Using a Timer

We use a timer often in my house. Our timer assists in teaching so many skills:

  • responsibility for your actions
  • independence
  • time management
  • team work (family participation)
  • life skills
  • consequences for choices

Since my children are still very young (all under 6) I prefer to use a sand timer rather than a digital clock. The sand timer allows the children to “see” the time passing and is a visual clue for how much time is left to accomplish their given task.

We do not use the sand timer as a “threat”, rather it is followed by a privilege that comes as a result of responsibility. For example, “I am starting the timer, if we can finish getting ready for bed (responsibility) before the timer is finished, then everyone can pick out a book to read (privilege)”.  I currently only have the 20 minute timer, 20 minutes works great for getting ready for bed, getting ready for the day, cleaning their room after quiet time , finishing responsibilities etc.  The sand timers come in a variety of times, you can get several to fit your needs.