As a parent, we figure out most of what we do as we go along. One thing I figured out years ago used a kitchen appliance. I figured out how to make my microwave help me parent.
I am not talking about “nuking some nuggets” for quick lunch (although that can help at times). I am actually referring to the timer feature. My microwave timer is one of my favorite mom tools.
Kids love to be in control. They get so tired of adults telling them everything they need to do and when they need to do it. They want to have some control in their little lives. Of course, you can’t give kids free reign, so you have to find a compromise. I do just that with my timer!
When we need to do anything I set the timer for them. They know when it beeps that it is time to do whatever that may be. For instance, during the school year, we set the timer for 7:20. When that goes off, the kids know they have to run up the stairs to get dressed and make their beds. Once they are ready, I set it again for 7:57. Once that beeps, my oldest knows it is time to head to the bus. I even set it when it is time to take my younger kids to Mother’s Day Out. They know the beep means it is time to stop playing and put on shoes.
The crazy thing is – it works! I no longer have to repeat to them 27 times that it is time to get on their shoes. Instead, the timer goes off and they come running, shoes in hand. They put them on, put on their jackets, grab their backpacks and are out the door.
It may sound just so simple, but it really works! You don’t even need your microwave. Even a little egg timer can work. Something so small gives kids such a feeling of independence. It can help get the kids out the door on time. Most importantly, it can help YOU keep your sanity!