Weather Changes Affects Children’s Behavior


Stormy weather coincides with crankiness and arguments.

When my girls were school-age the topic of weather and our children’s behavior came up in my Parents Anonymous group. The facilitator said, “Any time there is a weather change you can expect the kids’ behavior to change.” Several teachers and daycare professionals agree.

Weather to behavior— what can you expect? When it is raining or stormy (also cloudy or no sunshine) you may see more arguments, picking at each other, crankiness, fighting, yelling, ill-tempered, noisy and chaotic or acting up and acting out behaviors that are impulse-control related. Teachers and childcare professionals say the kids are louder than normal and there is a sense of depression to accompany the dark, dreary weather. Electricity in the air or thunder magnifies any of these behaviors. Wind produces very energetic behavior— it’s not that the children are “bad,” it is just the increase in activity. When there is snowfall they go “haywire” and want to go outdoors. Pent up energy may sway the balance to drive kids outdoors (Snow + Kid = Fun). Alternately you get “cabin fever” with snow days and kids stuck inside.

Edwin G. Dexter studied over 600 corporal punishment instances and found weather to be a key factor.

There have been more than a few studies that shows a clear correlation between weather and behavior as far back as 1898 when Edwin G. Dexter studied kids in several Denver, Colorado schools. Using over 600 corporal punishment cases he found the weather to be a key factor. In studies in 1977 and later, scientific data pointed to the drop in barometric pressure as the culprit.

Dr. Maria Simonson of Johns Hopkins noted that a falling barometer results in an atmosphere that pushes down on the body and constricting capillaries that causes a reduction of oxygen to the brain, possibly resulting in children’s behavior changes. Children’s brains are still developing and that may also play into the negative behaviors as well.

My uncle was a sheriff’s deputy for many years then served diligently as a magistrate. He dreaded  the week of the full moon saying, “The jails will be full and the crazies come out of the woodwork.” There was an increase in domestic violence, fights, shootings, public drunkenness, petty crime and yes, the jails would be packed to the brim. Science shows increases in negative behaviors peak at two days prior to the full moon. Nursing homes and hospital emergency rooms also report an increase in activity and there is a peak in childbirth around the full moon events. The full moon affects the oceans’ tides, why not the fluids in the body? My mother planned and planted her gardens every year “by the moon”  and her harvests were quite bountiful. The evidence is insurmountable!

My lawyer-wannabe children would have loved  being armed with this information. While understanding made me a little  more patient, I couldn’t go around with a barometer strapped to my wrist. On those days when it seemed like everyone has lost their mind I’d look up in the sky at dusk and wonder.

What do you think? Leave a comment below.

Dexter Photo Courtesy of Open Library
Weather Influences Published 1904, Library of Congress

Copyright © 2014 Jackie Saulmon Ramirez. All Rights Reserved.

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About Jackie Saulmon Ramirez

Jackie has volunteered for more than twenty years for children and family issues. Currently she writes for parents in the "Reminder" and "Parent Rap" Facebook page. If you are interested in receiving the "Reminder," send her a message.
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31 Responses to Weather Changes Affects Children’s Behavior

  1. cbraunc says:

    Agreed…we are water, the moon controls water. Except rainy, stormy weather in our house is the perfect excuse to get comfy cozy and enjoy a book, or movies. love a rainy day. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Jackie Saulmon Ramirez says:

      We enjoy storms too, even thunder and lightning… except when we sustained damage. I hope everyone will listen and enjoy your rain recording. Thank you so much!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Lucia Maya says:

    Great info, very interesting!

    Like

    • Jackie Saulmon Ramirez says:

      Thank you!

      *Jackie Saulmon Ramirez, MCC* E-mail: ParentRap@gmail.com Website: http://www.JackieSaulmonRamirez.com Facebook: “Parent Rap – Soup to Nuts” WordPress: “Soup to Nuts”

      “Because NICE matters.” ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” ~Maya Angelou ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ “Be careful how you speak to your children. One day it will become their inner voice.” ~ Peggy O’Mara

      On Thu, Jun 20, 2013 at 1:46 AM, Soup to Nuts

      Like

  3. Lizzi Newton says:

    Reblogged this on Between the Beats and commented:
    This is an insightful observation that is well worth investigating thoroughly.

    Like

  4. Lizzi Newton says:

    Very good observation. I have heard the comment “Must be a full moon” when people act “crazy” since I was a child. I’m going to read more about this. Thanks for sharing.

    Like

    • Jackie Saulmon Ramirez says:

      Thank you for the reblog! I believe weather affects all of us but because children are so young and their brains are still developing it affects them more. It could be that because children must have supervision that we notice their behavior more too. My uncle was a sheriff deputy then magistrate for our county and he swore by the full-moon effect. He used to say the jails would be full; for some reason people are more easily irritated so there were more fights, domestic violence would increase and there were more drunks when it was a full moon. Thank you again! ~ Jackie

      Like

  5. Jackie, Thanks for the “Follow” on my “Excuse Us…” Good post above!!! You are absolutely right! As a retired social studies middle school teacher & elementary school principal, it is common knowledge that rain, snow, even wind makes the kids crazy as does the moon’s stages to full moon!!! Keep in mind also that it makes the adults a little nuts too!!!!! Phil

    Like

    • Jackie Saulmon Ramirez says:

      Hi Phil,
      You are very welcome. I look forward to reading in the future! I think you know what weather does to kids for sure! Wow, you taught middle-school social studies and lived? You must be one tough dude! My hat is off to you and I thank you for teaching. Teaching, to me, ranks right up there with military service in importance to our country. 🙂 (There is no emoticon for a tip ‘o the hat.)
      Jackie

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Jackie, your blog is interesting and i’m happy to have found you
    john

    Like

    • Jackie Saulmon Ramirez says:

      The “Weather Changes Affects Children’s Behavior” article is my #1 piece that is read almost every day somewhere in the world. Thank you, John, for your kind comment. ~Jackie

      Like

  7. Nice post, Jackie. I know the weather certainly affects MY behavior. On a cloudy day I’m just not the same. Hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jackie Saulmon Ramirez says:

      Teagan, I feel for you and you are not alone in that. A friend once remarked that I always seem to be smiling and I told her I try to bring sunshine with me. Thank you, Teagan, for your comment. Lovely name, by the way. 😀

      Like

  8. osarobohenry says:

    Thank you for stopping by at my blog and for liking one of my posts, ”Never give up on your dreams because …..”. May the blessing of God rest upon you and your love ones in the name of Jesus Christ.

    Like

    • Jackie Saulmon Ramirez says:

      😀 Bingo! Believe me, you have my sympathy and respect. Parents may deal with two or three but teachers manage thirty!

      Like

  9. jmsabbagh says:

    Lovely post.Thank you for stopping by.Regards

    Like

  10. jmsabbagh says:

    Lovely post.My wife and l we have 7 grand children.WE are family of teachers.Have a wonderful day.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jackie Saulmon Ramirez says:

      Bless you all for your patience and drive… because to teach, you must love learning and children. That makes my day. No, YOU have a wonderful day. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Oh that “cabin fever” feeling! I was recently sick and had to stay home, so I can relate! Great info on the link between weather and behavior of kids, Jackie.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jackie Saulmon Ramirez says:

      I hear you and sympathize, Christy! You and I both know that even when moms are sick, we still have to perform our duties: Cooking, feeding, occupying, helping with homework… the list is endless. The teachers I spoke with compared some unsettled weather to the Halloween-candy high of children. I had not really thought about the weather connection until the facilitator pointed it out; just knowing that helped me remain more calm with the girls. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  12. authormbeyer says:

    I can add 31 years of teaching experience to the previous 36 when I tell you that behavior definitely goes wonky on weird-weather days. It affects my behavior and mood as well as theirs. As an ESL teacher the last few years (English as a Second Language) I have had more than a few kids from Eritrea, Viet Nam, Honduras, and El Salvador lose control of themselves during rare Texas snowstorms (a handful in the last five years). They have never seen snow. I have also had a few grow manic-depressive over Texas heat waves during what in their country would be the rainy or monsoon season.

    Like

    • Jackie Saulmon Ramirez says:

      I understand that, Texas heat is the worst I’ve ever dealt with. I lived there in the 1970s and it was brutal. The heat and humidity was so bad that I would take my two children to grocery stores, discount stores and then to Dairy Queen to stay cool enough to take a nap. That kind of heat could do strange things to people. Edwin G. Dexter’s insightful studies began with corporal punishment in schools.

      My hat is off to you as a teacher, toughing it out for so long. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  13. sheldonk2014 says:

    I believe that because those little minds are forever growing,changing that the slightest change be it weather,environment,sugar, even tv,computer, there are so many triggers that can cause the crazies, I had them this morning before she even got dressed we had melted down. This is all about parenting, yes mod swings too,but also about having many tools to resort in times of need
    As always sheldon

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jackie Saulmon Ramirez says:

      You are so right, Sheldon. Even our moods and the moods of others. Any and everything affects children in our lives. At school, educators can almost look at children and see what goes on at home. And don’t get me started on sugar!

      Thank you for stopping by. 🙂

      Like

  14. First of all, thanks for following my blog. I always try to return the favour (when I say ‘try’, I mean I do try but if I don’t find the other person’s blog interesting, I can’t bring myself to click ‘follow) and was glad this was the first post I read. My background is animal behaviour and though I retired from that field a long time ago, I can assure that there is research that indicates weather does affect behaviour. Clearly, different animals have evolved to have different responses to changes in the weather. Ironically this is Groundhog Day in the USA, where an entire country turns to a non human animal for advice on the weather. There are going to be behaviours that change because of a predisposition in the species – migration, hibernation, flight paths etc. There will also be changes due to learned cues – anxiety, frustration, excitement. It’s a fascinating subject.

    Like

    • Jackie Saulmon Ramirez says:

      Wow, I really loved this and plan to read again. I have a feeling that not all humans have evolved at the same speed as others. Perhaps they are the missing links. 🙂

      Like

    • Jackie Saulmon Ramirez says:

      By the way, Don’t worry about reading mine, as of late I had health problems that prevent me from publishing weekly as I once did. I have humps to get over first. ❤

      Like

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