Remember when the clocks going back meant an extra hour in bed? If you’re a parent, that ship has sailed.
Here are my tips for surviving the first few days after the clocks go back.
1. Take children out for the day – preferably to the beach. Encourage them to run around, build sandcastles, breathe in the sea air. No matter if it’s a bit chilly, the cooler temperature will help to use up more energy. Just wrap them up warm. Get them changed into their pyjamas before travelling home in a nice warm car (turn that heater up). Transfer your sleeping children to their beds (this is the tricky part) without waking them.
2. For older children with a clock in their room, leave it unchanged for as long as possible – ideally until next March, when the clocks change again.
3. Make staying in bed (or at least in their own room) fun for children. Once they fall asleep, place a small stash of snacks by their bedroom door/stair-gate. If they wake up hungry the next morning, they may be waylaid for at least ten minutes by munching on Cheerios before bounding into your room.
4. Don’t attempt to keep them up past their normal bedtime in the hope they will have a lie-in. It doesn’t work.
5. On the other hand, let them stay up until whatever time they want for several nights in a row, soon enough they’ll be so tired they’ll be begging you to put them bed, unless they are over the age of 7, in which case they’ll just run with a late bedtime for as long as you permit it.
6. Resorting to bribery is always an option in times like these. Always. No judgement here.
7. Try not to stress about the clocks changing, in the grand scheme of things it all levels out again.
8. Book an impromptu hotel stay for you and your partner and send the kids to their grandparents for the weekend. Hopefully, the clocks changing won’t have registered on nanny and grandpop’s radar until it’s too late.
9. Buy good coffee, bake some croissants and a rent a family movie. Then, if your little poppets really insist on getting up at the glorious ‘new’ time of 4.30am you can offset the pain of being up with the lark with some cosy treats.
10. If all else fails, move to a country that doesn’t subscribe to the Daylight Saving Time scheme. I hear Antigua is very nice.
Sam Curtis, 46, lives in Lincoln, in a house that’s not as clean or tidy as she’d like, with her husband and their two children, a tweenage daughter and a threenage son.