Combining Daylight Savings Time with Halloween = YIKES!


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Many adults give a big sigh when it comes to the thought that they can get an extra night of sleep this year on November 1st. Single parents, who are almost always sleep deprived, certainly welcome the idea of an extra hour of sleep.

This year, however, the night before we switch our clocks back an hour comes that infamous and child-centered celebration Halloween! I can hear the groans of thousands of single parents right about now.

Oh yes, Halloween. You know the day the kids look forward to for weeks. The day they don those wretched costumes and wait all day to go out and collect pounds of candy. This year with Halloween being on Saturday the kids will be anxious all day long to put on the costumes.

If your church has trunk or treat or some other fall festival, kids will want to wear their costumes. Kids of divorce will more than likely come early and stay late. Some may still go out and trick or treat afterwards.

Come Sunday morning, if you are a single parent you may hear the following

Time to get up. The sun is up.

Can I eat my candy now?

Can I watch cartoons?

Can I get on the computer?

Get up I’m hungry. Where’s my breakfast?

Why are you still in bed?

Isn’t it Sunday? Aren’t we going to church?

All of these comments and questions will come rapid-fire. It’s enough to make one want to pull the covers up over the head and sink down into the comfort of a soft warm bed!

Internal body clocks

Everyone has an internal body clock. It’s more prevalent in some people than others. For many kids their internal body clock is very active. Kids are going to get up at about the same time on Sunday as they did on Saturday? Their internal body clocks say, “It’s time to get up!” even though the clock may say you get to sleep longer.

In the article, Daylight Saving Time Ends: How The Time Change May Affect Your Sleep And Mood they say, “When light stimulates a certain part of the brain first thing in the morning, it can make us more vigilant throughout the day and boost moods in the long run.” Single parents certainly know that boosting moods during the day is important and needed.

What daylight savings time does to behaviors?

Many people don’t realize that the switch off daylight savings time can affect a child’s behavior. This is particularly true for children who are experiencing the divorce of their parents.

When a child’s internal body clock gets interrupted it can cause chaos on their system. Many kids of divorce live chaotic lives anyway. Confusion reigns with no one to explain what is happening. Now add getting up when it’s light outside but getting picked up from afterschool care when it’s dark outside.

Fear, confusion and chaos can send a child’s behavior over the edge.

If you are children’s leader or teacher

  • Expect these kids to be out of control so you won’t be surprised when they have so much extra energy and are bouncy and hyper
  • Prepare your heart and mind through prayer
  • Acknowledge when a child is beginning to be disruptive
  • Tell a child what you want them to do – not what you don’t want them to do
  • Have extra nutritious snacks on hand, something that can combat all of the sugar from the night before
  • Plan for some high-energy activities and then for some calming down activities to follow
  • Be patient, calm, cool and collected when the single parent comes to pick up their children

If you are a single parent

  • Be as calm and patient as you can muster on Sunday morning and during the next week
  • Dole out the candy in increments or promise to have a candy eating day next Saturday when the kid’s internal body clocks are a little more adjusted to going off daylight savings time
  • Provide a lot of stress-reducing foods, such as applesauce, mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese
  • Provide food high in potassium such as orange juice, bananas, tomato products
  • Provide snacks that are high in protein – peanut butter, nuts, eggs
  • Provide a lot of water to drink and encourage kids to drink it often especially the Sunday after Halloween
  • Assure your kids and then reassure them you will pick them up on time even though it might be dark outside when you pick them up
  • Be patient if they have outburst. Remember the outburst comes from the chaos inside their systems and their internal body clock being off an hour

For more information and ideas on daylight savings and children of divorce

What are the 2 most difficult days out of the entire year for the child of divorce?

How Daylight Savings Time will affect kids of divorce more than it will affect you


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