The end of daylight saving time is one of the most dreaded times of year for parents. The 2020 clock change happens Nov. 1.
Time change is tough for kids (and their parents!), whether they have special needs or not. Moving the clock back one hour not only forces us to adjust our schedules, but it also forces our bodies to adapt to less daylight, which can cause depression, anxiety, and the desire to pull the covers back over your head (please, just 15 more minutes!).
For those of us who have kids with special needs, the effects of the time change can be even more pronounced. If your kids are struggling with the time change, here are five ideas to smooth the transition and which can be helpful to all kids, whether they have special needs or not:
A week or so before the time change, talk to your child about it and explain that it will get darker earlier. Explain that it's a family "job" to adjust as much as possible before the actual time change by beginning to go to bed earlier by just 10 minutes or so each night to help our bodies adjust.
2. Keep to the routine.
Keep routines as close to the same as you can. The first few nights after the time change, going to sleep might present some challenges, but keep your children as close to the routine that has been established as possible. If bathtime is 7:30 p.m., for instance, don't let them put it off just because it feels earlier. By keeping them on routine, you can shorten the time it takes them to adapt.
It doesn't have to be a formal exercise program, of course. Even a game of tag in the backyard or a family walk around the block can exert some energy -- which will hopefully mean your kiddos are a little more tired at bedtime.
4. Talk about it.
Explain the time change to them and how it affects our bodies. Tell them you know it might be hard at first, but their bodies will adjust. Tell them they are doing a good job with the time change. Praise is good for all of us! For kids with special needs, a social story, a tool used by parents of kids with autism, is a good way to walk the child through what they can expect.
5. Be patient.
Be patient with yourself, other members of your family, and your special needs child. No one is enjoying this! So remember to give everyone a break and to be kind to yourself, let go of what you can, and in a short time, this will all be behind us ... until spring!
To see how a Sleep Expert Offers Tips on Helping Kids Adjust to Time Change, please go to the link.
LIKE THIS ARTICLE: Sandy Springs Dunwoody Macaroni Kid is a free weekly newsletter and website focused on fun family events and information in Sandy Springs, Dunwoody, Chamblee, Doraville, Atlanta, and Perimeter. We gather together all kinds of local family events and activities each week and add useful information about classes, family-focused businesses, book and product reviews, recipes, crafts, school and camp guides and more. We proudly serve families in Sandy Springs, Dunwoody, Chamblee, Doraville, Atlanta, and Perimeter! Sandy Springs Dunwoody Macaroni Kid is full of useful local information like this PLUS tons of kid-friendly events on our event calendar. Have an event you'd like submitted to our calendar for consideration? Submit an event here. Like what you see here and want to get all the fun delivered to your inbox weekly? Subscribe to our FREE weekly e-newsletter for 411 on the local family fun. You can find Sandy Springs Dunwoody Macaroni Kid on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.