Archive | November, 2012

Time Change Survival Guide

4 Nov

Every year my family mentally prepares to roll with the time change, and ever year I get to listen to people brag about how they are going to get an extra hour of sleep or complain about how they will loose an hour of sleep. Well… if you have kids it is not a matter of gaining or loosing a single hour it is about adjusting your whole life to the rising and setting of the sun! In simple terms it sucks. 

Rolling back is the worst, children have no comprehension of what it means to sleep in. Nor do they care if it Sunday and the rest of your neighbors and household have been preparing for this glorious “extra hour of sleep” day for months. They wake up at 5 a.m. (their 6 a.m.) proceed to trash the house, jump around, and demand breakfast. So here are some tips to surviving the next time change, or even next few days for that matter. (In all honesty it takes about a month for the little people to adjust.)

Parenting tip #1: When dealing with a crazy person (aka toddler/preschooler) just walk away. There is no rationalizing with crazy, it will only have you wanting to do something horrible to your child before 7:30 a.m.

Parenting tip #2: While partying teens and adults maybe enjoying sleeping in on weekends,Image you should be teaching your children the art of starting a pot of coffee. Before you think that is a rediculious thought – it is not like they have to boil water and harvest coffee beans – give your children the benefit of the doubt, all the kids have to do is put a filter in the pot, toss in two or three scoops of coffee in the filter, pour in water, and press a button. It will give them something to do while you are struggling to rise out of bed, and make you a much happier person. 

Parenting tip #3: The nights leading up to the time change, adjust bedtime accordingly. If you are falling back let the kids stay up so late that they are barely able to hold open their eyes. Play games, watch movies, and when all else fails throw a dance party. If you are springing forward, this takes a bit more time and inch the kids bedtime up by 20 minutes for four days before the switch. Let the kids take their favorite book to bed and a flashlight (though I doubt they will need one since the sun is barely setting at this point) if they can’t fall asleep.

Parenting Tip #4: Do you have neighbors who drive you crazy? Well payback is a giant B. Embrace the insane behavior of your children and don’t fight it. Let the kids play flashlight tag, send them out to the backyard at 6 a.m. You can sit out on the back stoop drinking the fresh coffee your four-year-old made you while your 20-something neighbors get reminded about the many birth control options they can use. 

Parenting Tip #5: You are not alone in this process. There are millions of parents in the U.S. who deal with the government’s crazy policies, so take this opportunity to set up a crack-of-dawn playdate. At least you will have another adult who will understand why you are still in your pjs and wearing dark Jackie-O sunglasses.