Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Power of a Timer

Being a devoted fan of both FlyLady and the Pomodoro Technique, you'd think I'd have realized by now just how valuable a timer can be.

After all, I use one to time cleaning and decluttering sessions - well, I need to get back to doing those regularly, but using one worked when I was actually doing it. And I use one for writing and balancing my work-at-home jobs with things around the house and play and care time with my son.

One thing I'd missed, however, is how useful a timer can be as a parenting tool. I discovered this the other night in a moment of frustration. Robbie, my 2 1/2 year old has a habit of dawdling and playing around instead of  doing what he's asked, especially if those things involve eating, picking up toys, or putting clothes on. I was frustrated a few nights ago, reheated his food set the timer for 20 minutes (he's already been "eating" for close to an hour), and told him he needed to finish before the timer went off if he wanted dessert.

It worked great. Since then, I've used it to encourage him to get dressed faster before we left the house, to pick up his legos, and as a countdown to let him know when he can get out of time out. He seems to enjoy racing to "beat" it and it makes things easier on me because he doesn't argue with it or ignore it like he sometimes does me.
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