Do you have a timer at home? You’ll be amazed in the ways you can use it with your kids and to help run your day smoothly. Post contains affiliate links.
The never ending abyss of indefinite time… that’s my theory. That’s why children will stall, balk, and delay things. Because they secretly fear this thing you want them to do (whatever it may be) will last for-ev-er.
This is why the timer is your new best inanimate friend. It’s dependable. It’s reliable. It’s always on time.
In all seriousness, the timer is a great too to help garner cooperation from your children when you want them to do things they aren’t wild about. It’s also a great way to help you do something quickly and with purpose so you don’t end up dividing your attention and getting nothing done.
Quick note: I’ve bought/used quite a few timers that don’t actually have a good “ding” at the end. These are fairly ineffective because the kids (and you) need to hear a definitive beep at the end of the timed period. This timer beeps loudly and clearly.
Here are some ways to use the timer effectively in your home.
- To time independent play time. If your child resists playing on their own (here’s how to teach them to play on their own) this will really help.
- Noisy time. If your kids are restless and have some energy to get out, turn it on and have a crazy noisy fun time for a while to get the wiggles out.
- For one-on-one time with each child. It’s important to spend time with children individually, and this is a great way to get it in. Start a game, read, or play pretend, and having a timer set will help your child make the most of your complete undivided attention.
- For your evening sweep.
- When the kids are occupied, and you need a 15 minute disco nap (also referred to as power nap).
- When there is one coveted toy and you want the kids to take turns playing with it.
- Outside play time can be timed as well.
- Set the timer to 10 or 15 minutes and have the kids come with you from room to room doing quick tidying and clean up jobs.
- Screen time limits.
- For bath play. I sometimes let my oldest play in the bathtub with her toys even if it’s not actually “bath time.”
- Counting down something exciting they won’t want to end, like swimming for example, setting a timer will say “15 minutes left.“
- When you “need a minute.” If you are feeling overwhelmed and weary, use the timer and tell the kids you are going to rest (read a book, etc.) for a set time and during that period they are not to disturb you.
- Couch time. This is from this book, and occurs when mom and dad sit on the couch together and talk. The goal of this is to show your children that you prioritize one another. During the timed event (10 or 15 minutes) the kids aren’t allowed to come and interrupt the adult conversation.
- Reading before bed. If your child is old enough to read before bed, you can do the bedtime routine, set the timer for the allotted period, allow them to read until it goes off, then lights out.
- Hide and seek. Use the timer to signal it’s time to stay hidden or get found!
- Creating anticipation. If you are about to do something fun like go to the park or set off for vacation, set the timer until the excitement happens.
Basically, the sky’s the limit!!
Do you use a timer? How?
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