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Science Kids on the Loose

Science Kids on the Loose

Saving Myself From Daylight Savings

I have a love/hate relationship with daylight savings. I love summer! I hate it when I can’t get predictable sleep. I am NOT a morning person. I work pretty hard at maintaining a schedule with Henry and Leo, especially at bedtime. The structure and predictability works well for the boys. The knowledge that I will be done for the evening at 8pm is essential for my sanity. Henry and Leo also wake up at 7am on the dot every day. I know how lucky I am; believe me. We’ve got a nice thing going here and I don’t want to mess with it.
But twice a year, the calendar (or is it the government?) steps in to tinker with my harmonious schedule. When Henry was a baby I followed the advice of friends and started putting him to bed 15 minutes earlier a week before the changing of the clocks. It was hard work, but seemed to be worth it. The past year or two we’ve hit the time change running and struggled for at least a week to get back to our sweet spot at bedtime and in the morning. I think the key is to stick to the same bedtime, no matter the time change. Act as if it never happened.
My own mom and dad employed that technique. I remember having to go to bed when the light was still out in the summertime as a child. I could still hear my neighborhood friends playing outside. But bedtime was sacred. And I guess it was the best thing for me…it’s not like I didn’t fall to sleep.
I think it is time for me to relax about daylight savings time. I don’t need to be afraid. If I examine it from a scientific standpoint, the idea of daylight savings is quite interesting. I did some Internet research and realized that my ideas about daylight savings were all wrong. I always believed that we moved the clock around based on some sort of old-timer farming/harvest thing. Wrong. Turns out that daylight savings is about saving energy. Some folks think it works, other don’t. Here is the link to the article I read, in case you are interested. (Yes, I can be geeky.)
Fact checking can be useful and even fun. As Sid will learn later this season, we can’t always believe what we hear when it comes to science and sometimes we need to check our sources. It’s hard to let go of what you think you know sometimes…what do you mean we aren’t moving the clocks for the farmers? But local folklore isn’t always true. Although I am not convinced that daylight savings can make a huge impact on energy consumption around the country, I do know it gets us outside in the light of the sun for more time every day.
For all of my complaining about daylight savings, I cannot deny the relief of knowing that summer is right around the corner. The days are already longer. This evening we were able to play on the beach well after 6pm and dusk seemed to fall a little gentler. The boys played in the long shadows cast from the light from the beach restaurant where we had dinner. Henry made monsters with his shadows as Leo giggled and jumped beside him. It was fun, and it was simply like summer.
Longer days mean more time at the pool, the park, and in the backyard. It’s shorts, bare feet, sand, and sun. So I have to sacrifice a few days of normal sleep. More light and longer shadows are worth it.
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Do you have any tips about how to manage daylight savings with your kids? What are you looking forward to this summer?


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