Nanny 911 Tip: Use a Timer
Kids seem to have all the time in the world—but adults don't. Even with an established routine, time is an abstract concept, especially to young children, so you can hardly expect them to share your sense of urgency. The solution: Get a timer. The bigger the numbers and the louder the ding, the better!
Timers can help your children start to grasp the concept of time, they can be used as an incentive or they can be used for discipline. In other words, there are many uses for a timer beyond knowing when your eggs are hard-boiled. The timer is one of the Nannies' most tried-and-true tools! Your challenge: Use a timer with your kids.
Here are the Nannies' tips for the different ways to use a timer:
- Cleanup. You can actually get your kids to clean up, by making a game out of it. Turn on the timer, and tell your kids to "Beat the Clock." And if you're rewarding your kids for good behavior, this only reinforces it. Let the winner get a reward. Talk about win-win!
- Getting ready. One of the most frustrating parenting scenarios is getting their kids out of the house in the morning, and getting ready for bed at night. Use a timer, and put an end to the dilly-dallying, dawdling and procrastinating. A timer will help organize all of you.
- Sharing. Whether it's siblings or playmates, fights over a favorite toy are inevitable. Get out the timer, and tame the tension by saying, "Emma can play with the doll until the buzzer goes off, and then it's your turn." This can help young children to learn to share, and to be patient!
- Mealtime talk time. Dinner time with children can sometimes be a challenge to get your kids to talk. Using a timer can help make sure that your kids get equal time at the table to talk about their day.
- Computer time. As our kids grow up in this computer age, they become miniature digital wonders! Still, just as with TV time, you don't want them plopped in front of a screen for too long. So setting a timer to gauge how long they can playing computer games is a good way to set limits.
Timers help give your kids a sense of time, and be more aware of the concept of time. This can only benefit them in the long run, not to mention help nip some of your daily battles in the bud now!
So to repeat: Get a timer and use it in your every day family life. Find a scenario that works for you: whether it's cleaning up, getting ready in the mornings or night, sharing, mealtime or computer time. Get creative!
Happy Timing! And my question to you is: Do you think a timer will help you? What did you use a timer for today? What were the results? Share your experiences in the comments below.
Be sure to check in with your mommy allies on the Child Behavior Message Board. Check out these other challenges:
- Challenge 1: Plan Ahead to Avoid Tantrums
- Challenge 2: Stop Whining & Screaming
- Challenge 3: Say No to Saying No
- Challenge 4: Get Your Kids to Clean Up
- Challenge 5: Reward Good Behavior
- Challenge 6: Establish House Rules
- Challenge 7: Work on Your Most Challenging Challenge
- Challenge 8: Take a Mommy or Daddy Time-Out
- Challenge 9: Give Your Kid Compliments
- Challenge 10: Acknowledge Mistakes and Move On
- Challenge 11: Say Please and Thank You
- Challenge 12: Work on This Week's Most Challenging Challenge
- Challenge 13: Pick Your Battles
- Challenge 14: Be a Better Listener
- Challenge 15: Get Your Kids Talking
- Challenge 16: Keep Your Cool
- Challenge 18: Give Effective Time Outs