But before we turn the switch, we might think about the impact light can have on us, can have on our kids. Bright, hospital like light can be aggressive, over stimulating. It can turn the day that just started to wake up into a force that doesn’t allow the natural process to unfold. It might stir up our senses at night when we are ready to slow down, yet lights and screens don’t allow us to rest. If we can feel this impact on our adult bodies and minds, how much more do kids feel them?
We can ease this transition in using, as often as possible, light from natural sources. From the sun during the day and from candles during the dark. Candles can shine though lanterns and windows. We start and end the day with warm and gentle light, keeping the harshness of neon away as good as we can.
Interestingly, many small children can sleep through loud noises but sudden light will wake them up. Kim Payne, Author and founder of Simplicity Parenting, puts it this way. “Children who have trouble sleeping at night sometimes have lightning systems more elaborate than airport runways. I suggest slowly weaning them off their various lights: the light in the bathroom. The hallway, the three night lights, and the bedside light kept on ‘while they fall asleep’. Let natural light be the last that is curtained at night and the first that is welcome in the morning.”
I always considered one of the most beautiful parts of fall and winter the increasing use of candles. The warmth, the light, and the hope that radiates from them. They are a wonderful part of our family’s life, tradition, and rhythm.