Friday, May 22, 2009

Oven Timer

A very wise and godly older woman gave me this advice a number of years ago.
It seems universal that children lack the urgency in getting themselves ready in time.
In time for school, in time for church, in time for breakfast, in time for bed.
It also seems universal that we as parents work ourselves into a slight frenzy as we continually repeat the same instructions to get ready over and over and over.
Ultimately we get angry and our children suffer our sinful wrath.
A very simple yet effective technique to overcoming this frustration is using an oven timer.
We can train our children that we expect them to obey after just one instruction, if they struggle with doing so timeously, we can set the timer explaining to them that they now have '10 minutes' to be dressed and ready for breakfast.
If they fail to be ready by the time the alarm sound, there should be appropriate consequences.
This tool has helped me many times to keep a peaceful atmosphere in the home, there are few things worse than a nagging mother.
I found it very useful when my daughter went through a daydreaming phase during dinner time, I would set the timer and my daughter would be finished eating in no time.
We should just be aware to give a reasonable amount of time for the children to achieve their set task.

1 comment:

Pennies said...

LOVE IT! I also used a similar technique with Donna for whining (grumbling/complaining). If she asks for something in a whiny voice, I set a timer and tell her to go to her room/bathroom, think about how to say it with self control, and to come try again when the timer goes off. This in itself teaches self control, and it has been really useful in the "whining department" as well. (PS this is not my idea, I stole it from the great Ginger Plowman!)