Whether we’re moving the clocks forward or back… the time change rarely goes well with the little people in our lives.

Here are some tips to survive Daylight Saving Time...with kids! #parenttips Click To Tweet

How to Survive Daylight Saving Time (With Kids)

Have a bedtime routine

Bedtime routines are essential year-round. When your children know all the steps leading up to bedtime, their bodies start to naturally relax and unwind. Decide what elements are most important to help your children relax before bed and stick to it.

We have a very basic bedtime routine which includes:

  • snack
  • brush teeth
  • change into PJ’s
  • read a Bible story
  • 2 lullabies / songs

By the time we’re singing songs, the kids are yawning and ready to go to sleep.

Make the change gradual

Consider adjusting their schedule by 10-15 minute increments over the span of 4-6 days before the time change. Gradually shift their bedtime or consider shifting their wake-up time.

Use a good clock

I absolutely LOVE using this clock with my children! The Teach Me Time Talking Alarm Clock & Night Light is AMAZING! There is an “ok to wake” night-light which is a soft yellow and turns green in the morning (the time to wake up is programmed by the parent). My children know that when the clock is green, they can get out of bed.

While they may still rise early as a result of daylight saving time, they know (because of the clock) not to come wake up mom and dad until the clock glows green.

There’s a whole bunch of other things I like about this clock too. It has an interactive, talking, time-teaching game and your child can learn to read time both in digital and analog.

Wear them out

Whether daylight saving time is starting or ending, you’ll want to make sure your children get loads of exercise. Wear your kids out so they get a good sleep at night! Plenty of fresh air is a good idea as well.

Feed them well

Your children may still feel the effects of daylight saving time. A tired child is challenging, but a tired and hungry child is torture! Prepare plenty of healthy snacks for your children to eat. You can check out my post on healthy snack hacks for busy moms if you need some ideas.

Take care of yourself

Oh no! You took all these measures and the kids are still crabby? Make sure you have whatever it takes to get YOU through the days. Check your stock of coffee, tea, chocolate, and/or candy… *wink*. Drink plenty of water and make sure you have what you need to pull through the long days that tend to follow a time change.

Be gentle

Remember that your child’s adjustment to the time change is temporary. Very soon they’ll be back to normal. Be calm, understanding, and gentle through this period. If you do lose your cool, you can always reference my list of five things to do after you blow up at your kids.

Now it’s your turn

What do you do to make a time-change less painful for you and your children? I invite you to post your thoughts below and then share this article with other parents who may need it.


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Jennifer Bly
Jennifer Bly
Author of My Kitchen, My Classroom: An Introduction to Homeschool, creator of The Deliberate Mom, and Deliberate Homeschooling. Jennifer writes about parenting, her faith, and life with her husband and two girls. Jennifer has a Bachelor of Applied Human Service Administration Degree with a specialization in Early Learning in Child Care.

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