Daylight saving time ended a week ago today and both my boys are bummed by this and it confuses the hell out of them as well. They keep asking many questions about daylight saving time.
For the both of them, it’s not your standard run of the mill confusion about it getting darker sooner that confuses them the most, but something quite peculiar. The thing that confuses them is this…
It started with our eldest son back when he was four years old and has continued with our youngest who is currently four years old. Both of them think that the red or orange sunsets we have seen in the last week are what we call daylight saving. They see daylight as an object and therefore the skyline in the west where the sun is setting is daylight saving.
I don’t think that our eldest, even at seven years old gets the concept. He says he does, but he still asks some weird questions about it.
I’ve explained it to them many times. I’ve told them about how the days are longer in summer because of the Earth’s tilt towards the sun for our part of the world during that season. I’ve explained to them how in some parts of the world, and for us, for some parts of the country like to take advantage of the extra sunlight by adjusting the time so that our evenings are longer allowing us to do stuff outside in the sunlight after school, and more importantly after work.
I’ve explained the equinox and both summer and winter solstice; how the days leading up to summer get longer until a date in December when the days start getting shorter heading towards our winter, and then how there is a date in July when those days start getting longer again heading back to our summer.
Last Sunday when the boys woke up I told them that daylight saving time had finished and therefore night time will be sooner than it was the day before. The irony was, of course, the day was actually an hour longer meaning that night time, from the time that they woke up, to when we could officially declare it to be night based on the lack of sunlight was further away. However, seeing that dinner was delivered when twilight had well and truly set in (twilight being the time before dusk, not the vampire movie series), the boys thought that we were having a late dinner.
Technically we were. Untechnically (sic), we weren’t.
Almost every morning this week our four year old has asked,
“Will it be daylight savings tonight?”
Um, no… I keep telling him that it will be six months before we see it again. This morning when he asked I told him that there is over 150 sleeps before we’ll see daylight saving time again. He wasn’t impressed by that. Anything over 100 is incomprehensible to him.
Even his older brother asks me when it will be daylight saving again because he wants to stay up later, and he knows that once the darkness sets in, it’s bath, pyjamas, clean teeth, book and bed. Of course, if it’s still light outside until past 8pm, he assumes that it’s still daytime, and definitely not time for any stinking bedtime routines.
As much as I like summer and love daylight saving myself, like many parents who have come before me have said, those nights in winter when it gets dark earlier are great for getting kids to bed at a reasonable time.
So although I have the kids asking 437 questions about daylight savings each day, I’m happy to have that happen if it means getting some peace and quiet earlier in the evenings.
How do your kids go with the changing of the times?