Wednesday, December 6, 2006

WFMW: Who's Da Boss?

With a 2 1/2 year old, you can imagine how often this topic comes up in our household. LOL Once in a great while, when asked "who's in charge?", Viking #1 will answer "Momma is". LOL Good girl! But, generally we hear "I'M in charge!" through toddler tears. Well, for my "Works For Me Wednesday" idea this week, I'm willing to admit that I often relinquish my authority to a simple kitchen appliance.

After becoming exhausted with trying to find an effective transitioning method between activities and to help simplify bedtime, I began using my kitchen timer! Now, I'M not the one saying the fun is over, it's the timer! LOL You may laugh but it's actually working! Bedtime has become nearly trouble-free as the timer is set for 10 minutes of reading and when it goes off, Viking #1 happily (well, most of the time) trots off to her room!

I've used the timer for transition from a beloved craft (usually Play-doh or using markers) to something less fun like eating or a bath. But, I've also used it at times to get her out of the bath! It has worked so well that I actually took the timer with me one day to our local Dairy Queen. It has an indoor play scape and (as you can imagine) it's often difficult to get either kid to leave without a struggle. But one "ding" and I can usually get the oldest on track for leaving with minimal effort. And, I've also used it for her time-outs.

I even used it when I started potty-training Viking #1. She was terrified at first of sitting on the pot. I was setting the timer for every 30 minutes initially and then told her she only had to sit on the pot for 2 minutes at first. So, "ding" - it's time to go sit on the pot. Then, "ding" - you can get up now. And, slowly increased the intervals to every 60 minutes for 5 minutes until she got the hang of it.

But, Da Hubby would probably suggest one word of caution...find a timer whose bell you can live with. He HATES ours because it sounds like the phone so many times he's jumping up to answer a non-ringing phone! LOL

It may not solve ALL our problems but it was DEFINITELY made life easier around here!


Unashamed said...

My kids are all - thankfully! - beyond that stage, but I still use the timer. I set ours for 15 minutes each (well, most) nights after dinner and everybody does a chore or two off the chore list. When the timer goes off, we quit. With 5 of us pitching in, it's an hour and a quarter's effort of work accomplished in 15 minutes! I can't take credit for this idea though, it's really a FlyLady trick.

Debbie said...

Hmmm..... I think I will start trying this on a few things. Anita, I really like the chore idea!

sara said...

oh, I stole this from flylady too! I use it for chores that I really can't stand. I set the timer for 5, 10 or 15 minutes and when it dings I'm free. I make a game of trying to get as much done as I can in those few minutes. It's amazing how much cleaner a kitchen can look in that short amount of time.

I haven't tried it for transitioning activities yet - Jack has the attention span of a gnat so it's more a matter of getting him to do a single activity for 10 or 15 minutes.

I have used it to time our version of "time out." He stands facing a wall or corner until he gets his composure and then I time it for 1 or 2 minutes. Then I ask, "Are you done?" and he says, "Done." To be honest, I often ask the question as soon as he calms down rather than adding the additional minutes. This seems to work just as well for now and doesn't take as long.