Do you use a timer? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 21 Old 05-31-2007, 11:48 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Do you use timers for anything in your house? We used to use them just for time-outs but now I am starting to see their uses in many different situations.

Do you use a timer for something other than time-outs, and if so, what do you use it for?

We have been having a lot of problems with DS dawdling to get ready for school, getting dressed, eating breakfast, etc. So we started using a timer: he has 10 minutes to get dressed in the morning (the timer has a 5 minute warning beep). When the timer goes off it beeps for 1 minute, and at the end of the minute if he's not dressed yet we scoop up whatever clothes didn't make it on his body and carry him downstairs to sit at the table for breakfast.

It really has helped with our morning routine and he doesn't dawdle as much as he used to. (He still dawdles to the 5 minute warning beep but then is dressed fairly quickly after that). Rarely has he not been dressed recently when the 10 minutes are up. Today he was even downstairs for breakfast before it went off and he was proud of himself that he beat the timer to the table!
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#2 of 21 Old 05-31-2007, 11:55 AM
 
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I can't handle timers, I get so uptight, and craby trying to finish something before the bell goes off. I am very sensitive to noise, so waiting for the stupid bell is nervewracking. (I refuse to use alarm clocks to wake up too)

But, we use music. "How much can we get cleaned in here before the song ends?"

"Gotta get everybody's shoes on before the song ends" (mad scramble for shoes)

That's about all I will time. But, this is an interesting thread, I bet I will get some good ideas.
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#3 of 21 Old 05-31-2007, 12:22 PM
 
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We don't use a timer for our morning routines, but now that we need to get the kids to daycare a bit earlier due to dh's new job, we should start, dd1 can be really slow in the morning. We do use a timer at bedtime. We were having a hard time getting dd1 settled in the evening for bedtime, and she kept complaining that she can't fall asleep, and coming out of her room for any little thing. So what we do now, is get ready for bed, read a story with her, go to the potty and then we set the timer for 20 minutes or so (we want her to be done by 9pm, so the timer gets set for however many minutes there are to 9:00) and she can play quietly in her bed until the timer beeps. She usually draws with her magnadoodle, or plays with her Polly Pocket dolls or anything else that is quiet and she can stay in her bed to do. Once the timer beeps, she must put away whatever she is doing and is allowed to look in a book until she falls asleep. This is working so well for us, and many nights, she doesn't bother looking at a book, and just goes right to sleep, and she is falling asleep much earlier than she was before we started this routine.
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#4 of 21 Old 05-31-2007, 02:25 PM
 
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We often use the timer for transitions - time to leave the park, time to go inside, time to start for bed. For some reason this is much easier for my 3 yo to accept than me just saying it's time to go, even if he's been given advance warning. I have even asked to set the stove timer at my neighbor's house when my ds was refusing to leave!
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#5 of 21 Old 05-31-2007, 02:53 PM
 
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Nope, we just talk about what's coming up and sing. The timer is for cooking at our house...sometimes we set it to clean up together for some agreed on time when the house is a pit.
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#6 of 21 Old 05-31-2007, 06:58 PM
 
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We use a timer for time outs for DD but also to remind us to do things like, "you have 10 more minutes to play then brush teeth" if I set the timer, I don't loose track of time and I am not the bad guy bugging the kids when time is up. The bell is! At least that is how DD treats it. I also use the timer on my cell phone at the park, I let kids know we are leaving in 10 minutes and let the cell phone do its thing. Much easier and I am more organized.
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#7 of 21 Old 05-31-2007, 07:08 PM
 
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We only use a timer for ds1. He has limits on how long he's allowed to play videogames, and he has a timer for that. It gives him a 5 minute warning, so he can get to a "save spot" or whatever. Life has been sooooo much more pleasant since we got the timer.

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#8 of 21 Old 05-31-2007, 08:57 PM
 
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No, we don't use time outs, so no timer for that.

As far as getting ready in the morning, we make it fun and it goes quickly. I just have the one, though, but I wouldn't want to use a timer myself.

One way I have used a timer is to let her know how long until someone is set to arrive at our house. For example, if she keeps asking when her dad will be home, I have set the timer and told her to look at the time there. That stops her from asking me every 1.3 minutes.
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#9 of 21 Old 05-31-2007, 09:01 PM
 
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clean ups it is a battle so you clean up for 1 hour then you can play with a toy and yes it takes that long to pick up a few toys she cant help but play with everything and walk up and down doing nothing so this ends the hurry up battle :
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#10 of 21 Old 06-01-2007, 01:34 AM
 
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we use a timer for night time transitions. she will bargain & bargain the night away with us when it's time for bed, but if the timer dings, she'll typically clean up agreeably : i guess b/c she can't argue with the timer? :
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#11 of 21 Old 06-01-2007, 10:19 AM
 
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We use a timer for our "Mama time"--time that I get during the day while she entertains herself. That way she can always check to see how much time she has left... We also occasionally use it for cleaning up (let's clean for 15 minutes, and then we'll do something fun, for example).
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#12 of 21 Old 06-01-2007, 10:53 AM
 
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We use the oven timer a lot! 15 minute clean up time, 10 more minutes of quiet reading then bedtime., time to come upstairs when the timer goes off...etc. It helps me too. I get too engrossed in the morning paper that I will read through the time for me to get the kids to school. If i set the timer to go off 5 minutes before we leave, I'm good.
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#13 of 21 Old 06-01-2007, 11:33 AM - Thread Starter
 
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We use timers a lot now... 2 minutes for brushing your teeth, timers for breakfast, getting dressed, cleaning up, I use a timer if I'm on the phone and need some quiet time for 5 minutes.

I agree with a PP that its much easier to use a timer for setting limits cause DS doesn't know how to negotiate with a timer
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#14 of 21 Old 06-01-2007, 12:22 PM
 
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We use a 'mental timer' for things like bedtime issues. He has been fine with us just saying '5 more minutes' or '1 more minute' and that has helped him to transition fine. We're going to have to go to a real timer soon because he's about old enough to start realizing that our minutes are pretty darn flexible. :
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#15 of 21 Old 06-01-2007, 01:50 PM
 
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Aside from cooking, we use it for time outs, computer time, and cleaning time (works great!!)

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#16 of 21 Old 06-01-2007, 08:23 PM
 
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We've found that a timer makes transitions easier for dd, especially going to bed. Now when she's tired she asks me to set the timer so she can go to bed.

We use it mainly for bedtime, but have also used it for stuff like computer time, tv time, time to come inside, etc. DD will occasionally ask us to set the timer for 5 more minutes, but she's usually ok with it.

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#17 of 21 Old 06-01-2007, 08:35 PM
 
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The timer is my friend. In the morning we "race the clock". Arguing over the swing? You each get x minutes. when the timer beeps your turn is over. How much time until x activity-look at the timer.

Kathy-Mom to Blake & Mikaela
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#18 of 21 Old 06-02-2007, 09:05 AM
 
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I am tempted to start using one for the bedtime routine. I have read that this can work well and prevent the "just one more story" phenomenon.

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#19 of 21 Old 06-02-2007, 11:22 AM
 
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We only use it for brushing teeth. Otherwise he's done in 15 seconds.
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#20 of 21 Old 06-02-2007, 12:18 PM
 
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We use our timer a lot. I am so scatterbrained so it is more for me than anyone else.
I would burn so much food w/out it...

We also use it for time outs, (we don't do a lot of these)

Transition time

When I am on the phone and Owen wants me I will set the timer and then get off the phone when the timer goes off. It works really well because then Owen plays while I finish the call in peace. He knows that I will hang up in X number of minutes, and he can watch the timer if he wants.

I use it for when I am in the middle of doing something and Owen wants me to play with him. I will set the timer, tell him how many minutes, and when it beeps I stop and play with him.

DH and I use it for cleaning...we will see how much we can do in 20 minutes.

We used it for potty training...I kept forgetting to remind Owen to go, so I would set the timer for 30 minutes at a time and have him try.

I also use the Alarm/Timer function on my cell a lot, like a PP mentioned. The cell phone timer REALLY helped with potty training, because I would forget all about it when we were out and about.

It really helps me and DH to stay on task/schedule....

The timer in my kitchen has a nice, quiet beep and with my cell phone I just put it on vibrate.
I can't stand sudden loud noises so it makes a huge difference for me to have a timer that sounds pleasant.
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#21 of 21 Old 06-02-2007, 12:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dubfam View Post
We used it for potty training...I kept forgetting to remind Owen to go, so I would set the timer for 30 minutes at a time and have him try.

I also use the Alarm/Timer function on my cell a lot, like a PP mentioned. The cell phone timer REALLY helped with potty training, because I would forget all about it when we were out and about.
Damn, why didn't I think of that?? We had a real hard time with DS, that piece of info would have helped a lot! I'll have to remember it for next time with DD.
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