I absolutely love the timer on my phone! It saves my sanity on a daily basis. There are so many handy ways that having a timer is really handy when looking after my three kids. I thought it was about time I posted something useful rather than ranting! So today I’m passing on my top 5 phone timer tips.
Time to leave timer
Every parent knows the drama of getting a young child to leave anywhere. If you tell them it’s time to go the tears and tantrums strike. I found myself repeatedly saying we need to go in five minutes, over and over again like a broken record. Persuading 3 kids that it is time to leave somewhere when they are having fun is pretty much impossible. Now I set my phone timer to time 5 minutes until it is time to go. The advantage of the timer over me just telling them is that it is non negotiable. If the kids are in the sandpit at the park for example I just keep the timer ringing until the kids get out.
Bath time timer
My twins LOVE to take a bath! (apart from the apparent torture of having their hair shampooed). The boys would spend hours in the bath splashing and playing together. The problem is getting them to get out again. I now give them a five minute countdown and they know that when the timer goes off they have to take the plug out. Again it works because the boys know that the timer is non negotiable.
Taking turns timer
Anyone with two or more kids know the constant battling over stuff! Everyone wants to play with the same toy at the same time, all the time! Pushing, grabbing, shouting and crying ensues. I again sound like a broken record telling the kids to take turns. It is maddening! Now I use the timer on my phone to give everyone a turn. For example I will give each of the kids 5 minutes with the contested toy or on the swing. Everyone calms down knowing that they will get their turn and that they will get the same amount of time. It just takes the heat out of the squabbling.
Reminding me timer
When you have multiple kids you are always trying to do more than one thing at once. While I’m cooking dinner I will be supervising Sofia’s homework and trying to stop the boys trashing the house! All this multitasking scrambles my brain and I find it so easy to lose track of what I’m doing. I have burnt many dinners through distraction! Now when I put something in the oven I set my phone timer to keep track of the cooking. Similarly in the afternoon when I’m playing with the boys I set my phone timer to go off 10 minutes before we need to leave to collect my daughter from school. This gives me enough time to get everyone ready on time and prevents a last minute rush.
Time out timer
We use time outs for the kids if they hurt each other or are behaving badly. The boys get a 4 minute time out (one minute for each year of their age) which I keep track of with my phone timer. It’s a bit similar to when I’m cooking – it stops me getting distracted and forgetting that one of the kids is in time out.
I’m always on the lookout for handy parenting hacks. Do you have any handy uses for your phone timer that I could steal?