A Must Have If You Want More Cooperation From Kids
Would you like to know about an easy-to-use device that will help you get your kids to cooperate more? My friends over at TimeTimer.com created the perfect device to help parents transition their kids from one activity to another and it is incredibly effective with parenting. I’m talking about the visual timer from TimeTimer.com. Many of you may already be familiar with the desk top and wall mount models, but I’d like to introduce you to the new Time Timer Watch Plus® that you wear on your wrist. You’ll notice in the image to the left, that I’m wearing one of these great watches myself and right from the start, what I love most about it is the precision. The Time Timer Watch Plus® provides you with the exact minute and second as time passes so that you know the exact amount of time you have remaining.
Unlike audible timers that simply count down to zero and ring when time has expired, the Time Timer® allows you to turn all or just a portion of the clock face red, based on how much maximum time you want to start with. It runs on a standard battery and using an accurate timing mechanism, the red disc portion of the clock face shrinks as time passes. This creates a quick visual representation of the amount of time remaining for the activity at hand. The Time Timer Watch Plus® works the same way that the desktop and wall-mountable models do, except for the fact that it uses a digital representation of the clock face and the red time disc.
I first discovered the Time Timer® many years ago when I was searching for a way to keep myself on time at the front of the room for a parent lecture, or on stage conducting a keynote. I found that I sometimes get so lost in my presentation that there is a risk I might go over my allotted time, or not space my material well enough. The large Time Timer® was the device I began using to help me stay on track. It was large enough that I could see it all the way at the back of a large hotel conference room or auditorium. No one likes to sit through a presentation and discover that the speaker is going over the allotted time. When it does occur, the audience stops listening and becomes focused on matters such as, “Will I get out of here late?” or “Will the next speaker be cut short?” The bottom line is that the audience is likely to become distracted and stop paying attention. Timeliness is critical to the best speakers.
Another personal factor for me involves the way the brain works when a person becomes overwhelmed and stressed. Researchers have shown that when the human brain is experiencing stress, some areas of the brain actually shut down and some functionality is temporarily lost. Early in my speaking career, I noticed that I had great difficulty reading words on note cards or making sense of a clock face when I was conducting a difficult presentation and was feeling stressed. That’s what makes the Time Timer® so effective. It is much easier to take notice of how much of the red disc is remaining, rather than getting my brain to interpret the time on a clock or watch face.
It was soon after using my new Time Timer® that it dawned on me how powerful this device could be in parenting and gaining greater cooperation from children. Because kids are so focused on the NOW and rarely anything beyond what’s happening at the moment, they don’t transition well. That means they don’t like it when the adult walks up to them and says, “Come on… it’s time to go.” All too often we see them throw a fit or begin to argue with the adult. If you hope to be more successful as an adult who lives or works with children, give them a visual perspective of how much time they have to complete an activity and you’ll see the difference in the amount of cooperation you get.
Awesome parents are those who time their children’s entertainment electronics time. Unfortunately, most of these well-intended parents are still using the microwave or range timer in the kitchen. This means they are very likely to run into resistance when the timer runs out because children are unable to get a sense of the passing of time if they can’t see it. That’s what makes the Time Timer® so effective; children can SEE the passing of time. The results for the adults are children who are more likely to end an activity when the caregiver needs them to. Parents, teachers, and even mental and physical health practitioners are now using the Time Timer® in their practice with children. Watch this clip from my television show where I interviewed two seasoned preschool teachers who agreed with me on the effectiveness of using them in the classroom.
Some parents at my lectures have said to me, “I don’t think my child will take to this different kind of timer.” One Dad even told me that he thought it might be difficult to get his son to adapt and abide by it. I suggested that the father get a Time Timer® for himself and use it in his home office, just to see how it works. Then something amazing happened (as I knew it would). One day, the man’s little 5-year-old son walked into his dad’s office and noticed the Time Timer® sitting on the desk . The little boy asked his father what it was and the man explained to the boy that it was a timer to help dad not stay on the telephone for too long. The little boy then exclaimed, “No fair Dad… I want one!”
The Time Timer® desk top and wall mountable devices can be seen in classrooms, homes, and health professionals’ offices. But now that the Time Timer Watch Plus® is out, I can see some wonderful uses for it (Look at the image to the left and you’ll see that I'm demonstrating how it even works in the dark!) It will be especially effective for those on the move or for situations when having a desktop or wall-mountable version isn’t possible. One of the best capabilities of the Time Timer Watch Plus® is that the red disc that represents the full allotment of time can be set to a customized amount of time from one minute up to 99 hours and 59 minutes. This one factor alone increases the usefulness immensely.
One last thing worth mentioning is the effectiveness of using a Time Timer® with some children with special needs. Because visual timing is so helpful for managing children who have been diagnosed with disorders on the autism spectrum, I can’t wait to suggest the Time Timer Watch Plus® to parents when it becomes available in children’s sizes.
(NOTE: I have not been compensated by TimeTimer to write this blog post. All of my comments contained here are based on my experience using their products and seeing the results for myself. Please visit TimeTimer.com to learn more about what they have to offer.)